Bedford Town 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 2: Daggers battle back to earn draw in opening pre-season friendly at Eagles

PUBLISHED: 16:51 15 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:51 15 July 2017

Oliver Hawkins in action for Dagenham & Redbridge at Bedford Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Oliver Hawkins in action for Dagenham & Redbridge at Bedford Town (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Friendly: Bedford Town 2 (Sawyer 7, 48) Dagenham & Redbridge 2 (Ferrier 57, Okenabirhie 69)

Dagenham & Redbridge came back from two goals down to earn a draw at Bedford Town in their first pre-season friendly of the summer.

A mix-up at the back saw Daggers concede the opener in the first half and fell further behind early in the second period.

However, goals for new man Morgan Ferrier and fellow forward Mason Bloomfield helped the Victoria Road side restore parity at the Eyrie.

Of the six summer signings so far, four made their first appearance for Daggers with Bondz N’Gala, Michael Cheek, Ben Nunn and Ferrier in action.

With six minutes gone, Daggers were awarded a free-kick 20 yards out following a foul on Oliver Hawkins.

Strike partner Cheek stepped up to take the set-piece, but fired just wide of the right post from a central position.

It proved a costly miss as less than a minute later, Bedford took the lead when Ben Sawyer rounded off a quick counter-attack, dinking the ball over the onrushing Elliot Justham.

Trialist Nick Wheeler took it upon himself to try to restore parity, stinging the palms of Bedford stopper Adam Harpur from 25 yards in the 10th minute.

Hawkins was next to go close for the Essex club, latching on to a through ball a minute later, but the forward slipped when shooting and his effort went wide.

Both teams seemed more content to attack, rather than keep the ball which led to a frantic pace.

It was not until the 24th minute when Daggers had their next sight of goal, when Cheek narrowly missed out on getting on the end of a Wheeler cross from the left.

Cheek, who joined from Braintree Town in the summer, was involved again six minutes later.

A chipped ball from midfielder Matt Robinson found the forward, who controlled the ball well, but cannoned his close-range effort against the bar.

With 10 minutes left in the half, Daggers skipper Doe carried the ball forward from halfway before crossing for Hawkins, but the striker headed wide of the target.

However, Daggers were unable to level before the break, with only N’Gala remaining to start the second half.

Just three minutes after the interval, Daggers conceded a second when Sawyer slotted under Mark Cousins after latching on to a through ball from Lee Roache.

In the 57th minute, Daggers were able to pull one back when Ferrier turned a shot from fellow forward Mason Bloomfield into the net.

Eight minutes later, Bloomfield had a chance himself to level the scores, but fired wide following a cross from the left by Liam Gordon.

Daggers were level, though in the 69th minute when a corner dropped to Fejiri Okenabirhie on the edge of the box, with the England C international firing home through a body of players.

From there, the match became a stop-start affair with the hosts making plenty of substitutions.

In truth, a draw was probably a fairer result, but Daggers will hope for better away to Bowers & Pitsea and Thurrock, both on Tuesday night.

Bedford: Harpur; Cooper, McKenzie-Lowe, Milenge, R Marsh-Brown; Phillips, Stanley

Daggers first half (4-4-2): Justham; Ling, Doe, N’Gala, Pennell; Rees, Robinson, Howells, Wheeler; Cheek, Hawkins

Daggers second half (4-4-2): Cousins; Nunn, N’Gala, Robson, Gordon; Mongoy (White 84), Boucaud, Hyde, Okenabirhie; Bloomfield, Ferrier

Attendance: 211

Referee: Mr J. Smith

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