Daggers go down to Dover despite Wright goal
PUBLISHED: 21:43 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 21:43 26 March 2019
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Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 (Wright 69) Dover Athletic 3 (Allen 21, Gomis 28, Pavey 50)
Dagenham & Redbridge suffered a second successive defeat in the Vanarama National League, going down 3-1 at home to Dover Athletic.
The Essex club struggled to find their rhythm in the first half and conceded two soft goals to trail at the break.
The Whites then added to their lead early in the second half and though they pulled one back late on, it only proved to be a consolation strike.
Daggers boss Peter Taylor made five changes to his team following that defeat at Havant & Waterlooville on their last outing.
Skipper Ben Nunn was making his first appearance since February 9, returning to the starting line-up in place of the suspended Alexander McQueen.
Conor Wilkinson and Kenny Clark both shrugged off recent injuries to start, taking over from Chike Kandi and Ben Goodliffe respectively.
Also restored to the line-up were Doug Loft and Jack Munns, with the duo replacing Will Wright and Ollie Harfield.
The Essex club were indebted to stopper Elliot Justham in the 18th minute after the keeper brilliantly kept out an effort from Jamie Allen after the Whites man latched on to a flick-on from colleague Mitch Brundle.
At the other end two minutes later, home forward Angelo Balanta stung the palms of away custodian Lee Worgan with a shot from just inside the box.
The opening goal arrived in the 21st minute as Daggers fell behind after Allen found the target.
The forward was neatly played in by Stuart Lewis, before firing low past Justham and into the net.
The Whites then doubled their lead seven minutes later when Bedsente Gomis headed home a Bobby-Joe Taylor free-kick from the right.
Dover seemed content to take a two-goal lead into the break, while Daggers struggled to make any headway in attack as the half saw no further goals.
Just five minutes into the second half, the Essex club conceded again as Alfie Pavey backheeled the ball into the net after the hosts failed to deal with a ball into the box.
Daggers thought they had pulled one back in the 53rd minute, but Balanta narrowly headed over following a free-kick delivered from the right.
Taylor’s men went close again seven minutes later with a 25-yard effort from Munns just flying over the bar.
On a night when everything seemed to be going wrong on the pitch, even the club’s brand new scoreboard, being used for the first time, stopped showing the time at the hour mark.
The hosts, though, were offered a glimmer of hope in the 69th minute when Wright, on as a substitute, stylishly lashed home from the edge of the area.
With nine minutes remaining, a dipping effort from Loft was tipped behind for a corner by Worgan.
The Dover stopper then brilliantly denied substitute Kandi two minutes later, keeping out a header from close range.
Justham prevented the Whites from putting the game to bed in the 86th minute, saving at the feet of Inih Effiong after the replacement broke clear of the home defence.
That proved to be the last sight of goal for either side as Daggers fell to a disappointing defeat.
And the Essex club will hope to deliver an improved display when they head for Chesterfield on Saturday.
Dagenham (3-4-1-2): Justham; Onariase, Clark, Smith (Wright 30); Nunn, Robinson, Loft (Harfield 87), Gordon; Munns; Wilkinson (Kandi 46), Balanta.
Subs: Moore (GK), Adeloye.
Dover (4-2-3-1): Worgan; Passley, Doe, Lokko, Taylor; Lewis, Gomis (Nortey 88); Brundle, Reason (Jeffrey 65), Allen; Pavey (Effiong 70).
Subs: Walker (GK), Daniel.
Referee: Paul Howard.
Attendance: 1,084 (89 Dover fans).