Daggers suffer late defeat to Barnet in home opener

PUBLISHED: 07:59 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 07:59 07 October 2020

Angelo Balanta of Dagenham and Matt Johnson of Hornchurch during Hornchurch vs Dagenham & Redbridge, Friendly Match Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 5th September 2020

Angelo Balanta of Dagenham and Matt Johnson of Hornchurch during Hornchurch vs Dagenham & Redbridge, Friendly Match Football at Hornchurch Stadium on 5th September 2020

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National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Barnet 2

Dagenham & Redbridge fell to a second consecutive defeat since the return of competitive football as they lost 2-1 to London rivals Barnet.

Angelo Balanta opened the scoring but were reduced to 10-men as Luke Croll was sent off which allowed the Bees into the contest with JJ Hooper and Elliot Richards scoring to seal the three points for the visitors at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

In the third minute Kenny Clark came up with an important block at the near post which gave Barnet their first corner but Angelo Balanta cleared it easily.

Five minutes later another corner from the Bees fell kindly at the back post and the shot was lashed ferociously towards goal, but goalkeeper Elliott Justham did enough to keep it out.

Barnet continued to pile on the early pressure with former Daggers man Alex McQueen curled a free-kick on target, but Justham comfortably grabbed hold of his effort.

Peter Beadle’s men had another few corners but they were safely cleared away to keep the score at 0-0.

A slick passing move nearly saw Dagenham midfielder Sam Deering nearly run clear at the back post, but Barnet got a toe to clear.

Moments later Mitch Brundle worked his way into the box before his shot deflected kindly into the hands of the keeper Scott Loach.

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Myles Weston whipped a dangerous corner toward the near post and Balanta arrived to head past Loach and grab his first goal of the new season in the 30th minute.

In the dying stages of the first-half Dagenham had a huge chance to double their lead as Brundle was played in by Paul McCallum, but the midfielder slipped and couldn’t get a shot off.

Defender Luke Croll then went into the book for his challenge on Ehpron Mason-Clark but they did head into the break in the lead.

In the 58th minute of play Croll was then handed a second yellow card, which saw his side reduced to 10-men, and instantly on the back foot.

The hosts almost grabbed a second, as Loach made a huge save, but the ball dropped to Elliot Johnson who smashed the follow-up against the bar.

Barnet were soon awarded a penalty and up stepped striker JJ Hooper to smash the ball home and level the score in the 85th minute.

Three minutes later the visitors bagged a second that proved to be winner through Elliot Richards and leave Dagenham with no points from their opening two fixtures.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Clark, Reynolds, Croll, Johnson, Brundle, Rance (Robinson 74), Deering (Eleftheriou 59), Weston (McQueen 89), Balanta, McCalum.

Unused subs: Brown and Clifton.

Barnet: Loach, Preston, Dunne, McQueen, Richards (Duffus 90+1’), Hooper, Taylor, Fonguck, Binnon-Williams, Mason-Clark (Pavey 71’), Nugent.

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