Daggers get cheeky opening day victory despite late Barrow storm

PUBLISHED: 16:55 05 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:55 05 August 2017

Michael Cheek of Dagenham is congratulated after scoring the second goal against Barrow (Pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Michael Cheek of Dagenham is congratulated after scoring the second goal against Barrow (Pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Barrow 1

Corey Whitley and Michael Cheek inspire Dagenham & Redbridge to a 2-1 opening day victory despite a late charge from Barrow at Victoria Road.

Whitley and Cheek both got themselves off the mark in their first home match of the National League campaign to seal their side the three points and put Daggers second in the table.

The first chance of the game came through Morgan Ferrier winning a header and knocking it down for Michael Cheek who went through on goal and sent his shot into the side netting just two minutes into the match.

The Daggers kept pressing hard and it was right back Sam Ling who almost found Ferrier in the box, but the cross falling just short, with the striker attempting to backheel it on target four minutes later.

In the tenth minute there was some controversy, as Cheek is forced down just inside the box as he latched onto a loose ball.

A minute later it was Ferrier causing trouble once again, after Fejiri

Okenabirhie picked him out in the middle, but his shot was comfortably saved.

Ferrier continued to press on and well up the ball well, before being brought down in the box and being awarded a penalty in the seventeen minute.

It was Corey Whitely who stepped up and rocketed home the penalty into the top left corner to make it 1-0.

Two minutes later Michael Cheek’s hard work in the opening frame was rewarded as he grabbed hold off a loose ball and surged forward before letting fly just outside the box and picking out the bottom right to make it 2-0.

The Daggers kept pressing hard with nothing really coming from the momentum until the thirty ninth minute when Okenabirhie made a great run down the left and his cross is put out for a corner by the Barrow defence.

The hosts had back to back corners in the final minutes of the first-half with nothing coming from either of them.

A fairly quiet ten minutes to start the second-half with neither side creating any chances.

It was Barrow who grabbed the momentum and started to press hard after the opening ten minutes, but still didn’t really trouble the Daggers back line.

The match got a bit heated and the visitors picked up three yellow cars in the space of five muntes, the later being a nasty challenge on Okenabirhie, who was brought down inside his own half by Jack Barthram with twenty minutes to go.

Barrow started to press Dagenham back into their half and striker Adi Yusuf almost clawed one back for the visitors, but was denied by Mark Cousins from close range.

The Barrow keeper Stuart Moore came off his line and Whitely sliced the ball but was unable to put it on target with fourteen minutes left in the match.

It was straight back down the other end and it was Cousins who keep his side’s two goal margin, as he tipped a close range effort from Yusuf over the bar for a corner, before once again coming up trumps as he saved a header from the incoming corner.

The visitors clawed one back with left-back Dan Jones slotting his shot from six yards in the eighty fourth minute.

They kept pressing hard and Yusuf fired just over the bar in added time.

Daggers substitute Oliver Hawkins looked set to seal the victory as he went round the defence and looked almost certain to beat Moore, but the keeper managed to steal the ball from Hawkins feet, to stop him shooting into the empty net.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins, Ling, Lokko, N’Gala, Pennell, Robson, Boucaud, Okenabirhie (Howells 81), Whitely (Robinson 87), Ferrier (Hawkins 63), Cheek.

Unused subs: Justham and Wheeler.

Barrow: Moore, Barthram, Audel, Diarra, Dunne, Jones, Harvey, Hall (Panayiotou 70), Gomis, White (Cockerline 77), Yusuf.

Unused subs: Bauress, Hughes and Nieskins.

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