Balanta brace inspires Daggers to victory over Harrogate
PUBLISHED: 16:57 17 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:57 17 August 2019
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National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 4 Harrogate Town 2
Dagenham & Redbridge bounced back to winning ways in the National League with a 4-2 victory over Harrogate Town.
A brace from Angelo Balanta and goals from Chike Kandi and Mitch Brundle sealed three points for the Daggers to move them outside of the bottom four and up to mid-table at Victoria Road.
Manager Peter Taylor made five changes to the starting line-up from Tuesday night's 3-0 defeat to Boreham Wood with Will Wright, Will Wood, Harry Phipps, Alexander McQueen and Chike Kandi coming in.
Andrew Eleftheriou and Bagasan Graham miss out while Matt Robinson, James Dobson and Joe Quigley were dropped to the bench.
The hosts started brightly and went ever so close in the fifth minute as Kandi played was played in by Angelo Balanta.
The former Chelsea youngster looked to fire through the legs of goalkeeper James Belshaw but it doesn't quite get through and was cleared for a corner.
Despite a strong start it was Harrogate who broke the deadlock in the seventh minute as Balanta tried to clear but accidentally headed a corner into his own goal.
The former Boreham Wood man was then almost at the forefront of an equaliser as he twisted and turned inside the box before having his shot blocked.
It deflected out to midfielder Mitch Brundle but his effort was also blocked.
In the 14th minute Daggers levelled the score as attacker Kandi slotted the ball into the bottom right corner after being played in behind the backline by McQueen.
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Seven minutes later Taylor's side thought they were 2-1 up as McQueen fired into the empty net but it was disallowed for handball on his way post goalkeeper Belshaw.
Harrogate restored their lead in the 24th minute as Brendan Kiernan fired a shot home after cutting into the box from the right flank following a long ball up the pitch that was knocked on by Mark Beck.
Daggers went close four minutes later as Spaniard Luque won a race for the ball and fired an effort goal bound but Belshaw got his right foot to it.
A minute later they did level things for the second time as former Dover Athletic man Brundle headed a Luque corner into the net at the near post.
The hosts almost nabbed the lead just before the break as Luque found Balanta at the near post but he just flicked it wide of the post in the final minute.
Balanta fired into the top right corner to make it 3-2 to the hosts in the 60th minute after a fairly even opening 15 minutes to the second-half.
In the 76th minute Balanta fired well over the bar as they caught Harrogate on the break after a great interception from left-back Liam Gordon who links up with McQueen before finding the attacker.
Former QPR youngster Balanta then grabbed his second of the match in the 85th minute as he headed home at the far post to make it 4-2.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Wright, Clark, Croll, Wood (Gordon 65), Brundle, Phipps, McQueen, Luque (Grant 61), Balanta (Quigley 87), Kandi.
Unused subs: Robinson and Dobson.
Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Burrell, Hall, G.Smith (Jones 69), Emmett, Falkingham, Kiernan, Leesley (Thomson 61), Muldoon, Beck
Unused subs: Cracknell, Stead, Brown.
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