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National League: Eastleigh 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

PUBLISHED: 16:54 24 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:54 24 August 2019

Joan Luque of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Joan Luque of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Daggers had to settle for a share of the National League spoils at the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday.

Joan Luque gave the visitors a first-half lead, but Eastleigh levelled matters at the start of the second half and that was how it stayed.

Reece Grant was denied by a linesman's flag after just three minutes, as he looked to run through on goal, but the hosts then had a good spell and Liam Gordon had to head behind for a corner.

Daggers were awarded an indirect free-kick in the penalty area when Max Stryjek picked up a back pass and Mitch Brundle teed up Alexander McQueen, but the winger could not keep his shot down.

Luke Croll made a timely block to thwart Tyrone Barnett as the Spitfires got another sight of goal, but Peter Taylor's men took the lead on 16 mintues when Balanta beat his man and played the perfect ball across goal for Luque to tap home.

Daggers enjoyed time in the ascendancy after taking the lead and could have doubled their lead on 25 minutes when a mix-up at the back gave Balanta half a chance, but he was crowded out.

Sam Smart did well on the right for Eastleigh, but Elliot Justham gathered the cross without alarm.

And Grant then glanced a header wide from Will Wright's deep cross on 33 minutes, before Justham did well to hold on to Michael Green's delivery at the other end.

Stryjek punched a McQueen free-kick behind for a corner as the first half drew to a close, with Grant then heading wide from the set-piece as Daggers went into the break with their one-goal lead intact.

The second half was only two minutes old, though, when Eastleigh got back on level terms as Bartlett smashed a shot past Justham, after Kenny Clark and Croll had done well to block the initial effort.

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And the hosts poured on the pressure in the lead up to the hour, with Daggers forced to defend and look to counter and Brundle picking up a yellow card for a foul on Jack Payne.

Balanta and Luque combined well on the hour mark, but the Spitfires regained possession and launched an attack, with Luque the next Dagger to have his name taken by the referee.

Balanta needed treatment, before finding space and crossing for McQueen, who just could not convert.

But Balanta was unable to continue and made way for Joe Quigley midway through the half, with the visitors having to clear off the line from an Eastleigh corner soon after.

Bagasan Graham replaced Liam Gordon on 73 minutes and produced some excellent defending to stop Smart in his tracks, then at the other end, he whipped in a good ball from the left but it was cleared before Grant could profit.

Quigley flicked a header on to Grant, but the striker could only scuff a shot at Stryjek with 11 minutes left.

And Grant had an acrobatic effort, from Graham's cross, cleared off the line, before Justham tipped an Eastleigh shot over at the other end.

Matt Robinson replaced Luque with six minutes left and Justham produced another excellent save to tip the ball behind, after a misjudgement by Croll.

Robinson was soon in the wars and forced to leave the pitch due to a head injury, but Quigley made room for himself to fire in a shot that was well held.

Neither side could find a winner in three minutes of stoppage time, though, and Daggers return to Victoria Road to entertain Yeovil Town on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).

Daggers: Justham, Wright, Clark, Croll, Gordon (Graham 73), Brundle, Phipps, McQueen, Balanta (Quigley 66), Luque (Robinson 84), Grant.

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