Dagenham advance in FA Cup with two late goals at Wealdstone

Angelo Balanta of Dagenham & Redbridge 

Angelo Balanta of Dagenham & Redbridge - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS photo

Dagenham & Redbridge advance to the first round of FA Cup after two late goals saw the 10-men Daggers come from behind to seal victory at Wealdstone. 

The Daggers got off to a nightmare start, with Paul McCallum being given his marching orders within two minutes by referee Tom Bishop. 

After McCallum’s late challenge the Daggers remained on the front foot; putting a couple of dangerous balls into the box, however it was Wealdstone who took the lead in the 8th minute, when Jay Bird controlled on his chest before finishing emphatically beyond Elliot Justham. 

Myles Weston drove into the Stones’ box in the 24th minute, with his strike being deflected on to the crossbar. Scott Wilson was unable to reach the ball, and Weston was then booked for simulation, after supposedly diving when trying to reach the second ball himself. 

Weston was at the heart of the creativity once again for McMahon’s men, when he and Johnson exchanged passes out on the left, but Wilson was unable to meet Westy’s delivery as it was flashed across the six-yard box. 

The Daggers remained on the front foot, with Balanta and Wilson both having half-chances, but George Wickens in the Wealdstone goal was able to deal with their shots on goal. 

Josh Umerah latched on to a ball over the top right at the end of the first half, but his effort ended up over Elliot Justham’s crossbar as the referee blew for half-time moments later. 

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The second half got underway in the same pattern as most of the first. The Daggers were on the front foot, looking to make space and create opportunities, but it was Dennon Lewis and Josh Umerah with the first meaningful chances of the half, as Lewis has a shot well saved by Justham, and Umerah could only put the rebound wide. 

Just before the hour-mark Dean Rance attempted to level the scores, but his volleyed effort from 20-yards dropped inches wide of the post. 

Five minutes later it was Weston who went close, forcing Wickens to tip his effort to safety. 

Joey Jones won a penalty in the 69th minute, after he, and fellow substitute Josh Walker, carried the ball into the box, before Joey was tripped and he hit the deck. 

Angelo Balanta stepped up to take the spot-kick, but Wickens was able to get down to his right-hand side and make the save. 

The Daggers didn’t give up however, as Balanta made up for his penalty miss by being in the right place at the right time to tap home from six-yards after some lovely passing interplay around the box from several red shirts. 

Two minutes later the 10-men took the lead, as Angelo leaped highest to flick a corner goal-bound at the front post, beating the helpless Wickens to give the Daggers a deserved lead! 

McMahon’s men saw out the remainder of additional time to ensure their place in Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup First Round Draw. 

Wealdstone: Wickens, Cook, Charles (Elito 75), Okimo ©, Umerah, Lewis (Buse 81), Eleftheriou, Tavares, Dyer, Bird (Jackson 66), Cooper.

Unused subs: Wishart, Fasanmade, Marigliani, Parish.

Dagenham & Redbridge: 

Justham, Wright, Reynolds, Johnson, Ling, Rance (Jones 61’), Sagaf (Robinson 80’), Weston, Balanta, Wilson (Walker 61’), McCallum (Red 2’)

Unused Subs: Lawlor (GK), Clark, Saunders, Scott.

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