REPORT | Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 26 Oct 2019

That elusive first away win of the season still evades the Dragons, despite a half decent display in the east end of London.

They fell behind to a flick header from Angelo Balanta in added time of the first half, although Luke Young pulled his side level early in the second half.

But the home side went back in front six minutes later, when Chike Kandi finished off from close range – a lead they were to hold on to, despite Akil Wright’s header coming back off the cross bar.

There was one change to the starting line-up, as Luke Young came in for Devonte Redmond.

Unfortunately, the rain that had been falling so heavily across north Wales and northern England on Friday, finally arrived in Essex, just at the players emerged from their dressing rooms to start the match.

There was a quick start to the game as both teams had efforts on goal inside the opening two minutes. Daggers seeing an early shot being deflected for a corner and then Wrexham broke upfield with JJ Hooper and Bobby Grant combing, before Young’s cross was headed on target by the Hooper but saved by keeper Elliot Justham.

Just two minutes later and a Wrexham free kick in the home half, lead to a corner and Adam Barton’s shot being deflected in the side netting – but referee Mr Quelch missed the outstretched defending leg and gave Dagenham a goal kick.

Lainton was back in action on seven minutes, pushing away a snapshot from Kandi and reacted to save the follow up effort from Balanta.

In their next attack, a left-wing cross from Dagenham’s Joan Luque carried onto the Wrexham crossbar, before the rebound was cleared to safety.

It was a very open period, as on 11 minutes Grant fed a lovely ball through the home back line almost setting Hooper clear, but he had to check his run before laying off to the over lapping Paul Rutherford. In turn, he drove to the line and crossed deep, but a little too much for the onrushing red shirts.

Three minutes later a lovely hanging cross from James Jennings saw Grant run on to the ball with a header, but as that effort fizzed wide of the target, the Scouser was adament that he had been fouled in the process, but it drew no sympathy from the match officials.

A diagonal pass into the Wrexham box by Mitch Brundle, bounced passed several players before Luque was able to make contact towards the back post, when stabbing the ball goalwards but straight at Lainton.

A quick Daggers break, midway through the first half, saw James Dobson’s initial cross carry all the way to Luque on the opposite flank and his low cross to the near post was back heeled by Balanta from close range, but Lainton grabbed the ball as rain continued to pour down on Victoria Road.

Young’s free kick high into the Dagenham area was headed on by Jake Lawlor, but as the home keeper came to collect, the referee blew for a foul and Hooper was booked with defender Manny Onariase lying on the ground.

The travelling Wrexham supporters begin that goal were not impressed when the yellow card was issued to Hooper.

A minute later and Rutherford saw his header at goal taken by Justham, after the ball had been headed on by Hooper from a Grant cross.

At the other end and Matt Robinson hit a rasping first-time effort from the edge of the Wrexham box, after James Horsfield had headed away a cross from Will Wright, which deflected off a defender and away for a corner.

There was a break in play on 34 minutes, when Hooper stayed down and needed extended treatment from physio Phil Davies, with those in the ground hoping he hadn’t aggravated the muscle injury that had just kept him out for several weeks.

The striker did come back onto the pitch, but within seconds went down again to the turf and this time was replaced by Mark Harris on 40 minutes.

Another Young free kick from close the halfway line caused problems in the home area, as Akil Wright headed towards goal, but it came off the back of a defender to give Wrexham a corner.

A lovely worked set piece came short to Young, back to Jennings and squared along the edge for the box for Grant to make contact inside the ‘D’ - directing the ball inside right hand up right. But it lacked a bit of power and allowed Justham enough time to dive to his left and pull off a save.

As the clock ticked onto 45 minutes, Rutherford’s cross was meet by the head of Harris, but as he was back peddling his effort carried over the home bar.

Then at the other end, a cross from Will Wood was flicked on by Balanta, taking it over the reach of Lainton, but under his cross bar to give the Daggers the lead in added time.

Ht 1-0

Some 90 seconds into the second half and Grant headed a Young cross goalwards, but from a little too far out to trouble Justham the home keeper.

Kandi then took advantage of a bouncing ball on the halfway line, raced down their left although with Barton for company, could only pull his shot from 12-yards wide of the target.

There was a leveller on 51 minutes, as Young picked up a loose ball to fire through bodies from the edge of the box, after Akil Wright’s low effort had been blocked and only half cleared.

The Reds were back on the attack minutes later, as Grant pulled the keeper to the edge of his box, but Justham did get his fingers tips to the ball and as Rutherford got a toe to the loose ball it appeared to again come off the keeper, but the referee awarded a goal kick.

Not that the stalemate lasted long, as Jennings' defensive header from a deep cross only fell for Balanta, his shot was touched away by Lainton, but Kandi couldn’t miss from a couple of yards out to restore the Daggers’ advantage on 57 minutes.

Akil Wright was then left wondering how his backpost header, from a long corner, bounced up off the grass and came back off the underside of the home crossbar. Justham might well have helped it onto the woodwork, but it rebounded up field to safety.

The pace of Kandi was causing the Wrexham defence problems and on 61 minutes, the forward escaped his marker, but his low cross was behind everyone, before a follow up shot skipped wide of the visitors’ goal.

A second Wrexham change came on 66 minutes, as Devonte Redmond replaced Barton.

The substitute soon sent a great pass over the shoulder of Harris, as the striker bore down on the goal, but the on loan Cardiff man was unable to bring the wet ball under control with his first touch and the home keeper was on him before he had a chance of a second go.

Good work by Rutherford on 74 minutes saw him cross into the Dagenham penalty area, Harris took the ball with his back to goal, laid it off for Redmond, but it wasn’t the best of passes and the midfielder’s hurried effort flew wide of a post.

With 10 minutes remaining, Luke Summerfield was introduced for Rutherford.

Akil Wright was on the end of another Young corner after 82 minutes, but couldn’t quite get on top of the ball and it sailed over the home bar.

An added four minutes were played, but the Reds couldn’t force their way through for a second equaliser and headed home empty handed.

Daggers: Justham, W Wright, Onariase, Croll, Brundle, Kandi (Quigley 89), Balanta (McQueen 85), Robinson, Wood (Graham 72), Luque, Dobson.
Subs: R Grant, Eleftheriou.

Wrexham: Lainton, Horsfield, Lawlor, Chambers, Jennings, Barton (Redmond 66), Young, A Wright, Rutherford (Summerfield 81), B Grant, Hooper (Harris 40).
Subs: Dibble, Carrington.

Referee: Adrian Quelch (Dorset)
Attendance: 1,254
Away: 161

Booking –
Wrexham: Hooper (29, foul)

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