Real Dagenham drop 2 points in a game that was marred by missed opportunities and high winds
After re-appointed skipper Stringer lost the toss, Northend chose to fight against the wind in the first half, Real Dagenham pilled on the pressure and were camped in the Northend half, pressure mounted for Northend and they started to put in some late challenges, the worst of them was a 2 footed challenge on Tops that would later see him substituted. The Daggers took the lead on the 40th minute after a great run by Tops saw him thread the ball through for Gabor to hit a low and unstoppable shot, the last chance of the half came direct from our 12th corner, Stringer took the corner and as the wind took the ball towards the Northend goal the defender did well to head clear on the goal line. Half time 1 – 0
The second half started with Real Dagenham knowing the wind would be seriously against them, Northend pilled on the pressure but nothing of note hassled debutant keeper Jamie Dumbrill, then Real Dagenham got a breakthrough when yet another foul saw Stringer take the free kick from just inside the Northend half, the keeper could only spill the ball to Erol who slotted home, 2-0 to Real Dagenham. As Real Dagenham came under pressure from Northend, the wind, and the Ref, Northend were awarded a corner, the ball came in and a Northend player won the header, Jamie dived down low to his right and with a strong hand managed to tip the ball over the bar which was undoubtedly the save of the season, it truly was one of the greatest saves made by a keeper in a Real Dagenham shirt. Moments later the ball fell to the Northend forward just outside the box, the forward rode a challenge from Stamps and hit the ball towards goal, the wind took the ball straight into the roof of the net, 2-1. Northend were now bombing forward and winning corner after corner and after a Northend players shot hit the bar the Ref gave another corner, the corner whipped in and Jamie managed to get a slight punch on the ball only for the ball to eventually fall to a Northend player who shot home from very close range, 2-2. With neither team being able to get the ball down and the wind blowing at Real Dagenham’s goal at around 85 mph it was the daggers that got the ball out to substitute Nio who whipped the ball across to his fellow substitute Carl who netted from close range, however the Ref perfectly position near the half way line adjudge Carl to be offside, goal disallowed. Northend had a few half chances at the end but the game finished 2-2.
Summery – Real Dagenham struggled to take advantage of first half possession and never really got the ball down to play, all in all the Daggers would see this more as 2 points dropped rather than 1 point gained. Congratulations to the Northern hard man Ben for winning the Man of the Match vote and taking home the bubbly for the 3rd time this season.