TT MATCH VERDICT
Joe Uglow – @joe_ugs
TORQUAY UNITED 2-2 DAGENHAM AND REDBRIGE
After securing the double over Yeovil last weekend it was the clash of the two in-form teams in the National league at Plainmoor.
With a precautionary pitch inspection passed, there was some surprising inclusions & exclusions as the squad was announced. Joe Felix and Chiori Johnson missed out completely and in came new signing Stephen Wearne for his debut as well as Harry Perritt, who according to GJ in the week had gone back to his parent club. A third change saw Klaidi Lolos dropping to the bench, being replaced by Keelan O’Connell.
It would only take 21 seconds for Torquay to break the deadlock as Dan Martin got down the left wing and floated a lovely cross to meet the head of Gulls Skipper Asa Hall, who powered his header home. 1-0 to United and barely a minute on the clock! What a start!
United’s tails were up and with Dagenham clearly struggling to get to grips with the surface, the yellows looked like we could score with every attack! There were early chances for the impressive Wearne who showed great feet to fashion two chances, both saved well by the Daggers Keeper. However, it wasn’t long before United’s second. In the 12th minute a corner was cleared back out to Lemonheigh-Evans who floated the ball to the back post, Joe Lewis knocked the ball down and there was Danny Wright on hand to hook it home. There was strong shouts from the Daggers defenders of offside but the Linesman remained unmoved and United had their second!
Dagenham looked shell shocked by the first 15 minutes, but started to enjoy more possession as the half wore on, and on the half hour mark their pressure paid off. Dean Moxey frustratingly tried one turn too many in the corner of our own penalty box and ended up putting the ball out for a corner. The resulting corner was met by a Dagenham head, which Macdonald did well to save, however Dagenham Striker Walker was on hand to put away the rebound. 2-1 and game on!
Dagenham enjoyed plenty more of the ball after that and buoyed by their first goal started to dominate proceedings, with United having to defend well to keep the score 2-1 at half time.
Torquay started the second half as they did the first with a big chance in the 47th minute. A lovely ball over the top by Asa Hall found Danny Wright with only the keeper to beat but he fired into the side netting. Big chance missed! That was probably as good as it got for Torquay chances in the second half as Dagenham took control and dominated the second half exploiting with plenty of sloppy play by United.
On came McCallum for Dagenham as they went for the 2nd goal and it wasn’t long before they got it. The ball fell to Angelo Balanta on the edge of the area and he curled it home with Macdonald stranded. 2-2 and Dagenham looked like they might go on to get a third!
It wasn’t to be though as United defended stoutly against wave after wave of Dagenham and Redbridge attacks as the impressive Dagenham side looked to get a winner. Torquay had a half-hearted penalty shout late on as it looked like Holman was bundled over in the box but the referee was having none of it.
Full time and a point a piece, which you probably would have taken before the game but considering the great start we had you couldn’t help feel that it was 2 points dropped.
Shaun MacDonald – 8: MOTM. See below.
Ben Wynter – 7: Defended resolutely with the rest of the defence against an impressive Dagenham front line.
Joe Lewis – 7: Coped well with the movement of the Dagenham front men. His usual reliable self.
Dean Moxey – 6.5: Other than the mistake for the corner that led to the first goal he defended well and looks comfortable at centre back alongside Lewis.
Dan Martin – 7: Plenty of energy down the left flank, great assist for the first goal. Looks much improved compared to a couple of months ago.
Harry Perritt – 6: Started really well in the first 15 minutes but as the game wore on his defensive frailties started to show and he was quite careless in possession on numerous occasions
Asa Hall – 5: May seem a harsh mark considering he scored our first but something didn’t seem right with Asa today, constantly lost possession and pulled out of numerous challenges. As a result Daggers dominated the midfield battle, especially in the second half.
Stephen Wearne – 6.5: Looks a player of real quality, showed a couple glimpses of his class in the first half as he twisted and turned to get his shots away. Didn’t have a lot of the ball second half and don’t think it was a pitch that played to his strengths but bodes well for the future!
Keelan O’Connell – 5: Had plenty of the ball but didn’t do a great deal with it, remain to be convinced by the young winger.
Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – 6: Looked bright during the first 15 minutes but saw less of the ball as Dagenham took control of the game .
Danny Wright – 6: Looked isolated up top but put plenty of running in up front, won majority of his headers and got himself a goal
Dan Holman – 6: Looked energised after his goal last week but didn’t see a huge amount of the ball to do anything with.
Klaidi Lolos – 5: Failed to have much of an impact when he came on.
Agree with Joe’s Ratings? VOTE HERE
Man of the Match: Shaun MacDonald
Made numerous good saves, especially in the second half as Dagenham’s pressure told.
4-4-1-1 with Harry Perritt playing an unfamiliar central midfield role presumably to pick up Angelo Balanta when he dropped deep to get on the ball. Lemon played in the hole behind Wright but this often meant Danny was isolated against the three Dagenham Central Defenders.
The first 15 minutes aside, Dagenham looked a very impressive team, playing good football especially in the final third. Probably up there with Halifax as one of the best teams I’ve seen this season.
Key Moment: Dagenham’s First Goal
If Moxey had just managed to clear the ball up field or for a throw then we may have been able to avoid conceding on the half hour mark, and had we gone into half time at 2-0 we may have been able to cling on to a win.
Don’t remember disagreeing with any of his decisions, seemed to take into account the conditions when players went flying in, no complaints!
A good point against a strong Dagenham side who will be on the edges of the play off places for sure. Probably a game we wouldn’t have won back in November, so definitely signs of progress. That said if we do want to mount a late play off charge ourselves we need to win these types of games.