Daggers drawn in Devon

Torquay United 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 0

Peter Taylor’s Daggers extended their fine unbeaten run to eight games, after picking up a battling Vanarama National League point in South Devon, on Saturday.

The unchanged East Londoners enjoyed long periods of opening half possession and created several decent opportunities, with top scorer, Angelo Balanta – springing the offside trap – but could only guide Will Wright’s searching cross wide, with only the keeper to beat.

Torquay then hit back and Matt Buse completely missed his kick, six yards out from Frank Vincent’s 26th minute flag-kick.

Dagenham continued to press, but despite creating considerable space, Juan Luque was particularly wasteful – shooting weakly at Lucas Covolan Cavagnari – after Balanta’s 38th minute run opened up the home defence.

Introducing sub, Ruari Keating at the restart, the Bills attached with purpose and Ben Whitfield wasted an excellent opportunity as the Daggers’ defence were looking for an offside flag.

But, they dusted themselves down and Balanta’s excellent through ball found the upwardly mobile Matt Robinson, who tried his luck from 25 yards – but was inches over.

Still enjoying the upper hand, James Dobson – on 54 minutes – went closer, with a powerful drive, which Covo Cavagnari did well to deflect behind for a corner.

Within the space of a minute, Harry Phipps – 57 and 58 – had two presentable chances – the best a close-range header, which smacked against Covo Cavagnari’s crossbar – from point-blank range from Dobson’s towering corner-kick.

Sub, Keating – nephew of singer Ronan – was then unlucky not win a penalty, but referee deemed Luke Croll’s crunching 62nd minute challenge fair.

Having already replaced the tiring Luque, with like-for-like, Bagasan Graham, Phipps – with an apparent ankle problem, injured after an earlier collision with Covo Cavagnari – made way Harold Odametey – making a welcome return.

It was all Dagenham & Redbridge, with skipper Kenny Clark unable to make decent contact with a header – on the six-yard box – from Dobson’s 74th minutes corner, before Joe Quigley created a yard of space, with a smart 75th minute step-over, but his weak effort barely troubled Covo Cavagnari.

It was all Dagenham and enjoying another clear sight of goal, a decent chance fell to main man, Balanta – clean through – on 78 minutes – but rather scuffed his left-footed effort, as Covo Cavagnari made another save.

Having seen sub, Odametey have his 82nd minute drive well blocked by the impressive Buse, Balanta – once again cut a frustrated figure – seconds later – seeing his nemesis – Covo Cavagnari blocking his path.

With visiting keeper, Elliot Justham, a virtual spectator, in a seriously one-sided second period,  five minutes from time, Keating created a shooting opportunity for left-back, Liam Davis, but the underworked gloveman pulled off a smart catch.

The Gulls went closer – on 88 minutes – when Clark’s foul saw sub, Andrews’s free-kick fly over the defensive wall, but bounce clear after rattling Justham’s crossbar.

Despite dominating for long periods, Dagenham will still be pleased with a point after another long trip. They are on the road again, this Tuesday when they travel to mid-table Sutton United (kick-off 3pm).

Torquay United: Lucas Covolan Cavagnari, Ben Wynter, Kyle Cameron (capt), Joe Lewis (Ruari Keating 46), Liam Davis, Frank Vincent, Matt Buse, Robbie Cundy, Ben Whitfield, Jamie Reid, Kelvin Lumbombo-Kalala (Jake Andrews 74). Subs (not used): Shaun MacDonald, Jean-Yves Koue Niate, Manny Duku.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Elliot Justham, Will Wright, Manny Onariase, Kenny Clark (capt), Luke Croll, James Dobson, Harry Phipps (Harold Odametey 69), Matt Robinson, Juan Luque (Bagasan Graham 55), Joe Quigley (Reece Grant 79), Angelo Balanta. Subs (not used): Liam Gordon, Alex McQueen.

Referee: Matthew Russell

Assistants: Michael Henley & Cairan Barlow

Fourth Official: Stuart Kane

Attendance: 2,524

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Rowland Lyons

Email: [email protected]