Daggers frustrated by late Fleet strike

Dagenham & Redbridge v Ebbsfleet United – Vanarama National League – Chigwell Construction Stadium – Report

Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Ebbsfleet United 

Dagenham & Redbridge and Ebbsfleet United shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Chigwell Construction Stadium with Billy Clifford netting in the fifth minute of stoppage-time to secure the draw and send the Fleet three points clear of the Vanarama National League drop zone.

Ben Strevens named an unchanged starting line-up following Daggers 4-1 victory at Boreham Wood on Good Friday, with Nik Tavares returning to the squad to take his spot on the substitute’s bench.

The first chance of the match fell to Daggers just on the half-hour mark when Sam Ling’s in-swinging cross was struck just wide of the far post by Inih Effiong.

The Fleet struck back quickly just after with Bryant Bilongo getting on the end of Dominic Samuel’s low cross to fire goalwards only for Elliot Justham to pull off a stunning save from close range.

Ryan Hill had a good effort blocked just before the break and with Daggers in the ascendency, Ling went close to opening the scoring only to see his shot cleared off the line by Declan Skura.

The Fleet were awarded a penalty after the ball was adjudged to have struck Jake Hessenthaler’s arm in the fifty-second minute. Justham was equal to the task, however, diving full length to spectacularly palm Rakish Bingham’s spot kick past the post to maintain parity.

With the game looking to be drifting towards a stalemate, Effiong’s through ball found Josh Rees to cut inside and bend a curling strike into the top corner of the net to put Daggers 1-0 up with twelve minutes remaining.

The game still had one final act to play out however when with just two minutes of stoppage-time left on the clock, Clifford climbed high above the Daggers defence to powerfully head home Craig Tanner’s corner to snatch a point for the Fleet at the death.

Next up for Dagenham & Redbridge in the Vanarama National League is a trip to the Kingfield Stadium to play Woking on Saturday.  

Dagenham & Redbridge:  Justham (Capt) Eastman, Hessenthaler, Rees, Effiong, Hill (Lawless 83’) Pereria (Tavares 83’) Page, Ling, Appiah-Forson (Kedwell 61’) Longe-King Subs not used: Hare, Remy

Ebbsfleet United: Cousins, Kenlock, Skura, Chapman, Wright, Clifford, Bilongo (Cundle 74’) McQueen, Edser (Tanner 68’) Bingham, Samuel (Poleon 30’) Subs not used: Cissé, Fanimo

Referee: Farai Hallam

Assistants: Nicholas Cooper and Peter Wilson

Fourth Official: Craig Barnett

Attendance: 1,862 (314 from Ebbsfleet United)