Daggers in eight-goal thriller

Dave Bishop
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Eastleigh v Dagenham & Redbridge – Vanarama National League – The Silverlake Stadium – Report

Eastleigh 4-4 Dagenham & Redbridge

Eastleigh and Dagenham & Redbridge played out a thrilling eight-goal thriller at the Silverlink Stadium with former Dagger Paul McCallum netting a hat-trick for the Spitfires before Ifih Effiong’s equaliser ten minutes from time made it 4-4 to earn the visitors a point.

Ben Strevens made one change to the side that defeated Eastleigh 4-1 at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on Boxing Day with West Ham loanee Keenan Appiah-Forson coming in for Freddie Sears.  

After a quiet start, Daggers went one up in the thirty-third minute when Effiong nodded down for Tom Eastman to fire home past keeper Joe McDonnell and just two minutes later, Shiloh Remy’s shot was cleared off the line directly into the path of Josh Rees to tap home and make it 2-0.

Eastleigh pulled one back when McCallum slotted home Bailey Clements’ cross five minutes after and on the stroke of half-time, the much-travelled striker netted again – getting on the end of Chris Maguire’s free-kick to equalise from close range and send the sides in level at the break.

Just minutes after the resumption, the Spitfires went 3-2 up when the unmarked Jayden Harris turned in Maguire’s corner at the near post only for Daggers to equalise in the fifty-sixth minute, when following Harry Phipps’ header across the box from Jake Hessenthaler’s corner, Rees smashed the ball into the bottom corner of the net past McDonnell for his second of the afternoon.

With the game continuing to ebb and flow from end to end, McCallum headed home Lee Hodson’s cross from inside the six-yard box to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-3 before ten minutes from time, Effiong’s magnificent long-range strike – his fourth goal in three matches – made it 4-4.

As the clock ticked down, both sides were presented with opportunities to win the game with Maguire missing from close range for the Spitfires before Freddie Sears volleyed Frank Vincent’s cross over the bar to bring the contest to an end.

Dagenham & Redbridge are next in action when they travel to the Hive to play Barnet in the Vanarama National League on Tuesday, January 9 (7.45pm).

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Atangana, Taylor (Capt) McCallum, Langston, Hodson, Croll, Maguire, Clements, Panter, Harris (Nwabuokei 81’) Subs not used: Scott, Clampin, Francillette, Barlow

Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham (Capt) Eastman, Hessenthaler, Vincent, Rees, Effiong, Hill (Lawless 28’) Remy (Sears 75’) Phipps, Ling, Appiah-Forson (Tavares 75’) Subs not used: Kendall, Obie

Referee: Gary Parsons

Assistants: David Pilling and Thomas Holden

Fourth Official: Adrian Harris#

Attendance: 2,211 (124 from Dagenham & Redbridge)