Truro City 1-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
(Dagenham & Redbridge won 4-2 on penalties)
Daryl McMahon’s Daggers progressed through to the next round, on Sunday, but needed penalties after substitute, Josh Walker’s second-half header was cancelled out by Rocky Neal’s late leveller.
Keeper, Elliott Justham stole the show – however – with two stunning penalty shootout saves and said: “It’s everyone’s dream to play at Wembley. This win keeps us on course.”
A tentative start to the game on a bumpy surface, saw both sides struggle to get a foothold on this contest.
However, as the game opened up, former Plymouth Argyle man, Tyler Harvey shot over from the edge of the Daggers’ box, on 25 minutes, before the ex-Argyle man forced Justham into a fine 33rd-minute catch with a point-blank header.
The East Londoners hit back and Ibby Akanbi was left cursing his luck as a fine 37th curling effort agonisingly bobbled wide, with James Hamon beaten.
City went closer, in the stroke of half-time, when Gabby Rogers stung Justham’s fingers with a searing, angled drive before the midfielder sliced over from Will Dean’s ensuing flag-kick.
A dull second period started to come alive just after the hour mark, with Daggers having two goals disallowed for fouls.
But, fourteen minutes from time sub, Josh Walker made the breakthrough, beating Hamon with a low, glancing header.
Hitman Harvey thought he had levelled on 85 minutes with a stunning strike – but was halted by an offside flag – but Neal ensured the tie would go to penalties with a deceptive, bobbling drive three minutes from time.
The dreaded spot-kick shoot-out then ensued, with Daggers’ with Walker, Akanbi, Wright and Callum Reynolds making no mistake.
But, the Daggers were always ahead after Justham had saved brilliantly Dean’s powerfully hit kick and repeated the feat to block former Taunton Town stopper, Shane White’s blasted kick.
A relieved McMahon admitted: “We’re just glad to get through to the next round after what was a long journey – praise to goes to our fans – and a poor playing surface. But, players want to play games and the FA Trophy is a competition I want us to do well in.”
McMahon praised Justham: “With their late equaliser, my mind had turned penalties. But, Elliott’s top drawer – with those penalty saves from their captain and top scorer.”
He concluded: “Today was a good test before a busy Christmas run of games. And, with the win, we also got minutes on the pitch for players coming back from the virus and injuries.”
Truro boss, and former Argyle stalwart, Paul Wotton said: “Listen, I thought we more than matched Dagenham. We had a game plan and reacted really well to going a goal down. Then, ultimately, we go into the lottery of a penalty shootout. It worked for us in the last round, but not today.”
Penalty-save hero, Justham, had the last word: “I backed myself to make those penalty saves. We’re just glad to be in the next round. But, credit to Truro. They made it difficult for us – although the pitch was a great leveller. And, hopefully, we can take this win into our next few league games, with a busy Christmas period coming up.”
Dagenham travels to Dover Athletic on Boxing Day, before entertaining Aldershot Town on Tuesday, December 28 (both 3pm).
Truro City: James Hamon, Connor Ryley-Lowe, Shane White, Ellis Johnson, Ollie Tomlinson, Gabby Rogers, Will Dean, Ryan Dickson (James Ward 85′), Zac Hartley, Tyler Harvey, Rocky Neal Subs not used: James Swan, Stewart Yatton, Morgan Coxhead (GK), Euan Pollock, George Tucker
Dagenham & Redbridge: Elliott Justham, Callum Reynolds, Elliott Johnson, Will Wright (Capt), Sam Ling (George Saunders 55′), Joey Jones, Ryley Scott, Dean Rance (Mo Sagaf 73′), Myles Weston, Ibby Akanbi, Junior Morias (Josh Walker 46′) Subs not used: Daniel Obi, Richard Taylor, Johan Zouma, Junior Nkwonta
Referee: James Durkin
Assistants: Steven Annis and Rowan Clarke.
Fourth Official: Ryan Cornelius