Walker’s winner a boost to Daggers

Maidstone United v Dagenham & Redbridge – Vanarama National League – Gallagher Stadium – Report

Maidstone United 0-1 Dagenham & Redbridge

Josh Walker’s late goal secured Dagenham & Redbridge victory at Maidstone United’s Gallagher Stadium, a victory that takes the Daggers up into eighth place – and just outside the play-off spots on goal difference.

It was Daggers’ second 1-0 victory over the Stones in a week, but they had to wait until just six minutes before the end to make the breakthrough when Walker headed home Myles Weston’s cross.

Maidstone had the best of the opening exchanges with Sha’mar Lawson going close after some great work down the left from Jack Barham and shortly after, it was Barham again who after gaining possession from a loose Daggers pass on the halfway line, found himself one-on-one with Elliot Justham, only for the keeper to pull off a top class save with his feet to keep the scores level.

Walker thought he had put Daggers into the lead in the 27th minute after pouncing on a loose pass out of defence and firing the ball home from close range, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

Junior Morias went close just before the break when his strike from just outside the area was acrobatically turned over the bar by Dan Barden.

Dagenham & Redbridge continued to dominate in the second half and both Mo Sagaf and Morias went close early on.

With just ten minutes left, Josh Hare’s free-kick found David Longe-King, only for his looping header to bounce back off the crossbar.

With the clock ticking down, Hare’s superb cross-field pass found Morias on the left to play in Weston to cross the ball with great precision for Walker to dive and head past Barden to finally break the deadlock.

Maidstone threw everything at the Daggers defence in the final few minutes looking for an equaliser, but the visitors held on heroically to take a deserved three points.

It was a fifth league defeat in a row for the Stones, who now drop to twenty-second in the table.

Dagenham & Redbridge play host to Woking at the Chigwell Construction Stadium next Saturday 7th January at 3.00pm. 

Maidstone United:  Barden, Galvin (Pattison 70′) Ellul, Binnom-Williams (Odusanya 79′) Barham, Fowler, Booty, Ghandour, Deacon, Lyons-Foster, Lawson (Corne 70′) Subs not used: Alabi, Mersin

Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Weston, Hare, Rance, Johnson, Longe-King, Taylor (Saunders 64′) Robinson, Sagaf, Walker (Mussa 89′) Morias (McCallum 84′) Subs not used: Onariase, Bird

Referee: Matthew Russell

Assistant Referees: Shaun Farrer and Christopher Myatt

Fourth Official: Farai Hallam

Attendance: 2,759 (285 from Dagenham & Redbridge)