Woking 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 0: Daggers fail to pull off Cards trick
PUBLISHED: 16:55 07 October 2017
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Vanarama National League: Woking 1 (Charles-Cook 78) Dagenham & Redbridge 0
A Regan Charles-Cook wonderstrike condemned Dagenham & Redbridge to a defeat on their trip to Woking in the National League.
The Essex club began the opening half brightly, but were unable to capitalise on their good start with no goals forthcoming in the first 45 minutes.
The second half followed a similar narrative, until Charles-Cook fired in from 25 yards with a stunning strike.
Daggers boss John Still made three changes for the trip to the Kingfield Stadium, recalling Jake Howells to the XI and handing midfielders Luke Howell and Charlee Adams their first starts of the season.
Adams came in for the suspended Kevin Lokko, allowing Craig Robson to revert to centre back, with Howells and Howell replacing Corey Whitely and Matt Robinson, both of whom had been suffering with illness.
For the hosts, there were two ex-Daggers in their starting XI, with Josh Staunton at centre back and Kane Ferdinand in midfield.
In the ninth minute, a hopeful long punt forward from Robson was latched onto by Morgan Ferrier inside the Cards box.
The Daggers striker shot from a tight angle, with the effort saved by Woking keeper Nathan Baxter, but no visiting player could follow up and smash in the rebound which trickled across the area.
A minute later, the visitors went close again when an Andre Boucaud shot from just inside the area was blocked behind for a corner.
The set piece led to a melee inside the box, with Howell eventually laying the ball off to Robson, who blazed over from 12 yards.
Daggers continued to threaten to Cards goal, with skipper Scott Doe narrowly nodding a corner over at the near post in the 12th minute.
Despite the game being played at a frantic pace, that proved to be the last real chance for a while, with both teams guilty of squandering good opportunities.
A moment of danger for Daggers came in the 37th minute, with Woking forward Jamie Philpot heading a cross wide under pressure from Robson.
Two minutes later, Daggers stopper Mark Cousins looked on with relief as a shot from 20 yards by Joe Ward narrowly cleared the bar.
With two minutes left in the half, Cousins was relieved again when put under plenty of pressure when claiming a Ward header, but was able to keep the ball the right side of the line.
Daggers were probably relieved by the time the half time whistle sounded, with Cards having grown into the half, but the teams headed into the changing rooms goalless.
Less than a minute into the second half, though, the Victoria Road side nearly took the lead when Fejiri Okenabirhie broke down the right, but saw his effort deflected into the arms of Baxter.
The England C international had another shot nine 10 minutes later, forcing Baxter to push the ball behind for a corner that came to nothing.
In the 65th minute, Okenabirhie went close again, latching onto a Howells cross into the box, but his shot at the back post went wildly over the bar.
Just over a minute later at the other end, Cousins produced another fine save, somehow clawing a header from Inih Effiong away from goal.
In a frantic period of play, substitute Elliott Romain then tested Baxter from close range in the 68th minute.
However, in the 78th minute, the Essex club fell behind to a wonder strike from Charles-Cook, who perhaps was lucky to still be on the pitch after a poor foul on Doe.
Daggers were fortunate not to concede again four minutes later, with Ward nodding a Charles-Cook cross from the left over.
With four minutes left in the match, Howell saw a chipped effort deflect of a Woking defender behind for a corner.
From the resulting set piece, the ball fell to Howell in the box, but the midfielder lashed his left-footed effort wide.
A minute later, Romain drew a fine save at the near post from Baxter, who seemed unbeatable between the sticks.
Daggers were unable to find the net in the minutes that remained, with Daggers slipping to a first defeat in five matches.
The Essex club, though, will have to move on quickly, with an FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie to come at home to Leyton Orient next Saturday.
Woking (4-2-3-1): Baxter; Young, Wynter, Staunton, Stojsavljevic; Isaac, Ferdinand; Charles-Cook (Orlu 87), Ward, Bawling; Philpot (Effiong 64).
Subs: Mason (GK), Carter, Appau.
Daggers (4-2-3-1): Cousins; Nunn, Doe, Robson, Ling (Romain 46); Adams (Robinson 73), Boucaud; Okenabirhie (Bloomfield 81), Howell, Howells; Ferrier.
Subs: Moore (GK), N’Gala.
Attendance: 2,509 (including 213 Daggers fans).
Referee: Christopher O’Donnell