Arsenal stopper ‘loving every single minute’ at Dagenham

Goalkeeper James Shea was the Daggers hero in a record-breaking Johnstone’s Paint Trophy penalty shoot-out at Leyton Orient last week – and said afterwards he’s loving life at Dagenham.

David Mooney struck two minutes from time in the first round tie at Brisbane Road last Wednesday to cancel out Sam Williams’ opener and send the game straight to spot-kicks.

Incredibly the first 27 were successfully scored – a new English record for the number of penalties netted consecutively – but O’s skipper Ben Chorley was then denied by Shea from 12 yards to spark wild celebrations from the travelling fans.

The stopper, on a year’s loan from Arsenal, has had few chances to be the hero this season, but that has not dampened his enthusiasm since switching from north London to east London.

“I’m having a great time here, I’m loving every single minute of it,” said the 20-year-old keeper, whose save set up a second round clash with Southend United.


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“The lads are great, it’s just been a fantastic place to be.

“Its all great at Arsenal and all well and good playing in the reserves, but you want to get out and play first team matches. You want to play against big grown men and just get experience of playing in matches that mean something and mean something to the fans.”

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A calf strain suffered on the eve of the season saw Shea only fit enough for the bench on the opening day at Macclesfield.

Chris Lewington started at the Moss Rose and was named man of the match for a fine individual display, beginning a run of three clean sheets in four games.

Shea concedes Lewington currently deserves to occupy the number one spot and is happy to wait for his chance to shine.

“Chris has been fantastic since he’s been playing, he’s done wonders and he deserves to be playing. I’ve just got to keep working at my game and hopefully get a break,” he said.

“The coaching staff have been great, they just keep telling me to keep working and doing what I’m doing.

“I don’t want Chris to make a mistake of course, I want him to do fantastically, I just need to wait and hopefully get another chance.”

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