Gallant Daggers cruelly denied by Brentford in League Cup thriller
- Credit: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO
Capital One Cup first round: Dagenham & Redbridge 6 Brentford 6 (Brentford won 4-2 on penalties)
It was a valiant effort from Dagenham & Redbridge in the end, but despite comeback after comeback they were edged out by Championship new boys Brentford in a thriller at Victoria Road, which will be hard to forget.
Daggers were 2-0. 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 down, and though the defending was nowhere near their best, they certainly made up for it with bundles of character and never-say-die spirit.
But ultimately, missed penalties from Jack Connors and Ashley Chambers proved their undoing, while Brentford skipper Kevin O’Connor scored the decisive spot kick to send the Bees through at the expense of the Daggers in the opening round of the Capital One Cup for the second season in succession.
That game last year finished 3-2 and in dramatic fashion as Farid El-Alaqui netted a late winner for Mark Warburton’s side at Griffin Park, but nothing could match the game witnessed by 1,576 at Victoria Road last night.
It all started horribly for the Daggers. A short corner after five minutes was chipped into the box by Bees debutant Montell Moore.
Nick Proschwitz was ready to pounce, but heard a call from behind by Stuart Dallas and he had the simple task of tapping in.
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The hosts didn’t learn their lesson though as four minutes later a similar routine worked for the Bees.
Moore’s ball in found Dallas once again and his heavily deflected shot found the net.
At that stage it looked like the Daggers could be on the end of a thumping.
But they regrouped and pulled one back on 17 minutes when a lovely ball in from Ashley Hemmings managed to find its way to George Porter at the back post who slid in and slotted past Richard Lee.
Game on. Hemmings and Ogogo tried their luck as the Daggers responded well from the early setbacks, but the defending up the other end was still below poor.
A last-ditch tackle from Scott Doe denied Proschwitz a certain third, while up the other end Joss Labadie resisted the call of the crowd to ‘shoot’ as a great opportunity went begging.
Ala Scunthorpe United last season, thunder, lightning and torrential rain descended on Victoria Road. Were we in for another famous Daggers comeback?
Any hopes of that almost faded as a return of the calamity defending and confusion between Doe and O’Brien allowed Proschwitz to nip in and restore the two-goal cushion.
Tommy Smith spurned a great chance for 4-1 after another mix-up, but the hosts earned a lifeline just before the end of the half as some luck finally went their way.
The ball ricocheted into the path of Chambers who raced clear and produced a cool finish past an onrushing Lee.
The fight back continued after the break as Andre Boucaud tried his luck from 25 yards and much to the surprise of many, Lee flapped at it and it ended in the back of the net.
Both sides then went in search of a winner and it was the Bees who went closest as Harlee Dean’s header was cleared off the line.
Up the other end, Lee denied Chambers’ bullet-like header but the visitors looked to have sealed the victory four minutes from time.
And it was a case of the substitutes as Alan Judge’s centre found Andre Gray who had the simple task of tapping home.
That looked to be it, but deep into stoppage time Daggers found another leveller. Whether Hemmings knows much about his cross-shot remains to be seen, but it found a way past Lee and the hosts had equalised again.
Extra time ensued and it was the Bees who took the lead once again. The hosts failed to clear their lines on several occasions, and Moore was there to fire into the corner of the net.
Surely there was no further comeback? How wrong. Jamie Cureton, a much hated figure for the Bees fans after coming off the bench for Reading back in 2001 to help them win promotion at Brentford’s expense, stepped up.
Alright this is on a much smaller scale, but he almost repeated that trick last night as he found himself through on goal and kept his calm to slot past Lee.
That was 5-5 and there was more to come!
Ogogo was denied by Lee’s legs, but the Daggers didn’t miss out with their next foray forward.
It was Hemmings again and his shot across goal beat the outstretched dive of Lee and the hosts were in the lead for the first time. Could they hold on, unfortunately not.
It had to be former Dagger as well. Dean thundered home a header in the box and penalties followed.
Lee turned out to be the hero though as he saved efforts from Jack Connors and Chambers.
As the Daggers failed, the more-experienced Bees profited, not missing a single spot kick as skipper Kevin O’Connor scored the winning penalty.
Despite the defeat, Daggers can hold their heads up high. The defending may have to improve, but you can’t deny that this game will live long in the memory.
Dagenham & Redbridge: O’Brien, Batt (Connors 59), Doe, Saah, Partridge, Ogogo, Boucaud (Howell 75), Labadie, Porter, Chambers (Cureton 85), Hemmings.
Unused substitutes: Cousins,Howell, Goldberg, Shields, Gayle.
Brentford: Lee, O’Connor, Craig, Dean, Yennaris (Bidwell 21), Tebar (Judge 65), Diagouraga, Moore, Dallas, Smith, Proschwitz (Gray 65).
Unused substitutes: Bonham, Reeves, Adams, O’Shaughnessy.
Attendance: 1,576 (476 Brentford fans)