Gayle strike sinks Bradford
League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 4 Bradford 3
An inspired performance from Dagenham & Redbridge saw them secure their second win of the season after a thrilling 4-3 win over Bradford City.
Dagenham went into the match having picked up five points from their last three games, whilst Bradford had only lost one in six.
After a scrappy opening five minutes it was Dagenham & Redbridge who created the first clear cut chance of the match. Dwight Gayle creating a scoring opportunity from the left wing, after crossing to Spilane who forced a good save from Bradford keeper Jon McLaughlin whose parried save fell to the open Billy Bingham who slotted home in the bottom right hand corner, on his 50th appearance for the Daggers, to give the home side the lead.
Dagenham went straight back onto the attack with a quick snap shot from Gayle but it was no real test for McLaughlin to which Bradford counter and see Nahki Wells overhead kick fly over the bar.
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With neither side taking complete control of the game it was Dagenham who created the next clear cut chance. In the 30th minute Abu Ogogo made a crusading run down the right hand side to then pull it back in towards Gayle, who intelligently dummied where the ball then fell to the unmarked Michael Spillane who just had to pick his spot for his third goal of the season, 2-0.
With the away side starting to misplace passes and Dagenham playing with a lot more freedom with the two goal cushion, but with both sides exchanging snap shots Dagenham went in to half time looking comfortable for what could be their second win of the season.
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At the start of the second half it was Bradford who came out full of life thanks to the help of half time substitute Alan Connell and what must have been a hair dryer treatment half-time team talk from manager Phil Parkinson.
Despite the positive start from Bradford it wasDagenham who made the first blow six minutes into the second half. An in swinging corner from Medy Elito finds the towering Luke Wilkinson who headed home to surely put the game to bed for the home side..
Even though being 3-0 down and the game seemingly going away from the Bantams they were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out on the 55th minute, which Bradford striker Wells placed into the bottom left hand corner to give a glimmer of hope for Bradford.
Just six minutes later the away side where given a lifeline when Lewington collided wih Connell, and the referee pointed to the spot.
Wells stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-2 and set up an interesting finale.
With constant pressure continuing to mount on the Daggers defence there is a coming together between two of the goal scorers Wells and Wilkinson to which the visitors appealedanother penalty but referee Phil Gibbs this time decided to wave play on.
Despite the noticeable threat of Bradford, Dagenham & Redbridge’s Dwight Gayle busted through on goal on the 76th minute and against the run of play they regained their two-goal advantage.
However, this didn’t put off the Bradford attack and they carried on the surge of getting back into the match and were rewarded for their effort.
A long throw in the 84th minute from Nathan Doyle wasn’t dealt with and Connell poked home to send the away fans into raptures with the hopes of a p[ossible point in the closing stages.
With Bradford constantly bombarding the Dagenham defence, it only seemed only a matter of time until they finally found the net to level the scores. But the Daggers defence managed to stand strong for the remainder of the match, after a thriller of a second half.
Starting line ups
Dag & Red
Lewington, Wilkinson (CB), Ilesanmi (LB), Doe (CB), Spillane (CM), Williams(CF), Elito (RW), Howell (CM), Ogogo�(RB), Gayle (LW), Bingham (CM – 50th App) (Subs) Seabright (GK), Scott, Reed, Saunders, Hoyte, J Green, Woodall
Mclaughlin, Meredith (LB), Ravenhill �(CM), Davies (CB), Oliver (CB), Hanson (CF), Atkinson (RM), Hines (LM), Wells (CF), McArdle (RB), Doyle(CM) (Subs) Duke (GK), Darby, Jones, Thompson, McHugh, Connell, Baker
Subs – Alan Connell on for Zavon Hines at HT; Garry Thompson on for Will Atkinson at 72mins
Referee: Mr Phil Gibbs
Assistant 1: Mr R Hodges
Assistant 2: Mr A Coggins
Fourth Official: Mr D Bushell
Attendance: 1,768 (349 away)
MOM: Dwight Gayle