Dagenham & Redbridge boss McMahon delighted to salvage draw

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon thanks the fans after their game with Gateshead - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Daryl McMahon admitted he was delighted to take a point from their opening game of the National League season against Gateshead.

The visitors netted twice inside 12 minutes to stun the Victoria Road crowd and Paul McCallum then saw a penalty saved.

But McCallum headed a reply before the interval and substitute Junior Morias struck in stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw.

"Delighted in the end to get the point the way we did," McMahon told the club website.

"The way the game panned out, being 2-0 down was never in our game plan.

"In that first 20 minutes, in particular in possession for us, we turned the ball over far, far too easy and then were slow to fall back into a shape.

"And against a good team as well. I can talk about how poor we were in the first 20 minutes but I thought Gateshead were very, very good as well. They're a good team.

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"But I thought we showed real character after that to impose ourselves on the game, create chances and get the late equaliser."

After Paul Blackett and Adam Campbell put Gateshead 2-0 up, McCallum's spot-kick was saved by James Montgomery on 24 minutes.

But he headed home from captain Matt Robinson's cross to give Daggers belief at the break.

McMahon added: "You just have to stay calm. It's easy to go in there and rant and rave, it doesn't make any difference.

"We didn't really speak about the first half because there was no point, it was over, it was more about the second half and focusing on that and focusing on how we can get back into the game and how we can try and win the game. Which I thought to be fair to the players they did.

"We were pretty dominant in the second half. You get an equaliser that late, sometimes it feel like you've won the game. We know we haven't but it was a relief for us to get a point on the board."

McMahon replaced Manny Onariase with David Longe-King during the interval, then sent Mo Sagaf and Morias on for Omar Mussa and Dean Rance either side of the hour mark.

And he was pleased with how the trio performed, adding: "I thought the subs who came on were outstanding, the three of them, they impacted the team really well.

"With Manny, he had been booked and we knew we would have to be high in the second half in terms of squeezing Gateshead in to try and get a goal.

"We felt any little touch he could've been in trouble, so King went into the middle.

"Mo, it was more control in the middle of the pitch, which I thought he did, and it was just waiting for the time to drop Junior in.

"We could've done it at half time but we thought there was a long way to go and we didn't want to lose control in the middle of the pitch too early in the game.

"We felt if we did it for the last 15-20 minutes we knew we'd build up a head of steam and he could go on and do what he does and I thought he was excellent."