National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Gateshead 2
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Junior Morias struck in injury time to rescue a point for Dagenham & Redbridge on the opening day of the National League season.
Only six minutes had been played at Victoria Road when the visitors took the lead through Paul Blackett.
And after Manny Onariase was shown a yellow card, Gateshead doubled their advantage on 12 minutes as Adam Campbell netted from close range.
Shellshocked Daggers began to get themselves into the game around the 20-minute mark as Omar Mussa found Myles Weston, whose cross was deflected behind for a corner which came to nothing.
And the home side were given a chance to hit back when they were awarded a penalty on 24 minutes, only for Paul McCallum to see his spot-kick saved by James Montgomery.
Elliot Justham produced a fantastic save to deny Gateshead a third goal before the half-hour mark after a quick counter-attack, before Daggers did manage to halve the deficit six minutes from time.
Great play from captain Matt Robinson on the left led to a floated cross into the box and McCallum made amends for his penalty miss by opening his account for the campaign.
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That gave the hosts renewed belief during the break, with Onariase making way for David Longe-King to make his competitive debut for the club in the second half.
And Weston almost found the head of McCallum eight minutes after the restart, after whipping in a cross, before Mussa was replaced by Mo Sagaf.
Dean Rance made way for Morias in Daryl McMahon's third change midway through the half, as the hosts bolstered their attack, but Montgomery produced a save as McCallum and Sagaf looked to level.
And Montgomery gathered a cross from Weston, who looked to pick out McCallum after good work from Morias in the build-up as Daggers continued to put the pressure on.
Elliott Johnson had to be alert to get back and prevent a Gateshead counter, though, with a well-timed tackle on 84 minutes, before five minutes of stoppage time were signalled.
An off-balance Josh Walker fired a shot on the turn wide but Daggers drew level when Morias danced through some Gateshead challenges in the box and fired past Montgomery.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Hare, Onariase (Longe-King 46), Johnson, Weston, Mussa (Sagaf 56), Rance (Morias 66), Robinson, Vilhete, McCallum, Walker. Unused subs: Tavares, Ling, Morias.