Balanta guides Dagenham to victory over Aldershot Town

Dagenham & Redbridge captain Angelo Balanta on the ball

Dagenham & Redbridge captain Angelo Balanta on the ball - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Dagenham & Redbridge close out 2021 with a 1-0 win over Aldershot Town thanks to captain Angelo Balanta.

The first chance of the game arrived after just four minutes, as Angelo Balanta did well to pick out Junior Morias with a well-placed pass to allow the forward a chance on goal, but his left footed strike was denied by Laurie Walker.

The Daggers had another chance just two minutes later, with Balanta yet again placing an inch perfect pass, this time towards Ibby Akanbi who looked to get a shot off but lost his footing at the vital time.

Aldershot decided to have a pop at goal too, with Elis Watts striking with his left foot after one touch which didn’t trouble Justham.

Matt Robinson dominated the midfield this afternoon, with a crucial challenge to deny Mikael Ndjoli from a chance at goal followed by a brilliant display of passion to win the ball back again to allow Morias to win a corner for the Daggers.

This was shortly followed by a classic goal mouth scramble, with Callum Reynolds of all people picking up the ball in the danger zone, but the ball eventually dropped to Morias who couldn’t get a shot away.

The Daggers eventually took the lead through Balanta, after a brilliant challenge from Yoan Zouma denied an Aldershot attack which led to Morias threading the ball over the top to Balanta who managed to shrug off two defenders and dink the ball home.

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The first chance of the second half came through Robinson, who picked up the ball following a pass from Vilhete and leathered the ball at goal, which the ‘keeper gathered.

Aldershot’s first real chance of the game came after a few odd bounces following a corner, which nearly caught Justham out but the ‘keeper was quick enough to rush across the face of the goal and collect the ball.

The Daggers channelled their inner 1980’s Brazil after a string of first time passes culminated in Josh Walker’s first contribution of the game with a left footed goal-bound strike but Laurie Walker did well to parry for a corner.

That corner almost ended up in the back of the net, with that man Josh Walker leaping the highest but the forward's header was a tricky one which somehow didn’t creep in.

The Daggers nearly had the ball in the back of the net, after a Vilhete flick on found substitute Myles Weston, allowing the winger to drive towards the by-line and deliver a low cross towards Morias, but the striker stumbled and couldn’t get a full connection on his shot.

The final chance came through Walker, who’s first time shot hit the side netting following a Vilhete low cross which evaded Morias.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Zouma, Reynolds, Wright, Vilhete, Sagaf, Robinson, Ling, Balanta (Weston, 76’), Morias, Akanbi (Walker, 66’)

Unused Subs: Strizovic, Saunders, Scott