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Gordon at the double as Daggers and Wood play out eight-goal draw

PUBLISHED: 17:03 05 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 05 January 2019

Alexander McQueen of Dagenham & Redbridge and Tom Champion of Boreham Wood (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Alexander McQueen of Dagenham & Redbridge and Tom Champion of Boreham Wood (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 4 (Wilkinson 40, Gordon 41, 74, Balanta 45) Boreham Wood 4 (Kanu 14, Shakes 31, Shaibu 35, Ash 87)

Dagenham & Redbridge battled back from three goals down to draw 4-4 with Boreham Wood in the Vanarama National League.

In an astonishing first half, Daggers trailed by three, before goals from Conor Wilkinson, Liam Gordon and Angelo Balanta had the hosts level at the break.

The Essex club then took the lead in the second half through Gordon, before conceding a late equaliser.

Daggers boss Peter Taylor made just one change to his starting XI following the defeat at Leyton Orient on New Year’s Day.

Skipper Ben Nunn was passed fit after miss the loss at the O’s and took over at right wing-back from Gavin Hoyte, who dropped to the bench.

Ben Goodliffe kept his place in the starting XI, a day after extending his loan deal from Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers until the end of the season.

Chike Kandi and Tomi Adeloye were back among the replacements, with both having previously been absent from matchday squads in recent weeks.

Former Daggers players Femi Ilesanmi and Sean Shields both started for the visitors, the latter having joined on loan from Ebbsfleet United on Friday.

The Essex club had an early let-off in the sixth minute when David Stephens narrowly nodded a Shields corner from the right over the bar.

Daggers seemed not to heed that warning, with Tom Champion’s header from another Shields corner five minutes later cleared off the line by Wilkinson.

Wood’s pressure eventually told as the Victoria Road outfit conceded the opener for a fourth league game in succession in the 14th minute.

A ball from the left was not dealt with by the hosts who were unable to clear, before Idris Kanu eventually slammed home from eight yards.

Chances were at a premium for Taylor’s men, though Wilkinson did squander two good chances to draw his side level.

With 14 minutes left in the half, the Hertfordshire club doubled their lead after a moment Nunn would like to forget.

A cross into the box from the right look fairly innocuous, but the home skipper’s clearance with his weaker left foot was atrocious.

The ball dropped to Ricky Shakes just inside the area, with the Wood man prodding home for his team’s second goal of the match.

Luke Garrard’s men then added a third in the 35th minute, with Daggers’ Manny Onariase giving the ball away before Justin Shaibu drilled home from 20 yards.

A minute later, a Jack Munns ball across the box found Nunn on the edge of the area, but the wing-back skied his shot high and wide of the target.

Daggers were able to pull one back in the 40th minute, though, with Wilkinson netting his sixth goal since arriving on loan from Gillingham.

A cross from the right by Nunn was intended for Balanta, but was instead cleared by the away defence.

However, the ball dropped to Wilkinson on the edge of the area with the forward firing into the bottom corner.

The home team then added a second a minute later with Gordon grabbing his first of the season.

Wilkinson was again involved, slipping the ball to the left wing-back inside the area, with Gordon dummying past replacement Danny Woodards, before scoring.

The comeback was complete in the final minute of the half when a cross from the right by Nunn was met by Balanta, whose header went in off the post.

That proved to be the last action of a frantic first-half, with the two teams somehow going in level.

Four minutes into the second half, Daggers had a chance to take the lead for the first time when Balanta set Gordon away down the left.

The defender had a choice to either lay-off to Wilkinson, who would have had a tap-in, or go for goal himself.

Gordon opted to shoot and fired over, with Wilkinson apoplectic in the middle of the area.

Wilkinson himself went close in the 58th minute, fashioning room for a shot instead the area that was straight at Wood stopper Ryan Huddart.

Daggers finally did add a fourth in the 74th minute, with Gordon scoring his second of the match.

Balanta played the ball to the wing-back in the area, but a heavy touch seemed to end the chance.

Gordon, though, continued to go forward and saw his resulting effort somehow trickle past Huddart and into the net.

That goal seemed to spur Wood on, with Champion heading just wide from a corner in the 84th minute.

Two minutes later, the visitors were level when a cross from the right was not dealt with and substitute Bradley Ash tapped home from close range.

Ash had a chance to fire his team into the lead in the 89th minute after another cross that was badly defended by the hosts, but somehow fired wide.

With no further goals, the sides both took a point with Daggers next in action at Salford City in the FA Trophy next weekend.

Dagenham (3-1-4-2): Justham; Onariase, Goodliffe, Clark; Wright; Nunn (Hoyte 88), McQueen, Munns (Harfield 90+2), Gordon; Balanta, Wilkinson (Kandi 90+1).

Subs: Moore (GK), Adeloye..

B Wood (4-4-2): Huddart; Champion, Stephens, Fyfield, Ilesanmi; Shakes, Ricketts, Murtagh (Woodards 27), Shields (Thomas 77); Shaibu, Kanu (Ash 77).

Subs: Burbidge (GK), Parry.

Referee: Savvas Yianni.

Attendance: 1,043 (including 76 Wood supporters).

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