Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Lincoln City 0: Luke Guttridge fires Daggers to success against Imps

PUBLISHED: 21:40 16 August 2016 | UPDATED: 21:40 16 August 2016

Luke Guttridge celebrates scoring the opening goal for Dagenham & Redbridge against Lincoln City (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Luke Guttridge celebrates scoring the opening goal for Dagenham & Redbridge against Lincoln City (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 (Guttridge 26) Lincoln City 0

Dagenham & Redbridge maintained their perfect home record in the National League with a good success over promotion rivals Lincoln City.

The hosts controlled play in the opening half and deservedly led at the break, but had to fend off a spirited fightback from the visitors in the second 45 minutes to win.

Having seen his side earn victory at Guiseley on Saturday, manager John Still opted to name the same Daggers XI to face Lincoln.

It meant there was a first home start for Chris Assombalonga, who scored the opener at the Lions.

Keen to make a fast start like they did at Nethermoor Park on Saturday, Daggers had a chance as early as the second minute against the Imps.

Fejiri Okenabirhie brilliantly controlled a long ball forward before turning and shooting from 25 yards, with Lincoln stopper Paul Farman pushing the ball over.

Luke Guttridge found Oliver Hawkins at the back post with the resulting set piece, but could only head straight at Farman.

The opening 10 minutes were end-to-end, with both teams aware of how important the opening goal would be.

A lung-busting run from his own half by Lincoln’s Nathan Arnold culminated in a powerful shot from 20 yards that Daggers stopper Elliot Justham could only parry.

Nine minutes later, the Essex club were a touch fortunate not to fall behind after an error at the back from skipper Scott Doe.

The centre-back’s headed pass to Justham was weak, allowing Johnny Margetts in, but the Imps man could only fire his effort straight at the Daggers stopper.

It was the hosts who did make the breakthrough, with Luke Guttridge scoring for the second home game in a row in the 27th minute.

A long punt forward from Justham was nodded into the path of the ex-Luton Town playmaker by Hawkins, with only Farman to beat.

With the keeper rushing out, Guttridge was more than happy to chip the ball into the net with his first touch to put Daggers ahead.

It could have been two on the stroke of half time when a corner from the right found its way to Hawkins in the middle of the area.

The ball dropped invitingly for the ex-Hemel Hempstead Town striker, but he could only blaze his half-volley over from 12 yards as Daggers went in a goal to the good.

Lincoln certainly came out of the traps firing in the second half, with Adam Mariott firing narrowly wide in the 52nd minute to the Victoria Road side’s relief.

From there, things became a little tense as both sides struggled to find the required final ball to fashion a chance.

That was until the 70th minute when Lincoln substitute Harry Anderson drew a good save from a tight angle from Justham.

Daggers had another let off five minutes later when a swift counter-attack by the Imps saw the ball come to Margetts on the penalty spot.

The Lincoln man looked all set to score the equaliser, but fired his shot into the away fans behind the goal.

Daggers nearly wrapped up all three points with five minutes to go as Craig Robson went close to a first goal for the club.

The centre-back had been sent up for a free-kick that looked to have been cleared, but the ball dropped kindly for Robson to force a top save from Farman.

Okenabirhie tested Farman’s reflexes again two minutes later, but the Imps stopper was in good form to deny the hosts a second.

At the other end, Justham was forced to deny Jack Muldoon from close range in the final minute of normal time.

Thankfully that proved to be the last time Daggers were tested and Still’s men will hope to make it three wins in a row at Woking on Saturday.

Daggers: Justham; Williams, Doe, Robson, Widdowson; Boucaud, Robinson; Assombalonga (Staunton 71), Guttridge, Okenabirhie; Hawkins (Benson 86)

Subs: Cousins, Raymond, Maguire-Drew

Lincoln: Farman, Habergham, Muldoon, Power (Hawkridge 58), Marriott (Anderson 65), Margetts, Beevers, Raggett, McCombe, Woodyard

Subs: Walker, Howe, Anderson, Simmons

Referee: Dean Treleaven

Attendance: 1,399 (including 247 Lincoln fans)

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