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Dagenham & Redbridge fall short against Eastleigh

PUBLISHED: 16:54 23 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:54 23 December 2017

Michael Cheek of Dagenham and Andrew Boyce of Eastleigh battle for the ball (Pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Michael Cheek of Dagenham and Andrew Boyce of Eastleigh battle for the ball (Pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

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

National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Eastleigh 2

Dagenham & Redbridge failed to pick up an early Christmas present as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to National League strugglers Eastleigh.

Goals from Chris Zebroski and Paul McCallum cancelled out an early Michael Cheek goal and ended the Daggers four game winning streak in the National League.

The Spitfires travelled to Dagenham for their first match under the helms of new manager and former assistant Andy Hessenthaler.

The former Gillingham and Leyton Orient’s manager’s men got off to a strong start and had two corners in the opening four minutes.

Daggers tried to hit back on the counter back two minutes later but attacker Morgan Ferrier was brought down when he looked to turn on Danny Hollands.

The next six minutes were fairly quiet until the match got heated in the twelfth minute when Andre Boucaud and Eastleigh’s Bradley Hudson-Odoi came together and both walked away with yellow cards after a challenge.

Sam Ling finally brought his side into the match as he raced down the right and looked to pick out Michael Cheek in the box but the striker struggled to control the incoming ball.

The ball then fell to defender Kevin Lokko on the edge of the box who fired a shot well wide.

The hosts broke the deadlock in the 17th minute as Cheek headed home a cross from Ling who made another cracking run down the right to pick the striker out and make it 1-0.

Eastleigh then took back the momentum but Daggers pressed forward with another chance of their own in the 27th minute as Cheek flicked the ball on for his partner Ferrier, who took it in his stride, and cut back but his shot was blocked.

Four minutes later the visitors were finally rewarded for their efforts as Chris Zebroski worked is way into the box brushing aside the Daggers back line before slotting a shot past Mark Cousins to bring the score level.

They did not ease up and the visitors Bradley Hudson-Odoi cut in and sent a shot flying just over the cross bar in the 37th minute.

Cheek raced forward as he looked to get onto a loose ball from Boucaud but the attacker was beaten to the ball by Eastleigh keeper Graham Stack a minute before half-time.

Eastleigh got off to a strong start much like the first-half and luck was almost on their side five minutes in as Daggers keeper Cousins slipped over as he attempted to clear the ball down the pitch but Robson came to the rescue.

Two minutes later the visitors Paul McCallum headed over the bar after Sam Wood picked the striker out from the left.

The striker McCallum had a touch more luck in the 60th minute as he made a late run into the box and tucked home his shot underneath Cousins after he was picked out by Zebroski to give his side a 2-1 lead.

John Still’s men desperately upped the tempo as they searched for an equaliser and were rewarded with a corner in the 65th minute.

The corner was taken by Daniel Sparkes, which substitute Chike Kandi collected and passed it to Boucaud, but the lofted effort goes out for a goal kick.

The spitfires pushed straight back three minutes later from Eastleigh as McCallum nods one just wide after some great work by Hudson-Odoi!

Sparkes looked to get his side back into the match as he worked hard and headed the ball in to Kandi who lobbed the keeper but missed the target in the 74th minute.

The winger Sparkes then took a free-kick and aimed for the back post, but Ling is unable to get on the end of it nine minutes later.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins, Ling, Doe, Lokko (Robinson 70), Howells, Robson, Boucaud, Howell (Kandi 62), Sparkes, Ferrier, Cheek (Bloomfield 89).

Unused subs: Moore, Adams.

Eastleigh: Stack, Hoyte, Wood, McCallum, Zebroski, Hudson-Odoi, Hollands (Obileye 57), Boyce, Miley, Matthews (Yeates 77), Howe.

Unused subs: Constable, Read, Shaw.

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