Guiseley 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 2: Chris Assombalonga heads up Daggers win at Lions
PUBLISHED: 16:50 13 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:29 13 August 2016
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National League: Guiseley 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 2 (Assombalonga 6, Hawkins 76)
Chris Assombalonga headed in his first goal for Dagenham & Redbridge as they rebounded at Guiseley with a win.
Having suffered a humbling defeat at Chester on Tuesday night, Daggers made amends with a fast start in West Yorkshire.
And though their chances were few and far between, the Essex club added a second after the break to seal the triumph.
Assombalonga was the only change for the Victoria Road club, coming in for his first start since joining from Waltham Abbey in the summer.
Making way was Jordan Maguire-Drew, with the on-loan Brighton & Hove Albion winger dropping to the bench.
Also among the substitutes was Paul Benson, still looking for his first start after rejoining Daggers for a second stint.
In the opening exchanges, Fejiri Okenabirhie was enjoying himself down the left wing, finding plenty of space and getting the better of Danny East.
The ex-Harrow Borough attacker won a 50-50 challenge with East in sixth minute, allowing Okenabirhie to burst forward down flank.
Once level with the box, the winger delivered a ball to the middle of the box from which Assombalonga headed in his first goal for Daggers.
The brother of Nottingham Forest striker Britt was clearly determined to prove his worth having started the last two games on the bench and nearly added a second too.
A poor headed back-pass from Lions left-back Marcus Williams gifted Assombalonga space in the 17th minute, but his chip from 15 yards clipped the post on its way wide.
Guiseley, meanwhile, went close to getting on level terms 60 seconds later, but Adam Smith’s long range shot was off target - though only just.
From there, however, the Victoria Road outfit controlled the match, though were unable to find a suitable through ball.
Assombalonga was the next to have a chance of any real substance for Daggers in the 32nd minute, shooting from distance after a long run.
His effort, though, was straight at Dan Atkinson, with the Guiseley keeper comfortable grasping the ball.
It did, however, seem to spark Daggers into life, as a flurry of chances followed with Okenabirhie next to go close just three minutes later.
Good interplay on the edge of the box between Luke Guttridge and Andre Boucaud created space for the winger, but his 20-yard effortcurled over the bar.
A minute later, Curtley Williams delivered a delicious ball in from the left for Oliver Hawkins to head home, but the striker’s effort went wide.
Those misses so nearly proved costly with Guiseley appealing for a penalty five minutes before half time after a Javan Vidal shot had hit Scott Doe’s arm.
Okenabirhie then curled a 20-yard shot out for a throw-in on the stroke of half time as Daggers headed into the break unable to add to their one-goal lead.
The flyer was involved in the action early in the second half too as he nearly doubled Daggers lead within two minutes of the restart.
Having been played into the box by Guttridge, Okenabirhie first saw a shot blocked Ash Palmer before the rebound was saved by Atkinson.
A minute later and he was at it again, beating East for pace and bursting into the area once more.
However, his cross-cum-shot was unable to find a team-mate before drifting past the right upright and out of play for a goal kick.
From there, things slowed slightly, taking until the 66th minute for the visitors to create their next opening.
Again it involved Okenabirhie, with the winger sliding the ball in from the left for Guttridge, whose six-yard shot went just wide of the left post.
The Lions, though, continued to improve and perhaps should have been level in the 70th minute when Dave Syers could only divert a Jordan Preston cross wide.
It was Daggers, though, who did score next with Hawkins heading home a corner in the 76th minute.
Good play from Curtley Williams down the right saw the full-back win a corner when his cross from the byline was deflected wide.
Guttridge was given the task of delivering the set piece, which he did with aplomb to find Hawkins in the middle of the area to head home his first of the season.
Maguire-Drew nearly added a third after being brought on as a substitute, but drilled an effort wide in the final minute of normal time.
Though Daggers were unable to win as easily as they would have liked, they will have no doubt been happy to get back on the winning trail.
And with a big match to come at home to Lincoln City on Tuesday, confidence is also likely to have been restored for that crucial clash.
Guiseley: Atkinson; East, Palmer, Atkinson (Syers 69), Williams; Vidal, Lawlor; Smith (Preston 46), Hatfield, Johnson (Boyes 60); Rankine
Subs: Deasy, Lockwood
Daggers: Justham; Williams, Doe, Robson, Widdowson; Boucaud, Robinson; Assombalonga (Maguire-Drew 88), Guttridge, Okenabirhie; Hawkins
Subs: Cousins, Raymond, Benson, Staunton
Referee: Stephen Ross