Dagenham & Redbridge seal narrow victory over neighbours Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 20:28 05 September 2020 | UPDATED: 20:28 05 September 2020
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Pre-season: Hornchurch 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 2
A local encounter saw The Daggers face Hornchurch at Bridge Avenue on a sunny Saturday with the visitors coming out on top thanks to Paul McCallum - the Urchins, though beaten, were by no means disgraced.
The Daggers got the game underway at Bridge Avenue and the story of the first five minutes was corners. Eleftheriou beat Purcell early on but the ball he put in was not met; then a subsequent effort from Kai Brown earnt the Daggers their first of three early corners.
With their backs to the wall, Hornchurch had to put it behind with a good piece of defending after a nice move from the Daggers. The resulting corner saw Harry Phipps glance it wide.
The home side just couldn’t turn defence into attack quick enough to concern Dagenham; though for the unconcerned side this was a different story with Trialist C making a great run from the halfway line - his shot though letting him down.
The lack of clinical finishing from Daryl’s men nearly proved costly as Ellis Brown got the better of Trialist B out wide but Higgins’ close-range shot was well blocked by Eleftheriou.
Kai Brown, eager to get amongst the goals on his ‘debut’, had yet another shot blocked 24 minutes in – credit to the organisation of Hornchurch’s back line.
Though Brown couldn’t get amongst the goals; he got among the assists as moments later his ball penetrated the Urchins’ back line and Trialist D fired it home – Thackway had no chance.
Parcell, the creative spark on the left of the Hornchurch defence, played a delightful ball through as the home side continued to grow into the game. Ronnie Winn looked through on goal but Clark worked back and got his body in front – denying the hosts.
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The chances came in abundance for Dagenham after a quiet 10 minutes prior. Kai Brown’s half-volley just inside the box was palmed away by the young Thackway in between the sticks for the home side – concluding the first half.
The Daggers came out for the Second Half with a whole new XI which included George Saunders, who received a warm welcome at Bridge Avenue. The Urchins introduced striker, Dickson, in pursuit of an equaliser.
The Urchins were out the blocks fastest with Lewwis Spence through but Josh Strizovic beat him to it. Up the other end, the Daggers won their first set piece of the half, Saunders stood over it from 30 yards out, but McCallum took the shot – firing it at the wall.
Chris Dickson thought he was 1-on-1 moments later with Strizovic but he was flagged offside, frustrated, as he looked to get on the scoresheet.
The chances came in quick succession as the game began to open up, the latter of the chances seeing Higgins put an inviting ball in with number three heading it down, but it bounced over.
Home supporters, eager to see their team defeat local rivals Dagenham, rallied behind their side – with 15 minutes left on the clock in a scrappy second half.
The Urchins saw their perseverance pay off as Trialist E was dispossessed before a nice, composed finish saw Chris Dickson slot it past Strizovic, making for an interesting last ten.
What followed though was an almost instant reply, as two minutes later McCallum put the Daggers back ahead after great link-up play with Angelo Balanta – something that would please every Dagenham fan.
The Hornchurch faithful were on the edge of their seats as they saw Dickson again through on goal but Callum Reynolds remained calm and did well to head it back to Strizovic without issue.
Trialist E didn’t do Dagenham any favours in the final minutes as he conceded a free-kick late on. Dickson’s header though, just rising over the bar.
Ultimately, the Daggers held onto the win despite a late challenge by Hornchurch - an encouraging performance by the hosts. The visitors showed some class which ultimately was the difference between the two sides – though Daryl McMahon will no doubt have seen areas he needs to iron out ahead of the new season.
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