Sutton send Daggers out of FA Trophy

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon looks on - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Dagenham & Redbridge bowed out of the FA Trophy following defeat at National League rivals Sutton United.

Daggers were playing their first match since a Boxing Day win over Dover, their fourth victory in five outings, and they had come from behind to draw 1-1 in the National League earlier in the campaign as Paul McCallum cancelled out Omar Bugiel’s first-half goal, before Kenny Clark was sent off for two bookable offences. 

The two sides had also drawn 1-1 at Gander Green Lane in the Trophy last season, with Joe Quigley’s goal answered by Bugiel before Daggers won the replay back at Victoria Road, coming from 2-1 down in extra time as Joao Luque levelled then set up Mitch Brundle to sea la 3-2 triumph. 

And the visitors forced a couple of early corners, with Charlee Adams seeing his set-piece evade Callum Reynolds at the far post on six minutes. 

Elliot Justham denied Isaac Olaofe moments later, before Angelo Balanta almost got McCallum through as Dean Bouzanis rushed out to collect. 

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Justham made a good save to keep out Rob Milsom’s free-kick on 17 minutes, after Reynolds fouled Bugiel, and Will Randall fired high and wide for the hosts soon after. 

Daggers then enjoyed a good spell of possession, with Balanta again looking for McCallum but seeing Ben Goodliffe clear the danger on 23 minutes, before Harry Beautyman forced a low save from Justham four minutes later. 

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Olaofe saw a close-range effort kept out by Justham, before Craig Eastmond collected the first booking of the tie for stopping a Daggers counter-attack and Bugiel headed over for Sutton. 

McCallum had a shot blocked by a home defender on 33 minutes, but Daggers had Justham to thank for a fine save to deny Olaofe, after he had burst into the box and fired goalwards, before Bugiel then saw a close-range header kept out. 

Daggers boss Daryl McMahon made a change at the break, replacing Darren McQueen with Scott Wilson, but the visitors were behind within four minutes of the restart as Bugiel gave Justham no chance with a shot from the edge of the box. 

McCallum fired wide of the target on 54 minutes as Daggers looked to respond, but Randall headed over from Jon Barden’s cross at the other end moments later and Barden chipped over after beating Luke Croll on the hour mark. 

Sutton doubled their advantage on 61 minutes, though, as David Ajiboye produced a burst of speed and found Bugiel, who teed up Olaofe to score. 

And Andrew Eleftheriou had a shot deflected behind for a corner, with Balanta heading another chance off-target as Daggers were left frustrated. 

George Saunders replaced Eleftheriou with 14 minutes remaining, with Sam Deering taking Balanta’s place as McMahon looked to bolster his attacking options.

And the visitors gave themselves late hope when Wilson saw his effort beat Bouzanis on 86 minutes.

Craig Dundas was denied by Justham in the last minute of normal time, before three extra minutes were signalled on the sideline.

And Sutton sealed victory during stoppage time as Randall rounded off a counter-attack to net their third goal of the game.

Dagenham: Justham, Reynolds, Croll, Johnson, Eleftheriou (Saunders 76), Rance, Adams, Gordon, Balanta (Deering 76), McQueen (Wilson 46), McCallum. Unused subs: Strizovic, Jones, Robinson.

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