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Dover Athletic 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 1 match report: Josh Passley sent-off and Ade Azeez misses a penalty

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Dover missed a penalty and had a player sent-off as they lost to Dagenham on Boxing Day.

Whites, who remain rooted to the foot of the National League, had to play nearly an hour with 10 men after Josh Passley was shown a red card for a foul on Darren McQueen.

They then fell behind to another set-piece goal within two minutes of the restart after Dover were caught napping at a free-kick.

And to make matters even worse for Andy Hessenthaler’s men, striker Ade Azeez had a second-half penalty saved by visiting keeper Elliot Justham.

Dover more than held their own in the opening half-hour. Paul McCallum had two half-chances for the visitors but Dover looked a threat on the counter with the pace of Azeez and Akheem Rose.

Indeed, Dagenham picked up two yellow cards for cynical fouls on Rose and that figure had risen to four – with former Dover midfielder Dean Rance among them - by half-time as referee James Durkin took a dim view of a robust visiting side at a wet and windy Crabble.

Dover’s Steve Rigg saw his shot blocked by former Ebbsfleet defender Kenny Clark and then his header from a Ryan Hanson free-kick was comfortably gathered by Justham.

At the other end, Darren McQueen got behind Will De Havilland but put his shot wide as keeper Yusuf Mersin came rushing out of his goal.

But the game took an ominous turn for Dover on 36 minutes when Passley went in high on McQueen and, with Dagenham players rushing to surround the referee, it was no surprise that a red card was produced - the third in the last three league games for Dover.

The breakthrough came little more than a minute into the second half. A free-kick was played wide to the unmarked Myles Weston who had plenty of space on the edge of the penalty area, and his deep cross was headed in at the far post by the unmarked Angelo Balanta.

Rose threatened an equaliser on the hour when he worked himself some space in the box and called keeper Justham into action, as he pushed away his left-foot shot.

Within two minutes, a needless challenge by Liam Gordon – back on loan at the Daggers from Bolton – gifted Dover a penalty when he took out Azeez. But Azeez casually walked up to the ball and his weak right-foot spot-kick was pushed around the post for a corner by Justham.

McQueen hit the post midway through the second half as Dagenham searched for a second goal to kill the game off.

Dover travel to Sutton on Monday afternoon before making the return trip to Dagenham on Saturday.

Dover: Mersin, Passley, Spencer-Adams, De Havilland, Ransom, Wood, Hanson, Rooney (Bramble 71mins), Rigg (Mussa 85mins), Rose (Collins 79mins), Azeez. Subs not used: Smith, Cumberbatch, Bramble, Mussa.

Dagenham: Justham, Eleftheriou (Weston 46mins), Clark, Reynolds, Croll, Gordon, Rance (Adams 46mins), Ogogo, Balanta, McCallum, McQueen. Subs not used: Strizovic, Johnson, Wilson.

Referee: James Durkin.

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