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Dagenham & Redbridge 3 Dover Athletic 1: Whites lose National League match at Victoria Road despite Alfie Pavey's second-half effort

Dover’s losing run extended to six matches as they were beaten 3-1 at Dagenham in the National League on Sunday.

The Daggers went 2-0 up through cracking first-half strikes by Junior Morias and Josh Walker.

Alfie Pavey struck for Dover at Dagenham in the second half but couldn't stop the side from falling to another loss. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Alfie Pavey struck for Dover at Dagenham in the second half but couldn't stop the side from falling to another loss. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Striker Alfie Pavey got one back for Whites early in the second half but Myles Weston restored the home team’s two-goal lead soon after to seal the points for them - with Dover’s struggles continuing into 2022.

Whites keeper Alexis Andre Jr was called into action inside the first minute, parrying Mauro Vilhete’s effort away in front of a crowd of 1,631.

The home contingent were unhappy with a late challenge by Ben Williamson on Daggers defender Will Wright with 12 minutes played but referee Matthew Dicicco opted to give the away skipper just a warning, much to the dismay of Dagenham fans.

Midfielder Henry Woods tried his luck in the 21st minute for Andy Hessenthaler’s side, although his long-range attempt sailed well over the bar.

Not long after, Koby Arthur’s corner deflected off Pavey and fell kindly to centre-back Jake Goodman who blasted towards goal on the turn and he was only denied by a fine save from Daggers shot-stopper Elliot Justham.

But it was the hosts who drew first blood on 29 minutes when winger Morias cut inside from the left and fired a sumptuous strike beyond Andre.

Whites were well in the match, though, and came close to levelling five minutes later. Woods played in Williamson, only for Justham to make a fingertip save to thwart Williamson.

However Dagenham were a little more clinical in the final third and they doubled their advantage in the 35th minute.

It was another sublime strike, too, which saw Walker emphatically blast into the net after a brilliant solo run to give them a two-goal advantage at half-time - the exact same position Dover had found themselves in against Dagenham at Crabble on Boxing Day at the interval.

The away team made an attacking change at half-time which saw midfielder James Caton replace Goodman, who was on a booking, and the defence reverted to a back four.

Whites pulled one goal back five minutes into the second half. Pavey heading in Junior Tiensia’s left-wing cross at the far post to give them a lifeline with his second goal of his loan spell back with the club.

But in the 54th minute, the Daggers restored their two-goal cushion when ex-Ebbsfleet man Weston converted Morias’ low left-wing delivery.

The hosts came close to adding a fourth just before the hour mark as they threatened to run riot with Andre making a double save to deny Matt Robinson and then Weston.

The visitors then had appeals for a penalty turned down on 71 minutes at the other end when Arthur collected a short corner and tried to go past his man before falling to ground.

With 12 minutes to play, the substitute needed substituting as Caton hobbled off and was replaced by Khale Da Costa.

The away side had stronger appeals for a penalty waved away by Mr Dicicco four minutes later when Da Costa went down under pressure from Vilhete.

Da Costa was causing problems and he was twice thwarted by Justham in the 85th minute.

But Dover’s winless season continued as Dagenham completed the league double over them - with Whites now 24 points adrift and without a point since their draw at Yeovil in November - while the Daggers moved into the play-off places as they went fifth.

Hessenthaler made two changes to the starting line-up from the one which had lost at 3-2 Woking on Tuesday.

Defenders Tiensia and Seth Twumasi came in for Sam Wood and Da Costa.

Andre kept his place in goal, despite on-loan Watford keeper Adam Parkes returning from a hip injury to take a place on the bench.

The Daggers had a number of staff test positive for Covid before the game, or who were isolating after coming into contact with the positive cases, which meant their manager Daryl McMahon wasn’t at the match. That left assistant manager Steve Gritt in charge.

Their side showed one change from the team which won 2-0 at Dover just seven days earlier, Vilhete coming in for Sam Ling.

Before the match, a minute’s applause was held for all those affiliated with Dagenham who died in 2021.

Dover: Andre, Tiensia, Twumasi, Ransom, Goodman (Caton 46mins, Da Costa 78mins), Collinge, Hanson, Arthur, Woods, Williamson, Pavey. Subs not used: Parkes, Carney, Wood.

Dagenham: Justham, Wright, Reynolds, Zouma, Weston, Robinson, Sagaf, Vilhete, Balanta (Ling 71mins), Morias (Phipps 87mins), Walker. Subs not used: Clark, Saunders, Akanbi.

Referee: Matthew Dicicco.

Attendance: 1,631 (74 away).

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