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Dover Athletic 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 2 match report: Two first-half efforts see Daggers beat Whites in the National League


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Dover’s sorry season continued as they suffered a Boxing Day defeat at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Two first-half efforts were awarded to midfielder Matthew Robinson which put the Daggers in control - although there was debate over his first one - as Whites’ winless start to the season extended to 20 National League matches.

Dover defender Jake Goodman slides in against Dagenham on Boxing Day. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Dover defender Jake Goodman slides in against Dagenham on Boxing Day. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The visitors had a glorious chance in the third minute when former Gillingham and Ebbsfleet winger Myles Weston drilled narrowly wide.

Two minutes later, Whites had their first clear-cut opportunity as a long throw from Danny Collinge fell kindly for Henry Woods, with the on-loan Gills midfielder blasting just over from the edge of the penalty area.

Dover fell behind with 11 minutes on the clock when the ball deflected over the line after a William Wright corner. The goal was eventually given to Dagenham’s Robinson despite suggestions Collinge had inadvertently put the ball into his own net.

Midway through the first period, Junior Morias had a golden chance for Daryl McMahon’s team but he was thwarted by Whites goalkeeper Josh Bexon.

Dover teenager Noah Carney went incredibly close in the 35th minute, shooting just wide after latching onto captain Ben Williamson’s cross.

But at the other end, the Daggers doubled their advantage immediately after. There was no debate over who netted the away side’s second when Robinson slotted past Bexon on the counter attack.

Two minutes before half-time, Jake Goodman nodded a Woods corner inches over Dagenham keeper Elliott Justham’s crossbar, as the rain started to hammer down at Crabble. The pitch had only passed a pitch inspection at 2.30pm.

Dover's Harry Ransom tries to close down Dagenham's Junior Morias. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Dover's Harry Ransom tries to close down Dagenham's Junior Morias. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Dover had a chance to pull one back on 54 minutes when Goodman headed a free-kick across goal for Collinge who headed over the bar.

On the hour mark, only a brilliant save from Bexon kept the hosts in the game as he prevented an own goal by Goodman who had sliced a Morias right-wing cross towards his own goal.

Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler made an attacking change five minutes later, with playmaker Koby Arthur replacing Seth Twumasi.

Home fans were left frustrated by referee Sunny Gill’s 75th-minute decision to only caution visiting defender Callum Reynolds who had tugged down substitute Khale Da Costa who was trying to break through on goal - albeit he was heading towards the left wing.

In the final stages, Dover’s players could not direct Da Costa’s free-kick towards goal.

The teams meet at Dagenham on January 2 in the return game, which is just seven days after this encounter but Dover's next fixture is a trip to Woking on Tuesday.

Dover's bench watch on during their 2-0 loss to Dagenham & Redbridge on Boxing Day. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Dover's bench watch on during their 2-0 loss to Dagenham & Redbridge on Boxing Day. Picture: Barry Goodwin

Dover had made five changes to their starting line-up from the side which started their FA Trophy defeat to Bromley.

One of those changes was enforced, as four-goal top scorer Aaron Cosgrave tested positive for Covid earlier in the week, meaning he was unavailable. He was replaced by Academy striker Carney who made his first National League start.

In also came fellow forward players Alfie Pavey and Williamson, and defenders Twumasi and Collinge. James Caton, Sam Wood, Da Costa and Ghanaian Arthur dropped to the bench.

Whites wore their purple away kit in support of homeless charity Shelter’s “No Home Kit” campaign, while Gillingham chairman Paul Scally was also at the match.

Dover: Bexon, Tiensia, Goodman, Ransom, Collinge, Twumasi (Arthur 65mins), Hanson, Woods, Williamson, Pavey, Carney (Da Costa 58mins). Subs not used: Andre Jr, Caton, Wood.

Dagenham: Justham, Wright, Zouma, Reynolds, Ling, Robinson, Sagaf, Weston, Balanta, Morias (Vilhete 80mins), Walker (Akanbi 71mins). Subs not used: Strizovic, Saunders, Scott.

Referee: Sunny Gill.

Attendance: 697.

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