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Ebbsfleet United 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 1 match report

By Steve Tervet

Ebbsfleet conceded a late equaliser at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

They led at half-time through Jack Powell's goal but were under siege in the second period.

It looked as though Fleet had done enough to hold on for a sixth straight home win but Daggers finally got the goal their pressure deserved.

Luke Coulson takes on Andre Boucaud Picture: Andy Payton
Luke Coulson takes on Andre Boucaud Picture: Andy Payton

Marvin McCoy, having impressed as a substitute in the Boxing Day win over Bromley, earned himself a start at right-back with Sam Magri switching to the left in place of Jack Connors.

There was a recall for ex-Maidstone defender Kevin Lokko, now on loan from Stevenage, in one of three changes made by Daggers boss John Still.

The first half was intriguing rather than thrilling, with Dagenham not shy to get the ball forward quickly while Fleet passed and probed for a way through.

Luke Coulson forced an early save from Mark Cousins although it required an excellent challenge by McCoy to clear the danger when a long throw from the right dropped in the Ebbsfleet box.

Just as Myles Weston looked set to latch onto Dean Rance's forward pass down the Fleet right, Lokko pinched the ball off his toe with neither team giving an inch in the opening stages.

Ebbsfleet's Sam Magri in action against Dagenham
Ebbsfleet's Sam Magri in action against Dagenham

Dagenham picked Coulson's pocket after he'd led a quick break down the left and when the home side failed to clear their lines, a cheeky backheel from Fejiri Okenabirhie rolled narrowly wide.

Okenabirhie looked bright for the visitors but his next two shots both flew over the bar with Jake Howells also missing the target when handed a shooting opportunity.

Coulson almost scored an eye-catching opener in between, getting airborne to volley Weston's right-wing cross just over. The move was started by Dean Rance, who made a great tackle in midfield and linked play with Danny Kedwell.

The breakthrough came 11 minutes before half-time from some patient Fleet build-up play. Dagenham defended the first cross but when the ball was returned into the box, Kedwell did ever so well to spin and hit a shot which struck the base of the right-hand post. Powell was quickest to react, tapping home the rebound from a yard out.

Kenny Clark blocked a Matt Robinson shot late in the first half before Powell rolled a tame effort into Cousins' gloves at the other end.

Jack Powell celebrates his goal with Danny Kedwell Picture: Andy Payton
Jack Powell celebrates his goal with Danny Kedwell Picture: Andy Payton

Dagenham applied the pressure at the start of the second period but Boucaud's shot from distance sailed over and Ashmore dealt comfortably with a left-footed strike from Okenabirhie.

The visitors began to apply heavy pressure but Ebbsfleet stood up to it well and substitute Sean Shields almost laid on a second goal within a minute of coming on, embarking on a mazy dribble down the left wing.

But the home goal started to come under siege heading into the last 10 minutes as Dagenham put all their substitutes on and poured forward. It was backs-to-the wall stuff for Fleet with Rance and Drury having to get through a mountain of work in front of the back four.

Corey Whitely fired a shot over and then whipped in a dangerous cross which Kedwell headed clear in a crowded penalty area.

On came Bradley Bubb for the last few minutes and Fleet had big shouts for a penalty waved away when Shields tumbled in the box.

But the pressure finally told four minutes from time when Robinson's shot took a big deflection off Mason Bloomfield and wrong-footed Ashmore.

Ebbsfleet: Ashmore, McCoy, Clark, Winfield, Magri, Rance, Drury, Weston, Powell (Bubb 81mins), Coulson (Shields 64mins), Kedwell. Subs not used: McLean, Miles, Bush.

Dag & Red: Cousins, Ling, Robson, Lokko, Howells, Robinson, Boucaud, Okenabirhie, Howell (Whitely 66mins), Sparkes (Ferrier 74mins), Cheek (Bloomfield 70mins). Subs not used: Moore, Nunn.

Attendance: 1,684.

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