Home   Gravesend   Sport   Article

Ebbsfleet United 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 1 match report

By Steve Tervet

Ebbsfleet's chances of making the play-offs suffered a major blow with defeat at home to Dagenham.

On a day when Eastleigh won at home to Gateshead, the Fleet fell four points behind them after delivering one of their poorest performances under manager Garry Hill.

Credit should go to the Daggers for a dogged defensive display but Ebbsfleet lacked invention and this result could prove costly.

Michael Cheek denied by the challenge of Nathan Smith Picture: Chris Davey
Michael Cheek denied by the challenge of Nathan Smith Picture: Chris Davey

Lawrie Wilson returned at right-back for Ebbsfleet, with club captain Dave Winfield dropping to the bench after a comeback appearance in the 1-1 draw at Gateshead a week earlier. Corey Whitely got the nod ahead of Ebou Adams in midfield as Hill picked a side to attack the Daggers from the start.

But they were comfortably second-best in the opening 45 minutes, with Emmanuel Onariase gifted a free header from a corner early on.

Michael Cheek and Whitely combined well at the other end and almost created an opening for Gozie Ugwu, although Nathan Ashmore had to be alert to keep out Angelo Balanta's volley from a Nathan Smith cross.

Sam Magri had a header cleared off the line from Jack Payne's right-wing corner but the home side fell behind on 24 minutes.

Magri and Jack King both went for the same ball and the mix-up was punished by Tomi Adeloye, who ran through and drove the ball underneath Ashmore.

Fleet looked edgy, their passes going astray all over the pitch with an energetic Dagenham winning the midfield battle.

The home side slung a few long throws and corners into the box but more often than not it was a yellow head on the end of it, with ex-Fleet centre-half Kenny Clark marshalling his troops well.

Ebbsfleet striker Gozie Ugwu gets up for a header Picture: Chris Davey
Ebbsfleet striker Gozie Ugwu gets up for a header Picture: Chris Davey

Dagenham should have extended their lead before half-time, with centre-forward Adeloye a particular thorn in the side of Ebbsfleet's defence.

He nodded an Ollie Harfield cross narrowly wide of the far post and forced two saves from Ashmore, with the home side relieved to reach the interval without further damage.

Something had to change and Cheek was dragged off at half-time, with Danny Kedwell sent on to partner Ugwu up front.

Initially there was more intent about the hosts and Whitely curled a shot wide with his left foot after Dean Rance had done well to spread play wide.

But still they lacked quality in possession and Andy Drury was sent on to address that in the last 30 minutes.

Payne and Drury worked a neat short corner to Weston and his cross dropped near the penalty spot but King fired well over.

Dagenham posed a real threat on the counter-attack and Adeloye collided with Ashmore after turning Wilson inside-out although his penalty shout fell on deaf ears.

Ebbsfleet play Dagenham & Redbridge in the National League at Stonebridge Road on Saturday. Picture: Chris Davey... (8539661)
Ebbsfleet play Dagenham & Redbridge in the National League at Stonebridge Road on Saturday. Picture: Chris Davey... (8539661)

That was Wilson's last contribution, with Bagasan Graham entering the fray as Hill switched to a back-three and threw bodies forward.

The Daggers, though, seemed to relish their defensive duties while Ebbsfleet's direct approach had become predictable.

Conor Wilkinson almost made it 2-0 when he met Smith's fine cross with a looping header but Ashmore arched his back to tip the ball behind and keep Fleet in the game.

Ugwu got his head to another Payne corner but his effort lacked power and goalkeeper Elliot Justham gathered easily.

Referee Declan Bourne waved away loud penalty claims when Weston tumbled in the box but it just wouldn't drop for Ebbsfleet.

Their frustration was summed up, three minutes from time, when Kedwell helped on Payne's corner only to see King help the ball over the bar from a couple of yards out.

Ebbsfleet: Ashmore, Wilson (Graham 63mins), Magri, King, Bush, Whitely, Rance (Drury 58mins), Payne, Weston, Cheek (Kedwell 46mins), Ugwu. Subs not used: Winfield, Adams.

Dag & Red: Justham, Robinson, Clark, Kandi (McQueen 77mins), Balanta, Adeloye (Wilkinson 66mins), Wright, Loft, Harfield, Onariase, Smith. Subs not used: Moore, Munns, Davey.

Attendance: 1,551.

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More