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Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Maidstone United 2 match report

By Craig Tucker

Blair Turgott scored twice as Maidstone picked up their first win of the National League season.

Turgott struck either side of half-time as United opened up a two-goal lead at Dagenham.

The hosts replied through Eliott Romain with 10 minutes left but the Stones held on.

Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones

Jay Saunders made one change to the side who drew with Hartlepool on the opening day, Jack Paxman replacing Michael Phillips after his impressive substitute appearance.

The move paid off with a moment of magic from Paxman leading to United’s opening goal three minutes before half-time.

Great feet took took him into space and he freed Joe Quigley with a lovely ball down the line.

The big man ran on to it before squaring for Turgott inside the box and he confidently beat Elliott Justham.

It was a goal out of nothing really as Dagenham were comfortably on top at the time against a Stones side who lost Will De Havilland to an eye injury midway through the half.

They may short of cash but they have a wily old fox in charge in Peter Taylor who’s been there, seen it and done it.

He had the Daggers well organised in defence and in Chike Kandi and Lamar Reynolds a couple of dangerous wideman who kept the Stones on their toes with lively runs and crosses.

The Daggers were enjoying one of their best spells shortly before falling behind and even after that had a couple of good chances to equalise in first-half injury time.

The first saw Will Wright head wide at the far post when free from Liam Gordon’s outswinging free-kick, then Reynolds fired across goal for a corner after turning Seth Nana Twumasi inside out in the box.

Earlier, Elliot Romain headed over when well-placed after Reynolds nodded Gavin Hoyte’s deep free-kick across goal.

Worgan then got down well to deny Reynolds and had to deal with a towering Wright header from a corner.

Maidstone doubled their lead six minutes into the second half, with Quigley involved again.

He worked his way past two men in the box and when his shot came back off the post, Turgott finished the rebound.

That deflated Dagenham and it was now Maidstone dictating play and looking confident on the ball.

There was, though, a warning for the Stones when the ball broke to Harry Donovan whose strike in a crowded box brought a good save from Worgan.

It was about defending sensibly after that, nothing too extravagant, while also looking a threat on the break.

They were doing a job of it until Dagenham pulled a goal back with 10 minutes left, Romain with a header from a left-wing cross.

Inevitably it lifted the hosts and there were a few nervy moments as Dagenham poured forward in search of the equaliser

Stones broke in the final minute of added time with Turgott denied a hat-trick by Justham’s fingertip save.

Maidstone: Worgan, Twumasi, De Havilland (Wynter 26mins), Finney, McLennan, Muldoon, Lewis, Paxman (Phillips 66mins), Turgott, Quigley (Mullings 69mins), Loza. Subs not used: Efete, Coker.

Attendance: 1,405 (330 away).

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