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17:00 4th February 2017

Dag & Red 3 Chester 2

Despite finding themselves in front, Chester fell behind 3-2 to Dagenham and Redbridge in the National League.

After a positive start, Jon McCarthy’s side were unfortunate not to find themselves ahead within the opening five minutes.

James Alabi did an outstanding job of holding up the ball – before setting up team mate Evan Horwood. The midfielder’s low cross reached Luke George at the back post, but his effort struck the outside of the post.

But the home side were bestowed with a perfect opportunity to respond from the penalty spot. 

Fejiri Okenabirhie was adjudged to be fouled in the area by Blaine Hudson – and Daggers top scorer Ollie Hawkins duly stepped forward to take the spot kick. Liam Roberts had other ideas however, and forced a strong save down to his right to deny Dagenham.

Chester continued to apply pressure – and Elliott Durrell very nearly replicated his stunning strike in the previous encounter back in August. 

A strong header forward by Wade Joyce in midfield forced a mistake at the back for the home side – and the Blues’ tricky winger fired a rasping shot from 30 yards out, only for Elliot Justham to tip the shot over the crossbar.

Strong, attacking play for the Blues was soon cancelled out during first half added time – as the Daggers took the lead. On-loan Reading full-back Jake Sheppard weaved into space, and fired a low shot into the near post, completely against the run of play.

It’s fair to say the visitors came faster out of the blocks in the second half – and captain Luke George pulled the game level on the 50th minute mark.

A looped pass into the 18-yard box by Joyce was brought down by Horwood after some sloppy defending from the hosts – and crossed into the box for Tom Shaw who stumbled, before George stabbed the ball home.

And within a matter of minutes, McCarthy’s men found themselves in front. Horwood again worked his magic on the left flank, before teeing up Shaw to fire an inch perfect strike into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Dagenham found their equaliser with five minutes left to play – when Alan Young awarded the home side their second penalty of the game.

A free kick into the box was headed down into the far post, and Johnny Hunt cleared the ball away with his hands. Up stepped Corey Whitely, who’s effort was too strong for the left hand of Roberts.

After being 2-1 down during the second half, the home side found their winner through Jordan Maguire-Drew deep into second half stoppage time. A melee on the edge of the area meant the ball fell to substitute who fired low into the corner.

Dagenham and Redbridge: Justham, Widdowson, Robson, Raymond (Maguire-Drew 62), Guttridge (Howell 62), Okenabirhie (Benson 77), Hawkins, Bouchaud, Whitely, Donnellan, Sheppard.
Subs not used: Cousins, Doe. 

Chester: Roberts, Vassell, Hudson, Astles, Hunt, Horwood (Hughes 75), Joyce, Shaw, George, Durrell (O'Brien 90), Alabi.
Subs not used: Lynch, Mahon, Waters.


    Did you know that Chester FC celebrate 130 years of history in 2015?