Lions Lose Out In Eight Goal Thriller

With relegation already confirmed by Tuesday’s home defeat to Barrow interim manager Sean St Ledger took the opportunity to give some of the fringe players some game time given that the Lions were palying the second of three games in six days.

St Ledger included himself in the starting line-up together with Simon Lenighan, Ellis Hudson, Alex-Ray Harvey and the recalled Elliot Green while Andy Howarth returned on the bench.

With both sides having little to play for the game in front of a sparse 311 crowd proved to be one of the most entertaining at Nethermoor this season as the teams shared seven goals in a crazy first half that was followed by an equally frenetic second period, even though the second 45 minutes only produced a solitary goal.

The two sides traded early blows but there was little to suggest the drama that would unfold as Green head just wide and visiting custodian Mark Cousins denied James Roberts after he had been seup by Kayode Odejayi.

Michael Cheek kicked off the goal fest on 16 minutes when he took a pass down the left channel and shot across Luke Coddington for a fine finish.

Ten minutes later Liam Gordon doubled the Daggers lead after Coddington had parried a shot which looped up and dropped three yards out for a simple tap in despite two home defenders being in attendance.

The fightback began stright from the restart when Alex Purver sent in a cross-cum-shot that totally deceived Cousins who was still back-pedalling as the ball flew into the top corner.

Six minutes later the lively Roberts was tripped in the area and stepped up to take the resultant spot kick only to see Cousins save his effort, however Hudson was on hand to net the rebound and square matters.

Dagenham restored their one goal advantage on 36 minutes as Cheek outpaced St Ledger to finish with a carbon copy of his first goal.

Not to be denied however, the home side restored parity two minutes later as Purver’s cross was headed down by Odejayi for Lenighan to hook the ball home.

But still we weren’t finished and as the breathless half drew to a close the visitors were awarded a spot kick that Fejiri Okenabirhie slotted home to send the Daggers in to the halftime break one goal to the good.

St Ledger rang the changes on the resumption with Ash Palmer, John Rooney and Victor Nirennold replacing Frempah, Purver and Hudson.

There was however no let upin the pace of the game  as the Lions went in search of a fourth equaliser with Cousins doing well to tip over Odejayi’s powerful header.

Then in a frantic passage of play Roberts had a shot charged down and when Lenighan’s effort was parried by Cousins Odejayi to tried his luck only to see a defenders outstretched leg divert the ball on to the bar.

But despite their goal living a charmed life Dagenham settled the game with 23 minutes remaining when a fierce shot from Gordon  was blocked by Coddington only for the ball to balloon up and drop into the six-yard box and with two home defenders unable to clear the danger, Cheek was left to complete his hat trick.

The home side applied some considerable pressure in the closing stages without being able to force a breakthrough and were left to contemplate the fact that despite scoring three goals at home they still conceded five at the other end; a situation that is perhaps symptomatic of a crazy season.

Team:

1 Coddington

2 Frempah (Palmer 46)

14 Green

28 Lenighan

15 McFadzean

29 St Ledger

17 Purver (Rooney 46)

32 Hudson (Nirennold 46)

36 Harvey

39 Roberts

19 Odejayi

Subs:

5 Palmer

10 Rooney

13 Green

31 Haworth

42 Nirennold

 

Next Up:

3:00 pm
Pre-Season Friendly

Guiseley vs Huddersfield Town