DAGGERS TO THE HEART
Dagenham end Dover’s impressive league run
DOVER’S struggles against Dagenham & Redbridge continued at Crabble on Saturday.
Whites slumped to their eighth defeat in 12 games against the Daggers as the Essex side ended Dover’s four-game National League winning streak.
First half goals from on-loan Brighton winger Jordan Maguire-Drew and veteran Paul Benson laid the foundations for the win, their third consecutive on the road.
Ricky Miller had a penalty saved before finally reducing the deficit with eight minutes to play, but it was too little, too late to salvage anything from the game.
The defeat means Whites have still only beaten the Daggers once, the 3-1 triumph at Crabble on New Year’s Day in 2001.
The visitors opened the scoring through Maguire-Drew – and the TV replay won’t make for happy viewing for Dover goalkeeper Steve Arnold.
Arnold appeared set to gather Maguire-Drew’s 30-yard free-kick before slipping and could only look up in horror as the ball sailed over him into the back of his net.
But Arnold, who was later named Man-of-the-Match, soon redeemed himself.
He produced a stunning save to somehow keep out Chris Assombalonga’s close range effort from Maguire-Drew’s cross.
Arnold was at it again just before half-time, saving well from Corey Whitley after he was found by the impressive Maguire-Drew.
But Arnold could not prevent Daggers extending their lead from the resulting corner – taken by that man Maguire-Drew.
His cross was headed home by 37-year-old Benson, his first goal for Daggers since 2010.
Dover’s hat-trick hero from Tuesday’s win at Sutton United, Moses Emmanuel, gave the home fans hope, firing wide twice before the break.
Arnold was the first of the keepers called into action in the second half, saving well from Benson and Maguire-Drew.
Miller’s hustle and bustle threw Dover a lifeline from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after the striker was brought down by Luke Guttridge.
Miller took the kick himself, only to see it saved by Elliot Justham.
Justham kept out the initial shot before Miller, reacting first, put the rebound wide.
The Dagenham keeper denied Miller again, saving a shot from league’s top-scorer with ease.
Arnold kept his side in with a chance of getting something out of the game after saving from Benson after the striker had pounced on captain Jamie Grimes’ back pass.
And that saved proved vital after Miller gave Dover hope with his 22nd goal of the National League campaign.
Grimes headed substitute Mitch Pinnock’s long throw into the danger zone and Miller volleyed home.
There was to be no more joy for Whites as Dagenham completed the double over boss Chris Kinnear’s side following the 2-0 win at Victoria Road in September.
Dover dropped a place to sixth as a result, but are just a point out of the play-offs.
|3rd December 2016||3:00 pm||National League||2016-2017||90'|
|Crabble Athletic Ground|