Match Report: Dagenham & Redbridge – Chesterfield 2-2
By Gergo Varga
The Spireites fought back from 2-0 down to earn a draw against the Daggers in East London to keep them in second position in the league.
The game started off with an early injury. The away side’s captain Laurence Maguire had to be stretchered off in the sixth minute with what looked like an Achilles injury. He was replaced by Calvin Miller from the bench.
Dagenham and Redbridge started off very much on the front foot. Their efforts were rewarded in the 14th minute. Angelo Balanta’s shot from outside the box found its way into the back of the net through a deflection off the Chesterfield defence.
The home side’s continued pressure on the away defence resulted in their second strike less than 10 minutes later. Following a brilliant run down the left-hand side by Myles Weston, skipper Balanta’s shot was deflected into the path of George Saunders who made it 2-0.
It took James Rowe’s side until the 40th minute to really get into the game. They were unlucky not to score before the interval as they created several good chances after some great crosses from both flanks.
Daryl McMahon’s side also suffered an injury in the first half as Elliott Johnson was replaced by Kenny Clark.
The away side took their momentum into the second half, as they were chasing a goal to get back into the game.
Their pressure paid off in the 50th minute as Grimes got a goal back by finishing off a great cross from a free kick with a towering header.
Only two minutes later, the league’s top goal scorer Tshimanga made his mark on the game. He squeezed the ball in at the near post following some lovely footwork to send the noisy away crowd into jubilation and to level the score.
It was a game of two opposing halves, as Chesterfield were clearly the dominant side after the interval.
The two sides played out a rigorous battle from the start, and it looked like a red card was waiting to happen. Eventually, Jamie Grimes of the Spireites was given his marching orders in the 84th minute but his side managed to hold on for a point. The result means that the Daggers wait since 2012 for a win against the Spireites continues.
Neither of the two teams can be really satisfied with the result. The stalemate meant that Chesterfield missed the opportunity to go top, while Dagenham & Redbridge dropped to 8th on the league table, just below the play-off positions.
However, the season is still at an early stage and there were certainly a lot of positives to take for both Daryl McMahon and James Rowe from their sides’ performances. Up next for the two teams are FA Cup clashes on home soil against Salford City and Southend United respectively.