The Daggers reached the second round of the Johnstone Paint Trophy Southern Section after a dramatic twenty-eight kick penalty shoot out success at The Matchroom Stadium on Wednesday night, writes Ricky Butler.
Having been denied victory in the regulation ninety minutes by a late David Mooney equaliser, the Daggers finally made it through as goalkeeper James Shea saved O's skipper Ben Chorley's kick.
Manager John Still made four changes to the side that had lost at Hereford on Saturday. Shea was given only his second Daggers start in goal while Oluwafemi Ilesanmi replaced Damian McCrory at left back. Elsewhere Billy Bingham came in for the injured Luke Howell in midfield, with Peter Gain making his first start of the season in place of DJ Green on the left. Meanwhile Dominic Green, who had returned to the club from Peterborough on transfer deadline day, started on the bench.
The Daggers were close to grabbing an early lead when Gain saw an effort come back off the right hand post inside the opening six minutes, but Shea was the busier goalkeeper in the early stages, denying Mooney, Jonathan Tehoue and Dean Cox. He was then slightly fortunate to stay on the pitch after catching Mooney just outside the area midway through the opening period, but with the home fans baying for a red card referee Simon Hooper showed a yellow instead.
The Daggers slowly got into their stride and they finished the half on top. Phil Walsh, in again for injured captain Mark Arber at the back, headed over the top from a Gavin Tomlin free kick, while Damian Scannell was inches away from turning home a low Gain centre.
Still made changes during the interval - bringing on Richard Rose and Green for Abu Ogogo and Tomlin - and it looked to have paid off as the visitors grabbed a 64th minute lead. Scannell whipped in a dangerous cross from the right and Sam Williams arrived right on cue to prod the ball past O's keeper Lee Butcher from close range, his second goal in Daggers shirt.
Walsh was close to doubling the visitors advantage moments later following a free kick from Green, but he was unable to keep his header down and it remained 1-0.
That miss almost proved costly twelve minutes from time when a slip at the back from Scott Doe gave Tehoue a clear run on goal, but Rose did well to put the Frenchman man under pressure and he fired over the bar.
Williams was then denied a second by Butcher in the closing stages but with time running out the O's grabbed a dramatic equaliser. Substitute George Porter did well down the right and his low cross was tapped home by Mooney from close range. With no extra time in this competition the tie went straight to a penalty shoot-out and the real drama could begin.
Incredibly all twenty-two players on the pitch, including both goalkeepers, scored make it 11-11 before Walsh, who had opened proceedings, converted for a second time. Charlie Daniels and Cox then did likewise for Orient, while Rose and Oliver Lee also found the target again for the Daggers to give them an incredible 14-13 lead. Chorley was next up and had to score to keep Orient in it, but Shea guessed right to send the Daggers through to a second round meeting with Southend United next month.
"When it comes to penalties anything can happen", said Daggers manager John Still.
"When we asked for penalty takers, they all wanted to take one and the quality of the penalties from both sides was outstanding
"I was just hoping it wasn't going to go down to the managers having to take one!"
Att: 1,420 (417 Daggers)
Daggers penalty scorers in order:
1st - Phil Walsh
2nd - Richard Rose
3rd - Oliver Lee
4th - Damian Scannell
5th - Sam Williams
6th - Scott Doe
7th - Dominic Green
8th - Peter Gain
9th - Billy Bingham
10th - Oluwafemi Ilesanmi
11th - James Shea
12th - Phil Walsh
13th - Richard Rose
14th - Oliver Lee