The Daggers and the Saddlers will go again in the FA Cup With Budweiser 2nd round following a 1-1 draw at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium.
Despite not getting the win and a guaranteed place in the 3rd round, few home fans will have left the ground disappointed. In truth it was a vastly improved performance from John Still's men and Jon Nurse's stunning late equaliser was the least they deserved.
Adam Cunnington & Cristian Montano were unable to play in the cup so they sat out allowing Josh Scott & Damian Scannell to come in to the side. Two other changed were forced as well, Chris Lewington was ill meaning James Shea was in between the sticks and a knock on the ankle forced Damien McCrory out meaning Femi switched to left back with Richard Rose coming into the side.
The changes seemed to have the desired effect as the Daggers took the game to their higher ranked visitors early on, Brian Woodall heading straight at Jimmy Walker in the best chance of the early stages. Woodall & Scott were combining well as were Ogogo & Gain and in the middle as the Daggers looked a well deserved opening goal.
The best chance came after half an hour and it was that man Woodall again who threatened, the ball broke to him in the box and he struck it well but Walker got down well at his near post to deny him his 3rd FA Cup goal for the club. The goal just wouldn't come for the home side and they were indebted to Shea at the break, Macken played a delightful ball through to Nicholls who forced Shea into a fine save on the stroke of half time.
The 2nd half was a much more even affair with the League One side providing the test many expected them to, they came closest to breaking the deadlock when Manny Smith rose well to head a corner goalwards, luckily for the home side Richard Rose was there to deny the defender. But with fifteen minutes to go Walsall did take the lead.
Substitute George Bowerman almost broke through but captain for the day Scott Doe was there to deny the frontman, but the ball was only partially cleared and Claude Gnapka rose well to power a header past the exposed Shea. It looked like the Daggers would not get the result they deserved but Jon Nurse once again stepped forward to salvage a result, and salvage it in style/
With just under ten minutes to play Shea rolled the ball out to Femi who knocked it down the line to Nurse, with Beevers on his back he turned him and motored towards the box. Twenty five yards out and still pretty wide there looked to be little danger but Nurse had other ideas and opened his body up to curl a beauty past Walker and into the far corner. Walsh & Tomlin were thrown on as Still looked for a winner but it didn't come, the only notable action in the last minutes was when Ryan Jarvis elbowed Spillane and was rightly dismissed.
A home tie with Millwall is up for grabs when the two teams meet on Tuesday the 13th of December at the Banks's Stadium.
Vicarage Field Man Of The Match - Peter Gain
To hear from assistant manager Terry Harris after the match click here
To read the match as it happened click here.