The Daggers’ gained a strong point in a 1-1 draw against 2nd place Port Vale in a game which ultimately lacked talent and a cutting edge.
There was little quality in all areas of the pitch throughout the game and it took a mistake from Vale goalkeeper Chris Neal to produce the first goal after he spilt Luke Howell’s shot into the net.
Port Vale equalised just two minutes later through Jennison Myrie-Williams leaving both sets of fans relatively frustrated with their team’s performance.
John Still made one change to the side that earned his team their first win of the season against Wycombe on Saturday. Medy Elito came in for Dwight Gayle who opened the scoring at the weekend.
It was the visitors who missed the chance to take an early lead as they hit Port Vale on the counter attack. The move was quickly followed by controversy as Sam Williams let the ball escape from him when through on goal and his sliding tackle to retrieve it saw him collide heavily with ‘keeper Chris Neal; leaving the hostile home crowd enraged by the tackle.
The Daggers’ threat became more and more short-lived as the game progressed. Despite no clear-cut chances for the home side, The Vale were enjoying the majority of the possession following the 25 minute mark but Dagenham were composed at the back and were able to keep the home crowd quiet.
It took until the 40th minute for the Vale to carve out the best chance of the half. After good work from Captain Doug Loft on the left wing, his cross eventually fell to Jennison Myrie-Williams at the back post but the midfielder couldn’t find a way past Chris Lewington as the Daggers’ stopper did enough to put the ball behind.
Lewington was again in action minutes later as he parried Ashley Vincent’s shot from distance. The ‘keeper was in fine form, and he twice denied the League’s top-goalscorer Tom Pope in first half stoppage time; the first from a header and then blocking a well hit shot.
Micky Adam’s home side begun the 2nd half in the same way they finished the 1st. Their pressure was enough to create a host of corners and numerous half chances; however both teams were struggling in the treacherous windy conditions which were beginning to enforce player errors.
In a lacklustre second half, both managers made changes to try lifting their teams in an attempt to steal all 3 points. Substitute Ben Williamson came close moments after coming on when his 25 yard shot flew just wide of Lewington’s post.
The home crowd were left stunned for all the wrong reasons on 75 minutes. Luke Howell wasn’t closed down in the Vale half and tried his luck from 25 yards which was hit straight at ‘keeper Chris Neal who made a calamity by letting the ball pass right through him and into the net to give the Daggers’ a 1-0 lead.
Much to John Still’s dislike, the Daggers were only able to hold the lead for just 2 minutes when Port Vale drew level. The ball was put into the Dagenham penalty area and while bobbling around, Myrie-Williams was able to find some space at the far post and when the ball fell to him he did well to lash to ball past Lewington to create a tense finish to the game.
Both teams went in search of a winner, but neither could muster another chance to snatch all 3 points, leaving John Still walking away from Staffordshire with a share of the spoils.
Attendance: 4,335 (37 away)
Port Vale: Neal (GK); McCombe, McDonald, Duffy (Yates, 76), Loft, Myrie-Williams, Morsy, Burge (Shuker, 60), Dodds (Williamson, 66), Vincent, Pope
Subs not used: Johnson, Owen, Taylor, Lloyd
Goalscorer: Myrie-Williams (75)
Daggers: Lewington (GK); Ogogo (c), Wilkinson, Doe, Ilesanmi; Elito, Spillane, Howell, Bingham (Gayle, 77); Williams, Scott (Da Green, 63)
Subs not used: Seabright, Hoyte, Saunders, Reed, Woodall
Goalscorer: Howell (72)