Daggers picked up their first ever win at Plainmoor courtesy of Medy Elito
’s second half penalty.
Wayne Burnett’s side had only won one of seven previous encounters against the goals, and though they didn’t play to their full potential they made Torquay pay for missed chances when Elito slotted home from the spot
Four changes were made from the team which lost 4-1 to Portsmouth last weekend at Victoria Road, with Ian Gayle
Ilesanmi, Ade Azeez and Billy Bingham
all coming in.
The Gulls spent much of the first period on the front foot and Brian Saah
was in the book after just four minutes for a late foul on Shaquille Coulthirst, and from that free-kick Krystian Pearce went close twice in as many seconds.
Courtney Cameron’s delivery found the defender in the box but Lewington saved the first effort with his legs, before gathering the rebound which had struck Pearce somewhat unexpectedly.
Daggers could not gain any forward momentum though and the hosts, who needed a win to keep alive their hopes of remaining in the Football League, were on top.
Lee Mansell’s free-kick curled into the side netting with many of the home fans thinking it had gone in, but it was Daggers who had the ball in the net first, though it was disallowed.
’s inswinging free-kick was directed past home goalkeeper Martin Rice by Pearce, but Howell had been adjudged to have pushed the centre half in the build-up.
Daggers were struggling and they had numerous chances to clear the ball on the half hour mark.
But the ball presented itself to Ben Harding to loop in a ball to the back post for Coulthirst, however, he directed his header straight at Lewington.
Things took a turn for the better in the second half for the visitors though, as space opened up for them on several occasions.
Elito played a lovely ball through for Luke Norris just shy of the hour mark, but he shot over the bar.
Pearce headed wide up the other end though from another Cameron free-kick, but the Daggers had a great opportunity to take the lead when Azeez’s flick on found Elito and a quick turn of pace was enough for Dale Tonge to bring him down.
And Elito picked himself up to slot home the penalty despite Rice going the right way.
Torquay’s desperation continued though as chances came and went. Danny Stevens had the best when he made the most of confusion at the back from the Daggers, but he somehow fired over.
As the Gulls went forward gaps were left at the back for Daggers to exploit, and in stoppage time Chris Dickson could have had a brace.
He broke free down the left hand side of the box only to fluff his shot across goal and then was denied well by Rice when one-on-one with the keeper.
But the Daggers had done enough to seal the win, to put the poor performance and result against Pompey firmly behind them.
Dagenham & Redbridge:
Lewington, Hoyte, Saah, Gayle, Ilesanmi, Howell, Ogogo, Bingham, Elito (D’Ath 85), Norris (Dickson 89), Azeez (Turgott 68)
Seabright, Wilkinson, Connors, Saunders.
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