06:36PM, Saturday 07 September 2019
Shamir Fenelon. Photo by Darren Woolley
Maidenhead United 0, Dagenham & Redbridge 1
James Dobson scored the only goal from the penalty spot as Dagenham & Redbridge inflicted a third home defeat of the season on the Magpies at York Road.
The ex-Slough Town player coolly converted from 12 yards in the 48th minute, sending keeper Taye Ashby-Hammond the wrong way after Ryan Upward was judged to have handled in the area.
The Magpies came into the clash looking to build on their impressive away displays at Sutton United and Wrexham, but finding form at home has so far proved elusive for manager Alan Devonshire and they were too easily blunted by the Daggers.
Chances were at a premium in the first half but the best of them fell the visitors way, with Manny Onariase turning the ball against the foot of the post from close range from an 18th minute corner.
Earlier in the half the lively Angelo Balanta didn't quite make the most of Joe Ellul's misjudged header, toe-poking wide of the post as Taye Ashby-Hammond raced out to close him down.
United had their moments too, Josh Smile bending the ball just over the angle of post and crossbar in the 34th minute after escaping the clutches of his marker, and Shamir Fenelon sliding to touch Jake Cassidy's left-wing cross over the bar after a great, driving, run from the Maidenhead front man.
Elliot Justham was never really stretched by the Magpies in the first half and had little trouble picking up a tame effort from Cassidy just before the break after a darting run and pass from Smile.
The game swung the visitors’ way in the opening minutes of the second half when referee Declan Bourne pointed to the spot after Upward handled attempting to make a clearance.
Dobson stepped up to punish Maidenhead, wrong-footing Ashby-Hammond in the 48th minute.
The Daggers came within inches of a second after 57 minutes when Luke Croll's rising drive flicked off Joe Ellul's shoulder and struck the crossbar while Balanta had Ashby-Hammond at full stretch again in the 70th minute, whipping in a shot after skipping past a couple of challenges.
In between times Maidenhead substitute James Akintunde thought he'd levelled matters with a low shot that bounced off the inside of the post. Danny Whitehall turned the rebound goalwards only to see it strike his own player Fenelon on the line.
Peter Taylor's side saw the game out professionally in the closing stages, and might have added to their lead through chances for Balanta and Reece Grant in the 70th and 76th minutes, but on both occasions Rene Steer got back to make crucial sliding interceptions, while Ashby-Hammond was equal to another effort from Balanta in the 83rd minute, the keeper reacting well to tip the Daggers' striker's first time shot over the bar.
Maidenhead remain fourth in the table despite today's set back, with four of the top seven losing. They visit Barnet next Saturday.
Magpies boss Alan Devonshire said: "To lose it to a goal like that is disappointing. But I just thought it was a nothing game to be fair.
"I thought Aki (Akintunde) had equalised. I thought it was in the back of the net. It must have hit the post or something. But there weren't many chances in the whole game.
"Ryan felt he was pushed (in conceding the penalty). I don't know after that. But it is what it is. Taye's only had to make one or two saves. Their keeper's made a couple of saves but I just thought it was a poor game to be fair.
"I thought our midfield was poor for the first time (this season). Aki made a difference when he came on but we just lacked a bit of quality now and then. We'll just have to have another go next week. Hopefully a few boys will be back but it's just caught up with us at the moment.”
Daggers' boss Taylor added: "I think the boys showed a lot of character. We could have been feeling sorry for ourselves after Wednesday (when Dagenham conceded a 94th minute equaliser to Bromley), but we needed to be right today as well because Maidenhead have had a fantastic start. Alan (Devonshire) has produced another good team, so we knew it was going to be a tough game.
"I've got to say I'm very pleased with the way the boys played because I thought we had enough of the ball, we passed it around at times, went long at times and I thought we created enough chances.
"I had a very determined back four, or back six at times, to keep that clean sheet today. Maidenhead can produce a chance within a second, so you can never relax, but that's why they've had such a good start."
Maidenhead United (4-4-2): Ashby-Hammond 8’; Twumasi 7’, Massey 7’ Ellul 8’ Steer 8’; Davies 6’ (Akintunde 60’ 8’), Upward 6’ Smile 6’, Fenelon 6 (Mensah 75’ 6’); Whitehall 6 (Keetch 78’ 6’)’ Cassidy 7. Subs not used: Dunn, Sheckleford.
Dagenham & Redbridge (4-5-1): Justham 7’; Wright 7’, Onariase 7’, Clark 8’, Croll 7; Robinson 9’, Quigley 7’ (Grant 69’ 7), Dobson 8’, Luque 8’, Phipps 7’, Balanta 9. Subs not used: Graham, Strizovic, Wood, Eletheriou.
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