Dagenham and Redbridge 1-1 Woking
Vanarama National League
22nd February 2022
Woking responded to an early setback by weathering the Dagenham storm and punishing the home side late on in East London.
Alan Dowson’s Cards were shuffled from Saturday’s narrow defeat at Stockport, with captain Josh Casey and Jermaine Anderson making way for Tyreke Johnson and Solomon Nwabuokei. Daryl McMahon’s Daggers included a start for former Woking loanee Matt Robinson, and Joey Jones made the bench.
Woking started the game very brightly, with almost an immediate opening for Nicke Kabamba. A ball lofted over the top found Kabamba steaming in from the wing, but his attempted shot was blocked away by Daggers ‘keeper Justham. The Cards continued to attack the Daggers goal for the opening ten minutes, but they were faced with an uphill battle after 16 minutes.
Rohan Ince lunged in on Josh Hare, with the Daggers’ new signing coming off worse, and after a long consultation between the referee, fourth official, and linesman, Ince was given his marching orders.
Another Dagenham player was down after 30 minutes, after Matt Robinson appeared to bang his head against the pitch after attempting to win the ball from Tyreke Johnson. He was taken off the pitch with a suspected concussion, and replaced by Mo Sagaf.
Woking’s early attacking signs were a distant memory in the past as they looked to get into half time at 0-0, and Dagenham started to put pressure on Craig Ross in goal. Paul McCallum tried to get a shot off, but was closed down by two Woking defenders.
Brandon Comley took Inih Effiong down by the corner flag, but Woking failed to make anything from the resulting free kick. Hare forced Ross into a save with half time approaching, his header at the back post being pushed behind by the Woking stopper.
But after defending successive corners, Woking’s resolve was broken. Will Wright’s corner was headed back across goal by Hare, and Paul McCallum controlled the ball well, before turning and firing past Ross to give Dagenham the lead.
Half time came shortly after with the Cards in a tough position at 1-0 down and a man down.
Half-time: Dagenham and Redbridge 1 Woking 0
Dagenham started the second half on the front foot, with Josh Walker playing McCallum through on goal, but he could only drag his shot wide. McCallum was found again a few minutes later, but his header from Hare’s cross flew over the bar.
Woking were struggling to get up the pitch, almost adopting a 5-4-0 formation at times, but they were holding onto a one goal deficit. Josh Walker almost found himself in on goal, but great work from Moussa Diarra forced him to run the ball out of play.
Tom Champion was booked for a poor tackle on Comley as Woking frustrations were looking evident, but Dagenham still couldn’t create the goal to kill the game off. A good move saw the ball reach substitute Myles Weston on the edge of the box, who shot wide of the Woking goal.
Woking brought Kabamba off for Jamar Loza, who was looking to cause the full backs some problems, but it was the introduction of Max Kretzschmar for Champion which brought some excitement to the Woking fans. His return from injury was good to see, and immediately, Woking were getting up the pitch a lot more, and pressurising the Dagenham defence.
But Dagenham had probably their best chance of the half shortly after the substitutions were made. A cross from Weston evaded the Woking defence, before bouncing onto the head of McCallum, but he could only direct his header over the bar.
Inih Effiong equalises for the Cards
With eight minutes of normal time, Woking created their only chance of the second half. Kyran Lofthouse turned and found Kretzschmar, who turned past his defender inside the box before finding Effiong. His first time finish found the top corner, and Woking were level again.
Dagenham looked to respond, and there were a few nerves in the Woking end when the Daggers were awarded a free kick just outside the box after a foul by Tarryn Allarakhia. Wright’s effort curled wide of the Woking net, and allowed some respite for the Cards.
A late corner was punched away by Ross, and the whistle blew shortly after. This was a gutsy performance from the ten men, and the impact off the bench from Kretzschmar was rewarded with an equaliser. Alan Dowson will hope that his side can take some momentum from this result into the weekend, when they host Notts County at the Laithwaite.
13 Craig Ross, 2 Kyran Lofthouse, 4 Tom Champion © (Max Kretzschmar 76’), 6 Moussa Diarra, 8 Solomon Nwabuokei, 9 Inih Effiong, 11 Tyreke Johnson, 16 Louie Annesley, 17 Tarryn Allarakhia, 18 Nicke Kabamba (Jamar Loza 65’), 24 Rohan Ince
Mark Smith, Josh Casey, George Oakley
Tom Champion 62’, Tarryn Allarakhia 86’
Rohan Ince 16’
Inih Effiong 82’
Dagenham and Redbridge
Elliot Justham, Will Wright, Kenny Clark, Callum Reynolds, Josh Hare (Myles Weston, 73’), Matt Robinson (Mo Sagaf, 34’), Dean Rance, Mauro Vilhete, Brandon Comley, Josh Walker (Junior Morias, 76’), Paul McCallum
Ibby Akanbi, Joey Jones
Paul McCallum 45+3
Brandon Comley 55’, Mo Sagaf 90’
1,358 (135 Woking fans)
Man of the Match: Solomon Nwabuokei
has had to battle through fitness issues to make it back into the starting 11, but he put in a great shift, as recognised by Martin Tyler as the players were coming off the pitch.