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Dagenham 3 Harriers 1    (FA Cup 2nd rd)

Date: 01-12-07 Venue: Glyn Hopkin Stadium att: 1493 away fans: 268
Harriers lose chance of a giant killing
The Harriers went crashing un-deservedly out of this years FA Cup after dominating their higher league opponents Dagenham & Redbridge.  Although we were in the same Nationwide Conference as them last season no doubt if we had won today the press would have called it a giant killing.  Now the possible giant killing is for Dagenham when they find out tomorrow who they could meet in the next round.

We started the game without James Constable after the clubs final chance of a reprieve for our leading scorer fell on deafened FA ears.  Mark Yates decided to go with a lone striker upfront in Justin Richards but had insurance on the bench in the shape of Matt Barnes-Homer and Iyseden Christie.

Dean Bennett came back for his final game with us until the New Year when he is expected to sign for us permanently.  Because of these two changes Yates went with the 4-5-2 formation that gained us a brilliant win at Burton a few weeks ago.

Dagenham are struggling at the higher level this season and had failed to win at home since September until today.  Paul Benson, their high scoring striker from last season has failed to do the same this but sod's law dictated that he got two of their goals today.

The first half was nearly all Harriers and in the first seconds of the game Justin Richards tried his luck but his shot from the far side of the area went across the face of Tony Roberts' goal.  Russ Penn was the next to have a crack at goal but his shot went the wrong side of the post.

The Harriers relentless pressure soon got it's rewards though when, in the thirteenth minute, Mark Creighton put us a goal up.  We had been given a free kick on the left after Penn was fouled by Jon Boardman and it was taken by Andy Ferrell.  The ball was placed perfectly for the Harriers defender, Mark Creighton, to smash home a header and give us a deserved lead.

Dagenham came back into the game for a short period but without really troubling Scott Bevan too much although a lob from Danny Foster deceived him when it bounced in front of him and then went safely over the bar.  Glenn Southam did go a bit closer in the thirtieth minute with a shot that Bevan did well to stop.

The Harriers slowly gained the upperhand again but then, against the run of play, Dagenham drew level.  Sam Sloma sent over a deep cross for Benson to bring down on his chest and then then strike a volley that had nowhere to go but the back of the net - Bevan didn't stand a chance.

Dagenham were in charge now and could have gone further ahead soon after but luckily for us an overhead shot from Foster struck Creighton before it could reach the goal and went over the bar to safety.  In the final seconds of the half Russ Penn could have put us back into the lead but his shot from twenty yards out went across the goal and out of play the wrong side of the post.
HT: 1 - 1
The second half didn't start too well for the Harriers with the Reds being camped in their own half for the opening period.  Dagenham had decided to bombard the unsure Scott Bevan with crosses and the Harriers defenders are having to work hard to keep them down to a minimum.

Yates then made his first substitution of the game by bringing off the under performing Simon Russell in exchange for Christie and the formation moved to a more attack minded 4-4-2.  Christie didn't take long getting into action.

He chased a ball to the edge of the area and then, when he tried to cross it, Jon Boardman, who was in the area, handled it.  Calls for a penalty went up but for the second game in a row the referee turned away and declined to give it but gave a free kick on the edge of the area instead.  Christie got booked for arguing, Boardman got booked for adding his two pennyworth and Ferrell sent his free kick just over the bar.

Andy Ferrell had another chance to score after that miss when he curled a shot towards the goal but again it went just out.

We had another call for another penalty in the eighty third minute when Russ Penn was bought down in the area but, this is getting tiring now, it was turned down yet again.  Is there some kind of vendetta against us?

Christie had another great chance to score minutes later when he got past Boardman and then fired in a great shot that Roberts did really well to stop from going in.  Then it all went wrong as the heavens opened and the rain came tumbling down.

You could tell how this game was going to end up when Justin Richards was penalised for having an elbow pointed into his face by Shane Huke and then Ben Strevens grabbed the second goal for the hosts.  A cross from substitute Jon Nurse was delivered into the box and there was Strevens sliding in the mud to poke it home past Bevan.

Yates again responded to this second goal by taking off defender Paul Bignot and replacing him with another striker, Matt Barnes-Homer.  It didn't work though and during injury time Paul Benson grabbed his second goal and Dagenham's third.

A poor cross from Michael Blackwood was pounced on by Glenn Southam who then set Benson free to take the ball towards Bevans goal and slot the ball past him.

It was a cruel blow for the Harriers who battled well throughout the game but again found that poor refereeing plays too big a part in deciding important games.  Dagenham will find out tomorrow who they play in the next round and the Harriers board will realise how much money they'll miss out on.

Still, there's always the Worcester Senior Cup to look forward to.
FT: 3 - 1

 Goals for Dagenham: Benson 33, 90, Strevens 85
 Goal for Harriers: Creighton 14

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Latest table and stats here  

Dagenham  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Roberts     Bevan  
Foster     Bignot  
Sloma     Blackwood  
Uddin     Hurren  
Boardman gif   Creighton  
Huke     Whitehead  
Griffiths     Russell  
Southam     Bennett  
Benson     Richards  
Strevens     Penn  
Moore     Ferrell  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Thompson     Coleman  
Nurse     Christie gif
Okuonghae     Barnes-Homer  
Green     Harkness  
Cook     Smikle  

Mr R East

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