20 February 2024

Late drama as Bromley draw 2-2 with Dagenham & Redbridge

  • Men's
Late drama as Bromley draw 2-2 with Dagenham & Redbridge

Bromley hosted an 11th placed Dagenham and Redbridge side this Tuesday night for the latest instalment of the National League, following a heart-racing 4-3 triumph over league leaders Chesterfield, courtesy of a hat-trick from Mr Reliable, Michael Cheek. The Daggers also boasted an impressive recent feat, maintaining an unbeaten streak in their last three games away from home, and gunning for revenge after the 1-0 defeat to Andy Woodman’s men earlier on in the season at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

Jake Hessenthaler kick-started the affair, but neither side had the chance to muster any significant effort on goal due to a short break in play ten minutes in, as a result of Frank Vincent’s serious injury, culminating in Ben Strevens being forced into an early change, introducing Elliot Johnson into proceedings.

The Daggers came close to taking the lead on twenty minutes, after Dion Pereira’s lay off to Ryan Hill allowed the number ten to conjure up an effort – the winger stood still on the edge of the box, before looping towards goal. His curling teaser left Grant Smith rooted to his line; the post came to the shot-stopper’s rescue, denying Hill, before Keenan Appiah-Forson’s second bite at the cherry failed to penetrate the sea of black and white.

Josh Rees found himself in behind the Bromley back-line minutes later, bearing down on goal in search of double digits for him in the league this season. He struck oil, beating Smith at his near post; the linesman’s raised flag for offside ripped the goal from the tally, cutting through the forward’s short-lived celebrations.

Intricate link-up play between Corey Whitely and Louis Dennis saw the latter produce a luscious through ball for his attacking counterpart to test Elliot Justham between the sticks – Whitely’s looping effort over the head of the visitors’ number one edged inches wide of the post.

It was Bromley that drew first blood, arguably against the run of play, after a perfectly weighted pass from young star Ben Krauhaus left Sam Ling defenceless as the ball sailed over his head, latching onto the boots of Topalloj. Ling could only watch in despair as the Bromley fullback did the rest, coolly steadying himself, before firing through the legs of Justham and into the back of the net to snatch the lead for the Ravens.

The hosts’ work for the half wasn’t done there – handling Krauhaus’ energy proved too difficult a task for The Daggers’ defence, as the number 28 slipped in Jude Arthurs down the right-hand side, allowing him to thread the needle with a pinpoint cross towards a patiently waiting Cheek in the eighteen-yard box. To the surprise of nobody in the stadium, the bagsman converted from close range, firmly carving his name into the scoresheet for the 18th time this season in the National League, and doubling Bromley’s lead.

The Daggers found themselves the recipients of the first major chance of the second half, after Sears found himself with no other option but to try his luck from range, volleying thunderously towards the bottom left-hand corner, and forcing a sturdy save from Smith.

A calamitous error from Dagenham ‘keeper Justham gifted the ball to Dennis, but the attacker couldn’t keep the ball for long, allowing the number one to breathe a huge sigh of relief. Justham redeemed himself on 62 minutes, after his exquisite fingertip save diverted substitute Olufela Olomola’s hurtling rocket over the crossbar.

Dagenham reduced the deficit 70 minutes in, after an unmarked Hill drifted down the left flank, before crossing faintly towards the back post, inviting Ling to convert a simple tap in – the number 19 didn’t need to be asked twice, netting the easiest goal he’ll score in a while for 2-1.

Hill couldn’t believe he hadn’t drawn his side level minutes later, and he wasn’t the only one – a goalmouth scramble culminated in a loose ball dropping to the danger man, whose rash effort flew high over the crossbar.

A last-ditch Dagenham attempt to rescue something from the game saw Justham join the attack for a corner – the number one could not find a way past Smith, but the extra body in the box certainly sprinkled some bewilderment into the hosts’ defence, and a goalmouth scramble inevitably led to a heartbreaking but deserved prod home by Rees for the last kick of the game, blasting cruelly through the Ravens’ three points.

That was that, a point apiece, seeing the Ravens remain in second place in the National League table, whilst the Daggers also keep their 11th place spot. Up next, we travel to Eastleigh on Saturday.

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