The Non-League Football Paper - - VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE - By Dave Pow­ell

CHESTER’S bid for Na­tional League sur­vival was dealt a ham­mer blow in the cru­elest of fash­ions as two goals in the last five min­utes earned Da­gen­ham & Red­bridge the points at the Chig­well Con­struc­tion Sta­dium.

John Still’s side had taken the lead on 11 min­utes when Fe­jiri Oken­abirhie fired home from the edge of the area but the Blues hit back on 32 min­utes when Jor­dan Archer ex­pertly turned home a su­perb Gary Roberts cross.

And the Blues looked to be head­ing for three points and a sec­ond win in three af­ter Matty Wa­ters fired home a re­bound af­ter Do­minic Vose’s ef­fort, but just as they were in the same fix­ture last year, Chester were left empty handed af­ter two late goals.

Oken­abirhie fired home from in­side the box on 85 min­utes to level mat­ters be­fore a Matt Robin­son cross was headed into his own net by Andy Halls to hand Dag­gers the vic­tory and leave Chester's Na­tional League sta­tus hang­ing by a thread. “Up un­til 85 min­utes no­body would have ar­gued that we were wor­thy of the three points,” said Blues boss Mar­cus Big­not. “To come from a goal be­hind and get our­selves in front and show the char­ac­ter we did, it seemed as if the fourth goal was go­ing to come from us so to con­cede an equaliser late on was so dis­ap­point­ing. But to lose the game, you can only imag­ine the kind of dress­ing room that there is at the mo­ment. “The pos­i­tives far out­weighed the neg­a­tives but the one at the mo­ment is the score­line which was a mas­sive dis­ap­point­ment.” Like Chester, Da­gen­ham are fac­ing a fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Af­ter di­rec­tor Glyn Hop­kin de­cided to step away the Dag­gers have had to sell play­ers to raise funds. Still said: “We weren’t as fluid in the sec­ond half but the one thing we didn’t do was that we never stopped. With ev­ery­thing that is go­ing on the boys were ter­rific.”

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