The Non-League Football Paper


- By Danny Rust

RESURGENT Dorking Wanderers racked up their third win on the bounce as they swept aside playoff chasers Dagenham & Redbridge to further boost their survival hopes.

Second-half strikes from Jason Prior and Harry Ottaway ensured Marc White’s men left the Chigwell Constructi­on Stadium with an eight-point gap to the relegation places.

“It’s a fantastic win and I think we thoroughly deserved it,” a beaming White told The NLP. “I thought we controlled the tempo but, ironically, the best chances in the first half fell to Dagenham.

“They will wish they did better with them, for sure, and those things can make a difference.

“Our shape and aggression was good. The boys are standing up at the moment and that is three clean sheets from open play in a row, which is a big deal.

“The boys deserve all the credit because I said to them that I wanted us to have a really big finish to the season. I wanted to see them win matches week in, week out, so I’m delighted.”

Inih Effiong wasted a golden opportunit­y in the early exchanges for Dagenham as he failed to profit from Dorking’s failure to clear a teasing Myles Weston free-kick and fired over the top.

The Wands responded with Jimmy Muitt’s drive being blocked by Sam Ling as they grew into the contest.

But Sydney Ibie, handed his first Dagenham start since joining from Northwood in December, continuous­ly caused Dorking’s backline problems and came close to playing a key role in Dagenham finding the opener when some impressive wing-play and ball across the face of goal, found Weston but he could only skew his effort off target.

Dorking improved after the interval and, having already seen captain James McShane’s deflected strike kept out by Josh Strizovic, the deadlock was broken – Prior pouncing on Dagenham’s failure to clear a long throw with a precise finish into the bottom corner.

The Daggers looked to get back on level terms through Mo Sagaf, who saw his shot blocked, while Matt Robinson was denied by a fine reaction stop by Dan Lincoln.

The Wands keeper then kept Effiong at bay and those saves proved to be crucial as Dorking gave themselves breathing space with 10 minutes to play when Ottaway made the points safe.

It resulted in a second straight defeat for Dagenham boss Ben Strevens, who said: “It was a game of two halves because we started off on the front foot, but we lost a little bit of that at the start of the second half.

“We opened up a little bit and we conceded both goals in the same way as it has been a regular occurrence throughout the season, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable.”

STAR MAN: Josh Taylor (Dorking) ATT: 2,223 ENTERTAINM­ENT: ★★★★★ REFEREE: Steven Copeland

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