CHEEK GOAL COMPLETES LATE TURNAROUND IN EASTBOURNE
Following draws at Bedford, Thurrock and Bowers & Pitsea, and a loss against a West Ham XI, Daggers travelled to Eastbourne’s 3G surface still in search of their first win of pre-season. The Sports, who ply their trade in the National League South, just one division below the Daggers, provided a tough fixture for John Still's team and deservedly led at the break when Yemi Odubade tapped home the opener. A turnaround in the last ten minutes won the game for the visitors however as Sam Ling levelled the scores before Michael Cheek was on hand to head in the winner.
Following on from a well-contested defeat to West Ham's Development Squad two days prior, John Still continued to give game time to most of his team at Priory Lane. Starting in goal was Mark Cousins while Robson and N'Gala formed a centre-back partnership. Liam Gordon and Sam Ling were the full-backs and, further ahead of them, were midfielders Hyde, Robinson, Howell and Wheeler, with Cheek and Romain lining up up front.
After the Daggers had a dangerous cross deflected away for a corner, Eastbourne had the first real chance of the game. A long ball found the left winger in space and he crossed for Odubade, who controlled well before laying off to McCallum, but Cousins got down well to save the resulting effort.
The hosts' looked to gain control of the match and they went close again as a long-range strike, which looked destined for the top-right corner, was tipped away well by the Daggers keeper while, at the other end, Elliot Romain almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion as his overhead kick sailed narrowly wide from Wheeler's teasing cross.
Eventually the deadlock was broken and it was Eastbourne Borough who took the lead. Yemi Odubade's fine strike was well kept out by Cousins but the striker was first to the danger, nicking the ball back off the keeper before cutting inside and converting into the empty net.
The Daggers were much improved after the break and eventually found their stride. After a Romain cross was cleared to Robinson, the midfielder chested the ball down before smashing a venomous shot towards goal which cannoned back off the bar from around 25 yards out.
Both teams were cancelling eachother out but it was Dagenham who posed the bigger threat. With not long remaining, Sam Ling whipped in a delightful cross which was headed narrowly wide. A quick-attack from Eastbourne, though, resulted in a shot creeping wide as they reminded the visitors of their attacking capibilities.
Finally the equaliser arrived with ten minutes remaining. The impressive Sam Ling was played through and he curled the ball past the onrushing Vose at his near post to make it 1-1 at Priory Lane. Dagenham kept the pressure on and with three minutes left of the game, found a winner.
A long throw-in undone the home defence, finding Bloomfield whose surging run into the box set up Cheek and the ex-Braintree man calmly tapped home to secure his side's first victory of pre-season.
Next up for John Still's men is a home friendly with League 2 Stevenage, before they wrap up pre-season at Folkestone two days later.
NEXT UP: Home v Stevenage FC, Saturday 29th July 2017 at 3pm, Pre-Season Friendly, Victoria Road