Late Nunn winner sees Daggers down Orient
PUBLISHED: 14:57 26 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:57 26 December 2018
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Vanarama National League: Dagenham & Redbridge 2 (McQueen 77, Nunn 88) Leyton Orient 1 (Koroma 73)
A late Ben Nunn goal saw Dagenham & Redbridge secure a 2-1 win at home to Vanarama National League leaders Leyton Orient.
In an even first half, it was the two keepers on form with Daggers’ Elliot Justham and Dean Brill of the O’s both making impressive saves.
Orient then took the lead through Josh Koroma, before goals from Alex McQueen and Nunn saw the home team come from behind to win.
Daggers boss Peter Taylor made just one change for the visit from Orient, with skipper Nunn coming in at right-back Gavin Hoyte, who dropped out altogether.
Striker Shamir Mullings had been absent from the matchday squad for several weeks, but was named among the replacements.
The O’s, meanwhile, with influential skipper Jobi McAnuff unavailable owing to a toe injury.
That meant Justin Ediburgh named striker James Alabi in his only change to his starting XI, with the talismanic Koroma shifted out to the wing.
With no McAnuff in the starting line-up, midfielder Charlie Lee skippered the visitors against Daggers.
The hosts nearly took the lead in the fifth minute when Liam Gordon’s cross from the left found Conor Wilkinson in the middle of the box, some six yards out.
The on-loan Gillingham man prodded his effort at goal, but saw Brill save brilliant before Joe Widdowson cleared the danger for Orient.
That seemed to spark the O’s into life, with Koroma slamming a first-time effort from a left position, 20 yards out straight at Justham four minutes later.
An error from Daggers’ Manny Onariase nearly gifted visiting forward James Alabi the opening goal in the 18th minute, but stopper Justham was out quick to take the ball at the feet of the O’s man.
Justham was again called into action in the 30th minute, producing a brilliant reaction save low down to deny Macauley Bonne after the Orient forward was played in by James Brophy.
With four minutes left in the half, Wilkinson went close again for the hosts with an effort from the edge of the box following a swift counter-attack, but Brill got down well to save.
Two minutes later, a powerful drive from 25 yards from Lee only narrowly flashed wide of the uprights.
That proved to be the last shot on goal of the half from either side as they went in with the score goalless.
The first real effort on target in the second half came in the 55th minute, when a quickly taken free-kick resulted in Wilkinson chancing his arm from 30 yards, but Brill was well behind the effort.
At the other end three minutes later, Orient defender Marvin Ekpiteta powerfully headed at goal following a corner, buy Justham did well to keep the effort out.
The O’s continued to dominate possession, but were unable to find a way through a resolute Daggers defence.
That was until the 73rd minute when the deadlock was finally broken by Koroma who showed great composure to net from inside the box.
The winger received the ball from Craig Clay, before showing nimble footwork to create room for an effort that beat Justham at his near post.
Orient’s lead, though, lasted all of four minutes as McQueen levelled things up for the host.
McQueen first played in Angelo Balanta just inside the area, with the latter’s shot saved by Brill.
However, McQueen was quickest to react and tucked home the rebound to level the score.
That gave Daggers added impetus, with Wilkinson firing straight at Brill after a lung-busting run five minutes from time.
Three minutes later, the home team took the lead through one of the most unlikeliest of sources when skipper Nunn netted.
A cross from the left by substitute Ollie Harfield found Wilkinson, who twisted and turned, before laying the ball off to Nunn.
The skipper shot first time and saw his effort take a nick off Joe Widdowson, before flying into the net.
The visitors pushed hard for an equaliser, with a Bonne header in the final minute of normal time drawing a terrific reaction save from Justham.
Daggers saw out the remainder of the game without too much difficulty, leaving Orient to reflect on a disappointing defeat.
Dagenham (3-1-4-2): Justham; Goodliffe, Onariase, Clark; Phipps; Nunn, McQueen, Munns (Harfield 80), Gordon; Wilkinson, Balanta.
Subs: Moore (GK), Kandi, Wright, Mullings.
Orient (4-4-2): Brill; Ling, Coulson, Ekpiteta, Widdowson; Brophy, Lee (Gorman 76), Clay, Koroma; Bonne, Alabi (Harrold 62).
Subs: Sargeant (GK), Lawless, Happe.
Referee: Paul Howard.
Attendance: 3,694 (including 1,421 Orient fans).