Reid Strike Enough to Blunt Daggers
Torquay United claimed all three points against table topping Dagenham and Redbridge at Plainmoor on Tuesday night. Jamie Reid scored the only goal in the first half, to provide the Gulls with their first victory since the 10th September, writes SSD’s Matt Green.
Manager Kevin Nicholson had to shuffle his pack slightly. With Aman Verma missing through injury, Joe Ward came in a right-back and with Ben Gerring starting a four match ban for his dismissal on Saturday against Gateshead, Giancarlo Gallifuoco started in his place.
The visitors had an early chance through Oliver Hawkins but he stabbed his effort just wide following a corner. Scott Doe then saw his header saved by Brendan Moore a minute later before Dan Sparkes fired a right-footed effort high over the bar inside the opening five minutes. Corey Whitely then had a decent strike saved well by Moore on six minutes, the United ‘keeper pushing the ball away low to his left from a tight angle before the resulting corner went harmlessly over. On 15 minutes, Dagenham and Redbridge were reduced to ten men when captain Scott Doe was adjudged to be the last man as Sparkes ran through the centre-back pairing only to be fouled just outside the area. Torquay made their man advantage count inside ten minutes when forward Jamie Reid opened the scoring in the 23rd minute following a quick throw by Sparkes to Nathan Blissett, whose cross from the right found Reid well placed to fire into the visitors’ net from close range. Ward’s deep cross, just after the half hour, found Blissett in the middle of the box but the forward could not steer his header goalwards and the chance had gone; two minutes later Damon Lathrope tried his luck from distance. John Still’s men should have been back on level terms on 35 minutes when Josh Staunton and Oliver Hawkins saw quick-fire efforts firstly cleared off the line by Damon Lathrope and then kept out by Moore who made a great save from the follow-up.
Nicholson was forced into a change just after the break when Sparkes limped off to be replaced by Sam Chaney. Dagenham started the second half well, having a sustained period of pressure inside the opening quarter, with Hawkins’ diving header providing their best chance. Lathrope and Courtney Richards then had efforts from distance but neither could trouble Elliot Justhamin in the visitors goal. Brett Williams then replaced Reid on 72 minutes with what looked like another injury to contend with for the United medical staff. The substitute’s first involvement was to pick up his fifth booking of the season which will now lead to a one match suspension. With real clear cut chances few and far between in a very scrappy second 45 minutes, Torquay managed to keep hold of their lead but the ten men of Dagenham made them work hard with Whitely going close from distance in the 85th minute before Daggers substitute Chris Assombalonga saw his diving header go narrowly wide from close range.
Nicholson will now have to wait to find out the extent of his squad’s injury problems and take into account the missing Gerring and Williams before the next league fixture away to Chester on Saturday 8th October. Torquay then return to Plainmoor for the visit of Woking on the 15th October in the fourth qualifying round of this years FA Cup.
TUFC: Moore, Ward, Gallifuoco, McGinty, Rowe-Turner, Lathrope, Richards (capt), Young, Sparkes (Chaney 53) , Reid (Williams 72), Blissett.
Subs Not Used: Nicholson, Chamberlain.
TUFC Bookings: Williams (73).
Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Staunton, Widdowson, Howell, Robson, Doe (Capt), Raymond, Whitely, Maguire-Drew (Staunton 18), Hawkins, Okenabirhie (Assombalonga 69).
Subs Not Used: Donnellan, Cousins.
Dagenham & Redbridge Bookings: Widdowson (15).
Sent Off: Doe (15).
Attendance: 1,638 (70 away).
Referee: Mr A Coggins
MOTM: Courtney Richards (TUFC).