Tuesday 17th November 2020 | 19:00
Gander Green Lane
Address: Gander Green Lane, Sutton , SM1 2EY
A reminder that this game kicks off at 7.00pm
Sutton play a second home game in the space of four days this evening when Dagenham & Redbridge make the trip to Gander Green Lane. Until last season it had always been a fruitless trip for the East London club in their present form, but the Daggers finally ended their losing run at Sutton last September, winning 2-0 thanks to two goals late in the first half, the second from former U’s midfielder James Dobson.
It’s been a slightly disappointing start to the season for Dagenham, who come in to the game in 16th place in the table, having won two of their seven games, at home to Wealdstone and last week by the only goal of the game at Boreham Wood, and for a side that added Paul McCallum and Darren McQueen to their squad during the summer a total of four goals from those seven games will have been a disappointment. McQueen is another former Sutton player who impressed for Dartford in National League South last season.
Sutton moved up to third place on Saturday with an impressive victory over King’s Lynn, and should be at full strength with Ben Wyatt likely to be available after missing Saturday’s game through injury.
Despite starting the game as though they were going to carry on where they left off against King’s Lynn on Saturday, and playing the last twenty minutes of the game against ten men, Sutton had to settle for a point as Dagenham substitute Paul McCallum showed his quality in front of goal with a fine looping header midway through the second half to earn Dagenham a point. Once they had lost defender Kenny Clark, who had marshalled Saturday’s hat trick hero Isaac Olaofe excellently, to two yellow cards Dagenham dropped in to a 4-4-1 formation and made it difficult for U’s to break them down, but substitute Callum Kealy missed a glorious stoppage time chance to give U’s a second consecutive home victory.
Starting with an unchanged line-up Sutton had an early scare when Dean Bouzanis had to tip over a looping Mitch Brundle header, but then proceeded to dominate much of the first half. David Ajiboye just failed to get on the end of a Rob Milsom cross as he dived in looking for a header, but in the 14th minute Ajiboye and Olaofe combined to free Craig Eastmond on the right, and his cross was headed firmly down and in by Omar Bugiel.
For all their pressure U’s couldn’t add the second goal as Milsom’s free kick was tipped over by Elliott Justham, who also saved from Harry Beautyman before Bugiel sent a low shot just wide on the stroke of half time.
Dagenham made a half time change, bringing on McCallum for Angelo Balanta, but could soon have been two down as Ajiboye surged through the middle after being set up by Bugiel, but drove his shot wide of the near post when he should have done better.
Having made one change Dagenham were forced in to another when Joey Jones looked to suffer a hamstring injury and was replaced by Will Wright, and U’s then made a change of their own as Bugiel, who had just been booked, was replaced by Sho-Silva . However it was the first substitute of the day, McCallum, who had the greatest impact as he sent a looping header from Sam Deering’s cross over Bouzanis and in to the corner of the net.
Before the restart U’s lost Will Randall to what also looked like a hamstring injury, but the game seemed to swing their way again as Clark, who had smothered the threat of Olaofe but who had been booked for preventing Bugiel reaching a long pass, brought down Olaofe on the edge of the penalty area and was shown a second yellow card. The resulting free kick was scrambled away at the far post.
With Deering replaced by Charlee Adams Dagenham just invited Sutton to break them down, and for all the patient passing U’s found it difficult to break down the two banks of four. Beautyman swung in a free kick from the touchline that just evaded the far post, but the chance came in the third minute of stoppage time when Ajiboye’s cross fell to Callum Kealy, who had only been on the pitch five minutes, around the penalty spot, but he snatched at the chance and sent it wide, and when Ajiboye sent the last kick of the game high and wide from twenty yards it left U’s having to settle for the draw.
Dagenham: E Justham, J Jones (sub W Wright 58), E Johnson, A Ogogo, L Croll, K Clark, S Deering (sub C Adams 74), M Brundle, S Wilson, A Balanta(sub P McCallum H-T), M Weston. Subs n/u J Strizovic, G Saunders. Booked: Brundle, Ogogo, Clark, Johnson. Sent Off: Clark (second bookable offence).
Referee: Matthew Russell