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Dag & Red
Dag & Red
Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers
Date: 04/05/2017 7:00 pm    Attendance: 2208    Venue: The Chigwell Construction Stadium

Rovers and Daggers level before second leg

Dag & Red Away

It’s level pegging in the fight for a place in this season’s National League promotion final as Forest Green and Dagenham & Redbridge couldn’t be separated in a fierce first leg at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, writes Richard Joyce.

First half goals from both sides mean they’re locked level ahead of Sunday’s second leg as FGR go in search of a second consecutive end of season trip to Wembley.

Liam Noble powered home from the penalty spot to give Rovers the advantage midway through the first half of a truthfully untidy encounter.

But Dagenham got the equaliser they needed just before the break, when Jordan Maguire-Drew burst through to smash in to level for John Still's men.

The hosts settled into the game early on and FGR were quickly under pressure. Pinball in the box saw Dagenham almost force the ball in after just three minutes, while Corey Whitely’s low turn and shot was well kept out by Sam Russell.

Rovers’ number one was busy again to prevent the experienced Paul Benson from poking in after he’d latched onto Maguire-Drew’s dinked through ball.

There had been little joy for Forest Green in their attempts to put the Daggers under pressure, although it would be them who would strike first from the penalty spot.

Omar Bugiel was upended in the penalty area, and Noble stepped up from 12 yards, sending Mark Cousins the wrong way to put some daylight between the two teams.

Christian Doidge fired wide shortly after on his return to his former club and Benson headed a difficult chance wide minutes before the home side roared back to level.

Maguire-Drew was alert in the box to get on the end of a ball that the Rovers defence had failed to clear, and the Brighton & Hove Albion loan youngster powered in to draw parity.

The opening to the second half was a scrappy affair. The first chance fell though to Fejiri Okenabirhie for the home side but he couldn’t direct his low hit on target after bringing the ball down.

Both sides struggled to create chances in a tense but yet quiet half of football, and the next opportunity didn’t fall to the hosts until the final minute of normal time, as Whitely couldn’t take advantage when he drilled wide.

Encouraging substitute appearances from Shamir Mullings, Keanu Marsh-Brown and the returning from injury Ethan Pinnock will give Mark Cooper food for thought ahead of Sunday’s second leg, which is all set up to be a cup final occasion in front of a bumper crowd at The New Lawn.

Report: Richard Joyce

Photo: Shane Healey/Pro Sports Images


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v Brimscombe & Thrupp (A)

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v Grimsby (H)

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League Two

Match Report
Pos Club P GD PT
13 Crewe 0 0 0
14 Exeter 0 0 0
15 Forest Green 0 0 0
16 Grimsby 0 0 0
17 Lincoln City 0 0 0
Last updated: Thu 21 Jun 2018 10:38 am

Vital Statistics

Date 04/05/2017 7:00 pm
Competition Vanarama National League
Home/Away Away
Full Time Result 1 - 1
Half Time Score 1 - 1
Man of the Match Emmanuel Monthe
Scorers Liam Noble
Referee Antony Coggins (Bicester)

Team Sheet

Forest Green Rovers
Dag & Red