Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Harrogate Town 1: Weaver's men beaten on the road

Jordan Thewlis in action for Harrogate Town against Dagenham & Redbridge. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Jordan Thewlis in action for Harrogate Town against Dagenham & Redbridge. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Harrogate Town suffered an afternoon of frustration as they lost out 2-1 on the road at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Trailing at the break, Simon Weaver's side dominated the second half of Saturday's National League contest, but couldn't quite do enough to earn themselves a share of the spoils.

The Daggers began the day third-from-bottom of the table, while, by contrast, their visitors sat fourth, just a point shy of top spot and having won their last four league matches away from the CNG Stadium.

The hosts had suffered defeat in five out of their previous six in all competitions, however the form-book went well and truly out the window during the closing stages of the opening period as Peter Taylor's troops seized a two-goal advantage.

The only real incident of any note prior to the 37th minute came when Town striker Mark Beck met Joe Leesley's left-wing cross with a powerful far-post header that home custodian Elliott Justham did well to turn behind for a corner.

A concerted spell of Dagenham pressure then led to them taking the lead.

James Belshaw sprung to his right to impressively keep out Tomi Adeyole's header from a corner, but the Londoners kept coming.

A straight ball down the middle of the Harrogate defence was allowed to bounce and Alex McQueen nipped in to loft over the advancing Belshaw with 39 minutes on the clock.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors shortly afterwards.

Liam Kitching's attempted clearance hit McQueen who reacted quickest to gather the ball and race in on goal, firing a low shot across Belshaw and into the net via the foot of an upright.

Chasing the game, Town began the second 45 brightly, playing with far more freedom.

Kitching volleyed over the top following a Leesley corner, Josh Falkingham's diving header hit the side-netting and Leesley then whipped a strike just too high.

Weaver's men continued to press and George Thomson's header was almost sliced past his own keeper by Dagenham's giant centre-half Manny Onariase, however Justham was able to gather.

Another opportunity arrived when Leesley picked out Callum Howe at the back post from a free-kick, but the Town man could only nod tamely at the hosts' goalkeeper.

The match progressed in similar vein, and the one-way traffic eventually saw the North Yorkshiremen pull a goal back in the 83rd minute.

Leesley came in off the left and shimmied his way into the penalty area, skinning a couple of defenders before crashing a shot off the underside of the bar and in.

Town turned the screw and Muldoon was immediately thwarted by Justham from a narrow angle when one-on-one, then a Langmead header from a corner was somehow helped up and over his cross-bar by the home custodian.

Justham was to come to his side's rescue once again, pushing away a last-gasp Thomson volley before some desperate home defending saw them escape another Harrogate onslaught and hold out for victory.

The defeat was Town's first on the road in the league since their promotion to the National League and sees them drop one place to fifth in the table.