Nationwide Conference :
Yeovil Town 3 – 3 Dagenham & Redbridge

Att: 4,458

Line up : (3-5-2)

Chris Weale

Adam Lockwood

Terry Skiverton

Tom White

Nick Crittenden

Lee Johnson

Darren Way

Olivier Brassart

Michael McIndoe

Kim Grant

Adam Stansfield

Subs used: Chris Giles (74, for Brassart), Carl Alford (83, for Grant)

1. Tony Roberts, 2. Lee Goodwin, 3. Steve West, 4. Steve Heffer 5. Mark Smith, 6. Danny Shipp, 7. Dean Hooper, 8. Paul Terry, 9. Mark Stein, 10. Junior McDougald 11. Matt Jones.
Subs used: Jason Broom (66 mins for West), Ken Charlery (75 mins for Jones), Danny Hill (46 mins for Shipp)

Scorers: McINDOE (24 mins, 1-0), West (29 mins, 1-1), STANSFIELD (30 mins, 2-1), Goodwin (49 mins, 2-2), Stein (79 mins, 2-3), GILES (85 mins, 3-3)

This report courtesy of Fe7:

Yeovil Town entertained Dagenham & Redbridge at Huish Park this afternoon in what was undoubtedly Yeovils biggest game of the season. For Yeovil this was a must win. Defeat would end any serious thought of overhauling the games in hand held by Dagenham & Redbridge, and Boston. Victory would confirm their credentials as serious Championship contenders and keep them on course for their next major challenge at home to Boston, possibly in four weeks time.

Given the importance of the game the last thing Yeovil supporters wanted to hear was that illness had forced Gary Johnson to change a successful starting line-up. Tonkin, Pluck and Thompson were all ruled out so Gary Johnson brought back Skiverton and White into a back three, and Way returned to midfield.

The game began tentatively with neither defence taking any chances. It was Dagenham who had the better of the opening minutes, for much of the time keeping Yeovil pegged back in their penalty box. However, neither side caused the keepers any undue concern.

With such a prolonged spells of cat and mouse play it came as a somewhat pleasant surprise when, in the 24th minute, Olivier Brassart found himself in the right wing position and produced an excellent cross to the back of the Dagenham penalty box. Michael MacIndoe had plenty to do, but he rose like a Scottish salmon above defender and directed a header back across goal towards the top left hand corner of the Dagenham goal. It was a supreme jump, and header, and had goal written all over it. The Yeovil crowd erupted before it hit the back of the net. Yeovil 1 Dagenham 0.

Defending a lead, as proved a week earlier, is easier said than done. Within four minutes Dagenham had drawn level. Yeovil failed to challenge on their left wing and the Dagenham cross seemed to roll past a number of Yeovil defenders and Dagenham attackers before reaching Steve West on the six yard line. Wests gentle deflection trickled in at the far post and Chris Weale could only stand and watch. Yeovil 1 Dagenham 1.

The match had exploded into the spectacle we could only imagine and a minute later Yeovil were back in front. Olivier Brassart won a free kick on their left wing, Mark Janney receiving one of many bookings as Mr Mason gave the Yeovil regulars their usual helping of questionable, inconsistent and pedantic refereeing display. Lee Johnsons free kick was cleared but Adam Stansfield controlled the ball on the edge of the box and sent in a swerving left footer that ricocheted off Roberts right hand post and into the back of the net. It was typical of Stansfields speed of reaction and crowned with an excellent finish. It was pleasing to see the Dagenham contingent at the Copse Road end applaud sportingly. Yeovil 2 Dagenham 1.

Yeovil continued to work hard and Adam Stansfield, more and more became involved in all of Yeovils good work. As the half ticked down Dagenham again asserted their authority and again camped in the Yeovil half and winning consecutive corners. Many players struggled to cope with the pitch as it began to cut up.

Half Time: Yeovil 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1.

Gary Johnsons instructions at half time must surely have been to make sure not to concede an early goal. So three minutes into the half Lee Goodwin found himself on the end of an out-swinging free kick. Chris Weale must have felt he had a chance of collecting the cross, but with numerous Dagenham bodies in front of him that proved optimistic. Goodwins header bounced off his head and rebounded into the goal off Weales right hand post. Yeovil 2 Dagenham 2.

Repeating their first half response Yeovil struck the back of the Dagenham goal four minutes later. Good work by Nick Crittenden won Yeovil a corner on the right. Lee Johnsons cross was cleared, but only to Olivier Brassart just outside the Dagenham box. His right foot shot flew inside Roberts left hand post. Yeovils celebrations were extinguished when it dawned that the referees assistant was flagging for off-side, a Yeovil player must have been interfering with play, and Brassarts goal was disallowed.

Spurred on by this adversity Yeovil enjoyed supreme dominance for the next ten minutes, Mark Stein now occupying the position of Dagenhams lone striker, on the half way line. However, Dagenham managed to soak up the Yeovil pressure and again forced themselves back into the game and began to peg Yeovil back in their own half.

Gary Johnson replaced Olivier Brassart with Chris Giles on 75 minutes but before super-sub had broken sweat it was Dagenhams old campaigner Mark Stein who broke Yeovil hearts. Weale was beaten but the Dagenham shot rebounded off the cross bar. Stein, as Stansfield had done earlier, reacted quickest and had no problem with hitting an empty net. Yeovil 2 Dagenham 3.

Although the Yeovil faithful could see their championship challenge slipping away, the boys in green were made of stronger stuff. Carl Alford replaced Kim Grant and with three strikers on the pitch forced Dagenham into their own half.

Living up to his super-sub image Chris Giles duly obliged. A superb left wing cross found him at the far post and rising above the Dagenham defence, as well as Carl Alford, planted the ball in the top right hand corner. Five minutes of normal time left who would say what was possible. Yeovil 3 Dagenham 3.

An additional five minutes of extra time was not enough for Yeovil to grab the winner they wanted. Although a number of opportunities presented themselves: Carl Alfords through ball; Alfords forty yard shot failing to hit the target; Lee Johnsons chip over the Dagenham defence; Adam Stansfields left wing cross; all failed to find their target and Dagenham weathered the Yeovil storm.

Full Time: Yeovil 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 3.

If a win today was a must then Yeovils title challenge is over, but May is a long way away.

Dagenham proved resilient today, they have recently been a tough side to beat. They showed they were able, many Dagenham players have exceptional credentials and ability. Today Dagenham took advantage of their good fortune and may, in the end, win this years title race.

Yeovil will be disappointed, but they matched Dagenham inch by inch. Although, perhaps, this was not a match Yeovil should have won, it was a game they could have won. They provided a spirited and exciting display full of self-belief. Scoring goals is now a matter of coarse, keeping clean sheets must still be on the agenda.

If Dagenham are title contenders, then Yeovil are at least their equal.