A headed Steve Watts (left) goal just before the interval was enough for the Daggers to
take all three points in a battling encounter at Victoria Road.
With Chester seemingly more intent on kicking the Daggers' players at every
opportunity than actually putting the ball in the net, the Daggers had to work
very hard for the win. This was compounded by some exceptionally poor
officiating, especially from the female assistant referee who seemed reluctant
to make any sort of decision and allowed many fouls and handballs from the
Chester players to go unpenalised..
The Daggers started the match playing a very attacking line-up with Stein,
McDougald (right) and Watts spearheading the attack and it was the home side that
started the brighter and created a few half-chances, but the Chester defence was
very solid and prevented any clear shots on goal from materialising.
As the opening period wore on, Chester started to gain more of the play and,
had Mark Quayle been a little bit sharper, could have opened the scoring.
However, Tony Roberts pulled off a fine double save to deny him the goal in his
second match against the Daggers in as many weeks, having signed on-loan from
last Saturday's opponents, Nuneaton Borough during the previous week.
A somewhat incident-free first half saw few chances though and the next
opening came to Scott Guyett who's powerful shot clattered off the crossbar with
40 minutes gone.
Daryl Clare, last season's Conference top scorer, then latched onto a loose
ball but was able to place his shot on target.
Less than a minute later, the Daggers did make the breakthrough. A
great run down the left wing by John McGrath (left) culminated with a wonderful cross
to the far post which Steve Watts thundered home with his head.
The second half was more entertaining with Chester continuing to put the
Daggers under pressure and the Daggers also having some good chances.
Kevin McIntyre saw his corner forced clear by Roberts and Matthews
a Phill Bolland header safely over the bar.
The Daggers very nearly doubled their lead though then a lovely flick from
the impressive Steve Watts set-up Mark Stein who chipped the ball beautifully
over the advancing 'keeper. The home support were already celebrating the
goal when the ball hit the post and bounced to safety.
Then came the point which Chester must look back on as the turning point of
the match. Roberts (left) fumbled a Jon Brady cross and it fell straight to the
feet of Quayle. Amazingly, though, the striker fired wildly over with the
goal at his mercy.
In the dying moments, Roberts was again called into action to pull-off a
fantastic save from Clare.