Dagenham & Redbridge boss delighted to take late point

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Ben Strevens was happy to take a point from their opening game of the National League season at Altrincham.

Daggers looked to be heading for defeat at Moss Lane after Chris Conn-Clarke put the hosts ahead in the 80th minute.

But Harry Phipps headed home from Josh Hare’s corner in the eighth minute of stoppage time to ensure the visitors did not return empty-handed.

And Strevens admitted to a sense of relief, telling the club website: “In the end you take the point when you go behind late in the game.

“We knew with new directives there was going to be loads of injury time.

“When you’re going into injury time 1-0 down, you’re delighted to take a point.

“I’m just glad the boys found a way because we certainly wasn’t at our best, I’ll be first to admit that, we wasn’t at our best with the ball.

“We knew Altrincham would be very possession-based, but we felt we turned it over a bit too easy at times. First day nerves or what I don’t know, we’ll look at it.”

Conditions were far from ideal given lots of rain and Strevens paid tribute to the Altrincham groundstaff for their work on the pitch.

“It was tough. Right up until kick-off, certainly the dugout area in front of us, was really wet,” he added.

“Then it was dry before we kicked off but the rain kept coming during the game. It was a factor but nothing too major.

“Probably in the injury time period when we’re getting balls in their box and getting chances, where they’re defending deep, they’re the moments, but I think the groundstaff did amazing to get it on.

“Everyone will think, it’s first day of the season, but it doesn’t matter how good the pitch is with the downpour we had for the last how many hours, I think they did really well to get the game on.”

The Daggers was also pleased at the character shown by his players and their refusal to accept defeat in the closing stages.

“The positive was talking to the boys about a game that may sum up moments across the season,” he said.

“You’re not at your best, you go behind, but you stick together you show a bit of resilience and people coming on making impacts, and you find a way of getting back into the game and getting a point.

“Els [Justham] pulled off a brilliant save when the lad went through one-on-one and tried dinking him and the rebound got put over. All the other efforts from them, Els is a good goalie and I expect him to save them.

“But even though we wasn’t at our best we had moments as well. Westy [Myles Weston] in the first half when the goalie pulled off a really good save, late doors when he pulled off a brilliant save from Reesy [Josh Rees], and when we had that header back across goal and it’s just out of Charley’s [Kendall] reach.

“To get that one would’ve been great. They had lots of possession and caused us problems and no doubt about that we caused some of our own problems as well.

“But first day of the season, I wanted to get three points and we have to take the point and get ready for next Saturday.”


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