MATCH REPORT | Wealdstone 0-5 Dagenham & Redbridge
Wealdstone fell emphatically to five star Daggers, as they demonstrated why they are the league’s in-form team, running riot in the first half to further propel their playoff hopes.
Braces from Matthew Robinson and Paul McCallum, along with a goal for the energetic captain Angelo Balanta, secured a sixth win on the bounce for the Daggers as the Stones slumped to their seventh successive defeat.
Manager Stuart Maynard made two changes to the team that was beaten by Stockport County on Monday with Dennon Lewis and Riley Harbottle returning to the starting line-up, while Alex Dyer and Danny Parish were named on the bench.
Balanta drew first blood for the visitors as he pounced on a rebound from Mauro Vilhete’s saved effort to smash home past Jake Askew in the first minute of the match.
The Stones’ fortunes took another dent three minutes later as Robinson and Balanta carved through the home side’s defence, enabling Matthew Robinson to rocket his shot past Askew and double the Daggers’ lead.
Wealdstone’s defensive frailties were highlighted again in the 21st minute when Saidou Khan pulled back to Paul McCallum on the edge of the box for him to slot past Askew and treble Dagenham’s lead.
The early demolition meant that Stones’ Manager Maynard was forced to shake things up in the 31st minute, substituting Connor Smith for Dan Wishart to revamp the formation.
Despite this change, in the 36th minute, McCallum notched his brace as Joseph Jones whipped a ball in the box for the number nine to poke home from close range.
Three minutes from the stroke of halftime, Robinson nearly grabbed his second, but Joseph Olowu made a vital goal line clearance to preserve the score line.
Two minutes into added time in the first half, Khan cut inside past Danny Green and fired goal-bound, but Askew produced a superb fingertip save to deny the forward.
The introduction of Dyer and Parish meant the Stones started the second half in a promising fashion as Ashley Charles trapped a high ball brilliantly and then unleashed a powerful effort from the edge of the area, prompting the alert Elliott Justham to react with a fine save.
The home side continued to probe for a goal and came close in the 69th minute when Sonny Blu Lo-Everton played a short corner to Dyer, who played a neat one-two with Jerome Okimo, but the midfielder blazed his effort over the crossbar.
Four minutes later, Wealdstone’s number one was called upon to produce another excellent save; tipping Vilhete’s swerving effort over the crossbar when it looked set for the top corner.
Dominant Dagenham & Redbridge looked to increase their advantage further when Tom Smith struck from distance, but Askew managed to parry the substitute’s effort fifteen minutes from time.
The Daggers concluded the rout on the 90th minute mark as Robinson got in behind the Stones’ defence and slotted past Askew for his second of the afternoon, and the visitors’ fifth.
Wealdstone return to action on Tuesday evening when they entertain Bromley at The Vale, in a 7.45pm kick off.
WEALDSTONE: Askew, Harbottle, Olowu, Okimo (c), Mendy, Charles, Smith (Wishart 31), Lo-Everton, Green (Dyer 45), Lewis (Parish 45), Hughes.
Subs not used: Phillips, Gondoh.
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE: Justham, Wright, Reynolds, Johnson, Eleftheriou, Khan (Smith 71), Jones (Croll 59), Robinson, Vilhete, Balanta (c) (McQueen 79), McCallum.
Subs not used: Saunders, Wilson.
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee