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Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 2 October, 2021 at 3pm


A 94th minute goal secured a wonderful win for Altrincham against the league leaders.

Dagenham started well but Altrincham took a 10th minute lead when Dan Mooney fed Joel Senior who advanced up the wing and his cross from the right was diverted into the net by defender Reynolds at the near post as Dinanga closed in behind him.

However, The Daggers levelled after 35 minutes when Walker, for once, got the better of Hannigan on the right and Vilhete scored a simple goal. Almost immediately David Fitzpatrick had to go off injured, the second time he has started but not finished the first-half of a game this season. Shaun Densmore came on for his first appearance of the season, at right back, with Senior moving to the left.

Then Dagenham took the lead as Robinson converted a cross from the lively Weston. His initial header at the back post was blocked but he hooked the loose ball into the net (41 mins). So half-time arrived with the hosts deservedly leading 2-1, despite a decent performance from Altrincham.

In the second half, Alty grew into the game after an early threat from the hosts. As the hour-mark approached, Hancock replaced Kosylo (57 mins) as Alty now began to enjoy much the better of the second half. However, a fine shot from Colclough came back off the crossbar (61 mins) before Leitch-Smith replaced Dinanga after 72 minutes as Alty went for an equaliser.

They almost got it but hit the woodwork for a second time when Mooney's well struck shot hit the post with Justham beaten (78 mins). Finally, and deservedly, Altrincham drew level in the 87th minute when substitute Josh Hancock scored a fine goal from a Senior feed (87 mins).

With almost the final kick of the game Dan Mooney scored after substitute Leitch-Smith got free on the right and fed Colclough, who was clattered as he entered the box but the ball ran free for Mooney to sweep the ball into the net to stun the Daggers (90+4 mins).


REFEREE: Mr Scott Tallis
ATTENDANCE: 1,360 (70 in away section)

Altrincham made two changes, one of which was enforced. Left-back Joe Bunney had picked up an injury on Tuesday against King's Lynn Town, so his replacement in that game, David Fitzpatrick, started here. The other change saw last Tuesday's Man of the Match, Ben Pringle, replaced by Dean Furman who was making his first start for the club after two appearances from the bench.

Shaun Densmore made a welcome return on the bench for the first time this season.


DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE (Red & blue) 1. Elliot Justham, 20. Will Wright (c), 2. Callum Reynolds, 3. Elliott Johnson, 11. Myles Weston, 8. Mo Sagaf, 26. Joey Jones, 12. Matt Robinson, 20. Mauro Vilhete, 7. Josh Walker, 9. Paul McCallum. Subs: 19. Sam Ling, 25. Scott Wilson, 6. Kenny Clark, 14. George Saunders, 18. Ryley Scott

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow shirts and socks, blue shorts): 1. Tony THOMPSON, 24. Joel SENIOR, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 19. David FITZPATRICK, 28. Dean FURMAN, 6. Jake MOULT (c), 7. Dan MOONEY, 11. Ryan COLCLOUGH, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 9. Marcus DINANGA. Subs: 2. Shaun DENSMORE, 23. Tom PEERS, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 17. Ben PRINGLE, 27. A-Jay LEITCH-SMITH


The game started with Dagenham & Redbridge atop the National League and Altrincham eighth, albeit with two games in hand in which to try and reduce a seven-point gap.

Last season's game at Victoria Road, which took place in December 2020, ended in a 1-0 win for Altrincham, thanks to a Jake Moult goal. Before that match it had been 13 years since Altrincham had last played at Dagenham.

In the intervening period The Daggers had been as high as two rungs up the footballing ladder in League One (briefly) whilst Alty had been as low as two rungs lower down the Pyramid (equally briefly) in the Northern Premier League.

This fixture had been the only away Altrincham game last season to which spectators had been admitted, albeit only 773 home fanswere permitted to attend. This time around there was away representation in a much more sizeable turnout, despite bad weather in London.


The game started in steady rain and the hosts made the early running with left-back Fitzpatrick, in particular, facing an early workout from the Daggers.

In the early stages Mr Tallis was giving freekicks which seemed to bewilder both sides. Then, against the early run of play, Altrincham scored. A trademark advance up the right by Senior led to his low cross which was turned into the net by defender Reynolds at the near post as Dinanga closed in to try and convert the chance (10 mins).

Shortly afterwards, a good move involving Kosylo, Furman and Dinanga ended with the striker's shot, which just cleared the bar (12 mins). Soon, another Senior cross came Reynolds's way but, this time, he emphatically cleared it over the stand and out of the ground (17 mins). Moments later a Colclough effort fizzed narrowly wide of the post (18 mins).

At the other end, Hannigan and Moult collided as the former headed the ball half-clear but it ran to Weston, whose cross was headed against the upright by Robinson (21 mins).

Mr Tallis's eccentric decision-making continued as Vilhete was fouled for an offence which was unclear. Dagenham now got the upper hand and won two corners as the game approached the half-hour mark. The first arose after a Hannigan foul led to Wright's freekick forcing a decent save from Thompson, as he pushed the ball round his right upright (27 mins). Though Wright then took a poor corner, the ball reached Vilhete whose cross earned the second flag kick (28 mins).

As the half-hour passed McCallum headed wide, with Altrincham largely on the back foot at this stage. The Daggers' pressure finally told when Walker got the better of Hannigan and his cross laid on a straightforward goal for Vilhete, the former Barnet player (35 mins).

On his debut on the opening day of the seaspn, Alty's Fitzpatrick had to go off injured after little more than half an hour. And the left-back suffered the same fate again today as the curse of the Alty full-backs continued with five of them either being out of action long-term or suffering injuries during this season. To replace him, Shaun Densmore made a welcome first appearance of the season but his installation at right-back meant that Senior had to move across to the left (37 mins).

It was not long before Dagenham struck again, scoring a second goal in the 41st minute as a deep cross located Robinson at the back post. His header hit a defender but he hooked the loose ball home. The goal followed a Weston advance which had been half-checked.

With memories of the Daggers' comeback in midweek, when they had turned a 1-0 deficit into a 5-1 win against Solihull, Alty were anxious to get to the break with no further damage done.

They did so and they managed to get forward themselves in added time but Dinanga saw his shot blocked (45+1 mins) and the interval duly arrived.


Dagenham started the second half with an early corner as the rain continued to fall (49 mins). Following this, it took a Mullarkey clearance off the line to keep the score as it was when a Wright incursion led to Thompson blocking a shot on goal (50 mins).

Then Alty got to the other end when Kosylo's clever back-heel got Senior forward and he went down in the box but there was no penalty and few complaints from Alty (52 mins). The visitors were now beginning to get a hold of the second half as Mooney fired narrowly wide of the far post (53 mins).

But there was a still a threat at the other end as the menacing Weston forced a parry, then a catch, from Thompson (55 mins). Open-play continued with Moult being the next to try his luck but his shot was blocked. At this point Kosylo gave way to Hancock (57 mins).

Alty were now beginning to get the upper hand with the experienced Furman quietly authoritative in midfield. Just after the hour, the South African midfielder's feed to Colcolugh prompted the former Scunthorpe man to unleash a fine long-range shot, which beat the keeper but came back off the crossbar (61 mins).

Mr Tallis's refereeing again caused raised eyebrows as Mooney and Dinanga both seemed to be fouled with impunity for the offenders (68 mins).

Dagenham were now not providing anything like the attacking threat that they had exhibited in the latter part of the first half.

Next, a Dinanga effort had to be saved by Justham as the rain continued to pour down (70 mins). Each side soon made a change, as Balanta returned from injury to replace Jones for the hosts and Altrincham brought on Leitch-Smith for Dinanga up front (72 mins)

Altrincham continued on top and, next, they won a corner from a Densmore cross as Leitch-Smith forced a defender to put a header out of play (75 mins).

Dagenham responded with Walker forcing a good save from Thompson but the Dagemham man was given offside. Altrincham's luck seemed to be out as they now hit the woodwork for the second time in the half with Mooney's curling shot striking the back post (78 mins).

For the Robins, Hannigan and Mullarkey were again defending impressively to protect Thompson from having to much in the second half. When Mr Tallis failed to see yet another foul, Colclough talked his way into the book (84 mins). At this point Ling replaced Walker for the Daggers (84 mins).

But time was ticking away when Alty deservedly equalised. Senior got forward on the left and fed Hancock, who made space before curling a shot into the net from 18 yards or so. It was a superb goal, his second late strike in successive matches (87 mins).

Three added minutes were decreed and the hosts won a corner in the first of those. McCallum headed this over the bar but a deflection earned his side another corner (90+2 mins). Balanta then headed over the bar as the hosts looked the more likely to snatch a late winner.

But then, in the fourth added minute, Leitch-Smith found space to the right of the box and he fed Colclough in the "D" to his left. As Colclough latched onto the ball he was brought down but, before penalty appeals could be made, the ball broke to the incoming Mooney who swept the ball into the net to stun the league leaders (90+4 mins).

So Altrincham had secured a third successive win in the most dramatic of circumstances. Their second-half performance, in particular, had certainly deserved at least a point and, as a part-time side against full-time opposition, they arguably earned the good fortune of such a late winner.