Sam Parkin rescues a point for Exeter City in draw at Dagenham
Sam Parkin rescued a point for Exeter City with a thumping header ten minutes from time in their 1-1 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge.
After an awful first half showing, in which Josh Scott capitalised on an Artur Krysiak howler to put the Daggers in front, the Grecians were much improved after the break and grabbed a deserved share of the spoils when Parkin met Matt Oakley’s cross to plant a fantastic header into the bottom corner.
The Grecians made three changes to the side that beat York last Saturday. As expected, Pat Baldwin started at right-back, which saw Scot Bennett paired with Danny Coles at centre half. Matt Grimes came into the midfield for David Wheeler, who was named among the substitutes, while Alan Gow started alongside Parkin.
After repelling Dagenham in the early stages, the Grecians went within inches of going in front when Grimes, Sercombe, Gow and parkin combined to tee up Arron Davies. He curled a great shot goalwards, but the ball crashed off the far post and went behind.
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Baldwin then played a neat one-two on the edge of the penalty box, but his volley as saved at the base of his near post by Chris Lewington.
Danny Coles was then booked for bringing down Rhys Murphy, but nothing came of the resulting free kick, but the Daggers did go in front on 20 minutes and it was an awful goal from Exeter’s point of view.
A long ball forward landed somewhere between Bennett and Krysiak, who came racing from his goal to deal with it. The City ‘keeper made a right hash of his clearance and gave it straight to Scott to hook the ball into a gaping goal from 25 yards.
Baldwin picked up a booking for tugging at the shirt of Zavon Hines before Grimes scuffed a shot into the arms of Lewington from long range.
Pretty much all of Dagenham’s attacks were coming down the Exeter right and another fine run from Hines almost led to a simple tap-in for Rhys Murphy, but he failed to make contact with the goal at his mercy.
Exeter were living on the edge and Bennett made a goal-saving block to deny Scott after more good work down the Dagenham left, this time from Murphy. The one time Exeter did threaten, Sercombe saw his shot blocked and Grimes smashed the ball high over the bar on the rebound.
Murphy broke through on the stroke of half-time, but Bennett, City’s player of the first half, again came to the rescue to block for a corner. All in all it was another poor half from the Grecians.
Tisdale had to do something and so he replaced Davies and Grimes, replacing them with Wheeler and Jimmy Keohane. But still Dagenham targeted the Exeter right and after cutting in-field, Hines was denied by Krysiak.
From the corner, Exeter were so slow to react and former West Ham man Hines waltzed along the by-line before firing over the bar.
An Exeter counter-attack ended with Keohane firing straight at Lewington before Gow saw a shot blocked. The Scot did have the ball in the net moments later, finishing from Parkin’s flick-on, but it was ruled out for a clear offside.
It was much better from City though, who looked far sharper than they had for the previous hour. That said, Murphy was denied a second by Krysiak after more dangerous wing play from Zines as Dagenham continued to threaten.
City felt they should have had a penalty when Parkin was pulled inside the box and then another spot kick moments later when a Gow shot was handballed. The voices of 400-plus City fans screaming in unison made no difference to referee Darren Sheldrake though.
However, the Grecians drew level with ten minutes remaining. Oakley delivered a superb first-time cross and Parkin planted a beautiful header into the bottom corner.
Keohane skied high from 15 yards as Exeter pressed for a winner, but despite plenty of effort, it wasn’t to be.
Dagenham & Redbridge (4-3-3): Lewington; Hoyte, Doe, Saah, Connors; Ogogo, Howell, Bingham; Hines, Murphy (Woodall 74), Scott (Elito 79). Substitutes (not used): Seabright (gk), Wilkinson, Ilesanmi, Obafemi, Saunders.
Goal: Scott 20
Exeter City (4-4-2): Krysiak; Baldwin, Bennett, Coles, Woodman; Grimes 2 (Keohane h-t), Sercombe, Oakley, Davies 2 (Wheeler h-t); Gow, Parkin. Substitutes (not used): Pym (gk), Moore-Taylor, Doherty, Dawson, Jay.
Goal: Parkin 80
Booking: Coles, Baldwin
Referee: D Sheldrake