MATCH REPORT: Dagenham and Redbridge 2 AFC Fylde 0

Jordan Tunnicliffe has a heading opportunity for Fylde  Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Jordan Tunnicliffe has a heading opportunity for Fylde Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
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AFC Fylde’s play-off hopes suffered a blow with this defeat by the dominant Daggers in London.

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First-half goals from Chike Kandi and Mason Bloomfield left the visitors five points outside the top-seven with seven games to play.

Dave Challinor made three changes to the side that drew with Hartlepool United last time out, giving a full debut to Jordan Flores in place of Zaine Francis-Angol, who is away on international duty with Antigua and Barbuda.

Dagenham were first to really threaten when striker Fejiri Okenabirhie, England C's midweek matchwinner with a hat-trick against Wales, broke clear and Dan Sparkes' low ball across goal was turned around the post by Simon Grand.

Another Sparkes cross caused havoc but Okenabirhie scooped his first-time effort well over the crossbar.

The hosts were enjoying the lion’s share of possession but the Coasters should have taken the lead when Okenabirhie's England team-mate James Hardy played Danny Rowe through but his strike came back off the far post.

The Daggers had a glorious chance of their own seconds later, when Bloomfield cut inside only to see his strike from eight yards stopped on the line by Luke Burke.

The visitors were starting to grow into the game and Rowe whistled a free-kick wide of the near post after half and hour.

But the hosts hit them with a sucker punch on 33 minutes, when Ben Nunn let fly from 20 yards and striker Kandi flicked the ball beyond a helpless Lynch from six yards.

Dagenham doubled their lead four minutes before the break. Sparkes whipped in yet another pinpoint cross from the left and Bloomfield got in front of his man to spin a strike into the top corner.

Grand was agonisingly close to finding an immediate reply when his free header looped over the goalkeeper but was nodded off the line by Craig Robson.

Challinor made a tactical change at the break, with Matt Blinkhorn partnering Rowe in attack, and the latter's rasping drive flew just wide.

Bloomfield's overhead kick was tipped over by Fylde keeper Jay Lynch, though the striker was flagged offside.

Bloomfield then flicked just over from Kandi's curling effort as the dazzling Daggers attacked in waves.

Kandi was causing no end of problems and powered past two challenges before squaring to Okenabirhie, who couldn’t find the target.

Fylde were getting into dangerous positions but the end product was lacking, though substitute Serhat Tasdemir brought purpose to their attack, firing two shots at Mark Cousins in the space of 30 seconds, one of which needed a save from the Daggers keeper.

Okenabirhie was desperate to add has name to the scoresheet but a strong hand from Lynch pushed his stinging effort around the post.

Hardy almost pulled one back in added time when he skipped past two challenged but fired straight at Cousins.

Dagenham: Cousins, Nunn, Pennell, Robson, Howells, Okenabirhie, Adams, Boucard, Sparkes, Kandi (Howell 86), Bloomfield; not used: Moore, Robinson, N’Gala, Cheek.

Fylde: Lynch, Burke, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Flores (Jones 63), Montrose, Bond, Hardy, Muldoon (Blinkhorn 46), Smith (Tasdemir 69), Rowe; not used: Taylor, Chettle.

Ref: C Brook