Lincoln City 1 — Dagenham 1
Attendance: 2457 (57 visitors from Dagenham)
The Linc Man of the Match: Davide Somma

Jon Nurse gave the away team a deserved lead after 33 minutes after a swift counter attack, but the Daggers were pegged back in the second half when Lincoln equalised through loanee Davide Somma.

Dagenham looked the more likely to score a winning goal but could not find a way past man of the match Rob Burch as Lincoln secured an impressive point.

Chris Sutton made just one change to the eleven that started the 3-1 win over Hereford last week. Ian Pearce was unable to shake off an injury sustained in the game, so the veteran was replaced by youngster Danny Hone. He was partnered at centre half by Moses Swaibu who was passed fit on match day despite also picking up a knock against the Bulls.

Dagenham came to Sincil Bank on the back of an impressive recent defensive record — John Still’s side had conceded just one goal in their last four games. Mark Arber and Scott Doe’s partnership in the heart of the backline could take much of the credit for that.

Just 2,457 fans attended the game, a huge drop from the supporters that assembled for Friday’s match and the celebrations and commiserations that surrounded the visit of the World Cup trophy and Keith Alexander’s untimely death.

With just three minutes on the clock, Steven Lennon burst through the Dagenham defence, forcing his way past two defenders. But, with only the keeper to beat, his effort cannoned against the post. The rebound didn’t fall kindly for the onrushing Drewe Broughton, who couldn’t connect with the ball.

Lincoln were running directly at the away team’s defence — this seemed like a plan from Sutton’s side as Arber and Doe, while very strong in the air, weren’t as sure of themselves when the ball is on the ground.

Lennon soon found himself with an excellent opportunity again. Once again though, Tony Roberts’ speed kept him at bay, going in hard on Lennon and getting the ball away from danger.

Dagenham’s first opportunity came 14 minutes in when right winger Danny Green’s cross was met by Southampton loanee Yoann Folly. His flamboyant overhead kick though sailed over the bar.

After 21 minutes, Danny Green took a free kick which, via a deflection, forced Burch into a save low to his left. The ball spilled out to former Arsenal youngster Abu Ogogo but, with the goal at his mercy, he could only strike the ball straight at Burch. From the resulting throw in, the ball found its way through to Jon Nurse, but his volley, with his weaker left foot, was off target.

Five minutes later, another Green delivery gave Benson a golden opportunity to give Dagenham the lead. Swaibu was the man in the way, and Lincoln managed to clear for a corner. Green’s distribution was causing problems for the troubled Lincoln defence and, with a quality goal poacher in Paul Benson on their books, it was surely only a matter of time before the Daggers broke the deadlock.

On the half hour mark, Dagenham took a deserved lead through a fabulous counter attacking goal. Jon Nurse finished coolly after excellent build up work which carried the away team 60 yards as the trio of Nurse, Josh Scott and Paul Benson exchanged neat passes. It was Nurse’s fifth goal of the season and was a welcome goal to Dagenham who had been held to a stalemate in their last two away games.

Steven Lennon nearly gave Lincoln an equaliser soon after, but his turn and shot was easily saved by Roberts low to his left. The ex-Rangers youngster was in the thick of the action for the home team — especially when drifting in from his right flank.

Another Danny Green long throw then caused mayhem in the Lincoln area, with the expected scramble ensuing. Abu Ogogo got his foot on the ball and presented a teasing ball to the back stick which Danny Hone put into his own net. Luckily, the linesman had already flagged for a previous offside and Lincoln were off the hook.

Imps manager Chris Sutton will have been happy to hear the half time whistle after 45 minutes which saw his team outplayed by their opponents. Danny Green’s wing play was a constant threat, as were his long throws which were causing confusion in the Lincoln penalty area. When the home side did manage to threaten, Roberts seemed to be equal to their efforts — and Dagenham were always well equipped to counter attack through Nurse and Green on the wings.

Lincoln started the second half on the front foot, without making any clear cut chances in the opening exchanges.

Ten minutes into the second half, Yoann Folly’s persistence won the away side a free kick on the right hand side. It was a fantastic delivery from Green once again, and it found Mark Arber’s head with pinpoint accuracy. The unmarked Arber’s accuracy though was not as impressive, as the ball cannoned off his head and over the bar for a goal kick.

Lincoln’s hesitancy at set pieces was almost exploited when Arber headed the ball into the six yard area from another corner — Drewe Broughton slicing over his own crossbar.

Then, from nowhere Lincoln got their equaliser. Matthew Saunders deep cross from the left hand side was directed back into the danger area via a looping header from Steven Lennon. Somma found himself eight yards from goal, and directed a powerful effort to Roberts’ left. This time, the goalkeeper couldn’t do anything to prevent the goal.

But yet another Green cross was then met by a Daggers front man on 72 minutes — this time Josh Scott drifted away from his marker but could only glance the ball into the side netting.

Again, Dagenham managed to present the ball onto the head of one of their attackers. Marlon Pack this time ghosted into the Imps area unmarked. It looked certain he would score, but Rob Burch pulled off an outstanding save to deny the energetic Pack, much to the delight of the Sincil Bank faithful.

With twelve minutes to play, Paul Benson’s deft touch gave him the chance to get a shot away, albeit it at a tough angle. He opted for a nifty chip towards the far post, but the ball hovered across the goalmouth, eventually going out for a throw.

Chris Sutton turned to his bench soon after. Saunders was unavailable to continue after picking up a knock and was replaced by Paul Green. Green went to right back, with Cian Hughton moving to right wing and Steven Lennon onto the left. Dagenham also made a change just after with the impressive Jon Nurse going off and being replaced by journeyman Darren Currie.

Lincoln were given a golden opportunity to steal all three points with three minutes left on the clock. Scott Doe’s clearance was charged down by Somma who then raced towards the Daggers’ goal. Doe got back to obstruct his route but Somma beat him—unfortunately his shot was dragged wide of the left hand post.