Jordan Chesmin reports from Victoria Road as the visitors’ winning streak comes to an end.
Dagenham & Redbridge’s Corey Whitely scored the winning goal to end Aldershot’s five-game unbeaten away run in the Vanarama National League.
The home side were dominant in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Daggers penetrated the Shots’ defence effectively, with the first real chance of the game coming when Hawkins was put through on goal and shot into the bottom corner but was in an offside position.
The Daggers’ Maguire-Drew was causing mayhem down the left for right back Cheye Alexander, and quickly forced an early corner. Whitely whipped in a great cross that found defender Josh Staunton but he could only head it onto the bar.
The away side showed great tenacity as the game progressed and constantly frustrated the home side on the counter attack, but couldn’t quite find the end product in the final third.
However, signs of promise were evident in the squad, especially when new signing Idris Kanu showed great work ethic on the right side, not only doing his defensive duties but also terrorising Dagenham full-back Widdowson, with the help of Alexander.
Gary Waddock’s side had a great opportunity when Alexander burst down the right-hand side and cut into the box, beating Widdowson in the process, but his cross was far too deep to reach a team-mate.
Aldershot came out fighting in the second half, winning the ball very effectively in the middle of the park. Midfielders Bernard Mensah and Jake Gallagher were enjoying themselves on the counter with some neat one-touch passing. This led to Mensah bombing through the home side’s defence looking to find Scott Rendell, but his pass was too far for the striker to reach.
Another chance went begging for the Shots as they were again quick on the counter-attack. The ball found its way to Straker down the left-hand side, allowing him time and space to put in a superb cross which found the forehead of former Dagger Matt McClure, but his attempt was saved by Dagenham’s shot-stopper Justham.
Former Enfield Town man Whitely converted the only goal of an enthralling encounter, when Oliver Hawkins showed great strength to beat defender Will Evans in the far corner, Whitely latched on to the ball and scored with a low drive from 10 yards out, with only nine minutes to go.
The best chance for an equaliser came in the 92nd minute when Charlie Walker was through on goal, striking the ball only for Daggers keeper Justham to make a finger-tip save turning the ball onto the post and out for a corner.
The result sees Aldershot fall two places to ninth in the Vanarama League.
In the next game on Saturday, Aldershot are back at the EBB Stadium hosting Guiseley AFC. Kick-off is at 3pm.