FC Halifax Town put the Daggers to the sword as they beat Dagenham & Redbridge 1-0 at The Shay to continue their one hundred percent record. A single goal from Liam McAlinden was enough to give the Shaymen the three points.
On his first start, McAlinden’s 16th minute strike was enough to ensure Town stay top of the Vanarama National League.
A quick start to the game almost gave Dagenham the lead in the first minute. A poor pass from Matty Brown gifted the visitor’s possession and, despite a dangerous cross, Joe Quigley failed to head home.
Dagenham continued to look dangerous as they won the first corner of the match. It was taken by James Dobson and punched clear by Johnson. Dagenham won another corner, but Johnson was able to catch and hold this time.
Just past the 15-minute mark Halifax took the lead. A good run from Cameron King got him past a few defenders. Curling a shot with the outside of his foot, Dagenham goalkeeper Elliott Justham managed to parry it, but Liam McAlinden was on hand to smash it home for a goal on his first start.
Town started to look more threatening as time went on. The ball fell to Jamie Allen whose shot deflected wide for a corner.
Later, a good flick-on by Clarke from a throw-in was going straight for Sho-Silva but his acrobatic effort only conceded the Shaymen a free kick.
King and Allen then put together a clever string of passes as they worked their way into the box to win a corner. Allen swung it in and was met in the middle by Matty Brown, but he couldn’t keep his header down as it remained 1-0.
The Shaymen continued to put pressure on the Dagenham defence. A poor back-pass from Bagasan Graham put Sho-Silva through on goal and after recovering from a slight slip he played it back to King. A low shot was stopped by the feet of Justham and Dagenham escaped again.
The visitors worked the ball to Dobson who curled a shot towards goal. It sailed narrowly over the bar as Johnson dived at full stretch. Coming forward again moments later, another curling shot was parried wide for a corner that Town cleared easily.
In the final attack of the half, Allen once again linked up with Sho-Silva. A quick one-two put the winger through on goal. Being forced wide, he could only put his shot behind at a tight angle.
After a slow start to the second half, King’s deflected pass gave Town the first corner of the second half. The cross was poor, and it went out for a Dagenham throw.
Just past the hour and Dagenham should have equalised. A ball across the six-yard-box was missed by Clarke and Quigley failed to tap in from two yards.
The Shaymen continued to attack, however, as King strode forward. Put under pressure on the edge of the box, the ball fell to Maher. His low shot took a deflection but Justham got down well to save.
Binnom-Williams later got up well to block a cross but failed to control it as Dagenham won a corner. Wright put in a low ball, easily cleared by King. It fell to Wright who whipped it back in towards the back post. Again, the chance went begging as the attacker who won the header was offside.
Town nearly doubled their lead when Duckworth found Allen down the line as he ran in behind. A dangerous ball across the box narrowly evaded Sho-Silva. It fell to Jeff King who found Liam Nolan. The substitute fired a shot with the outside of his boot, but it was always curling wide.
In the dying minutes, Dagenham won a free-kick 20 yards from goal, but McQueen could only hit the wall.
The result sees the Shaymen stay top of the league, with a perfect record and seven different goal scorers.
The Shaymen (4-2-3-1):
 Sam Johnson;  Michael Duckworth,  Nathan Clarke,  Matty Brown ©,  Jerome Binnom-Williams;  Josh Staunton,  Niall Maher;  Jamie Allen,  Cameron King,  Liam McAlinden;  Tobi Sho-Silva
 Will Appleyard,  Jeff King (McAlinden, 61),  Jack Earing (C King, 70),  Liam Nolan (Maher, 68),  Sanmi Odelusi
Dagenham & Redbridge (4-4-2):
 Elliott Justham;  Andrew Eletheriou,  Kenny Clark ©,  Luke Croll,  Bagasan Graham;  James Dobson,  Mitch Brundle,  Matt Robinson,  Joan Luque;  Angelo Balanta,  Joe Quigley
 Reece Grant (Dobson, 61),  Harry Phipps,  Will Wood,  Alex McQueen (Eletheriou, 68),  Will Wright (Luque, 61)
Referee: Rebecca Welch
Assistants: Ben Wyatt and Elliott Heward
Fourth Official: Christopher Keightley
Goals: Liam McAlinden (16)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 1895 (74 away)
FC Halifax Town 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 0
Town to travel to the Racecourse Ground to take on Wrexham on Tuesday evening (19.45 kick-off) as the Shaymen look to make it four wins on the bounce.
Read more posts by Luke Davis