Harriers cruised into the second round of the LDV Vans Trophy for the
third year in a row with a comfortable victory at Victoria Road.
Playing a near full strength side Harriers took the game to their
hosts from the start. The gap in quality and fitness was clear
and Harriers had plenty of time and space to play their flowing, passing
football to it's best, Dagenham were no match in a footballing sense
and often resorted to some quite heavy tackling to slow down the visitors.
Harriers took the lead after 19 minutes, Drewe Broughton executed a good
turn on the edge of the penalty area and found Sam Shilton who laid
the ball into the path of JJ Melligan who fired past Paul Gothard for his
third goal of the season. Shilton was a constant menace to
Dagengham in the opening period and supplied a number of good crosses
that Harriers failed to capitalise on.
Shortly before the interval Broughton had his best chance of the season
to score his first goal of the campaign, Bo Henriksen's cross from
the right found him unmarked in the centre of the penalty area and he
turned and shot but Gothard pulled off a good save to deny him. Within
a minute, however, Harriers had doubled their advantage, Gothard attempted to
clear a long through ball but kicked it against Shilton and it looped back
over his head and into the empty net.
At half time Harriers made a double substitution, Ian Foster and Dean Bennett
replacing Henriksen and Adie Smith. The two combined to put
Harriers three up, Foster crossing from the left and Bennett scoring at
the second attempt after Gothard had saved his initial shot.
The Daggers gave a better performance in the second half and almost
pulled a goal back after 53 minutes when Junior McDougald beat the
offside trap but shot into the side netting. With a three goal
cushion Harriers seemed to ease off a little to allow the home side back
into the game, but could have had a fourth goal themselves on 68 minutes
when man-of-the-match Shilton crossed to Foster but he volleyed over the
A couple of minutes later Dagenham pulled a goal back, Yohance Lewis threaded
a pass through the Harriers defence to Mark Janney who tucked a low shot inside
Stuart Brock's left-hand post. Broughton had another chance to score
soon afterwards, breaking clear of the defence and bearing down on goal but
he went down under a challenge in the penalty area and the referee waved
play on with the striker appealing in vain for a penalty.
In the closing minutes Harriers' superior fitness began to show and
they regained cointrol of the match. A deep right wing cross from
Melligan found Sean Parrish arriving unnoticed at the far post but he could
only steer his header over the bar, and with four mintes remaining
Shilton had the ball in the net again but his effort was ruled out for