Pre-season’s winning run may have come to an end in Fleet’s sternest test yet but Liam Daish’s side could take great heart from both the result and the performance against a side who were three divisions above them just three months ago.
Having named arguably his strongest available side, Daish was keen to see how his players would fare against the Dagenham & Redbridge first-team squad and though they started well, it was the visitors who drew first blood. And it was ex-Yeovil frontman Gavin Tomlin who stroked the ball home on 8 minutes.
But the Fleet weren’t rocked and Calum Willock gave the Daggers back line all sorts of problems, his energetic style unsettling the defenders and he tested the goalkeeper with a couple of efforts, also having a penalty appeal waved away. Indeed it was at the other end that a penalty was given when Derek Duncan upended Medy Elito but the same player couldn’t beat Joe Welch from the spot, the Fleet keeper diving low to get a hand to the ball.
Back came the Fleet and again Willock went close before Giannoulis Fakinos spurned a golden opportunity on half-time, flashing Michael West’s ball in wide of the post. But the same players were involved in Fleet’s equaliser on the hour mark, West again the supplier and Fakinos doing just enough to round Danny Sambridge and roll the ball home.
Fleet made a couple of changes as both sides looked for the win – Liam Enver-Marum replaced West and Ram Marwa made way for Alex Stavrinou. And Marum had a couple of efforts to warm himself for the