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Dagenham and Redbridge 0 Accrington Stanley 0
7:43am Wednesday 26th March 2014 in Sport
Accrington Stanley were left to rue missed opportunities as they were held to a goalless draw away at Dagenham and Redbridge.
Peter Murphy hit the bar in the first half for the Reds while they also had two efforts cleared off the line on a frustrating night in front of goal at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium.
James Beattie made one change to his line-up with Kayode Odejayi preferred up front to Kal Naismith after an impressive cameo during the 1-1 draw against Plymouth on Saturday.
The Daggers’ Ashley Chambers fired an early warning with a shot from the edge of the area that Marcus Bettinelli had to gather at the second attempt.
Luke Norris threatened twice from distance for the hosts, smashing a free-kick into the wall and then forcing Bettinelli into a smart save with a powerful effort from 25 yards which the goalkeeper had to tip around the post.
James Gray scuttled down the right wing after Hunt's pass got him away from Oluwafemi Ilesanmi but the striker's run narrowed the angle and his shot was beaten away by Chris Lewington in the Dagenham goal.
For all of their possession, the hosts were not creating clear-cut chances and it was a testament to the diligent defending of the Reds that most of the efforts on their goal were coming from range.
Billy Bingham gave Bettinelli a routine catch and Medy Elito’s strike was gathered comfortably down low.
An insipid first half almost ended perfectly for Stanley as Adam Buxton’s venomous delivery was nodded goalwards by Murphy but he was denied a 10th goal of the season by Lewington, who tipped the midfielder’s header onto the crossbar.
The second period began with Beattie’s side almost taking the lead as a 50/50 between Gray and Lewington fell for Odejayi to smash towards goal but Ilesanmi blocked the Nigerian’s powerful effort with Elito clearing Will Hatfield’s follow-up off the line.
The Reds threatened again as Odejayi’s flick put Gray through as he squeezed between a pair of defenders but his prodded shot lacked the power to beat Lewington and the goalkeeper saved with his legs.
Still Stanley pressed and still they had chances: Gray flashed a wicked delivery across the face of goal and Buxton had a fierce drive blocked by a defender.
The hosts had been lackluster in the second period but should have made Stanley pay for their profligacy as they passed up a golden opportunity.
Sean Shields sent over a cross that his fellow substitute Chris Dickson could only head wide of the post when unmarked.
Lee Molyneux, who had been quiet by his standards in recent weeks, almost found a late winner as the clock ticked towards added time but his 20-yard shot was tipped over the bar by Lewington.
That was the final opportunity for either side as the points had to be shared. Given the chances they had, Beattie will be left scratching his head as to how his side did not come away from London with all three points.
Another clean sheet is a positive for the Reds’ boss, but he must have been wondering what might have been.
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