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U's Grab Late Leveller

Diaz Wright scores late in latest build-up match

17 July 2018

The U's have drawn 1-1 against Dagenham & Redbridge in a hard fought friendly.

After three comfortable victories, the U's were made to work much harder against a strong Daggers side in East London.

The Daggers' goal came in the first half, when former Braintree striker Michael Cheek drilled home a free kick from a yard outside the penalty area.

The U's pushed for an equaliser after the break, but had to wait until the eighty fourth minute before Diaz Wright slotted home to make it 1-1.

The U’s started the game on the front foot, and it only took them a few minutes to create the first couple of openings.

Harry Pell put the first over the bar from outside the box, and then Courtney Senior had a closer range effort blocked.

Dillon Barnes had to make the first save of the game at the other end though, diving low to his left to push away a Luke Pennell header from a corner.

On fifteen minutes, Mikael Mandron curled just wide of the post after he was found with a smart pass from Pell.

The hosts then started to put together a few attacks of their own, and they made one count on nineteen minutes.

Barnes came out of his box to try and deal with a long ball forward, but failed to make good contact with his header.

The ball came back to him quickly and he instinctively put his hands on it, conceding a free kick a yard outside the penalty area.

Former Braintree forward Michael Cheek stepped up, and drilled his effort low into the bottom corner to open the scoring.

And it was the hosts who had the better of the remainder of the first half, with Elliot Romain at the heart of things.

He looped a header straight at Barnes, then shot wide after some good build-up play by the Daggers.

Pell did have a chance before half time, but couldn’t guide his near post header on target from a Dickenson corner.

The final effort of the half came at the other end though, with Reynolds getting on the end of his keeper’s long clearance and shooting well wide after setting himself up with a good first touch.

As they did in the first half, the U’s started the second well – Pell just failing to reach a good low cross from Senior less than a minute after the restart.

And the new U’s midfielder had a better chance on fifty minutes, heading over at the near post from another dangerous Dickenson corner.

The first U’s chances came on the hour mark, with Ollie Kensdale and Aaron Collins replacing Luke Prosser and Courtney Senior.

And Kensdale was straight into the action, heading onto the crossbar from another Dickenson corner, which came about when Mandron’s near post effort was tipped wide.

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe came into the action on sixty eight minutes, replacing Frank Nouble. His first involvement was an overhead kick that he failed to make good contact with.

On seventy three minutes, all the remaining U’s players who started the game were replaced – with Gilmartin, James, Comley, Vincent-Young, Wright, Clampin, Gondoh and Barnes coming on.

Four minutes later, one of the latest raft of substitutes, Brandon Comley, found himself in space on the edge of the box but could only shoot straight at Moore in the home goal.

The U’s got their equaliser with six minutes remaining, with sub Diaz Wright the man to pull his side level.

Aaron Barnes drove forward on the left, found Aaron Collins who in turn slipped the ball to Wright.

He took an assured touch into the box, and slipped the ball past Moore to make it 1-1.

It almost got even better for the visiting U’s, with Comley’s curled effort whipping just wide of the upright.

The final whistle went a couple of minutes after that chance, with the U’s knowing they had been in a game.

It was the toughest test so far, and as near to a competitive game as they have encountered.

The next game is on Saturday at Dartford, another tough test for the squad.

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