By JOHN CHUBB
New Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon watched from the stands at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, as the hosts fought out a goalless National League draw with Torquay United.
The former Macclesfield and Ebbsfleet boss was given a warm welcome as he was introduced to the home fans prior to the kick-off, with the interim management team of Jody Brown and Terry Harris – in charge since Peter Taylor’s sacking last Sunday – staying in charge for this match.
Joe Quigley had the best chances for the Daggers, coming close to scoring in each half whilst Torquay’s Saikou Janneh came close to securing three points to his side, hitting the post as the game approached half-time then having a shot deflected onto the bar after the break.
Dagenham remain without a league win since November 16th, but the point they gained from this match took them up a place to 19th in the table.
In the National League South Chelmsford City’s greatly improved recent form continued as they beat Hemel Hempstead Town 2-1 at the Melbourne Community Stadium.
Chris Whelpdale gave City the lead 9 minutes into the second half, with a low shot that beat ex-Chelmsford goalkeeper Sam Beasant to make it 1-0.
Hemel were back in it on 72 minutes when the ex-Concord Rangers duo of Jack Midson and Sam Ashford combined to equalise, Midson laying the ball square for his colleague who made it 1-1.
But just two minutes afterwards Sam Higgins clinched victory for the Clarets and move them up to 9th spot in the table, when he put the ball home after a Whelpdale effort was deflected.
But it was not such a happy day for the other three Essex sides in the NLS.
Concord Rangers’ good recent run of six consecutive wins in all competitions came to an end at the Aspect Arena as Hampton & Richmond returned home with all three points, goals from Ryan Hill and Danilo Orsi-Dadomo either side of half-time giving them a 2-0 win.
The Beach Boys fell a couple of places to 11th in the league standings.
And it was a torrid afternoon for a currently freefalling Braintree Town side, who lost 6-0 away to Dulwich Hamlet in front of a bumper crowd of 2730 at Champion Hill.
Goals from Quade Taylor, Shamir Mullings (2) and Jeffrey Monakana (with a penalty) gave the South Londoners a 4-0 lead by the interval.
Then two late second-half goals from Danny Mills and Monakana – with his second – compounded the misery for George Borg and his team who are now down to 16th.
There was defeat on the road too for Billericay Town whose long trip to second-placed Bath City ended in a 2-1 win for the hosts.
Dejon Noel-Williams put Jamie O’Hara’s side in front in the 24th minute, but on the half hour Frankie Artus levelled for Bath.
And the hosts went on to clinch a win in stoppage time when Ross Stearn drove the ball home to leave Billericay in 17th position just two points above the drop zone, although they still have games in hand on every team around them.