Eliot Richards came off the bench to savage a crucial point for Exeter City, but the Grecians are still looking for a first home win since October 5 following their 2-2 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge.
Richards struck deep into stoppage time as City looked like throwing away all their hard work in an industrious first half that saw them lead through Tom Nichols.
But a failure to get the second goal and some calamitous defending saw the Daggers score twice and seemingly on course for victory before Richards struck to salvage a much needed point for Paul Tisdale’s side.
Exeter made four changes to the side that lost at York. John O’Flynn and Jimmy Keohane didn’t feature at all, while Matt Gill and Arron Davies were named on the bench. David Wheeler and Matt Grimes came into the midfield with Sam Parkin and Nichols partnered in attack.
The Grecians started brightly with Nichols feeding Parkin early on and his deep cross found Sercombe, who volleyed a great chance over the bar from ten yards.
It was a promising start from Exeter with Sercombe again trying his luck, this time from distance, but his 20-yard shot was straight at Chris Lewington in the visitors’ goal.
However, it was Dagenham that came closest on 16 minutes when the ball was worked to the left edge of the penalty box and Luke Norris curled a fine shot goalwards, but it bounced clear off the far post.
Abu Ogogo fired wide from distance with Exeter giving him far too much space and those chances led to some tension and nervousness emanating from the stands.
Luke Norris’ petulance earned him a booking from the match referee and Exeter responded with a volley from Bennett that he hooked over his shoulder and over the bar.
Danny Coles’ poor backpass almost let in Adebayo Azeez, but Krysiak was off his line quickly to clear the danger and on 35 minutes, the Grecians went in front.
Parkin did brilliantly to win possession on the right and lay the ball off to Craig Woodman/ His deep cross was headed down by Wheeler to Grimes, who scuffed a shot goalwards where Nichols flicked it into the net.
Dagenham responded with a free kick from Norris that went straight into the Exeter wall, but it was a good half for the Grecians, in which they got the first goal that they craved.
Exeter started the second half with Coles heading wide from a free kick and Parkin just failed to convert from Nichols’ excellent cross.
However, Exeter’s failure not to get the second goal cost them as Dagenham equalised on 62 minutes when Dagenham broke and Norris curled a great shot into the corner from 20 yards.
Azeez, the former Torquay loanee, then headed over the bar and on 72 minutes Dagenham were awarded a penalty when Coles held Azeez back as he tried to reach a cross. It was no problem for Medy Elito, who left Krysiak standing as he nonchalantly passed the ball into the bottom corner.
Five minutes were added on at the end, but the Grecians had been poor in the second half. However, Richards rescued a point when he connected with a cross and Lewington bundled it over his own line to rescue an unlikely point for Exeter.
Exeter City (4-3-1-2): Krysiak; Bennett, Coles, Moore-Taylor, Woodman; Wheeler (Reid 80), Sercombe Oakley; Grimes; Nichols (Richards 76), Parkin. Substitutes (not used): Hamon (gk), Butterfield, Baldwin, Davies, Gill.
Goals: Nichols 34, Richards 90
Bookings: Parkin, Coles.
Dagenham & Redbridge (4-4-2): Lewington; Hoyte, Doe, Saah, Ilesanmi; Howell (Chambers h-t), D’Ath, Ogogo, Elito; Azeez (Dickson 90), Norris (Wilkinson 90). Substitutes (not used): Seabright (gk), Bingham, Shields, Connors.
Goals: Norris 62, Elito (pen) 72
Bookings: Norris, Azeez, Ogogo, Hoyte, D’Ath
Referee: D Phillips.