Full-Time: Robins 1, Daggers 1Joe Hanks' second goal of the season cancelled out Jamie Cureton's opener on his return to Whaddon Road as both sides earned their first points in September.
The Robins were in control for long periods of the game, but the striker who scored 11 goals during his time in Gloucestershire showed his class to take the lead just before the hour. Chasing down a lobbed through ball from another former Robin, Hemmings, he outpaced Matt Taylor before poking the ball past Trevor Carson.
That had made it four goals for the season, to go alongside his four assists. Wayne Burnett included two other former Robins' in the lineup, Ashley Hemmings and Joss Labadie. The latter replaced Bocaud in the starting eleven after his sending off during Dagenham's 3-0 defeat on the south coast against Portsmouth on Tuesday.
Marquis looked excellent during the first half and forced several good saves from Mark Cousins throughout the game. Both Zack Kotwica and Jordan Wynter rattled the crossbar in the second half but it was Joe Hanks that grabbed the equaliser, curling past Cousins three minutes before time.
Mark Yates included two new faces in the match day squad, Matthew Gould received international clearance yesterday and striker Jamal Lawrence was promoted from the youth team. Both watched the game from the bench. Like Awford, Yates was forced into a change following Jason Taylor's red card and opted to rest Steve Elliott as fit-again Lee Vaughan came into thee squad whilst Paul Black made his first league start.
The first half was dominated by the home side and Milwall loanee John Marquis caused problems for the visitors from the outset as he tested Mark Cousins between the sticks with a volleyed effort. It was the start of an ongoing battle to come as Vaughan attempted to lob Cousins moments later from a tight angle.
Marquis is still searching for his first league goal in red and white and the striker was creating plenty of opportunities for himself, and forced a fine save from Cousins as his headed effort looked destined for the bottom right corner following a deflected cross.
The battle continued, first firing a powerful strike that Cousins was able to parry from danger and rounding two Dagenham men before narrowly missing the target at the near post.
But a lapse in concentration as the half draw to a close allowed the visitors their first meaningful chances on goal. Ashley Chambers' deflected shot looped up into the air and Carson did well, tracking back, to swipe the ball away from goal before preventing George Porter's strike with his legs. The Robins struggled to clear and conceded a free kick on the edge of the box but Abu Ogogo could only force a comfortable save from the Cheltenham keeper.
Marquis started the second half brightly with two attempts on goal in quick succession, but it was the visitors who got the lead just before the hour.
And who else could it have been? Jamie Cureton on his return to Whaddon Road latched onto a long through ball from Hemmings. The veteran striker outpaced Matt Taylor to stab the ball past Trevor Carson to make it one nil.
Yates' introduced Kotwica shortly after, followed by Hanks in an attempt to turn the game.
And Kotwica had the first attempt with just 12 minutes to play, found in space by Wynter the winger rattled the corss bar as the fans continued to make noise and push for an equaliser.
Three minutes from time, it was Wynter's turn to crash a shot against the bar, the rebound fell to Hanks and Cousins was helpless to stop his curled effort nestling in the bottom right corner. Hanks' second of the season earning the home side a deserved point right at the death.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (4-1-3-2): Carson (GK); Vaughan, Brown, Taylor, , Braham-Barrett; Richards; Sterling-James (Hanks '71), Wynter, Black (Kotwica '63); Harrison (Gornell '85), Marquis.
SUBS NOT USED: Gould (GK), Deamon, Haworth, Lawrence.
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE (4-3-1-2): Cousins (GK); Batt, Partridge, Saah, Green; Ogogo, Labadie, Chambers (Connors '85); Howell; Porter (Hemmings '51), Cureton (Doidge '85).
SUBS NOT USED: O'Brien (GK), Doe, Goldberg, Yusuff.
REFEREE: Mark Haywood
ATTENDANCE: 2,597 (103 Visitors)