Dagenahm & Redbridge boss John Still thrilled substitutions paid off in Chester triumph
PUBLISHED: 15:00 07 February 2017
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All three Daggers replacements played their pair in comeback against Blues
Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still was delighted his substitutions had the desired effect during his side’s thrilling 3-2 win at home to Chester in the National League.
With Daggers 2-1 midway through the second half, Still elected to bring on Jordan Maguire-Drew and Luke Howell for Luke Guttridge and Frankie Raymond respectively.
The Essex club still trailed when Paul Benson came on for Fejiri Okenabirhie in the 76th minute, but from then on, all three replacements played their part.
Howell provided some much-needed bite in midfield, while it was Benson’s header that hit the bar in the build-up to Maguire-Drew’s late winner.
It was the stuff of dreams for the Daggers manager as his substations paid off, and he praised the trio for their reaction to not starting against the Blues.
“You need people that are not in the team for whatever reason to take the opportunity when it comes along, you can’t ask for more than that,” said the 66-year-old.
“To be fair, we didn’t have any sulkers and if we did, they wouldn’t have been on the bench.
“It was the same squad that started at Tranmere Rovers and the same bench too because the people that didn’t play last week played in a friendly at Gillingham and everyone played their part against Chester.”
Despite his happiness at how his substitutions paid off, Still would no doubt have been angry at how his side allowed the Blues back into the match.
Jake Sheppard had fired Daggers ahead on the stroke of half-time, but two goals in the first 13 minutes of the second period saw Chester take the lead.
The first goal in particular would have disappointed Still as Daggers initially did not deal with a long free-kick before then failing to clear their lines, allowing Luke George to score.
Oliver Hawkins looked to be in a good position to have headed the initial set-piece away, but let it go after hearing a call, with Evan Horwood nipping in behind to cross, but Still insists his top scorer was not at fault.
“I’m not blaming Ollie, he got a call to let it go and it didn’t go out and they scored from it, so fair play to them,” added the Daggers boss.
“Chester came and had a right go, we had them watched at Dover Athletic where they got beat, but they were unluckier last week than this week.
“They should never have been beaten at Dover, they were by far the better team, so we knew how difficult it was going to be