Southport boss Andy Preece: We were the better side for first half hour against Dagenham & Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 11:30 14 February 2017

Southport manager Andy Preece (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Southport manager Andy Preece (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Sandgrounders manager believes team controlled early exchanges in defeat to Daggers

Jamie Allen of Southport celebrates scoring the opening goal against Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)Jamie Allen of Southport celebrates scoring the opening goal against Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Southport manager Andy Preece believes his side were the dominant force in the opening half an hour of their 4-1 National League loss against Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Sandgrounders took the lead at Haig Avenue in the 24th minute through a Jamie Allen penalty after Daggers defender Joe Widdowson had fouled Robbie Cundy in the box.

From there, though, it was one-way traffic as the Essex club scored three before the break, with Jordan Maguire-Drew and Fejiri Okenabirhie on target either side of a Cundy own goal.

Corey Whitely later wrapped up the win from the penalty spot in the second half, but despite the final score, Preece feels Southport were the better side early on.

Robbie Cundy of Southport is shown a red card against Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)Robbie Cundy of Southport is shown a red card against Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

“For 30 minutes, we looked like the team who were near the top of the league, we looked like the team who were confident,” he told the Southport website.

“We took the lead deservedly, but we probably should have scored one or two before that. I don’t think Dagenham went near our penalty box and we nullified them.

“For half an hour, I couldn’t have been happier, but those 10 minutes before half-time tell a big story.”

While Preece may have felt Southport controlled the opening 30 minutes, it was Daggers who controlled the final third of the first half as they scored three times in eight minutes.

But the Sangrounders manager, who was taking charge of the team for the first time, feels it was the Merseyside outfit’s slack reaction to each goal conceded that cost them.

“Their first goal has come from a mistake as Mason (Springthorpe) caught the ball outside the box, but up until then Dagenham hadn’t had a shot on goal,” he added.

“He (Maguire-Drew) has put the free-kick in the top corner, but you have to have a reaction to that.

“The next time the ball comes in the box, it’s a comedy of errors. We’re falling over each other and the ball’s hit Robbie (Cundy) on the heel and gone in the back of the net.

“Again, you have to react to that, but we concede another almost straight after.”

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