National League: Hartlepool United 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 0
PUBLISHED: 17:16 09 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:32 09 September 2017
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Dagenham & Redbridge saw their eight-game unbeaten start to the season come to an end in the north east as they were replaced at the top of the table.
John Still’s men succumbed to a Jonathan Franks goal, 14 minutes from time, as they tasted defeat for the first time this term and saw Dover leapfrog them into first place.
Corey Whitely and Sam Ling returned to the starting line-up in place of Ben Nunn and Joe White and Daggers won an early corner through Morgan Ferrier, who then saw a shot from a tight angle well saved by Scott Loach.
The visitors had a let-off on eight minutes when Keith Watson saw a header crash down off the crossbar and bounce the wrong side of the line, as far as Hartlepool were concerned.
But Fejiri Okenabirhie was then played through on goal at the other end and saw his shot pushed behind by Loach for a corner.
The hosts had another sight of Mark Cousins’ goal on 26 minutes when a Franks free-kick found Connor Simpson in the box, but he headed over the crossbar.
But Pools were grateful to Loach for a great save two minutes later, which denied another Okenabirhie effort.
And the Daggers winger went close again eight minutes before the interval, as he cut inside and curled over the crossbar.
Okenabirhie then teed up Jake Howells, from Ferrier’s pass, but saw his team-mate’s shot blocked.
The second half was six minutes old when Okenabirhie saw a shot deflected behind, with Roach beaten, and the Pools keeper was called upon moments later to save from Ferrier after a good passing move by the Daggers.
Boss John Still sent Charlee Adams on for Whitely just past the hour mark, with Ben Nunn replacing Luke Pennell with 19 minutes remaining.
And Daggers went close when Ferrier did well to find the run of Okenabirhie in the box, but he was denied by Watson’s great block.
Okenabirhie made way for Elliot Remain moments later as Still made his third and final change, but Pools made the breakthrough on 76 minutes when Franks was played through and lobbed Mark Cousins.
And Loach made another fine save on 79 minutes to keep out Kevin Lokko’s header and further frustrate Daggers on a disappointing day.
Still’s men will look to bounce back when they welcome Sutton United to Victoria Road on Tuesday.
Dagenham: Cousins, Pennell (Nunn 71), Ling, Robson, Robinson, Ferrier, Okenabirhie (Romain 74), Lokko, Boucaud, Whitely (Adams 64), Howells.
Unused subs: Justham, N’Gala.
Attendance: 3366 (including 82 Daggers fans).