Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Bristol Rovers 3
Daggers slip to 3-0 defeat on second successive occasion
THE most disappointing aspect of Saturday’s defeat for Dagenham & Redbridge is the lack of excuses which can be offered for it.
While being wronged is never an enjoyable experience in football, there can sometimes be some solace taken if your team is on the wrong end of a match-altering refereeing decision and lose as a result.
At the weekend, Daggers were already two goals behind and in the final minutes of the game when Mark Arber was ajudged to have brought down John Akinde in the area.
“If that was a penalty then I’m French,” said an incredulous Still afterwards.
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“That’s never been a penalty, but they’re given and probably the game was won for them by that point, so that doesn’t overly concern me.”
The Daggers boss had not yet had the benefits of a television replay, which later indicated it was likely a correct decision, but his admission that it was an irrelevance put the focus on the rest of the team’s performance.
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In the opening four league games this season, the Daggers collected just four points, but would not have been flattered by another five had they taken deserved victories against Tranmere Rovers and Notts County.
After those performances the players beamed with optimism and deservedly so. There were just minor creases to iron out.
On Saturday, following Jeff Hughes’ hat-trick, left back Damien McCrory said: “It is tough to take. Especially as it’s back-to-back 3-0 defeats,
“It’s not as if we’re going out there and being outplayed, it’s just silly mistakes and very harsh goals we’re letting in.
“We just seem to drop our heads a little when it goes in and we had chances to get back into the games, but we aren’t putting away our chances.”
However, there is no immediate need for the mood to turn sour
Gavin Tomlin had two chances when the game was goalless, but swung at fresh air for the first and fired the second over the bar, after Peter Gain’s initial effort had been parried.
Ten minutes later, Hughes walked though a series of limp challenges in the area, exchanged passes with Chris Lines, and put Rovers in front.
Five minutes after that, Scott Doe and Romain Vincelot both challenged for the same header and, in resulting scramble, Lines again played in Hughes to stab past Roberts.
Potentially 2-0 up, but instead two goals behind, and all from situations within their control.
With their disproportionate budget and a squad lacking experience at this level, Daggers would have grounds for an inferiority complex, but there is no need.
“We missed a few chances, but we just need that one good result where we beat a team by three or four and then I think the confidence will come back in and we’ll be alright,” said Bas Savage.
Daggers have already shown they can compete with established sides in the division. Now they need to show the conviction to go one step further and beat them consistently.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Roberts, McCrory, Doe, Arber, Green, Scott (Savage, 66 mins), Tomlin, Ifil, Vincelot, Lewis (Nurse, 56 mins), Gain.
Subs not used: Lewington, Scannell, Currie, Montgomery, Gwillim.
Bristol Rovers: Andersen, regan, Lines, Coles, Tunnicliffe, Campbell, Hoskins (Brown, 75 mins), Akinde, Hughes, Anthony, Kuffour.
Subs not used: Green, Blizzard, Richards, Reece, Pell, Swallow.
Referee: Mr Trevor Kettle.
Attendance: 2,287, including 523 travelling supporters.