Lewington vows to improve if given Orient opportunity

Daggers keeper to learn from mistakes if selected for FA Cup clash

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE reserve keeper Chris Lewington has vowed to learn from his mistakes if selected against Leyton Orient this weekend, following a shock football league debut on Tuesday night.

The 22-year-old was thrust into first team action just before kick-off against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium, when regular number one Tony Roberts pulled out in the warm up.

The veteran Welshman originally injured his groin against Hartlepool United on Saturday and is now a doubt for the FA Cup first round clash against neighbours Orient.

“I got told just after the warm up had finished,” said Lewington, following the 4-0 defeat.

“‘Robbo’ had a slight niggle to his groin and they didn’t want to risk him, so I got chucked in. It’s not a bad place to make your debut!

“I sat all last season watching him and he’s a great goalkeeper to learn from. He just said to go out and enjoy it and good luck.

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“There were a few little words of wisdom, we had a little chat and out I went.

“I got told 15 minutes before kick off that I was in. I didn’t expect it at all. I expected to start on the bench, like I have done so far, but I was delighted.

“There was no time for nerves when I went out there, but unfortunately it didn’t go for us.”

He added: “There was a few good saves in there today and you’ve got to take the positives out of it. But, personally, I don’t think I played as well as I could have done.

“You’ve got to look at the positives and the negatives as well and try to learn from them.”

Lewington made his Daggers debut in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Charlton Athletic in August, where his performance caught the attention of Daggers fans.

Similarly, despite the scoreline on Tuesday, the Leatherhead-born stopper made some brave saves and says he took a lot from the overall experience.

“I got a little nudge in the back and there was nothing I could do about it really,” he said, of the opening goal.

“I personally thought it was a bit of a foul, but the ref didn’t see it that way.

“It’s a learning curve though. That was my first game and that’s the only way to learn now.”