Miserable return for Evans as Daggers hit five past Rotherham
League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 5 Rotherham United 0
Steve Evans’ return to Victoria Road for the first time in 10 years proved a miserable one and saw Dagenham & Redbridge put in one of their best performances of the season in a fine 5-0 victory.
Evans was manager of Boston United when his team denied Dagenham promotion from the then Conference in the 2002-03 season after breaking a rule over player registrations and being deducted four points in the following season.
Any further comment on the Rotherham boss would take away from the Daggers performance as they won for the first time by that scoreline since 2009 against Shrewsbury Town thanks to doubles from Luke Howell and Dwight Gayle.
It was all the home side from the off as the Victoria Road outfit took the lead with five minutes on the clock when Jake Reed pulled back for Dwight Gayle to fire home superbly.
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The Millers rarely challenged the home defence with skipper Ian Sharps wasting a decent opportunity when he headed over Michael O’Connor’s inswinging corner in the 12th minute, while loanee Lee Frecklington saw an effort well saved by Chris Lewington five minutes later.
Matt Saunders’ 25-yard free-kick trickled through the hands of goalkeeper Andy Warrington, but fortunately for the Millers keeper it landed on the roof of the net.
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The game went through a quiet spell but Dagenham were always in the ascendancy and duly added their second after 35 minutes.
Femi Ilesanmi nicked the ball off of Luke Rooney in the Daggers half and a rampaging run forward saw him square for Luke Howell on the edge of the area to net his fifth of the season.
At the interval there were reports that Evans’ side were not going to reappear for the second half after apparent foul and abusive language towards one of their players from referee Roger East.
They did make a reappearance physically, but were never at the races in a less eventful second half.
Howell blasted a great chance over after being found by Saunders’ ball in from the left and Millers keeper Andy Warrington produce a fine save to deny Gayle a second from point blank range and Spillane from another great effort.
Those chances on another day could have been crucial but on this occasion it wasn’t the case.
But with 15 minutes remaining the Daggers sealed the tie when another fine run from Ilesanmi saw him play in Howell once more and the midfielder slotted past Warrington.
The hosts laid siege on the goal and with nine minutes to go they made it four when Gayle shot was well saved by Warrington but Medy Elito fired in the rebound.
And they rounded off a memorable victory in style when Gayle bundled in the fifth in stoppage time.
The result moved the Daggers up one place to 14th in the League Two table.
Daggers: Lewington, Ilesanmi, Ogogo, Doe, Wilkinson (Bingham 87), Elito, Spillane, Howell, Saunders, Reed (Woodall 81), Gayle
Unused substitutes: Seabright, Scott, Green, Hoyte, Currie.
Attendance: 1,720 (307 away fans)