Still hopeful despite Torquay defeat

Torquay United 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 0

Lee Mansell’s first-half strike was enough to condemn Dagenham & Redbridge to their third straight league defeat – but manager John Still is hopeful the team will soon start picking up the points their performances deserve.

After matching Crewe for long periods on Saturday, before eventually succumbing to a 4-1 defeat, Daggers were narrowly beaten at Plainmoor on Tuesday night in a close game against a team pushing for promotion.

Daggers are now one point from safety, but Still feels his team are playing well enough to soon pick up the points required to climb out of the bottom two.

“We’ve been playing well,” he said.

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“I would even say we were playing well at Crewe on Saturday, until they got a freak goal and an unfortunate slip by our keeper changed the complexion of the game.

“We played as well if not better (against Torquay) and were unlucky not to get something from the game. We have played really well lately and we’ve just got to maintain that.

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“We dug in and bounced back from the Crewe result, started well and continued as we started. I am delighted with our form and with my players.”

Daggers were strong in the first half and after Cristian Montano had fired wide Jon Nurse was denied by keeper Robert Olejnik from the edge of the box.

Michael Spillane’s long-range free-kick was well held by Olejnik and defender Chris Robertson blocked Nurse’s cross, with Montano poised to pounce.

But on 39 minutes, on a rare venture forward, Torquay struck the only goal of the game.

Eunan O’Kane misplaced his free-kick, but the loose ball fell invitingly for Mansell to lash home from just inside the box.

After the break, Daggers once again looked the most likely to score.

The best chance fell to Spillane, whose perfectly executed free-kick was pushed away by Olejnik at full stretch.

But it was Torquay that made all the late running.

Danny Stevens forced a fine finger-tip save from keeper Chris Lewington and substitute Taiwo Atieno headed wide, as the east Londoners made the long-trip back from Devon empty-handied.

Daggers: Lewington, Ogogo, Arber, Doe, Ilesanmi, Abdulla, Bingham (Reed 75), Spillane, Nurse, Cunnington, Montano. Unused subs: Hogan, Rose, Wearen, DJ Green.

Attendance: 2,280 (39 away).

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