Tomlin comes back to haunt Daggers with two in Boxing Day win for Southend

League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Southend United 3

Former Dagger Gavin Tomlin’s first-half double helped Southend United to a comfortable 3-0 Boxing Day win over a lacklustre Dagenham & Redbridge.

Daggers had been out of action for 11 days and may have been ring rusty, but an efficient Shrimpers performance had the cutting edge that Daggers didn’t.

It was the perfect start for Southend as with just 63 seconds on the clock Tomlin opened his account for the afternoon when he capitalised on a poor header from Luke Wilkinson on the halfway line.

Tomlin paced towards the box before seeing his shot deflect off Scott Doe and past Chris Lewington.

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Luke Howell capitalised on a poor pass from Michael Timlin on the 10-minute mark only to see his show fall wide of the target.

But with an incisive move from the Shrimpers they doubled their lead after 14 minutes and it was that man Tomlin again.

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Britt Assombalonga brought the ball down ran unchallenged down the left before a neat one-two with Marc Laird saw the Watford loanee play in Tomlin who tapped in from close range.

It was still very lacklustre from the hosts and despite the 3,555 strong crowd, they showed little cutting edge or creativity.

Southend were well worth their 2-0 lead and goalkeeper Paul Smith was rarely troubled in the opening half, with Medy Elito’s weak shot and a punch from a Saunders free-kick the only dangers.

Manager John Still made two changes at the break with Jake Caprice and Brian Woodall on for Michael Spillane and Jake Reed, but that did little and within 20 seconds of the restart Tomlin was denied his hat-trick by a fine tip over by Lewington after the striker’s dipping volley.

After the early scare Daggers looked dangerous on occasions with a fine block from Luke Prosser denying Howell a shot and a Scott Doe volley was put behind for another corner.

However the clincher came after 55 minutes when a fine strike from Kevan Hurst found the top corner.

The game was all but gone for the Daggers but Caprice chested rather than headed when unmarked and Sam Williams’ header from a great Ilesanmi ball in hit the crossbar.

Caprice spurned another glorious opportunity over the bar and a drilled effort was wide for a consolation as Daggers fell to defeat.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Ilesanmi, Doe, Wilkinson, Ogogo, Elito (Scott 69), Spillane (Caprice 46), Howell, Saunders, Reed (Woodall 46), Williams.

Substitutes not used: Seabright, Scott, Maher, Hoyte, Bingham.

Attendance: 3,555 (1,385 Southend fans)

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