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Match Report


Posted Sun 18 Oct 09 at 15:30 PM

Daggers continue their run

An Incident packed afternoon at Victoria Road ended with an excellent, hard-fought victory over a powerful Bradford City side.

On an afternoon that saw the match begin amid a 15 minute power failure and a small fire break out on the Bury Road terraces - quickly brought under control the Daggers also contrived to miss a penalty, before taking three points that keeps them to the fore of the League 2 promotion chase.

With good away wins for fellow contenders, leaders Bournemouth at Accrington and third-placed Rochdale at Grimsby, Daggers needed this fine win to keep pace at the top of the table.

They went into this game with a much changed side. Danny Spiller's torn hamstring is going to keep him sidelined for several weeks, while Josh Scott failed a fitness test on his ankle injury. Wes Thomas, Scott's obvious replacement, had taken ill on the morning of the match.

That meant a first first-team start for Tommy Tejan-Sie and a recall for Jon Nurse. And they found an unlikely hero in newly established full-back Abu Ogogo.

Ogogo only came into the side a fortnight ago with a steady, debut in the draw at Hereford.

He gave a much more prominent display in last week's home win over bottom-of-the-table Darlington and underlined that performance with an even better showing here against Bradford, even coming up with the winning goal.

There were 18 minutes left when Paul Benson cut in from the right to find the recalled Nurse. He saw Bradford keeper Eastwood half-block his effort, but in a flash, Ogogo, although grounded, managed to whip out a leg and strike the ball beyond the fallen keeper into the net for the winner.

It had been Daggers' other full-back Scott Griffiths, who had played a big part in the side's opening goal just eight minutes after the start of a game against a Bradford side, who had lost just once in the last 11 matches.

The Yorkshire side failed to deal with a Danny Green left-wing corner, Eastwood only half cleared and Griffiths turned neatly in the area to find Paul Benson who span around in a crowded box to despatch his ninth of the season into the bottom corner for 1-0.

Bradford responded robustly and two minutes late Jamie O'Brien produced a fine dipping effort from 20 yards that was matched by Tony Roberts' equally fine fingertip save.

Back went Daggers in a lively opening and Green produced a tailor-made cross for Benson to take off with a diving header that was just inches wide.

But having held the lead just 10 minutes, Daggers found themselves pegged back, when a Roberts two-handed punch proved an ineffective weapon to deal with an O'Brien corner. The punch only went to the edge of the area, where the Bantams' Mick Flynn returned it with interest with a well-struck shot beyond Roberts into the far corner for 1-1.

Within two minutes Daggers had the perfect opportunity to restore their lead - from the penalty spot. Nurse's pace, which proved difficult for the Bradford back-line to handle all afternoon, got the better of defender Zesh Rehman and the visiting captain brought Nurse down for referee Russell to award the spot-kick.

Benson failed to take his season's tally into double figures with a woeful penalty that finished around the 10th row of Daggers' brand-new stand at the Pondfield Road end of the ground.

The let-off seemed to galvanise the visitors and they finished the first-half mainly on the offensive and striker Gareth Evans, who was proving a lively customer leading the Bradford front-line, screwed a good opening wide after a powerful Flynn run, while fellow midfielder Lee Bullock saw a goalbound effort deflect off Danny Green, to see the sides level at the interval.

The opening attack of the second-half almost brought Daggers a second, courtesy of a Bradford defender. Central defender Steve Williams' over-hit back header intended for keeper Eastwood, forced the Bradford keeper to tip over at full stretch to prevent an own goal, two minutes after the resumption.

Tejan-Sie had a shooting chance created by the industry of Green and Nurse, but it was straight at Eastwood, while Nurse did well to dig out an effort, again straight at the keeper, created by Benson, but Daggers' closest effort saw Green's powerful, rising shot thwack the crossbar in 58 minutes after Benson and Nurse had created the shooting opportunity.

Roberts was forced to his best save of the second-half - a block with his leg - when Bradford full-back Ramsden threatened to give his side the lead after Evans had knocked on a corner, but it was a Daggers full-back who was to prove the hero moments later, Ogogo unexpectedly popping up in the area to earn Daggers a much prized three points.

John Still talking to BBC Essex
"To win games you've got to have all sorts of abilities and two of the abilities we had today was sticking together and being organised. They were a strong side, but I can't remember Tony Roberts making a proper save. I thought our back four defended magnificently."

Stuart McColl taking to BBC Leeds
"We didn't have a great start to the day by losing Michael Boulding through illness, because I would have started him. But then we didn't start the game well at all, but once we levelled it up I thought we got a foot hold on the game. I think a few of us today can do much better and when you look at the work rate of our keeper compared to their's I think they'll feel they deserved the win. "This will be one of the toughest places we come to this season and on another day we could have grabbed a point. We did OK in certain areas."

Att: 2,436 (424 Bradford)

D&R: 1. Tony Roberts, 6. Mark Arber - capt, 7. Danny Green, 8. Stuart Thurgood, 9. Jon Nurse (22. Graeme Montgomery 90+2 mins), 12. Scott Griffiths (4. Scott Doe 88 mins), 14. Paul Benson, 19. Abu Ogogo, 25. Will Antwi, 26. Tommy Tejan-Sie, 33. Peter Gain. Unused subs: 30. Chris Lewington (GK), 18. Steven Demetriou, 24. Billy Bingham, 35. Harlee Dean.

BC: 1. Simon Eastwood, 2. Simon Ramsden, 3. Luke O'Brien, 4. Michael Flynn, 5. Zesh Rehman, 8. Lee Bullock, 9. Gareth Evans, 12. Steve Williams (6. Matthew Clarke 87 mins), 17. James Hanson, 19. Jamie O'Brien (11. Chris Brandon 61 mins), 26. Scott Neilson (20. Leon Osborne 68 mins). Unused subs: 13. Jon McLaughlan, 16. Jonathan Bateson, 21. Luke Sharry.

Vicarage Field Daggers Man of the Match: Mark Arber.

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