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Match Report


Posted Sun 27 Dec 09 at 14:23 PM

Daggers lose at Sixfields

Daggers retained the side that finished off the job in their last outing, the 3-1 home win over Bury two weeks ago, for the club's first-ever visit to Northampton.

The rapid Xmas thaw saw the Sixfields Stadium pitch completely free of snow and ice and Jon Nurse who finished the Bury win on the left flank retained the position with on-loan Darren Currie dropping to the bench.

Daggers first corner in seven minutes saw Green's out-swinging effort just elude the heads of Scott Doe and Paul Benson.

Doe was injured in a midfield clash and went down signalling desperately to the bench for treatment. After fairly lengthy treatment he was helped hobbling to the bench with a knee injury but the central defender gamely carried on.

But moments later the defender showed no ill effects as he raced back to head Akinfenwa's flick back to Tony Roberts.

The opening half-hour didn't produce a single goalmouth incident worthy of the name, as both defences continued to dominate the opposition strikers.

Referee Moss surprisingly penalised Benson for a foul on Northampton skipper Craig Hinton, when the central defender looked to have pulled back the Daggers striker.

A long throw by Andy Holt found Akinfenwa who turned and swept a shot well wide of the far post in the best early home attack.

Jamie Day became the game's first booking when he heavily brought down Northampton's Paul Rodgers.

The home team's Ryan Gilligan had the first meaningful effort in 40 minutes, with a rising shot that forced Roberts to tip over as it threatened to creep in under the bar.

Peter Gain became the second Daggers booking of the game for complaining to Mr Moss.

Referee Moss made Nanna Ofori-Twumasi his third booking of the match for a challenge on Holt.

Gain had Daggers' first shot on goal, but it was an underhit effort that home keeper Chris Dunn saved easily.

Day overlapped to good effect and got over a fine cross but Dunn got up to well to pick the ball off the head of Benson.

Northampton made the first change of a dour encounter, replacing the defensive John Curtis with the more attacking-minded Luke Guttridge with 30 minutes remaining.

A Green free-kick was only half cleared by former Daggers loanee Dean Beckwith and when it fell to Adam Miller he unleashed a fearsome effort that crashed against the crossbar and bounced out to safety with 25 minutes left - easily the best effort from either team.

Northampton hit back and Holt got away down the left and from his cross Courtney Herbert got up between Doe and Arber to head just over the bar.

It was to prove Herbert's last contribution as he was replaced moments later by fellow striker Billy McKay in the Cobblers' second change.

For the Daggers, Wes Thomas replaced Danny Green on Green's return to his former club, with 15 minutes left.

With the match seemingly drifting to a fairly aimless goalless draw, Daggers were awarded a penalty with 10 minutes left, when Miller and Ofari-Twumasi switched passes before Miller's shot was saved by Dunn's legs, but referee Moss had spotted that Holt had handled in the build-up. But Mark Arber blazed the spot-kick well over the bar to the jeers of the Sixfields crowd and a golden chance to win the game was lost. Miller then put in a long ball that saw Benson's tame header easily caught by Dunn. Abdul Osman became Northanpton's third substitute when he replaced Paul Rodgers.

Then with a share of the spoils seemingly inevitable, Northampton took the lead with just two minutes remaining, when McKay turned and lashed in a shot. Roberts made a flying save, tipping the effort into in the air but it dropped behind him into the goal. Roberts valiantly tried to scoop it away, but referee Moss awarded the goal when a linesman signalled the ball had crossed the line.

With a minute of stoppage time left, Northampton's Holt was sent off for kicking the ball away - his second bookable offence.

Att: 4,108 (277 away)

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