John Still will be hoping that Dagenham and Redbridge's start to 2010 will be better than how they ended 2009 after this defeat to Cheltenham Town. The Daggers Christmas period failed to yield a goal and a point and the manager will be hoping that his side will be able to regroup during the break they have before the next game in the new year.
The visitors were keen to impress the new manager Mark Yeats and were very close to taking the lead in the opening minutes, Justin Richards had a shot that flew wide while Andy Gallinagh was unlucky to see his header crashing back off the crossbar.
The Daggers responded through Jon Nurse, whose shot was easily dealt with by Scott Brown while Mark Arber headed down only the ball to be claimed by the Cheltenham keeper.
Josh Scott muscled his way to the ball ahead of David Pipe. He set up Danny Green who curled his effort over the bar. Seth Ofori-Twumasi meanwhile also had a shot from distance which was gathered by Brown at the second attempt.
Cheltenham were forced into an early substitution after Lee Ridley limped off. Michael Pook came on, and the sub's first piece of action was a strike on goal that forced a save from Tony Roberts.
The Daggers were struggling to get the ball to their strikers, finding Cheltenham a rather tough nut to crack. The one time they managed it, Benson failed to capitalise. Adam Miller swung over a cross, it was flicked on by Nurse, but Dagenham's leading scorer could only plant his header into Brown's midrift.
It was the visitors who finished the first half the stronger and they were rewarded with the opening goal. Moments before the goal Gallinagh tested Roberts with an audacious long range effort while the Daggers keeper had to be alert to push away another shot from Pook.
The Daggers were caught right at the end of the opening period. David Hutton found Julian Alsop who crossed instantly for Richards. The striker directed his header back where it came from and that was good enough to beat Roberts and give Cheltenham the lead.
A confident looking Richards looked to add to his tally immediately after the restart only to drill inches wide.
The visitors soon afterwards very nearly doubled their lead. Alsop's header was looping towards goal only for Roberts to desperately claw the ball away to keep his side in the game.
The Daggers needed to raise their tempo. They tried to increase the pressure on the visitors by sending over a number of crosses into the area. Adam Miller volleyed over after which Still reacted by introducing Darren Currie from the bench.
However before Currie could even got into the game Cheltenham caught their hosts on the break. Hutton turned his man beautifully before sending a perfect defence splitting pass to send Josh Lowe through on goal. Lowe demonstrated equally good composure by dinking the ball over Roberts before celebrating in front of the visiting fans.
Wes Thomas came on to form a three man attack but in truth that had little joy. Scott came as close as anyone to scoring for the home side, turning and shooting only for David Pipe to position himself to clear off the line.
Benson meanwhile had a far post header that missed the target but the Daggers never really convinced they were going to breach the Cheltenham rearguard. Still will be hoping for better in his side's next game, away to Torquay United on 9 January.