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Match Report


Posted Sun 10 Oct 10 at 13:06 PM

Undefeated Run Ends

The Daggers dropped back into the relegation zone as their impressive four match unbeaten run was brought at a shuddering halt at Stadium; MK on Saturday writes Ricky Butler.

The Daggers arrived in Buckinghamshire confident of continuing their recent good form and John Still's starting XI unsurprisingly showed no changes from the side that had beaten Swindon the previous week.

Meanwhile the hosts welcomed back defender Sean O'Hanlon while England under 21 international forward Sam Baldock was back on the bench after nearly a month out with an ankle injury, a spell in which the Dons had failed to win.

With the songs of John Lennon and The Beatles just fading from the PA system on what would have been Lennon's 70th Birthday, the hosts had the better of a low key first half where Dietmar Hamman showed glimpses of the touch and vision that had characterised his spells at the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.

Jermaine Easter was just inches away from connecting with a cross from the ex-German international after 12 minutes while only a marginal offside decision prevented Danny Woodards getting clear after a great defence splitting pass from Hamman.

But it was the Essex club who nearly went in front in the 18th minute. A long throw from Danny Green led to a mix up at the back between Mathias Kouo-Doumbe and goalkeeper David Martin which saw the ball hit Gavin Tomlin and loop goal wards, but Woodards' timely intervention prevented it dropping into the empty net.

Leading scorer Romain Vincelot then poked the ball into the side netting after Bas Savage headed down another long throw from Green but that was about as good as it got for the Daggers in the opening period.

Luke Chadwick tested Tony Roberts from 25 yards six minutes before the break while it was another effort from the former Manchester United star that presented Easter with the chance to give the Dons a 40th minute lead.

Roberts brought down Lewis Guy as he attempted to skip round the Daggers keeper after a shot from Chadwick had been charged down, and referee James Linnington had no alternative other then to award the hosts their first penalty for the season as well as show the Welshman a yellow card.

After some debate over who would take the kick Easter finally took on the responsibility but he did not look confident and his effort hit the outside of the left hand upright, much to the relief of the Daggers fans behind the goal.

Still made a tactical change early in the second half as Stuart Lewis replaced Tomlin in a switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation to match the hosts, but Dons manager Karl Robinson countered by bringing on Baldock for the injured Peter Leven to go 4-4-2 and that proved to be the turning point.

Within five minutes of his introduction Angelo Balanta had sent the speedy striker clear down the left and with Roberts expecting him to pull the ball back to Easter in the centre he drilled it in at the near post.

With the game fast slipping away from an under-par Daggers Green tried his luck from distance and had Martin scrambling across his goal when the effort took a wicked deflection, but the Dons keeper was able to grab the ball at the second attempt.

However the hosts doubled their advantage just past the hour mark. A corner from the left by Balanta was headed back into the danger-zone by Hamman and defender Kouo-Doumbe rose highest to power the ball past Roberts via a slight deflection off the back of Lewis.

It was clearly not going to be the Daggers day now and despite the introduction of Jon Nurse, who had inspired the recent comeback against Charlton, the nearest they came to a consolation was a drive from Green which Martin did well to push away to safety in the 66th minute.

In the end the Dons could have increased their margin of victory as Easter fired narrowly over the top after linking well with Baldock, while Baldock himself then flicked a cross from Dean Lewington onto the crossbar two minutes from time.

So as the Lennon tribute continued with the rather appropriate 'Help' the Daggers can still only 'Imagine' what it feels like to win away from home in League One...

Attendance; 7,083 (299 away)

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