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Match Report


Posted Sun 16 Jan 11 at 19:17 PM

Tomlin Goal Seals All Three Points

The Daggers once again showed they are not about to go down without a fight as they snatched a dramatic 1-0 victory at Victoria Park on Saturday, their first success of 2011.

Gavin Tomlin turned home a low left wing cross from substitute Jon Nurse for his second goal of the season five minutes from time to give John Still's side a very important three points.

While Tomlin rightly took the plaudits, this victory was built on a strong defensive display, the heroics of veteran keeper Tony Roberts and a fair slice of luck as the hosts dominated for long periods.

In blustery conditions in the North-East the Daggers side showed just one change from the XI that had started against Rochdale last week with Marvin Morgan replacing Bas Savage up front for his first start for the club since his loan move from Aldershot last week.

With the wind in their favour in the opening period it was a lively start from the Daggers but the hosts soon began to get on top. Captain Neil Austin fired just wide of Roberts' left hand upright after just three minutes while Gary Liddle went even closer five minutes later when his fine effort from 20 yards came back off the angle of post and crossbar.

It was all Pools now and a free kick from Austin was deflected just wide by the Daggers wall while Andy Monkhouse then headed a left wing corner from Leon McSweeney onto the roof of the net from close range when he perhaps ought to have hit the target.

The visitors were then fortunate not to be reduced to ten men on the half hour when young left back Femi Ilesanmi brought down McSweeney on the right hand touchline just moments after being booked by referee Karl Evans for a similar offence. But he was just given a warning by the official this time, much to the frustration of the home fans who were baying for a second yellow card for the teenager.

But as the half drew to a close it was Roberts who took centre stage. With Ilesanmi now walking a disciplinary tightrope McSweeney skipped past him down the right again but the veteran Daggers keeper did well to push his shot away for a corner.

Austin then drilled the ball across the face of the Daggers goal ten minutes before the break while Roberts then kept out a 20 yard thunderbolt from Evan Horwood to ensure it was goalless at the break.

After riding their luck in the opening half the Daggers looked far more dangerous after the break, although it took them until eleven minutes after the resumption to create their first real opportunity of the match. A lovely move down the right involving Danny Green and Morgan saw Tomlin burst past Paul Murray but he was only able to shoot into the side netting from a tight angle.

With the conditions showing signs of relenting the match was fast becoming a bit of a stalemate when Still decided to introduce substitute Nurse for the ineffective Medy Elito fifteen minutes from time and suddenly the Daggers began to create chances.

The Barbados international did well down the left to keep the ball in play with ten minutes left and Peter Gain whipped in a dangerous cross that Romain Vincelot was just inches away from turning home, while the visitors then felt they should have had a penalty seconds later. Morgan waltzed past three challenges on a powerful run into the area but despite being sent tumbling by keeper Jake Kean referee Evans waved away their appeals.

However the Daggers frustrations were soon forgotten as they grabbed the lead four minutes later. Nurse did well again down the left and his low cross was perfect for the fast-arriving Tomlin to turn past Kean at the near post.

It was very nearly 2-0 moments later when Morgan got clear down the right but he was unable to open his account for the club as he fired over the bar to set up a tense finale.
The hosts did indeed throw everything forward in the closing stages, including the four minutes of stoppage time, but the Daggers would not be denied a vital victory as Scott Doe twice made important blocks from Pools substitutes Fabian Yantorno and Ritchie Humphreys to see them over the line.

"It is sometimes about just inches' said a delighted Still after the match. 'We played well up at Carlisle, were unlucky not to get something at Brentford and now we have played well again today. The margins are very small. It was a very good win here and a very good performance."

"The conditions made it difficult but we defended well throughout and managed to get the goal in the end. Gavin is a very talented player and a good finisher but he does not get in the box enough and it is something we are working on with him. At the start of the season we were the biggest ever favourites to go down, and we understand that, but we what lack in resources we make up for in heart."

When asked about any possible new arrivals Still was playing his cards close to his chest. "We are looking to get one or two new faces in to give us the best possible chance of staying up and we should have one tied up this week."

After another great away day for the Daggers that would be just the boost they need going into a tough run of fixtures.

Attendance; 2,939 (87 away)

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