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Match Report

 

Posted Mon 24 Jan 11 at 10:04 AM

Another Late Goal Denies Daggers

An uncharacteristic mistake from goalkeeper Tony Roberts deep into stoppage time denied the Daggers a well-earned point in front of the biggest crowd of the season so far at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium.

Substitute Mark Carrington hit a shot from outside the box in the 93rd minute which bobbled slightly in front of Roberts, leaving the veteran 'keeper clutching at thin air as the ball bounced awkwardly and rolled agonisingly into the bottom corner.

The defeat, the Daggers' fourth consecutive loss at home, was worsened by the sending off of Danny Green on 75 minutes for seemingly elbowing Luke Chadwick as the pair jumped for a loose ball. Referee Craig Pawson produced a straight red, even though the winger had already been booked during the first half for an over zealous tackle on left-back Adam Chicksen.

The loss will be hard to take for Daggers' fans as John Still's side had looked comfortable for large spells, especially during a first half when it was mostly one-way traffic towards the MK Dons goal. However, the impressive Marvin Morgan had the only clear cut chance of the opening 45 saved when Dons goalie David Martin blocked his tame effort having fashioned the opportunity for himself by winning the ball in the penalty area.

Still started with Morgan and Tomlin up front for the second game running after the pair impressed during last week's victory away to Hartlepool. A long ball was controlled well by Tomlin who produced a powerful strike which sailed over the bar in the early stages. In his full home debut, Morgan's sheer endeavour was enough to win the ball on the edge of the box only for his cross to the lively Tomlin, unmarked at the back post, to be cleared for a corner.

Frenchman Romain Vincelot and Peter Gain were controlling the game for the Daggers as they stifled an MK Dons midfield packed with quality at this level. Vincelot worked tirelessly and had a chance to open the scoring only for his strike from the edge of the box to be blocked after Green supplied the lay-off.

Morgan continued to look threatening and was pulled down by Danny Woodards, a foul which earned the MK Dons man a booking. From the resulting free kick, Green fired the ball into the box only for Martin to collect and pump clear. The on-loan Morgan kept finding space across the defence though the Daggers were unable to capitalise on an impressive first 45 minutes as the whistle blew for the break.

Karl Robinson's side began to stroke the ball around well in what was a more open and even start to the second half. A cross from Chicksen was headed out by Ogogo before Tony Roberts ran from his line to reach the ball ahead of Jabo Abehre who was being pursued by Doe.

The visitors looked a different side to what we had seen in the first half and were more threatening in attack. A terrific effort by Peter Leven from long range sailed just wide of Robert's right hand post before the Daggers had a chance of their own when Vincelot struck a left-footed volley just wide from 20 yards.

Robinson made a double substitution just after the hour mark with loan signing Rowan Vine and the talented youngster Sam Baldock replacing Lewis Guy and Daniel Powell respectively. Still made a change of his own shortly after with Jon Nurse coming on for Medy Elito.

The game was becoming real end-to-end stuff with Referee Pawson waving away appeals for a Daggers penalty on 74 minutes when Morgan was bought down. He did, however, award a free kick towards the edge of the box which set piece specialist Green stepped up for. The cross hit first man Luke Chadwick and as the ball rebounded into the air, both men jumped for the header only for former Manchester United man Chadwick to fall to the ground clutching his face.

Pawson reached into his pocket for the red card leaving Green facing a three game suspension for violent conduct. Though there was no real malice in the challenge, the winger led with his arm leaving the referee with little option but to produce the red.

The Daggers responded well to going down to ten men and were in the ascendancy as Femi volleyed wide following a cross from substitute Nurse. Dons had a chance for themselves soon after but Baldock miscued a cross, seemingly injuring himself in the process. He limped off down the tunnel after only 13 minutes of action and was replaced by Mark Carrington.

The side from Stadium:MK began to pump more and more balls into the box as the final whistle approached only to be consistently denied by Arber and Doe with the latter continuing to enhance his growing reputation.

The fourth official lifted his board indicating that there would be a minimum of four minutes stoppage time. The game appeared to be petering out before Carrington pounced on a loose ball and with plenty of space fired an effort which Roberts got down well to save. However, the ever-reliable Daggers stalwart lost control of the ball and turned in horror as it nestled into the net.

Assistant boss Terry Harris described the defeat as a "bitter pill to swallow" but there is still plenty of reason for fans to feel optimistic about the chances of survival with the frontline soon to be bolstered further when new loan acquisition John Akinde recovers from injury.

It was a game of very few chances despite the box-to-box nature of proceedings with both goalkeepers having little to do other than collect the occasional cross.

Now seven points from safety, the Daggers will have to start turning solid performances at home into results, starting in 8 days time against Brentford.

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