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Match Report

 

Posted Mon 14 Feb 11 at 10:34 AM

A Game of Two Halves

Anyone still not convinced that football really is 'a funny old game' should have been at Victoria Road on Saturday, writes Jack Steggles

They would have seen a Daggers team utterly outplayed in the first half dig in to earn three precious points in their battle for survival.

Yeovil were so superior in a one-sided first half the game could have been over by the interval. Only a supershow from veteran keeper Tony Roberts kept the Daggers in it.

Roberts defied rampant Yeovil with a string of brilliant saves that justifiably earned him the Man of the Match award.

Coach Wayne Burnett admitted the Daggers could have been dead and buried by half-time and some harsh words were obviously spoken during the break. Whatever was said had the desired effect for the Daggers were a different side in the second half, which they had the better of.

Boss John Still brought back Solomon Taiwo in place of the suspended Peter Gain as the Daggers set out to maintain their improved recent form. But it was Yeovil, still not clear of trouble themselves, who made the early running.

The lively Sam Williams nodded a ball over Roberts and on to the roof of the net, then saw another shot held by the keeper. But Williams was guilty of a glaring miss in the ninth minute, shooting wide after a suicidal back pass from Darren Currie dropped the Daggers in the cart.

Roberts came to the rescue again with fine saves from Williams and Oliver Johnson, while an effort from Andrew Tutte hit the bar. A glancing header wide from Scott Doe was all the Daggers offered in return - until they snatched a 30th minute lead completely against the run of play.

Romain Vincelot got it with a header from a Currie corner. Keeper Stephen Henderson - one of five loan players in the Yeovil team - got his hands to the ball but could not stop it going in. It was Vincelot's ninth goal of the season, and eight have come from headers.

The lead lasted just two minutes, before Yeovil hit back with the goal they had threatened from the start. It was tough luck on Doe, who slipped as he went to cut out a through ball. That gave Johnson, on loan from Norwich, a clear run on goal and it was an invitation he had no intention of turning down.

The Daggers, to their credit, hit back and Currie had a golden chance to restore their lead, but fired high and wide. The home side were grateful to still be in the game when the half time whistle blew.

It was a different story after the break, when the Daggers had a much bigger say in things and put Yeovil on the back foot with a vastly improved performance.

And they won the match when the reliable Jon Nurse grabbed his third goal in three games in the 72nd minute. It came two minutes after Bas Savage replaced Marvin Morgan.

When Savage crossed low from right, Nurse spun superbly and hit a left foot shot across the keeper and into the net.

Yeovil boss Terry Skiverton rang the changes in a bid to get something from the game and Tutte sliced a good chance side. But the Daggers hung on for the hardest three points they are likely to get this season.

The only sour note was the loss of Doe with an arm injury shortly after the winning goal went in. He was in a lot of pain as a doctor attended to him and was replaced by Phil Walsh.

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