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Match Report


Posted Sun 10 Apr 11 at 21:32 PM

Daggers Defeat County To Climb Out Of Dr

A 3-goal half-time lead was enough for the Daggers to overcome Notts County, despite the visitors' spirited second-half display, writes Billy Taylor.

Two Danny Green set-pieces followed John Akinde's 16th minute opener, the on-loan striker notching his first goal in a Daggers shirt.

John Still's side began on the front-foot, Jon Nurse getting on the end of Green's teasing back post cross only to lose control of the ball under his foot.

Minutes later, the home side were ahead after an almost carbon copy of Nurse's opportunity. Green was again the provider, the winger latching onto Tony Roberts' goal kick and firing a cross to the far post with Akinde on hand to tap home despite the best efforts of Stuart Nelson in the County goal.

The presence of Akinde and endeavour of Nurse was causing problems amongst the Magpies back four but the away side nearly forged a way back into the game minutes later, Lee Hughes' impressive effort rebounding off the top of Roberts bar following the visitors first real foray into the Daggers half.

The chance sparked the Meadow Park outfit into life and the visitors, led by temporary boss Carl Heggs, pushed more men forward but before long they were two down.

Abu Ogogo's long clearance bounced dangerously over County's Graeme Lee, Nurse raced on and skipped goal-side of the defender only to be hauled down when through on goal. Both sets of supporters knew what was coming, referee Haywood brandishing a straight red for the professional foul.

Green stepped up on the resulting free-kick and, from 25 yards, unleashed a spectacular strike which arrowed into the top left corner of the net despite Nelson's faint touch. It was a fine way to increase the Daggers' lead but devastating from the visitors perspective, County staring down the barrel of a defeat which would see them into the drop zone.

In no mood for sympathy, the home side continued to press, Romain Vincelot rising unmarked to meet a Darren Currie corner only to see his goal-bound effort cleared brilliantly off the line.

There were four added minutes to the first-half and with Haywood preparing to blow his whistle, Notts County gifted Still's side the opportunity for a third. Nurse's lob over Nelson was cleared acrobatically by Sam Sodje only for Akinde to collect the loose ball, the striker running away from goal when he was felled by John Spicer. It was as foul as equally clumsy as it was needless and the away side paid the ultimate price, Green proving himself equally adept from 12 yards as he is from 25 and slotting home the spot kick.

The travelling faithful directed boos at Haywood as he left the pitch for the interval but in truth County were victims of their own downfall, their defence spending the majority of the opening 45 minutes firmly in a state of sixes and sevens every time the Daggers pushed forward.

To their credit, the 10-men of County started the second-half well following their earlier implosion, Hughes a potent outlet as they edged for a way back into the game.

Following a brief spout of on-field handbags involving Peter Gain and Neal Bishop, Heggs' brought on Njogu Demba-Nyren for Craig Westcarr and the substitute made a notable impact 10 minutes later, heading home Spicer's corner to hand the Magpies a lifeline.

The visitors pressed for further success but were met by an unforgiving and organised Daggers backline, captain Mark Arber particularly dominant aerially.

Heggs' 10-men understandably began to tire as the game approached its finale but they had the ball in the net on the 89th minute, Sodje superbly finding Robert's right-hand corner from 20 yards. The referee, however, had already blown for an earlier foul.

In a tale of two halves, the Daggers rampant 3-goal first-half was ultimately more than enough to seal a crucial 3 points in a win which sees Still's side climb above County and into 19th place.

The visitors spirited second-half performance was to be commended but was perhaps allied with the Daggers taking their foot off the gas somewhat, the home side maybe having one eye on Tuesday night's trip to champions elect Brighton & Hove Albion.

With 6 games to go, their fate remains in their own hands, a message Still will undoubtedly be repeating to his players over the coming weeks as they look to add another glorious chapter to the fairytale of recent seasons.

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