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Match Report

 

Posted Wed 30 Mar 11 at 11:30 AM

League Leaders Defeat Daggers

A second-half strike from Glenn Murray was enough for Brighton against a Daggers side who once again proved that they are more than a match for any side at this level, writes Billy Taylor.

There was an element of fortune to Murray's 60th minute winner, the in-form frontman arriving at the back post to volley home after Craig Noone sliced his own effort on goal.

The Daggers started the better of the two sides, setting a fierce tempo which the visitors struggled to deal with early on.

Damien McCrory fired his 20-yard strike just over the bar in the first real opening of the game after quarter of an hour. A minute later, Bas Savage seemed to miss a golden opportunity to open the scoring.

Jon Nurse's clever flick saw him burst free, his strike palmed away by Casper Ankergen in the Brighton goal only for the ball to fall to Savage who seemed to fire an effort against the underside of the bar at the second attempt whilst hounded by two Seagulls defenders, one of which could've even got the last touch. The net rippled in a frantic piece of action where the ball may have crossed the line but appeals for a goal came mainly from the stands.

The incident further spurred John Still's side on who were now firmly in the ascendency. Savage had another chance but fired straight at Ankergen before the 'keeper gathered Danny Green's goal bound free-kick at the second attempt.

Brighton boss Gus Poyet cut a frustrated figure on the touchline as his side struggled to settle into any kind of rhythm, the Daggers not allowing the Seagulls to play out from the back, restricting the visitors to pumping hopeful ball forward with Tony Roberts a mere spectator in the Daggers goal for much of the opening 45 minutes.

There was time for the home fans to rise to their feet once again just before the interval, Green's superb low ball across the 6-yard box evading the onrushing red shirts by mere millimetres.

Three minutes into the second-half, Damien Scannell came extremely close, cutting in from the left but his curling shot edged agonisingly wide before Ankergen had to be alert to stop Nurse's shot from the edge of the box.

However, moments later, the home side were behind against the run of play. A long throw was headed out to Noone whose hopeful scissor kick was miss-hit, only for Murray to volley the ball home at the far post, the striker's 20th goal of the season sending the Seagulls faithful into raptures.

The goal sparked movement on the Daggers bench, Still replacing Savage with Tottenham loanee Cameron Lancaster and the substitute came close to opening his account for the club, only for another perfectly-weighted Green cross to escape that crucial touch with Ankergen scrambling.

Darren Currie replaced Damien Scannell before Peter Gain, highly influential throughout, tenaciously won the ball by the touchline before beating two men, his shot charged down just inside the box. The ball fell for Romain Vincelot who fell under a challenge but penalty appeals were waved away by referee Woolmer.

The Daggers continued to push for an equaliser but Vincelot struggled to connect with his effort as he turned on the spot in what was the last chance of the game.

Woolmer's whistle was greeted with ecstatic cheers from the away following, the Seagulls now requiring less than 10 points to secure promotion after their eighth straight league victory.

The statistics were reflective of the way the game had gone, the home side having 9 shots on target compared to just 2 from the visitors with Ankergen far busier than his counterpart Roberts.

The result ended a run of 6 games without defeat for Still's side but the Daggers boss would've been extremely proud of the commitment and quality on show all over the park against a side 19 places above them in League One and destined for Championship football next season.

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