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Match Report

 

Posted Sun 20 Nov 11 at 11:12 AM

Daggers Lose By The Odd goal in Five

Same result - but a vastly improved performance. This was much more like the old Daggers and fans were finally given a flicker of hope for the future, writes Jack Steggles.

The introduction of two new loan players - Mickey Spillane and Cristian Montano - gave the side a badly needed shake-up and two more are due to arrive in time for next week's trip to Accrington Stanley. The new boys played a full part in what was the Daggers best performance for weeks and if they keep playing like this they should end the horror run, climb away from the relegation zone and safeguard their League Two status.

In terms of effort the Daggers did more than enough to have earned a point from the game. On balance of play that was the least they deserved. But the vital extra bit of quality came from table topping Southend - and that swung the game their way. Their counter attacking and finishing was more clinical and three quality strikes proved enough to stretch their unbeaten run to 14 matches and bring praise from Daggers boss John Still. "They took their goals well and when you are hit like that you have to hold your hands up and accept it," said Still. He was also full of praise for his own battling team, saying:

"I'm, delighted with our performance against a big, strong, powerful side. We were more like the old Daggers as we coped with it well in an encouraging display. "I had to shake things up and bring in new faces because we kept waiting for injured players to return, and that did not happen. We've got some catching up to do, so let's hope this is the turning point for us."

After a bright start in front of a big crowd the Daggers got their first taste of Southend's finishing power after just eight minutes. That's when Kane Ferdinand - a member of the famous footballing family and a target for West Ham - pounced on the far post to apply the finishing touch to a glorious ball from Ryan Hall. The Daggers hit back to draw level inside five minutes with a goal from debut boy Montano.

Peter Gain battled well to win the ball and thread it through to Montano. He held of two challenges as he moved inside to put the ball past Shrimpers keeper Luke Daniels. The impressive Hall and Michael Timlin went close for Southend, before Liam Dickinson restored their lead in he 32nd minute, swooping on a low cross from the right with Daggers defenders flat footed. A magnificent striker from Abu Ogogo put the Daggers level again four minutes into the second half.

Taking a pass from Brian Woodall he surged through the middle of the field before unleashing a left foot rocket that gave Daniels no chance and bring the game to the boil. But Southend had the last word when a diagonal ball from Dickinson split the Daggers wide open and sent Ferdinand racing clear.

Chris Lewington raced from his goal in a bid to check the danger, but Ferdinand got their first, took the ball round him and slotted home.

Still the Daggers were not finished and it took a brilliant double save from Daniels - who kept out efforts from Montano and Damien McCrory -to protect Southend's lead. So the Daggers slumped to their eighth successive League defeat.

But this time, at long last, their could be reasons for hope.

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