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Match Report


Posted Sun 27 Nov 11 at 14:51 PM

Accrington Stanley 3-0 Daggers

Accrington Stanley 3 Daggers 0

The Daggers' relegation problems increased with this disappointing defeat at the Crown Ground on Saturday.

The final score may not have been a fair reflection on the match as a whole, as there was very little to choose between the sides for much of the contest, but that will offer very little consolation to John Still and his men as they slipped to an eighth consecutive league defeat to remain in the bottom two.

''I was actually pleased with what we gave the game,'' said Still in the aftermath of another damaging defeat. ''But our defending was not good enough. The goals were too easy, too soft. We played okay. I was happy with how we went about it in midfield. I was quite happy with the amount of the game we had. But we haven't defended two defendable crosses, and that is one area that drastically needs improving.''

It was a far cry from the Daggers last visit to Accrington just over two years ago, when a deflected Mark Arber header gave them a 1-0 victory and a place at the top of League Two. However, this is a very different Daggers side now, with very different problems, but despite their league struggles they arrived in Lancashire boosted by the midweek FA Cup replay success at Bath City.

The starting line up showed three changes from that win, as Cristian Montano and Mickey Spillane - both of who were illegible for that cup tie - were back in the side in place of Richard Rose and Dominic Green respectively, while new signing Adam Cunnington made his debut up front in place of Gavin Tomlin. Meanwhile another new boy, Exodus Geohaghan, started on the bench.

On paper it looked a very attacking side, with Brian Woodall and Montano supporting former Kettering striker Cunnington from wide areas, but the Daggers created very little in an opening period devoid of flair from either side.

Blackburn loanee Micah Evans looked the most likely for the hosts - twice firing wide from inside the penalty area in the opening eleven minutes - while Daggers keeper Chris Lewington was forced to tip a drive from Luke Joyce over the crossbar midway through the first half.

Meanwhile all the Daggers could muster in response was a Woodall free kick that flew narrowly wide, and a low cross from Nurse which was blocked with Cunnington waiting to pounce.

The second period could only get better and it certainly did, but not for Still's men. Things started well enough as Woodall twice volleyed wide in the opening seven minutes of the half, but it was Stanley who made the breakthrough in the 57th minute.

Evans, who had looked a constant threat throughout, hit a low cross into the Daggers penalty area and Craig Lindfield arrived to turn the ball past Lewington from 10 yards with the aid of a slight deflection - his first goal of the season.

Still's men did not let their heads drop as they fought hard to get back on level terms. Josh Scott continued his rehabilitation from long term injury when he replaced Woodall on the hour, and their best chance arrived seven minutes later. Cunnington did well down the right and Abu Ogogo beat goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin from 6 yards, but Joyce somehow got back to clear his effort off the line, while Nurse's follow up effort was blocked.

That proved to be the turning point as the hosts sealed the points with two goals in the final eight minutes. Substitute Padraig Amond had only been on the pitch for ten minutes when he flicked a close range header beyond Lewington, following a cross from fellow-substitute Charlie Barnett, before he then made it 3-0 a minute later.

Evans again caused all the problems and when the ball fell to Amond 20 yards out, he made no mistake with an assured finish that gave Lewington no chance.

''We defended well for 45 minutes, but you have to do it for 90,'' said Still. ''When I assess the whole game I was not too disappointed with many people's contributions, but we haven't defended well all season. We have done something about it by bringing in Exodus (Geohaghan) but he needs to come in and make a contribution. However, if it means in January we have to bring in another one or two, then that is what we'll do.''

''We didn't attack great today. We didn't have the chance to work with the two forwards, as Adam (Cunnington) only came in on Thursday, but I am delighted to have got him. I wanted him when he was at Solihull Moor but he went to Kettering instead. Then we were alerted to the situation there and got him for a small fee. We are hopeful he will work well with Josh (Scott).''

With relegation rivals Barnet and Plymouth both winning, Still was asked if that was a concern. ''I am not worried about other the teams around us, I'm only worried about what we do. The spirit here is fantastic. We are all disappointed but there is no magic wand to change it. It is just down to hard work and we are working as hard as we possibly can.''

On a more positive note, Josh Scott was pleased to get some more game time under his belt as he nears full fitness. ''I'm getting there,'' he said. ''I'm feeling sharp. We have a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday night (against Leyton Orient) and if I get through that okay then I'm hoping to be in line for start next week. We did okay today, being away from home and in awful conditions. When you are in a rut sometimes it's hard to climb out of it. We just need a win and a few more points to give us that little bit of confidence,'' he added.

Attendance; 1,308

Daggers Player subscribers can hear from John Still after the match by clicking here.

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