DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE 0, CHELTENHAM TOWN 5
John Still made no attempt to look for excuses after the Daggers crashed to their heaviest league defeat of the season, writes Jack Steggles.
The scoreline says it all. Dagenham were run ragged by a far superior Cheltenham side and dropped to the bottom of League Two.
The fact they played for 50 minutes with ten men after having keeper Chris Lewington sent off did not exactly help. But in no way did it affect the outcome.
Lewington's departure might have kept the score down. But even with 11 men on the pitch they were never in with a chance against opposition of a different class.
The keeper was dismissed for handling the ball outside the area. Defender Scott Doe insists Lewington was a yard inside his area when he gathered the ball.
It was a shocking day at the office for the Daggers and it left boss Still convinced he had wasted his time in training on Friday.
Still explained he had spent 45 minutes drilling is defenders on the danger Cheltenham possessed from set pieces. Yet he might just as well saved his breath, for three of the goals came from corners.
Novice defending made it easy for Cheltenham to get a grip on the game they never looked like relaxing.
The first goal came in the 20th minute after a hesitant Femi needlessly conceded a corner. It was cleared only as far as Luke Summerfield, who lashed a 20 yarder into the roof of the net.
Goal No.2 arrived two minutes later when Steve Elliott had all the time in the world to apply the finishing touch with red shirted defenders slow to react.
Dave Hogan replaced Lewington and his first task was to pick the third goal out of his net after more poor defending allowed Kaid Mohamed to blast the third goal.
The second half was a formality but to their credit the Daggers stuck at it. But more punishment followed with goals from sub James Spencer and an effort from Mohamad that deflected off Micky Spillane. When that one looped over Hogan and into the nest it summed up he Daggers day.
Still, entitled to demand answers from players who let everyone down, said: "I am very disappointed because for the first time this season we did not make a match of it.
"We were second best and beaten by a far better team. But we contributed to our own downfall".
Shell shocked fans left the ground hoping the Daggers do not reproduce another performance like this with vital matches coming up. If they do their survival hopes will be slim.
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