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Match Report


Posted Sun 26 Feb 12 at 13:38 PM

Plymouth 0-0 Daggers

Plymouth Argyle 0 Daggers 0

The Daggers remain bottom of npower League Two as they began a difficult week with a hard-earned point at Home Park on Saturday.

Starting the day three points adrift at the bottom - and three behind Argyle in 21st place - John Still's side desperately needed something from the long trip to Devon, in a match the phrase 'six-pointer' was invented for.

''We have to try and grab as many points away from home as we can,'' said Still on his clubs plight.

''I can't have any complaints (with the result). We didn't create a tremendous amount, but all in all it's been a good day.''

Still reshuffled his defence in the wake of last week's 5-0 defeat by Cheltenham. In came Damien McCrory in place of Femi Illesanmi at left back, while Mickey Spillane moved into the centre and Scott Doe to the right. Meanwhile, young goalkeeper Jonathon Bond, brought in on loan from Watford this week, replaced the suspended Chris Lewington between the sticks, with Southampton loanee Ben Reeves also making his debut in midfield.

With defeat unthinkable, the Daggers set out their stall to contain the hosts in the opening stages, but Nick Chadwick should have given the Pilgrims an early lead. Paul Bignot broke forward in the 7th minute and found Chadwick 6 yards out, but his shot on the turn flew harmlessly over the crossbar.

Slowly Still's men began to settle, but the nearest they came to the boost of a first half goal was a chip from Reeves which sailed over the top in the 24th minute, while a header from Jon Nurse went wide of the target - following a cross from McCrory - six minutes later.

But it was the hosts who had the best opportunity nine minutes before the break. Burnley loanee Alex MacDonald, who was looking the most likely for Argyle, set off on a thrilling run down the right and pulled the ball back to Conor Hourihane 8 yards out. However, with the goal at his mercy he blasted wildly over the bar.

Still would certainly have been the happier of the two managers as the sides went off at half time, but all their good work was nearly undone inside two minutes of the restart - Hourihane looking to make amends for that miss with a shot from 25 yards that stung Bond's fingertips.

Daggers were still offering very little in the way of an attacking threat, and the closest they came to a vital breakthrough was a header from Brian Woodall which went over the top in the 52nd minute, while Doe saw an effort blocked by Robbie Williams eight minutes later.

But it was Argyle who were cursing their luck twice in minute soon after. The introduction of substitute Luke Daley - with twenty minutes left - almost paid immediate dividends when his effort from the right curled past Bond but struck the bottom of the left-hand upright.

Then, when the Daggers failed to clear the resulting corner, the ball fell to Williams 25 yards out and his first time effort came back off the same post again.

After the way things have gone most of the season, maybe this was a sign the Daggers luck was finally about to change, and Still responded by bringing on Medy Elito for Woodall and Rob Edmans for Reeves. But it was Argyle who looked the more likely winners in the closing stages.

Bond, enjoying a fine Daggers debut, did well to tip a curling MacDonald effort around the post seven minutes from time, before then keeping out a Williams free kick moments later, as Still's side played out their first goalless draw in the league for just over 2 years.

''They've been on a decent run of form and they're a big club, regardless of their league position, but we stuck at it and worked hard,'' said Still.

''They had two good efforts in the second half that hit the post without putting us under any sustained pressure. We never try to draw, the changes we made were to bring on attacking players. We want to remain positive.''

Northampton's defeat at home to Port Vale will help with that, as the Daggers are at least a little closer to safety ahead another long trip to Morecambe on Tuesday night.

Attendance; 7,804 (93 away)

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