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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 31 Mar 12 at 18:51 PM

Daggers 1-0 Port Vale

Chris Lewington was the hero for the Daggers as his late penalty save sealed a 1-0 win at Vale Park; Mickey Spillane scored the only goal of the game.

The Daggers made two changes from the team that took to the field against Accrington Stanley a week ago with Billy Bingham, and Brian Woodall both getting starts. It signalled a change of formation for John Still's side with Bingham making up a three man midfield with Woodall preferred to John Akinde as the lone striker.

The game started off at a frantic pace with both sides taking advantage of the space on offer at Vale's extremely wide pitch. Louis Dodds & Marc Richards both shot straight at Lewington whilst Billy Bingham tried his luck from 25 yards for the visitors.

It looked like goals would soon come but the game settled down and for the majority of the first half it was a battling affair with referee Mr Collins keeping himself busy much to the displeasure of the Vale fans.

The first big chance came just after the half hour mark, a corner was swung in by Damien McCrory and Spillane rose highest but could only head wide from 8 yards. The game was drifting towards a conclusion but Medy Elito came so close to giving the Daggers the lead.

The ball found it's way to him 22 yards out and he took his time to measure a curled strike which left Stuart Tomlinson with no chance in the Vale goal. It looked a certain goal but the ball rebounded off of the inside of the post and rolled across the goalmouth before being scrambled clear. Elito was very unlucky and it was a rare bright spot in an otherwise poor half.

The 2nd half started with the Daggers on the front foot and Scott Doe came close to grabbing the opener with his now trademark near post run from a corner, however the header was too central and Tomlinson made the save.

The next ten minutes saw Vale have their best spell of the match, the Daggers were on the back foot but Mark Arber led his defence superbly and Chris Lewington dealt with whatever came his way.

And after weathering the storm they took the lead, Jon Nurse challenged for the ball on the right and ex-Dagger Doug Loft was adjudged to have used a high boot so a free-kick was given. Damien McCrory took the dead-ball and as usual the delivery was great and allowed Spillane to nod in from 6 yards. He was pretty much unmarked and it was a poor goal to concede from Vale's point of view.

With 25 minutes to go the Daggers had the lead and were looking good, the lead was almost doubled but after the move of the match McCrory's cut back was hacked clear. Mathieu Baudry was then taken off with what looked like a head injury, Charlie Wassmer came on for his debut and was almost immediately in the spotlight.

A corner was headed clear and the 2nd ball was again cleared, this time by Wassmer. However Mr Collins felt that the defender had fouled Tom Pope when winning the aerial challenge and a penalty was given.

Top scorer and club captain Mark Richards stepped up and shot hard to his right, but Lewington guessed correctly and palmed it clear. A goalmouth scramble ensued but the ball was eventually cleared.

That miss seemed to deflate Vale and the Daggers were able to see out the remaining minutes with minimal fuss, the win made it ten points from the past four games and lifted Still's side to 19th in npower League Two.

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