Daggers 0-1 Northampton Town
The Daggers remain rooted to the foot of npower League Two following a 1-0 home defeat to Northampton Town. The only goal of the game came just past the hour mark as Toni Silva tapped home from close range after Chris Lewington could only parry a left wing cross/shot from Michael Jacobs.
Going into the game many fans were asking for changes in personnel and Daggers boss John Still supplied exactly that. Chris Lewington returned in goal replacing Jonathan Bond, Scott Doe missed out through illness as Mathieu Baudry stepped into the back four. Josh Parker made his debut on the right wing and Luke Howell finally made his return to the first team, Howell had been out with an injury since September and his energy in the middle of the park had certainly been missed.
Both teams played with just the one out and out striker meaning that the game didn't have too many clear-cut chances. Mickey Spillane fired an early free-kick wide of the target as the Daggers looked to get on the front foot early, Howell & Abu Ogogo were working extremely hard in the middle and Northampton were struggling to get the ball into Adebayo Akinfenwa in any dangerous areas.
With twenty minutes played Josh Parker showed what he's capable of, he showed great skill & pace to break free, he played in Brian Woodall on the left who cut in and shot but it was too soft and too central for Matt Duke. The home side were forcing a lot of corners but after Mark Arber's header was blocked from one, Toni Silva broke with lightning pace and Chris Lewington did well to deny the winger his first goal for the Cobblers.
Both sides were looking decent in the final third but the ball just wouldn't drop for an attacker from either side. That all changed in the dying embers of the 1st half though, Damien McCrory swing over a free-kick and Arber was there to prod goalwards from 4 yards, it looked a certain goal but Matt Duke somehow kept the ball out and it was goalless at the interval.
Neither side made a change at half-time and the 2nd half was slow to get going; until the 62nd minute that was. Michael Jacobs who was a threat all evening on the left was shown inside by Mickey Spillane, he fired the ball across the box but Chris Lewington couldn't gather and Toni Silva was there to finish into an unguarded net. Lewington might feel he should have done better with Jacobs' effort but the defensive unit can't be considered blameless also.
The hosts upped the tempo as they looked for an equaliser but Northampton were holding strong so John Still decided to bring Rob Edmans on for Woodall. Parker then produced another pacey run but his shot was poor from the edge of the area and it drifted wide, Dom Green then came on for Medy Elito as the Daggers went 4-2-4; Parker was now in the middle alongside Edmans.
Northampton went to five at the back with the introduction of Byron Webster and it seemed to be working as cross after cross was cleared by the Cobblers. Only one beat their backline but Josh Parker's free header from 8 yards was straight at Duke, either side and it was a goal. A late corner brought about some excitement as Lewington came forward but Parker shot wide from 25 yards and that was that.
Northampton rise to 19th as the Daggers remain bottom and with just ten games to go the wins need to come sooner rather than later.
Vicarage Field Man Of The Match - Luke Howell
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