Dagenham and Redbridge are still looking for their first league win having had to play the majority of their 3-1 defeat to Southend United with 10 men.
Luke Wilkinson was given a straight red card after 7 minutes, which was made worse when the Shrimpers went 2-0 up through a double from Britt Assombalonga. Dwight Gayle managed to pull one back before half time, only for the Shrimpers to restore that two goal lead after the break through Ryan Cresswell.
After an impressive man of the match performance in midweek, Luke Wilkinson started at centre back alongside Scott Doe, while Michael Spillane was again put into midfield with Billy Bingham dropping to the bench. Dwight Gayle and Sam Williams returned to lead the line after their rest against Stevenage.
John Still’s side pressed early on and nearly took the lead inside 5 minutes when Williams headed at the ‘keeper from a dangerous Medy Elito corner. Elito was looking a threat from set pieces having already caused chaos from a free-kick in the build up to the corner.
The pendulum quickly swung in Southend’s favour however when the Daggers were reduced to 10 men after 7 minutes. Scott Doe’s short back pass put former Dagger Gavin Tomlin through on goal who went down under the challenge of Wilkinson. Wilkinson was adjudged to be the last man and immediately shown a straight red card.
It went from bad to worse for the away side as they fell behind before the 20 minute mark. Following a cross from full-back Sean Clohessy, on loan striker Britt Assombalonga got the right side of his marker to head into the top corner.
The Watford loanee then showed again why he is so highly rated by his parent club by doubling his teams lead on 36 minutes. Midfielder Kevan Hurst forced ‘keeper Lewington into a save who could only push the ball into a dangerous area and Assombalonga was in the right place at the right time to slide the ball home.
On the stroke of half-time, 10 men Dagenham found a way back into the game through striker Dwight Gayle. Finding himself on the right wing after the sending off, he bundled past a player and drove a shot which went under ‘keeper Paul Smith to bring the score line to 2-1.
Despite their disadvantage, the visitors had their fair share of possession in the 2nd half and manager John Still bought on attacking options Dominic Green and midweek goal scorer Brian Woodall as they went in search of an equaliser.
The Daggers should have equalised with 25 minutes remaining. Good interplay between Gayle and Abu Ogogo led to the captain having a sight of goal from a few yards out, but he could only stab wide after Gayle’s pullback.
Dagenham and Redbridge were made to rue their missed chance as the Shrimpers went 3-1 up minutes later. After a header was cleared off the line from a free-kick, the ball fell kindly in the box for Ryan Cresswell who scored from close range.
The Daggers return to Roots Hall in a few weeks time after drawing the Shrimpers in the Johnstones’s Paint Trophy earlier today. But their attention now turns to Saturday when they play host to Accrington Stanley, who drew 1-1 with Bradford City this weekend.
Attendance: 5,348 (617 away)
Smith (gk), Clohessy, Cresswell, Timlin, Martin (Straker, 66), Hurst, Phillips, Spicer, Assombalonga (Harris, 83), Tomlin, Barker (c)
Subs: Straker, Harris, Benyon, Woodyard, Njie, Belford
Goalscorers: Assombalonga, 20, 36, Cresswell, 70
Dagenham & Redbridge:
Lewington, Hoyte, Wilkinson, Doe, Ilesanmi, Howell, Spillane, Ogogo (c), Elito (Do Green, 55), Williams (Woodall, 59) , Gayle (Scott, 70)
Subs: Seabright, Scott, Do Green, Reed, Da Green, Woodall, Bingham
Goalscorers: Gayle, 45