The Daggers were still in festive mood on Saturday judging by the gifts they gave Port Vale, writes Jack Steggles
The visitors could hardly believe their luck. For they did not have to work too hard for the goals that took them to the top of League Two.
The message was hammered home once again – you simply cannot afford to give away goals like that at this level. And if the Daggers don’t learn a lesson from it they will continue to make life difficult for themselves.
They have got to be more ruthless, decisive and clinical in vital areas if they are to achieve what they are capable of.
For the second time in four days they faced a form team chasing promotion. And again they left themselves with a mountain to climb by conceding a goal in the early stages.
Only four minutes had been played when they allowed a long throw to reach an unmarked Tom Pope, who had the simple\ task of heading in his 23rd goal of the season.
If that was not bad enough it got worse just four minutes later, when Vale struck again. This time a long ball from Calvin Andrew split the Daggers wide open, leaving Jennison Myrie-Williams to run on unchallenged and bury a left foot shot past Chris Lewsington.
The Daggers may have their shortcomings. But throwing in the towel is not one of them. They have got big hearts and battled away to get back into it.
They were thrown a lifeline in the 17th minute, when they were awarded a penalty after Sam Williams
was brought down in the box. That decision sent Vale into a rage and they surrounded the officials in protest.
When order was restored Williams belted home the spot kick to raise hopes that the Daggers could get something from the game. But more indecision enable Vale to restore their two goal advantage before half-time.
It started when Michael Spillane
was robbed of the ball in the Vale penalty area. The men from the Potteries made him pay by sweeping straight to the other end, where Louis Dodds hit a volley over the advancing Lewington.
Both Spillane and Medy Elito
had the opportunity to get shots in. But they hesitated and it cost them big time.
The Daggers had the better of the second half, but a solid, well organised Vale outfit coped well.
With time running out Scott Doe
forced the ball home after a left wing cross was headed on. But it proved too little, too late and the Daggers slipped to a second successive home defeat
It was disappointing and could and should have been avoided. But it was not all gloom and doom and there were things that would have pleased manager John Still.
However one thing in crystal clear. To give themselves half a chance of achieving anything they simply must stop giving away goals like these.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Ilesanmi, Doe, Wilkinson, Ogogo, Elito, Howell, Maher (Caprice 73), Spillane, Scott (Woodall 66), Williams.
Unused subs: Seabright, Hoyte, Bingham, Reed, Wakefield.
Attendance: 1,697 (256 Port Vale fans)