The Daggers made a poor start to the New Year as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Northampton Town, their third successive league defeat.
They were ultimately made to rue missed chances as an Abu Ogogo own goal quickly followed by Chris Hackett’s finish, left them with a mountain to climb in the second half. The Daggers missed more chances and were punished by a Kevin Langmead header. Scott Doe did pull one back though, rounding off a poor performance.
Jake Reed and Matt Saunders were recalled to starting XI as they faced a Northampton Town side who were boosted by the return of last and this seasons top goalscorer Adebayo Akinfenwa.
The host’s game plan was clear from the offset as they took a direct approach in a bid to take advantage of the aerial prowess given by strikers Akinfenwa and Clive Platt. The first chance fell to Jake Robinson after Akinfenwa battled with Chris Lewington in the air, but his shot was comfortably cleared off the line by Luke Wilkinson.
Jake Reed should have done better on 28 minutes when he had a clear sight on goal. Northampton left-back Joe Widdowson misread a ball over the top which allowed Reed to slip in behind. After charging at the Cobblers goal, his shot lacked control and flew over the crossbar.
The Daggers striker was made to rue his missed chance as Northampton took the lead on 36 minutes. A ball into the Daggers box wasn’t dealt with by the backline and it eventually hit Abu Ogogo, sending it goalwards and rolling past the helpless Lewington.
It was 2-0 shortly after, following a brilliant strike from winger Chris Hackett. His breakaway down the right wing wasn’t stopped and his low drive from outside the area was perfectly struck into the far corner, giving his side a comfortable lead at the break.
John Still’s team talk looked to have done trick as the Daggers dominated the opening 5 minutes. Matt Saunders couldn’t connect with a shot inside the box, Medy Elito then dragged his shot wide before Saunders smashed the post with a header.
But the Daggers were punished by these missed chances as Boothroyd’s men went 3-0 up minutes later. Kevin Langmead rose highest in the box to meet an inswinging corner, making the task even harder for the Daggers.
Finishing proved costly for the away side as another chance came and went. This time Scott Doe left his manager with his head in his hands when his header from Matt Saunders’ free-kick was flashed wide.
The centre-back made amends for his earlier miss on 70 minutes, pulling a goal back. A corner was cleared as far as Ogogo on the half way line who then found Doe on the edge of the box. He took a touch, turned and expertly drilled the ball in the bottom corner.
This didn’t kick-start a Daggers comeback however. Northampton controlled the final encounters, and condemned John Still’s side to another defeat. The gaffer will have concerns over Daggers backline, who have conceded three goals in each of their last three games.
Attendance:4,368 (172 away)
Northampton Town:Nicholls (GK), Widdowson, Langmead (c), Charles, Harding, Platt (Moult, 78), Akinfenwa, Hackett, Tozer, Robinson, Hornby (Guttridge, 63)
Subs not used:Demontagnac, Snedker, Turnbull, Dias, Moyo
Goalscorers:Ogogo o.g. 36, Hackett, 39, Langmead, 50
Daggers:Lewington (GK); Ogogo (c), Wilkinson, Doe, Ilesanmi; Elito, Saunders (Caprice, 75), Spillane, Howell; Reed (Woodall, 46), Williams
Subs not used:Seabright, Hoyte, Maher, Bingham, Scott