The Daggers won their first game of the new season and are into the 2nd round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after defeating League 1 side Stevenage 3-2 at Victoria Road.
Brian Woodall opened the scoring before Mark Roberts drew level for Stevenage. Josh Scott put the Daggers back in front and Michael Spillane added another from the spot. Robin Shroot pulled one back for the visitors but it wasn’t enough as John Still’s men dumped them out of the cup.
With the season in full flow, John Still freshened up his squad ready for the visit of The Boro. Brian Woodall and Josh Scott led the line for the home side, which also saw Dominic Green and Luke Wilkinson make their first starts of the season.
The Daggers held their own early on and were delighted to make a quick breakthrough. After good work to win the corner, Green delivered an excellent ball into the box and with a clear sight at goal Woodall flashed a header in at the near post.
Like the Daggers, Stevenage made sure that their first effort on goal was to count, albeit a sloppy one. With a free kick causing chaos inside the Dagenham box, the ball eventually fell to Boro captain Mark Roberts who beat the men on the line from close range to draw his team level.
It didn’t take long for the Daggers to restore their one goal advantage with virtually their second effort of the game. Good play allowed the ball to be worked out on the right to Luke Howell, whose cross evaded all the defenders and found Josh Scott free, 8 yards out to place home.
It got worse for the away side when Michael Spillane was scythed down in the penalty box, leaving no doubt for referee Robinson who pointed to the spot. Spillane brushed himself down and slammed the ball past ‘keeper Steve Arnold to give his team a 3-1 lead at the break.
Stevenage were quick out of the traps in the second half and the Daggers worked hard to cope with the pressure. Despite the lively start to the second period the game went completely flat until the 70th minute when the visitors pulled one back.
Shroot found his corner cleared back to him and with no pressure from the defence he took the ball forward and drove a cross in which went through a crowd of players and into Lewington’s net to make a tense end to the game.
The Daggers held off late Stevenage pressure and their victory will have delighted boss John Still who can now look ahead to their trip to Southend on Saturday.
Attendance- 981 (104 away)
Dagenham & Redbridge-
Lewington (gk), Hoyte, Wilkinson, Doe, Ilesanmi, Spillane, Howell (Bingham, 77), Ogogo (c), Do Green (Da Green, 77), Woodall, Scott
Subs- Seabright (gk), Reed, Da Green, Bingham, Dennis
Goalscorers- Woodall, 12, Scott, 31, Spillane, 35 (pen)
Arnold (gk), Gray, Charles, Tansey, Grant (Haber, 46), Morais, Roberts (c), Rogers (Shroot, 62), Agyemang (Freeman, 72), Risser, Ngala
Subs- Haber, Freeman, Ball, Comminges, Shroot
Goalscorers- Roberts, 25, Shroot, 70