A poor second half cost Daggers at home to Cambridge United as they conceded three times to ensure goals from Luke Howell
and George Porter
at Victoria Road were consolations.
Howell had given the hosts a first half lead, a lead they deserved after recovering from a shaky start.
However second half goals from Ryan Donaldson, Michel Nelson and Ryan Bird, in the space of 23 minutes, punished the home side and Porter’s late tap in only contributed towards a 3-2 defeat.
Daggers started shakily against the newly promoted outfit but grew in confidence after the 10th minute and should have taken the lead when Jamie Cureton
headed wide from close range.
Another headed opportunity came soon after for Wayne Burnett’s team and this time they took it.
Cureton was the provider and his excellent delivery from the right was met by Howell, who nodded past Chris Dunn to open the scoring with 20 minutes played.
Daggers continued to press and went close through captain Abu Ogogo
and Ashley Hemmings
but despite dominating the half, they only came in at the break one goal ahead.
Cambridge started strongly after the interval and just nine minutes into the second period leveled the scores from Donaldson.
Gayle fouled Harrison Dunk on the edge of the box and Donaldson whipped the resulting free kick into the top corner, past the unsighted Liam O’Brien.
The Daggers keeper was picking the ball up out of his net shortly afterwards as well as just seven minutes after the equaliser, Cambridge went ahead.
Nelson rose highest from a corner, beating O’Brien to the ball, and heading into the net to the delight the vocal travelling supporters.
Howell, Cureton and Ogogo nearly combined shortly afterwards for an equaliser but Cambridge crowded out the Daggers captain to prevent him getting a shot away.
And in the 77th minute O’Brien was again picking the ball out of his net, after a conceding a bizarre goal involving Ryan Bird.
The ball was headed high into the air but O’Brien failed to claim and the ball bounced off Bird and rolled into the net for 3-1.
Daggers did find a response, though, when substitute Porter headed in after Cambridge’s Dunn has saved Cureton’s initial attempt and that left them eight minutes plus stoppages to find an equaliser.
With two minutes remaining new signing Ade Yusuff came close to having a dream debut when he smashed a volley towards the top corner.
However, Dunn magnificently tipped his effort away and Cambridge held on for the three points to disappoint the Daggers fans.
Daggers: O'Brien, Saah, Cureton, Ogogo (c), Chambers, Green, Howell, Partridge, Gayle, Hemmings (Porter 72), Boucaud (Yusuff 72).
Unused subs: Cousins, Batt, Connors, Ladabie, Goldberg.
Attendance: 2049 (770 away supporters).