Azeez double does the damage as Daggers win at Bristol Rovers
21:39 11 March 2014
Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu
League Two: Bristol Rovers 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 2
A double from Charlton Athletic loanee Ade Azeez gave Daggers a big win at Bristol Rovers, and helped them avoid a case of deja-vu.
John-Joe O’Toole gave the Gas the lead, before Azeez levelled with a header from Medy Elito’s corner.
And Azeez, who only had his loan extended yesterday, bagged his and the visitors’ second with a fine strike. They had to hang on in a nervy five minutes of stoppage time, but unlike at Exeter, the Daggers held on to move up to 12th in the League Two table and complete a league double over John Ward’s side.
Daggers boss Wayne Burnett made two changes from the side which drew 2-2 at Exeter City on Saturday with Luke Wilkinson and Biilly Bingham like-for-like replacements for Scott Doe and Lawson D’Ath respectively.
The early stages looked promising for the visitors with Luke Norris winning them a corner, but on seven minutes they found themselves behind.
A Gas corner from Lee Brown found the head of leading goalscorer John-Joe O’Toole in the box and he headed low past Lewington.
Gavin Hoyte had to bundle another dangerous delivery behind, before skipper Abu Ogogo got a fine block on a fierce David Clarkson shot from inside the box.
Rovers goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall was forced into action on 17 minutes when he managed to keep out an Azeez close range shot which the on loan Charlton striker should have done better with.
But he didn’t have too much longer to wait until he opened his Daggers account when he got up in the box to head home Elito’s inswinging corner on 22 minutes.
It was nothing more than the Daggers deserved but Lewington who was called into action next.
David Clarkson took aim from a 20-yard free-kick but the ‘keeper did well to get down and push the effort away from danger.
Late in the half Mohamed headed inches wide from a Brown left-wing cross and Luke Norris fired well over the top from distance as the half came to a close.
Norris started the half like he ended the first when he tried his luck from 30 yards, only to see the effort go just wide of the post.
However the Gas should have got themselves back in front when Lewington did well to deny Ollie Clarke’s header, before Mohamed failed to connect when the ball was played back into the area.
But in carbon copy of the scoring sequence at Exeter on Saturday, the Daggers took the lead.
Norris played in strike partner Azeez who took his finish well and the Charlton loanee doubled his and the visitors tally for the night.
Chances continued to come for the hosts though as Clarkson’s 25-yard shot was kept out by Lewington, and gathered at the second attempt.
Daggers were having a lot of defending to do, in a similar turn of events to Saturday at Exeter, but while the hosts had plenty of possession they lacked the execution in the final third as the visitors chucked bodies in the way of everything
And unlike on Saturday, they survived five minutes of added on time to secure a good win on the road.
Bristol Rovers: Mildenhall, Smith, Parkes, McChrystal, Brown, Lockyer, Clarke (Harrold 58), Clarkson (Gillespie 69), O’Toole, Mohamed (Santos 84), Beardsley.
Unused substitutes: Gough, Woodards, Harrison, Clucas.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Hoyte, Wilkinson (Doe 63), Saah, Ilesanmi, Bingham (Chambers 59), Ogogo, Howell, Elito, Norris (Dickson 81), Azeez.
Unused substitutes: Seabright, D’Ath, Shields, Connors.
Attendance: 5,761 (72 Daggers fans)