Dagenham & Redbridge haunted by former boss
15:53 01 November 2015
©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 8450 946026
Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Luton Town 2
Dagenham & Redbridge are still without a win at home this season after falling to defeat against ex-manager John Still’s Luton Town.
The east Londoners turned in one of the better displays of recent weeks in the first half but still went in behind.
After some contentious decisions and poor finishing in the second half, the Hatters were able to add to their lead and increase the pressure on Wayne Burnett.
The hosts unsurprisingly made five changes from the demoralising 3-1 defeat at Accrington Stanley last week.
Josh Passley, Nyron Nosworthy, regular skipper Andre Boucaud and Kane Ferdinand all dropped to the bench for the east Londoners.
There was a first start of the season for Joss Labadie who lined up in midfield alongside recent loan signing James Dunne.
Dagenham looked to be controlling possession in the early exchanges but it was the visitors who had the first shot on target in the ninth minute.
The ball was laid off to Jack Marriott on the edge of the area and the midfielder’s effort stung the palms of Liam O’Brien who pushed it away from danger.
Luton went close against just over two minutes later when Luke Guttridge charged down Josh Pask’s clearance inside the area.
The ball fell for Marriott who could only spoon over from the penalty spot but the visitors were taking charge.
Having weathered the storm, Daggers began to regain a foothold in the match with some good play on the counter attack.
Ashley Hemmings, wearing the armband in Boucaud’s absence, broke forward and had Jamie Cureton and Jones ahead of him in the 20th minute.
Rather than pick out one of his team mates, Hemmings went for goal but his 30 yard effort was both high and wide.
Two minutes later and after some neat trickery, Jones fizzed the ball in for Cureton who headed the ball back across goal six yards out.
Sadly there was no team mate who was on the same wavelength trying to get on the end of it and Luton were able to clear.
O’Brien was again called upon to perform heroics in the 25th minute to prevent the Hatters from taking the lead.
Luke Guttridge played a free kick in from the left that was headed toward goal by Marriott and was set to go in only for O’Brien to get down low and push it behind.
The hosts were able to make the Luton goalkeeper work in the 30th minute when Ashley Chambers found Cureton on the edge of the box.
Cureton showed quick feet to create room for a shot that was collected by a back peddling Mark Tyler.
It was the visitors who took the lead in the 41st minute though through Guttridge who lifted the ball over an onrushing keeper.
Daggers, however, felt aggrieved that the goal was given with the bench believing Josh Pask was fouled in the build up.
Luton went close to doubling their lead eight minutes into the second half as Guttridge went in search of a second.
The midfielder shot from 20 yards but his effort was well saved by O’Brien who was grateful to see Marriott given offside as he went for the rebound.
Daggers thought they had been given a brilliant chance to draw level in the 56th minute when he blew after Labadie was tripped in the box.
But instead of awarding a penalty, referee Keith Hill chose to book the midfielder for a dive – a decision that left Wayne Burnett fuming.
Seven minutes later and they were presented with that glorious chance of an equaliser they were hoping for.
Hemmings broke past the final defender and was one-on-one with Tyler but his effort went wide of the post.
From the resulting goal kick, Luton went upfield and were able to double their advantage.
Pask was attempting to shield the ball back to O’Brien but the ball clattered off the pair and towards Guttridge.
The midfielder then passed to team mate Alex Lawless who coolly slotted home for the visitors.
It was a moment that seemed to kill off the match as a contest with the only action coming from behind the goal from a group of fans chanting “Burnett Out”.
With the result, Daggers remain at the foot of the Football League and need results to change fast if they are to move up the standings.
Daggers: O’Brien; Hoyte, Pask, Obileye, Connors; Dunne, Labadie; Jones (Mulraney 50), Chambers (McClure 76), Hemmings; Cureton
Unused subs: Cousins, Passley, Nosworthy, Boucaud, Ferdinand
Attendance: 2,473 (including 1,083 Luton fans)
Referee: Keith Hill