Daggers drop to bottom as Rovers take all three points
PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 December 2015 | UPDATED: 17:00 19 December 2015
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Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Bristol Rovers 3
Dagenham & Redbridge returned to the bottom of League Two following another home defeat, this time against in-form Bristol Rovers.
The hosts started brightly, but wasted two chances to open the scoring inside the opening 25 minutes.
From then on, there only looked to be one winner was the east Londoners’ quest for a first home win of the season goes on.
After Wednesday’s taxing win at Whitehawk in the FA Cup, Daggers boss Wayne Burnett unsurprisingly made a host of changes.
The only ones to keep their starting berth from the trip to the Enclosed Ground were Mark Cousins, Justin Hoyte, Ayo Obileye, Joss Labadie and Josh Passley.
Among those to come into the starting line-up was Christian Doidge, making his first league start since September 29.
It was the Welshman who should have opened the scoring with a fantastic chance in the third minute.
Ashley Chambers slipped Doidge in with a brilliant pass, but the ball got stuck underneath the tall striker’s feet and his effort from just inside the box lacked power.
While Dagenham continued to have the majority of possession, they were unable to carve out any further clear cut opportunities in the opening 20 minutes.
Chambers was next to go close in the 24th minute after Doidge headed Passley’s cross into his path.
The attacking midfielder beat two defenders before firing from just inside the box, but pushed his effort wide of the far post.
And the hosts almost found themselves behind to a quick counter five minutes later with a poor finish from Lee Brown letting Daggers off the hook.
But sadly for the east Londers he wasn’t so generous with 12 minutes to go until half time when he broke the deadlock.
A well worked free kick move saw the ball passed to Brown and the Pirates left back unleashed a thunderbolt that wrong footed Cousins and rattled the back of the net.
Daggers were lucky not to be two down five minutes later, but Ollie Clarke’s effort from a corner was tame and easily collected by Cousins.
The keeper was called upon less than minute late to divert Dan Leadbitter’s cross away from danger after the defender broke through two tackles and into the box.
Action was in short supply at the start of the second half, but Daggers almost crept back into the match in the 64th minute.
Labadie drilled a strong free kick from 35 yards that need to be tipped behind by Rovers substitute keeper Steve Mildenhall.
From the resulting corner, there was something of a melee and how the ball didn’t go in remains a mystery.
This seemed to lift Daggers who just two minutes later were awarded a free on the right side of the box.
Chambers delivered the set piece which fell to Clevid Dikamona on the penalty spot, but the defender scooped his shot over.
Having rarely threatened during the second half, Rovers were able to double their advantage six minutes from time through Rory Gaffney.
A quick counter, combined with some slack defending, saw Matt Taylor pass to Gaffney who curled the ball past Cousins.
That prompted fans to call for the Daggers boss to leave, with some holding up signs that read ‘Burnett Out’.
Rovers added a third in stoppage time through replacement Billy Bodin to cap a miserable afternoon for Daggers.
And if results don’t pick up over the upcoming festive period, the pressure is only likely to increase on Burnett.
Daggers: Cousins; Hoyte, Obileye (Nosworthy 46), Dikamona, Connors; Passley, Labadie, Boucaud, Jones (Vassell 66); Doidge (Cureton 66), Chambers
Unused subs: O’Brien, Raymond, Hemmings, Ferdinand
Attendance: 1, 820 (including 603 Rovers fans)
Referee: Charles Breakspear