Daggers end the year with Roots Hall stalemate
PUBLISHED: 16:57 28 December 2014
Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu
Sky Bet League Two: Southend United 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 0
Dagenham & Redbridge earned a rare clean sheet, but unfortunately couldn’t come away with all three points against Southend United.
Mark Cousins was in top form and ensured a stalemate at Roots Hall, but Wayne Burnett’s side looked a lot more solid than normal.
A disappointment was that they have now gone four games without a goal and went through the whole of December without scoring a goal.
And the result also means the Victoria Road outfit end 2014 in the bottom two, a huge concern for all at the club.
Burnett made six changes to the side beaten by Stevenage on Boxing Day with Jamie Cureton unsurprisingly returning to the starting eleven.
Matt Partridge and Jack Connors also came into the team, whilst Andre Boucaud, Joss Labadie and Ashley Hemmings were promoted after starting on the bench last time out.
Ryan Leonard has the first shot of the game for the hosts after three minutes, but scuffed wide from outside the area.
Billy Bingham responded for Daggers with a dangerous ball across the box which Cureton came close to converting.
Hemmings made a key clearance just before the quarter hour mark, kicking away at the back post with David Worrall in close proximity.
Ayo Obileye also made a superb double tackle midway through the half after Connors dangerous headed back towards goal.
Barry Corr tried to run through, but the Charlton loanee stopped him in his tracks and then halted Jack Payne.
The subdued start to the game was affecting the home supporters and they appeared to be getting frustrated with their team as the half dragged on.
Bingham and Ashley Chambers received yellow cards in the first period for tackles which didn’t appear too dangerous.
The last action of the half came when Myles Weston crossed in for Leonard, he controlled and turned well inside the box. But Mark Cousins was equal to his near post shot.
Two minutes were added on, but neither side were able to produce a significant chance and a dull half was brought to an end by Gavin Ward.
The hosts started strongly after the break with Weston signalling their intent with a long range shot inside the opening three minutes.
Cousins was then called upon three times in quick succession and made crucial stops on each occasion.
The first from Corr, he controlled inside the box and shot from close range, but the Daggers number saved well and Patridge cleared.
A minute later Corr won a flick down inside the penalty area and Payne fired towards goal, but Cousins again was equal to the effort.
Corr had another opportunity shortly afterwards, from Payne’s centre, but the Daggers keeper tipped it wide before the visitors hit back.
Hemmings picked up a stray pass from Cian Bolger, ran at the Southend defence before teeing up Cureton.
But the 39-year-old curled over from the edge of the box, to disappoint the 510 away supporters behind the goal.
The Blues responded with Payne becoming more and more prominent. He chested down a ball outside the box before racing into the area and forcing Cousins into an outstanding save.
The ball was destined for the top corner, but the Daggers keeper made a superb save.
Burnett’s team did have the ball in the back of the net with 64 minutes gone when Cureton forced Daniel Bentley to parry his shot.
Labadie tapped into the empty net, but he was well offside. It offered a warning sign of things as Hemmings tested the Southend keeper shortly afterwards – forcing him to tip over the bar.
With 20 minutes remaining Daggers cause was boosted when Bolger received a straight red card.
He first collided into Cousins from a corner kick before allegedly head butting Labadie afterwards. Referee Ward had not choice but to send the defender off.
Ade Yusuff and Luke Howell were introduced as Burnett pushed for a winner and the latter fired a volley over the bar with nine minutes remaining.
Cousins was again forced into action again as the game edged closer to full time, but he was able to push out Will Atkinson’s effort.
Four minutes were added on at Roots Hall, but neither side was able to produce the winner and it finished goalless.
Daggers will hope to end their barren run in front of goal when they host Bury at Victoria Road on January 3.
Southend United: Bentley, White, Coker, Prosser, Worrall (Coulthirst 39), Corr (Williams 86), Weston, Atkinson, Bolger, Leonard, Payne (Timlin 72).
Unused substitutes: Smith, Clifford, Bridge, Matsuzaka.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins, Partridge (Saah 86), Doe, Obileye, Connors, Chambers (Howell 62), Labadie, Bingham, Boucaud (Yusuff 77), Hemmings, Cureton.
Unused substitutes: O’Brien, Murphy, Widdowson, Porter.
Attendance: 6966 (510 Daggers supporters).