Daggers get new year joy with win at Exeter
PUBLISHED: 16:56 02 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:56 02 January 2016
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Sky Bet League Two: Exeter City 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 2
Dagenham & Redbridge recorded consecutive wins in the league for the first time since April 2015 to move out of the drop zone with a win at Exeter City
In John Still’s first game of his third stint in charge, the visitors took the lead only to concede their advantage on the stroke of half time.
But after withstanding a barrage of pressure from the Grecians after the break, the east Londoners retook the lead
For the first time in the league this season, Daggers named an unchanged XI following Monday’s win at Stevenage.
Ashley Chambers and Christian Doidge were both forced off early in that game with cramp, but were passed fit for the trip to Devon.
It also meant the team persisted with a 5-3-2 formation as Justin Hoyte again took on the role of sweeper.
There was drama even before a ball was kicked at St James Park with the game only going ahead following a pitch inspection at 10.30am following heavy rain.
Pitch conditions probably helped Daggers remain level in the seventh minute when Lee Holmes’ shot from just inside the area rolled into the arms of Mark Cousins.
Daggers forced their first corner of the match in the 11th minute when pressure from Doidge forced Jordan Tillson to run the ball out of play.
Ashley Hemmings delivered the ball from the right and looked to overhit it to the back post.
But Joss Labadie was on hand to score for the second consecutive match, this time with a header, to put the visitors in front.
The goal was not without controversy, though, as Grecians keeper Bobby Olejnik looked to be fouled on the goal line.
Daggers had Cousins to thank nine minutes later for keeping the scores level, denying Alex Nicholls after the hosts worked the ball well to create the close range shot.
The visitors went close to adding a second in the 29th minute when Josh Passley raced down the right flank.
Passley crossed into the box from the byline, but Chambers subsequent half volley was scuffed and collected by Olejnik at the second attempt.
Just five minutes later and Dagenham went close again, this time through striker Doidge.
The Welshman got his head onto a free kick into the box from Frankie Raymond, but his effort went narrowly wide.
From then on, though, it was one-way traffic as Exeter wasted a succession of chances, including some open goals, to draw level.
That was until the 43rd minute when the hosts equalised through Tom Nichols from a corner.
Holmes delivered a delightful ball into the box that cause all manner of chaos in Daggers defence with Nichols taking full advantage.
Daggers started the second half brightly, forcing a couple of early corners asDoidge tested Olejnik with a header.
Both teams continued to create chances, with the visitors unfortunate to see Chambers narrowly miss out on latching onto a poor backpass from Jordan Moore-Taylor.
Any touch would have seen Chambers in for a second for the visitors, but he was just a fraction too slow to get to the ball.
With conditions deteriorating, chances became few and far between although Cousins was on hand to again deny Nichols.
It was Daggers who moved ahead in the 74th minute though, with Chambers scoring a header for the second straight match.
Hemmings initially broke down the left before putting an inviting ball into the box with several team mates waiting.
Chambers was on hand to head home in the middle of the area and put the visitors ahead for the second time.
There was some late drama, with Clevid Dikamona heading a free kick off his own goal line but Daggers held on for a morale-boosting win ahead of the trip to Everton.
Exeter City: Olejnik, Woodman, Holmes, Davies (Oakley 80), Nicholls, Moore-Taylor, Reid (Morrison 81), Nichols, Tillson, Grant, Brown (Noble 80)
Unused subs: Hamon, McAllister, Ribeiro, McCready
Daggers: Cousins; Passley, Dikamona, Hoyte, Obileye, Hemmings; Labadie (Boucaud 46), Dunne, Raymond; Doidge (Vassell 73), Chambers (Cureton 77)
Unused subs: O’Brien, Nosworthy, Jones, Widdowson
Attendance: 3, 451 (including 84 Daggers fans)
Referee: Graham Harwood