Daggers in trouble after Rovers hit four
17:04 01 April 2013
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League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Bristol Rovers 4
Daggers failed to recover from two goals in the opening six minutes as they lost out at home to Bristol Rovers to drag themselves firmly into a relegation battle.
Mo Sharif came in for his first start but it was a horror show for the hosts as the ball broke kindly to John-Joe O’Toole in the box from a throw-in and he applied the finishing touch as Rovers took a fourth-minute lead.
And two minutes later it got even worse for Burnett’s side as Luke Wilkinson’s back header was weak and Oumare Tonkara beat goalkeeper Jonathan Miles to the ball and he fired into an unguarded net.
Tonkara almost added a third as he again pressed the home defence but fortunately for the Daggers the shot came back off the post.
Things weren’t going the hosts way though and a great chance fell the way of Ben Strevens but he shot straight at Rovers goalkeeper Connor Gough.
And the visitors looked home and hosed on 20 minutes when Danny Woodards had time and space to shoot low past Miles.
It couldn’t get any worse for the hosts and as the half wore on they began to enjoy more of the ball.
They finally pulled one back after 29 minutes when a great ball into the box from Gavin Hoyte was headed goalwards by Strevens and though Gough got a hand to it, Medy Elito was on hand to tap in.
The next goal would be crucial and Burnett decided to make a double sub at the break with Jake Reed and Louis Dennis on for Silva and Elito.
Mo Sharif fired a free-kick into the side netting for the hosts but the visitors looked to have wrapped up the points when Tonkara profited from a poor Daggers free-kick and he fired across goal and into the net via the post with 20 minutes remaining.
There was a lifeline three minutes later for the Daggers as Femi Ilesanmi’s ball in from the left found Reed and he fired home his first goal for the club to give them hope.
Reed was then presented with another chance after a lovely ball through from Strevens but Gough saved well and Wilkinson headed over from the subsequent corner.
Try as they may, Daggers couldn’t find a third and Tonkara was denied a hat-trick by the legs of Miles.
Results elsewhere didn’t go the hosts way and they are now just three points off the relegation zone in 17th spot.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Miles, Ilesanmi, Doe, Wilkinson, Hoyte (Gracco 87), Sharif, Howell, Ogogo, Silva (Dennis 46), Elito (Reed 46), Strevens.
Unused substitutes: Seabright, Saunders, Maher, Fortune.
Attendance: 2,082 (482 Bristol Rovers fans)