Daggers left frustrated as Southend take bragging rights
PUBLISHED: 17:03 14 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:03 14 March 2015
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Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Southend United 3
Dagenham & Redbridge were comfortably beaten by rivals Southend United in front of their biggest crowd of the season at Victoria Road, despite Ayo Obileye’s first half header.
When Obileye scored in the 22nd minute to level the scores it seemed like being a good afternoon for Wayne Burnett’s side.
But Blues scored on the stroke of half time and Damian Batt conceded a penalty early in the second period to give the visitors the ascendancy.
The hosts unfortunately never recovered and it was an incredibly frustrating afternoon for everyone, except the 1,455 away supporters.
Burnett kept faith with the team that started against Tranmere Rovers last weekend, but did make two changes to the substitutes bench.
Abu Ogogo and Ade Yusuff returned with Daniel Carr and Matt Partridge missing out.
Daggers revealed positive news 10 minutes before kick-off as well with youngster Jodi Jones signing his first professional contract with the club.
The 17-year-old has impressed in the Essex Senior Cup this campaign and featured in the first team squad recently.
He has signed a deal until 2017 and Daggers will hope that wards off interest from any other clubs.
Southend started more brightly than the hosts, but couldn’t create any significant opportunities inside the opening exchanges.
Ashley Hemmings had a header blocked following Billy Bingham’s free kick with quarter of an hour played, but it had been a quiet opening at Victoria Road.
A minute later and the away supporters were making noise when Joe Pigott fired them into the lead.
The Southend forward traded passes with Ben Coker before dribbling past Scott Doe inside the box and composing himself to find the bottom corner.
Daggers were only trailing for six minutes, though, as Obileye’s second goal for the club brought them level.
Shamir Fenelon did well to win a free kick around 35-yards-out and Bingham’s delivery was perfect for the Charlton loanee to power home a header at the far post.
Burnett’s team were passing the ball confidently now, but had a lucky escape in the 28th minute.
O’Brien came for a bouncing ball, but under pressure from Pigott, dropped it and the Southend man tried to run free.
However Daggers keeper appeared to pull back the away forward and then was able to jump on the loose ball.
Surprisingly after all of that referee Fred Graham gave the hosts a free-kick – despite it looking more like a penalty.
The visitors took confidence from that and David Worrall and Barry Corr both headed straight at O’Brien from inside the box as the Blues started to press for a second.
Batt picked up a needless booking for charging into Worrall shortly afterwards and Corr had another opportunity from the set piece, but this time headed wide.
Daggers nearly shot themselves in the foot five minutes from time when a number of errors nearly allowed Pigott to double his tally.
First Boucaud’s pass back towards Bingham put the midfielder under pressure and he could only give the ball to Obileye. He stupidly tried to dribble past Pigott when he easily could have cleared.
The Southend forward tackled Obileye, but O’Brien was alert to the danger – made himself big and blocked to prevent a certain goal.
Daggers keeper was beaten in two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half when Ryan Leonard scored a wonderful goal.
He chested the ball down and volleyed home from 35-yards-out to put the visitors back in front and delight away manager Phil Brown, who jumped up and fist pumped the air after the strike.
Half time followed and Burnett was unhappy with referee Graham and remonstrated with the official in the middle before walking off to the changing rooms.
The hosts would have hoped for a strong start to the second period but it wasn’t forthcoming as the away team were awarded a penalty in the 51st minute.
Worrall’s cross into the box found Luke Prosser unmarked at the back post and he tried to head back across goal. However Batt blocked with his hands and a spot-kick was rightly given.
Corr stepped up and placed the ball down the middle of the goal to make it 3-1 and give Burnett’s team an uphill battle.
Alex Jakubiak was introduced in the 56th minute to try and give Daggers impetus that their play had lacked since the end of the first period.
It couldn’t halt the momentum Blues had, though, as they were first to every ball and the hosts looked shell shocked.
Burnett made another change by bringing captain Ogogo onto the pitch, replacing Batt, and switched the formation to 3-5-2.
It failed to change the tide of the match as Southend continued to attack and push for a fourth.
Brown’s team came forward time after time after the third and could had added another goal had they taken more care in the final third.
Jones entered play in the 86th minute and nearly scored his first league goal a minute into four added on.
He picked up the ball on the right hand side, cut inside and curled towards the top corner, but Bentley brilliantly tipped away from goal.
It ensured Daggers didn’t pull one back and it ended 3-1 to hand the bragging rights to Southend and leave Burnett and his team frustrated.
Dagenham & Redbridge: O’Brien, Batt, Doe, Obileye, Widdowson, Howell (Jones 86), Bingham, Boucaud, Hemmings, Fenelon (Jakubiak 56), Cureton.
Unused substitutes: Moore, Ogogo, Labadie, Gayle, Yusuff.
Southend United: Bentley, White, Coker, Thompson, Prosser, Worrall, Timlin (Deegan 83), Corr, Hurst (Weston 81), Leonard, Pigott, (Cassidy 89).
Unused substitutes: Smith, Atkinson, Payne, Binnom-Williams.
Attendance: 3,393 (1,455 Southend United supporters).