Daggers solid again but fail to find the net against the U’s
16:59 10 January 2015
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Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Oxford United 0
Dagenham & Redbridge made it three matches unbeaten and continued their unbeaten start to 2015 following a goalless draw with Oxford United.
Chances were few and far between in a match that the hosts dominated, without never making the most of their opportunities.
Although they would have liked to pick up all three points it was another solid defensive display and keeps them 21st in the table.
Burnett kept faith with the same team that defeated Bury last weekend, however Alex Jakubiak was handed a place on the bench with Zavon Hines surprisingly dropping out of the match day squad.
Joe Widdowson, who signed for the club permanently yesterday, was also left out of the squad as the Daggers boss showed faith with last weekend’s squad.
Both sides started brightly but couldn’t fashion a clear cut opportunity until nine minutes had been play.
Rhys Murphy passed into strike partner Jamie Cureton and although Ryan Clarke saved his effort, Murphy was able to nod the ball into the empty net.
Unfortunately Cureton had been offside when he received the ball so the goal didn’t stand, but it was encouraging to see the pair linking up well.
A minute later and Joss Labadie was given the ball outside the box, but he sliced his shot well wide.
Daggers had worked the ball well prior to the shot though, with Ashley Hemmings already looking a threat on the left side of midfield.
It was Hemmings who created the next chance of note with 18 minutes gone, but somehow his namesake Ashley Chambers failed to convert.
Hemmings picked the ball up just inside the U’s half and raced at Jonathan Meades before curling a wonderful ball into the box.
Chambers ran in at the back post, but with most of the goal at his mercy miscued his effort wide and it remained goalless.
Wes Burns responded for the visitors four minutes later and made space for himself well just outside the area, but Daggers Mark Cousins was equal to his scuffed shot.
Daggers continued to get joy on the left with Hemmings and Jack Connors getting forward well and both putting in decent balls into the box.
Oxford were defending well though and the wind was playing a huge part on proceeding with neither side able to pass the ball around as they would like.
Hemmings and Bingham clashed heads midway through the first half and the latter needed some attention from physio John Gowens.
With that stoppage, as well as some others, three minutes were added on at the end of the half and Oxford’s Josh Ruffels had a shot blocked with the last action of the half.
Bingham was forced off at half time with Andre Boucaud replacing him in central midfield.
Chambers, who didn’t have a great time in the first half, had the first opportunity of the second period, but he curled wide after good work from Cureton.
Hemmings was continuing to pose a threat on the left side and raced past two Oxford players in the 59th minute, but his cross into the box was disappointingly headed away.
A lack of quality in the final third was costing Daggers and the U’s as both sides found themselves in good positions, but failed to make the most of them.
A mistake by the visitors nearly allowed Cureton to have a shot on goal, but Oxford captain Jake Wright made a strong challenge on the forward – the pair’s embrace afterwards was also nice to see.
Burnett was forced into another substitution with 20 minutes remaining as Matt Partridge pulled up with a hamstring injury.
Damian Batt replaced him leaving the Daggers boss with only one substitution as they looked to push for another win.
With 76 minutes gone Burnett decided to introduce Jakubiak against the club he started the season with on loan.
Labadie smashed a free-kick just wide from 35-yards-out a minute later and the hosts pushed for the win.
The Daggers midfielder picked up a booking shortly afterwards for clashing with Oxford Will Hoskins as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
Danny Hylton might have won it for the U’s when substitute Callum O’Dowda got to the byline and crossed into the box, but he headed over the bar when well placed.
Labadie had another opportunity from a free kick soon after and although he fired wide again, it was closer this time.
Jakubiak was making a good impression and he won Daggers another free kick, which Labadie again eyed up.
Unfortunately he fired this effort over the bar before two minutes were added on for injury time.
Dagenham & Redbridge starting team: Cousins, Connors, Obileye, Doe, Partridge (Batt 70), Hemmings, Bingham (Boucaud 46), Labadie, Chambers (Jakubiak 76), Murphy, Cureton.
Unused substitutes: O’Brien, Saah, Howell, Yusuff.
Oxford United starting team: Clarke, Meades, Mullins, Wright, Hylton, Ruffels, Whing, Burns (Hoskins 74), Roberts (O’Dowda 34), Dunkley, Holmes-Dennis.
Unused substitutes: Crocombe, Rose, Collins, Long, Campbell.
Attendance: 1,892 (551 Oxford supporters)