Home woes continue for Still’s Daggers
16:55 13 February 2016
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Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Barnet 2
Dagenham & Redbridge slipped to the bottom of the Football League with a defeat at home to London rivals Barnet.
Hopes had been high for a first home success of the season after a decent showing in their last outing against promotion-chasing Wycombe Wanderers.
But Daggers were unable to have much of an impact on proceedings as the Bees ran out comfortable winners.
Justin Hoyte was one of five changes from Tuesday’s home loss, replacing Josh Passley who was starting his three-game ban following a red card against Wycombe.
Oliver Hawkins made his full debut after joining in January with Jamie Cureton partnering him in attack.
There was also a change in formation as Daggers went for a diamond in midfield with Andre Boucaud and Frankie Raymond starting.
Both sides looked to make an early impact on proceedings, but it was Daggers who almost went behind in the fifth minute.
Mark Cousins smartly pushed John Akinde’s close-range header behind for a corner, which was subsequently headed over by away skipper Curtis Weston.
But the hosts quickly went up the other end and won a foul about thirty yards out from goal.
The set piece resulted in a goalmouth scramble that presented Jamie Cureton with a chance to open the scoring, but he fired wide from 12 yards.
Making his first start since John Still took charge, Cureton was clearly keen to make an impression, testing Bees keeper Jamie Stephens from 25 yards in the 7th minute.
Daggers were now on the up and were presented with another great chance to take the lead in the 13th minute.
Hawkins closed down Stephens and won the ball from the Bees keeper, laying it back to Joss Labadie who fired just wide under pressure.
At the other end, Cousins rushed out brilliantly to deny Shaun Batt after a quick counter attack from the visitors.
Cousins’ resistance was finally broken in the 24th minute when Luke Gambin showed good footwork in the box to wriggle free before firing home.
From then, the hosts seemed to go a little flat until the 39th minute with their first menacing foray forward after going behind.
A ball into the box meant for Hawkins evaded the tall striker, instead falling to Cureton whose acrobatic effort from the penalty spot forced Stephens to tip over.
The hosts were unable to create anything from the set piece nor indeed the rest of the half as they went into the break a goal down.
It took a while for things to get going in the second half, but Labadie produced a lung-busting run in the 55th minute to fashion a chance.
The Daggers skipper burst into Bees half before playing the ball to Hawkins, who scooped his effort over from the edge of the box, but he was under pressure.
In an effort to force the issue, Jodi Jones was introduced to the action and made a swift impact in the 60th minute.
The teenager beat three defenders before shooting, with his effort being deflected onto the post for a corner that was dealt with.
But Daggers gifted Barnet a second in the 70th minute with no one picking up Michael Nelson as the centre back tucked a cross in at the back post.
The hosts were lucky not to be three down five minutes later when a Dom Hyam error allowed Akinde through, but Cousins rushed out well to save.
Cousins was called upon again two minutes later, denying Tom Champion from close range with Hackett again sticking the rebound into the away stand.
That was how things stayed with each game becoming increasingly ‘must-win’ for Daggers as they slip five points adrift of safety.
Daggers: Cousins; Hoyte, Worrall, Hyam, Widdowson; Raymond, Boucaud (Chambers 64), Muldoon (Jones 56), Labadie; Hawkins, Cureton (Doidge 71)
Unused subs: O’Brien, Connors, Dikamona, McClure
Barnet: Stephens, Johnson, Nelson, Weston, Akinde, Gambin, Togwell, Batt (Champion 57), Hackett (Shomotun 84), Sesay (Pearson 64)
Unused subs: McKenzie-Lyle, Muggleton, Stevens, Randall
Attendance: Attendance; 1,728 (including 400 Barnet fans)
Referee: Stuart Attwell