Missed opportunities see Daggers fail Cambridge examination
PUBLISHED: 17:24 13 September 2014 | UPDATED: 19:11 13 September 2014
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Another defeat for Burnett’s boys
Daggers were beaten again at Victoria Road after conceding three times in the second half against Cambridge United, to fall to a fourth League Two defeat of the season.
Luke Howell had given the hosts a deserved first-half lead but their failure to take their opportunities in the opening 45 cost them.
Ryan Donaldson, Michel Nelson and Ryan Bird all scored after the interval to put the visitors 3-1 up and although George Porter pulled one back late on, the hosts were unable to beat the U’s keeper Chris Dunn in the final exchanges and fell to another home defeat.
Daggers boss Wayne Burnett made two changes to the side beaten last weekend as former Cambridge ace Ashley Chambers returned in place of Porter.
Nathan Green, after his cameo against Northampton, started with Damian Batt dropping to the bench.
The host started nervously with left-back Green twice giving away needless fouls inside the opening five minutes.
Fortunately Cambridge couldn’t capitalise and it was Daggers that had the first chance to open the scoring after 11 minutes.
Matt Partridge initiated the move with an excellent threaded pass down the right to release Chambers, who had his cross cleared back to the full-back.
And Patridge composed himself before whipping the ball back into the box from the right but Jamie Cureton headed wide from close range.
Daggers continued to grow in confidence and Ian Gayle nearly converted Chambers corner before they did take a deserved lead.
Cureton was the provider, whipping the ball into the box from the right and Howell met his excellent delivery.
The midfielders late run into the box went unmarked and he was able to head home the opener in the 20th minute.
Burnett’s team continued to look composed when in possession and it was now Cambridge making the stray passes after starting so confidently.
A flowing Daggers move nearly ended with Abu Ogogo chipping Dunn but the U’s goalkeeper read his effort and saved with ease.
Ashley Hemmings then went close after linking up with Chambers but his goabound effort was blocked by Tom Elliot to prevent the hosts extending their advantage and they went in only one goal ahead at the break.
Liam O’Brien had little to do during the first half, though did face a nasty bobble five minutes before the break, but it was a different story in the second period.
Cambridge, again, started the half with great intent and roared on by their vocal away supporter soon equalised.
Gayle was penalized on the edge of his own area when Harrison Dunk nicked the ball away and the referee’s decision to award a free kick against the hosts would prove decisive.
Donaldson stood over the set piece and curled past O’Brien into the top corner to level the scores in the 53rd minute.
Eight minutes later and the visitors took the lead and again it was another set play that punished them.
Michael Nelson headed in for Cambridge from a corner, though Daggers keeper O’Brien would have been disappointed not to command his box with more authority.
Daggers tried to find a response and an intelligent 1-2 between Howell and Cureton nearly created one for Ogogo but he was crowded out before Burnett made changes to try and summon an equaliser.
New boy Ade Yusuff was introduced, alongside George Porter, but just five minutes later and the game was settled.
Brian Saah headed into the air and O’Brien fumbled the high ball, under pressure from Ryan Bird, and the bouncing ball rolled into the empty net off the Cambridge forward for 3-1.
With the game seemingly over, Daggers gave themselves a lifeline when Porter tapped in after Cureton’s header from a corner had been saved.
That revitalized the hosts and Burnett’s side pilled the pressure on and came close to levelling on two occasions.
Cureton tested Dunn first before Yusuff chested the following corner down and volleyed towards the top corner.
However, the Cambridge keeper ensured it wouldn’t be a dream debut for the new striker by tipping his effort away.
Daggers pressed during the four additional minutes but they couldn’t create a clear cut chance and fell to a second consecutive home defeat.
Daggers: O’Brien, Saah, Cureton, Ogogo (c), Chambers, Green, Howell, Partridge, Gayle, Hemmings (Porter 72), Boucaud (Yusuff 72).
Unused subs: Cousins, Batt, Connors, Ladabie, Goldberg.
Cambridge: Dunn, Tait, Taylor, Coulson, Donaldson, Elliot, Dunk (Taylor 81), Austin (Hurst 60), Nelson (c), Diallo, Stockley (Bird 56).
Unused subs: Norris, Lanzoni, Lennon, Bevins.
Attendance: 2049 (770 away supporters).x