Victoria Road stalemate as Daggers and Pompey produce dull draw
21:49 10 February 2015
Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu
Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Portsmouth 0
Dagenham & Redbridge extended their unbeaten run at Victoria Road, but couldn’t break down Portsmouth as they played out a goalless draw.
Chances were few and far between throughout and quality, especially in the final third, was lacking all evening.
But it kept up the impressive run Wayne Burnett’s team are on and made it one defeat in eight matches.
A nice touch from the Daggers boss was introducing Jodi Jones in the 90th minute for his debut – making him the youngster player ever to represent the club in the league.
In the end a goalless draw was the right result, but it was certainly a game that will not live long in the memory for both sets of supporters.
Burnett named an unchanged team after the victory at York City, but handed places to youngsters Jones and Jack Connors on the bench and with a packed away end there was a fast start to proceeding at Victoria Road.
Abu Ogogo gave away an early corner, but Daggers broke from the Pompey set piece and Jamie Cureton released Ashley Hemmings down the left.
He tricked his way past an opponent before working a yard of space but his effort curled wide of Paul Jones’ goal with just two minutes gone.
A minute later and Cureton was asking referee Trevor Kettle why he wasn’t awarded a penalty when he collided with away captain Paul Robinson.
The 39-year-old checked back past the Portsmouth defender and went to ground. However no spot kick was awarded and he was left on the floor clasping his hands looking to the heavens.
Daggers continued to press with Hemmings and Luke Howell firing off target before Joe Widdowson misjudged a header and Mark Cousins needed to be alert at his near post.
It had been a frantic opening 20 minutes, but the pace of the game slowed down afterwards. The hosts were still the more dominant, though, with Billy Bingham and Andre Boucaud, sent off in this fixture earlier in the season, dictating play in midfield.
And it was the Trinidad and Tobago international who created the next opportunity for Daggers just past the half an hour mark when he majestically flicked the ball into space for Alex Jakubiak.
The youngster smashed the ball across the face of goal, though, when a more composed pass to Cureton in space would have been the better option and the chance was wasted.
Matt Tubbs was nearly afforded a sniff at goal five minutes before half time when Ryan Taylor headed into his path, but Ayo Obileye came across and cleared for a corner.
Jed Wallace whipped in the resulting kick and Jack Whatmough was guilty of wasting a decent opportunity as he headed over at the near post when unmarked.
Hemmings had Daggers first shot on target in the 43rd minute, but his effort was weak and Jones easily gathered and despite some late Pompey pressure it was goalless at the break.
The second period started slowly and it took nine minutes for the first chance of note as Howell chested down just inside the area, but his volley was comfortably saved.
Both teams continued to get into good areas of the pitch however the telling cross or required bit of quality was lacking and with an hour gone we were still without a clear cut opportunity for either side.
Daggers went close in the 65th minute following some lovely interplay between Cureton and Jakubiak. The Watford loanee played into Boucaud, who was 25-yards-out, but he smashed a strike just wide with Jones beaten.
The visitors responded, though, and Josh Passley had a shot deflected at goal which Cousins saved before the home keeper had to punch a threatening free kick clear.
Daniel Carr came on for his home debut in the 81st minute and he nearly latched onto Bingham’s pass, but it ran through to Jones.
Although time was ticking away neither side looked like grabbing what would surely be a winner and the only noteworthy action in the final exchanges was the introduction of 17-year-old Jones deep into injury time.
The Daggers youth team player travelled with the squad to York at the weekend, but was left off the bench. However Burnett gave him his chance this time.
It was a decision that made Jones the youngest player to ever represent the Victoria Road club in the Football League.
Jones wasn’t able to touch the ball during his short cameo, but was congratulated by his team mates at the full time whistle and despite the match finishing goalless, it is certainly a night he will never forget.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins, Ogogo, Doe, Obileye, Widdowson, Howell, Bingham, Boucaud, Hemmings, Cureton (Carr 81), Jakubiak (Jones 90).
Unused substitutes: O’Brien, Connors, Saah, Chambers, Ladabie.
Portsmouth: Jones, Devera, Robinson, Whatmough, Passley, Hollands, Dunne, Butler, Wallace (Atangana 66), Taylor, Tubbs (Westcarr 87).
Unused substitutes: Poke, Webster, Barcham, Ertl, Chaplin.
Attendance: 2,310 (885 Portsmouth supporters).