Daggers blunt Luton's survival hopes

COCA-COLA LEAGUE TWO Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Luton Town 1 By Mike Simmonds DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE returned to winning ways on Saturday thanks to two goals from the most unlikely of sources. Defender Danny Foster had only netted twice in his previous 175 ga

COCA-COLA LEAGUE TWO

Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Luton Town 1

By Mike Simmonds

DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE returned to winning ways on Saturday thanks to two goals from the most unlikely of sources.


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Defender Danny Foster had only netted twice in his previous 175 games for the club, but doubled that tally with strikes either side of half time.

His first, demonstrated a clinical side not often seen from the full back, as he collected Matt Ritchie's pass, showed some nice footwork, before thumping the ball beyond Lewis Price.

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Out of nowhere, Foster then became centre forward for the second goal, deflecting Sam Saunders cross into the net.

Daggers had looked the more threatening in front of goal, despite being without leading scorer Paul Benson, who will worryingly miss up to two months after suffering a cartilage injury.

Thankfully for the hosts, they had winger Matt Ritchie in sparkling form, as he demonstrated a glorious range of passing and tenacity on both flanks.

Ben Strevens saw a header cleared off the line, before Daggers were ahead on 20 minutes courtesy of Foster's strike.

The home side switched off moments after taking the lead though as Asa Hall's deflected drive beat Tony Roberts, but bounced out off the post.

Without Benson's prowess up front, Jon Nurse was showing a dogged willingness to retain possession and the number of free kicks he won were endless.

Luton cranked up the pressure midway through the half though, forcing a number of corners and almost got back on level terms.

The tricky Ian Henderson came closest as his low shot hit Magnus Okuonghae and dribbled towards goal, but the prostate Roberts somehow stuck out a boot to save and Mark Arber hacked clear.

The veteran keeper appeared to pick up an injury in the process of keeping Daggers ahead, which hindered his kicking for the remainder of the game, but with only Dave Hogan on the bench, he soldiered on.

Roberts showed just how vital he is to the cause shortly after the break, racing off his line to save at the feet of Tom Craddock.

A fine end to end move almost had Daggers 2-0 up as Roberts released Ritchie, whose delightful through ball put Nurse in the clear, but disappointingly, his shot was too close to Price.

Strevens opted to shoot when loan signing Doug Loft was in a better position, but the second goal game on 56 minutes when Ritchie picked out Saunders and his cross was bundled in by Foster.

Once again Daggers lost their concentration straight after scoring and Henderson pulled a goal back, slamming home from inside the area.

Manager John Still was then forced into another chance, with Arber hobbling off and Anwar Uddin taking his place, but the club captain performed admirably, winning his headers with real purpose and making once terrific sliding challenge.

The hosts were almost made to pay too as Ritchie made a crucial block on the line, while Craddock saw his shot saved by Roberts.

When Craddock then stabbed a shot wide from a good position, you got the feeling it wasn't going to be Luton's day, but for Daggers, their promotion hopes continue.

Dag & Red: Roberts 8, Foster, 8, Okuonghae 8, Arber 7 (Uddin 58 8,), Griffiths 7, Saunders 7, Loft 6, Taiwo 6 (Southam 71 6), * Ritchie 9, Strevens 7, Nurse 7.

Subs not used: Hogan, Montgomery, Thomas.

Att: 2,310 (inc 733 away fans).

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