Daggers downed by Bent's strike
FRIENDLY Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Birmingham City 1 A LATE goal from substitute Marcus Bent was enough for Birmingham City to run out narrow 1-0 winners over Dagenham & Redbridge on Wednesday night, writes MIKE SIMMONDS. Bent struck after 77 minutes, takin
Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Birmingham City 1
A LATE goal from substitute Marcus Bent was enough for Birmingham City to run out narrow 1-0 winners over Dagenham & Redbridge on Wednesday night, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.
Bent struck after 77 minutes, taking advantage of a terrible mix up between defenders Mark Arber and Will Antwi.
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There seemed nothing on when a long ball was punted upfield, but the central defensive pairing, who had looked solid all night, both left the ball for each other, and it rebounded to Bent, who drilled low past Tony Roberts.
Results are, to all managers, immaterial in pre-season, and on the whole, Daggers boss John Still would have been well-pleased with their efforts in this match.
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He started with Graeme Montgomery alongside Paul Benson upfront, with Peter Gain surprisingly on the wing, and Stuart Thurgood partnering Solomon Taiwo in midfield.
The Blues also picked a strong side, as Barry Ferguson, James McFadden and Seb Larrson all featured from the beginning.
Goalmouth action was few and far between in the first half, though Daggers didn't look out of place against their Premier League opponents.
Montgomery was the first player to really fire a shot in anger, as his long-range drive was held by Maik Taylor.
Stuart Parnaby came closest for the Blues in the opening forays, when his low drive was just past the post.
It was Montgomery again who almost broke the deadlock midway through the half, with his close-range effort blocked by Taylor.
Blues looked decent when in possession, especially whenever McFadden was on the ball, but they failed to impose themselves in the final third, as Antwi made a number of telling clearances, to show that maybe Magnus Okuonghae won't be too badly missed this season.
Roberts was forced to dive bravely at the feet of Cameron Jerome just before the break, as the scores remained goalless going into the second half.
Former West Ham midfielder Lee Bowyer was soon into the action as a substitute for Gary McSheffrey, making a couple of interesting tackles in the centre of the park.
Roberts had his hands warmed by Keith Fahey, but the main man for Daggers in the second period, was Danny Green.
He gave a fine display on the wing, robbing Jared Wilson and firing a shot just over the bar, before mesmerising the full back not once but twice, before his pin-point cross was headed badly over by Josh Scott.
The Blues had gone ahead by this time, with Antwi and Arber finally breached, and Roberts kept the score to just a single goal, flying out to deflect Bent's effort wide.
All in all, it was a highly satisfactory work-out for the Daggers boss, as Thurgood put in a tigerish display in midfield, while Scott Doe looks like he might have nailed the right back slot for the season opener against Crewe Alexandra.
Add the that the blossoming pairing of Antwi and Arber, and there could well be more promising times for the season ahead.
Daggers: Tony Roberts, Scott Doe, Scott Griffiths, Mark Arber (Abu Ogogo 80), Will Antwi, Danny Green, Stuart Thurgood, Peter Gain, Solomon Taiwo (Jon Nurse 71), Graeme Montgomery (Josh Scott 54), Paul Benson.
Subs not used: Glenn Poole, Billy Bingham, Tommy Tejan-Sie, Daniel Charge, Alex Bentley, Harlee Dean.
Birmingham: Maik Taylor, Stephen Carr, Stuart Parnaby (Jared Wilson 56), Roger Johnson, Scott Dann (Martin Taylor 46), Seb Larsson, Barry Ferguson, James McFadden, Keith Fahey, Cameron Jerome (Marcus Bent 67).
Subs not used: Colin Doyle.
What did you make of Daggers' latest friendly performance? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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