Daggers knocked out by Dons
JOHNSTONE S PAINT TROPHYMK Dons 3 Daggers 1 A MAD few moments saw Dagenham & Redbridge crash out of the Johnstone s Paint Trophy at the hands of MK Dons on Tuesday night. After a decent first half for the visitors, in which Daggers defended valiantly, t
JOHNSTONE'S PAINT TROPHY
MK Dons 3 Daggers 1
A MAD few moments saw Dagenham & Redbridge crash out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the hands of MK Dons on Tuesday night, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.
After a decent first half for the visitors, in which Daggers defended valiantly, they were undone by two second half strikes in the space of three minutes, to kill off their brave challenge.
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Both goals could have been avoided too, as veteran goalkeeper Tony Roberts was to endure a disappointing night.
First, instead of clearing the ball into touch, he opted to keep it in play, and when MK Dons quickly won back possession, they forced a corner, from which Dean Lewington nodded the hosts ahead.
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Seconds later, another corner was swung into the box, and Roberts flapped once more, allowing Jermaine Easter to crash the ball home from close range.
The keepers miserable night was rounded off on 71 minutes, when he spilled Easter's long-range daisy cutter into the net at his near post.
Daggers boss John Still made a few changes to his side for the first round clash, bringing in Abu Ogogo, Graeme Montgomery, Wes Thomas and loan signing from Portsmouth, Tom Kilbey, for starts.
MK Dons gave their visitors plenty of respect too, picking a side packed with pace and experience, and Jabo Ibehre forced a good save from Roberts early on.
The visitors were more than a match for the opening salvos though, and looked dangerous on the counter, with Paul Benson and Thomas continually breaking the offside trap.
Benson was inches away from a fine Montgomery cross, while the striker then turned provider, but Montgomery's effort lacked conviction.
Daggers top scorer had the chance of the half shortly afterwards, intercepting Jason Puncheon's misplaced pass, but his shot was tipped round the post by Willy Gueret.
That was as good as it got for Still's side though, as Dons slowly found their way into the game, enjoying long periods of possession.
Try as they might though, they couldn't get a sight of Roberts' goal, with the visitors well-organised defensively.
Jemal Johnson came close from distance, his effort brushing the side-netting, but Dons were reduced to long shots, as Easter and Puncheon were all off target.
Daggers almost had a shock half time lead to their name too, when Gueret smashed a backpass against the rear of Benson, but unfortunately for the striker, it bounced past the post.
Into the second half, and Daggers continued their dogged defensive efforts, while they could have taken the lead, but Gueret got down well to palm Thomas' shot away, and Sol David just managed to clear the rebound.
Unfortunately, that was the cue for Daggers to self-destruct at the back as they rushed into a 2-0 lead.
Roberts denied a third, with a fine save from Ibehre's close-range shot, before he was swiftly beaten again by Easter.
It should have been four, but Ibehre missed a sister, and to their credit, Daggers kept going right until the end.
Will Antwi had a volley come back off the post, while Thomas' header was excellent kept out by Gueret.
Daggers got their consolation in stoppage time though, as substitute Josh Scott stooped to turn Mark Arber's header across the line.
Daggers: Tony Roberts, Abu Ogogo, Scott Griffiths, Mark Arber, Will Antwi, Jon Nurse (Josh Scott 71), Peter Gain, Tom Kilbey, Graeme Montgomery, Paul Benson (Danny Green 54), Wes Thomas.
Subs not used: Chris Lewington, Scott Doe, Billy Bingham.
Attendance: 4,413 (inc 173 away).
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