Dagenham fell to a 50-19 defeat against table-topping Southend Saxons to suffer their first home loss and most points conceded in a number of seasons.

And they were left to rue a slow start and second-half indiscipline which gifted a number of easy scores in an otherwise competitive match.

Uncharacterstic errors granted Southend an early penalty near the posts which was converted and the visitors showed their experience at this level, winning the early tactical battle, and extending their lead with a well-worked try.

Dagenham began to settle into the game, holding onto the ball for longer periods and making ground through the Southend defence. And after some good phase play, Jordan Darkwa crashed over in the corner for their first try.

But tactical errors again cost Dagenham and they soon found themselves under their own posts again, with a smart lineout move resulting in the Southend hooker going over untouched.

Abrasive carrying by Dagenham found a few gaps and, from a scrum, an excellent first-phase move sent Nat Farrell scorching in to score, with Tommy Cameron adding the conversion to reduce the gap to 17-12.

Southend had the last say of the first half, though, when striking from another set-play to score under the posts for a 24-12 half-time lead.

Dagenham remained positive going into the second half and a great break from Will Knowlden gained valuable field position, with Southend reduced to 14 men by a yellow card for a cynical infringement preventing Josh Cook from taking a quick-tap penalty.

Electing for a scrum under the posts, a powerful shove set the platform for centre Lewis Pruce to crash over for a try, again converted by Cameron, to cut the gap to five points once more.

But the hosts were soon under self-imposed pressure again, receiving two yellow cards in quick succession for an intentional knock-on and sacking a promising Southend maul illegally.

Despite tireless defending from their 13 men, Dagenham saw Southend take full advantage of the numerical mismatch to score three tries in that 10-minute period to put the result beyond doubt.

Dagenham chased a fourth try bonus point, but despite some good play the Southend defence were unrelenting and applied plenty of pressure.

And after a long period of phases on their line, eventually the pressure told and an error ended the game.

Having dropped to sixth in the league table Dagenham will look to bounce back quickly at Norwich this weekend.