Dagenham fall to heavy defeat at Eastleigh

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon looks on

Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon looks on from the touchline

An uninspiring and, to an extent, self-sabotaging Dagenham & Redbridge side fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Eastleigh in Hampshire on Tuesday night. Two goals from the spot making up that lead; in addition to Ryan Hill’s early opener.

Familiar faces were in action at the Silverlake against their former sides, on a wintry Tuesday night in Hampshire, you’d have to look no further than the two benches to see that - Daryl McMahon and Ben Strevens occupied their respective dugouts. Eastleigh were Dagenham’s hosts, a side who the Daggers were a point ahead of prior to kick-off.

It was the home side who got the game underway, though it was a rather quiet start, neither side wanting to give their opponents a sniff at goal early on.

That was until ex-Dagger, Ben House, found himself through on goal after a ball over the top from Tomlinson – Justham doing well to keep it out.

However, he wasn’t able to keep the ball from his net following the resulting corner, a well-worked Spitfires corner routine saw Hills put the hosts ahead – just inside ten minutes.

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A spell of possession followed for the trailing side, but they were unable to do much useful with it.

Approaching 15 minutes, they were leading in one aspect the Daggers – bookings – both Reynolds and Rance receiving yellows for their troubles.

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Returning to the Silverlake, Paul McCallum, looked to inflict damage on the Spitfires as George Saunders whipped a ball in – the Daggers number nine’s header though, was a tame effort.

The next action was to occur in the Eastleigh area with three successive corners for the away side, however the men in blue remained resolute in defence – blocking shot after shot.

Another crucial defensive intervention came from Dagenham midfielder, Brundle, up the other end – clearing a low driven shot off the line!

Eastleigh created the more of the clear-cut chances in the first half an hour, Smart the main danger for them; though Hills was the one to put them in front.

George Saunders was to continue his form from the weekend, putting in some great crosses – though nobody was getting onto the end of them.

A rare shot on target soon came for the visitors, Angelo Balanta trying his luck, although McDonnell was equal to it.

One McDonnell wasn’t equal to though was Paul McCallum’s touch to turn the ball into the net; though the linesman’s flag was to save the ‘keeper.

It came after a well-worked move down the Daggers right as Saunders found space, but eventually his assist was disallowed.

Half-time looming, McMahon’s men won yet another corner following a Deering free-kick, and yet again they found the net.

But only for it to be pulled back for a foul in the Eastleigh box.

The two minutes of additional time indicated weren’t enough for Dagenham to get level going into the break.

A simple lapse in concentration separating the two sides as Ryan Hill was able to capitalize; the Daggers were by no means out of it however.

Some good moves for them, but a similar story to the first forty-five in the midweek encounter – they didn’t have an end product.

There was one Daggers change at the break as Liam Gordon replaced Elliot Johnson.

However, Smart was to find his way past the left back and have a shot at goal early in the half – Justham standing up well though to deny him.

Justham was to be called into action yet again moments later, following a Rance handball in the box.

But, the number one was unable to deny Tomlinson from the spot; the Spitfires doubling their lead just after the break.

An instant response was to come from Daryl McMahon, sending Scott Wilson on in a bid to influence things – replacing the promising George Saunders.

Saunders’ counterpart, Smart, wasn’t letting up in his bid to increase his side’s lead – almost finding Barnett to make it three!

Up the other end in pursuit of a breakthrough, Callum Reynolds tried his luck on the edge of the box for Dagenham, following good footwork – his effort went just wide of the mark. The same outcome was to occur for McCallum; an even more ambitious effort from 30 yards.

Those missed chances proving costly, Tomlinson was to rub salt into Daggers wounds, bagging his second and Eastleigh’s third. Again from the spot, Smart brought down following a reckless Luke Croll tackle in the area.

Twenty minutes on the clock, time was against the Daggers, another chance went begging after a tame McCallum effort.

Good defending on the edge of the box was to prevent Eastleigh from another shot on goal; but it was the away side who needed to be the ones attacking.

The visitors, relieved, as danger man Sam Smart made way but the damage had already been done – the tempo slowing there seemed no viable route back for the Daggers.

This was despite the efforts of the likes of Matt Robinson, to play the ball forward to the attackers – Eastleigh reading the game and seeing It out well.

Into the four minutes of additional time, Ben House made way for Green on the verge of a welcome victory against his former side, House – though he was unable to make it onto the scoresheet.

The four minutes were soon up and referee Durkin signalled for full-time.

Eastleigh had ended their eight-game winless run, and too, their home goal-drought – rather convincingly in the end; defeating Dagenham three goals to nil.

Many questions raised by the performance of Daryl McMahon’s side; they’ll have to turn it around fast as they face Chesterfield at Victoria Road on Saturday.

Eastleigh XI: McDonnell, Partington, Boyce, Bird, Tomlinson, Smart (Baggie ‘82), Hollands, Payne, Hill, Barnett (Smith ’72), House (Green ’89)

Daggers XI: Justham, Johnson (Gordon ’45), Croll, Reynolds, Eleftheriou, Rance, Brundle, Deering, Saunders (Wilson ’52), Balanta (Robinson ’73), McCallum.

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