Dagenham & Redbridge 3 Braintree Town 0: Daggers begin 2017 in style with comfortable win over 10-man Iron
PUBLISHED: 21:38 02 January 2017 | UPDATED: 21:38 02 January 2017
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National League: Dagenham & Redbridge (Maguire-Drew 11, Guttridge 42, Whitely 80) Braintree Town 0
Dagenham & Redbridge ended a run of five home games without a win with a 3-0 success over Braintree Town in the National League.
Daggers dominated the first half and rightly led as goals for Jordan Maguire-Drew and Luke Guttridge were split by a red card for Iron’s Reece Hall-Johnson.
Keen to keep hold of their advantage, Daggers dominated possession in the second half without creating much, though Corey Whitely was able to add a third.
Daggers made two changes for the visit of the Iron, with Shaun Donnellan straight into the starting XI after arriving on loan earlier in the afternoon.
Donnellan came into the side in the place of suspended skipper Scott Doe, with Guttridge, who himself replaced Tyrique Hyde, wearing the armband.
On the bench, there was some welcome news as both Fejiri Okenabirhie and Craig Robson were named among the substitutes after their respective injuries.
With less than two minutes on the clock, the Victoria Road side had a chance to open the scoring when a free-kick from Maguire-Drew drifted all the way to the back post.
Whitely was free and unmarked to head the ball at goal, but his effort from close range went over the bar.
Two minutes later, Maguire-Drew was involved again as he embarked on a mazy run before shooting from just inside the area, but Iron stopper Sam Beasant clutched the ball at the second attempt.
Beasant was looking a touch suspect in the Iron goal as he spilled a 25-yard effort from Frankie Raymond in the eighth minute before again collecting it at the second time of asking.
Daggers finally took the lead in the 11th minute through Maguire-Drew, who had been almost at the heart of everything good in the early exchanges.
Joe Widdowson had made a tremendous run from left-back and was played in on the edge of the box by a delightful back heel from Whitely.
The Daggers defender fired a cross-cum-shot at goal, which was turned in at the far post by Brighton & Hove Albion youngster Maguire-Drew.
Less than two minutes later, Daggers went close to a quick-fire second for Maguire-Drew, but he fired over after a Guttridge cross narrowly evaded Oliver Hawkins.
John Still’s men were handed a further boost in the 21st minute when Town winger Hall-Johnson saw red for a dangerous tackle on Raymond.
From there, Daggers looked in complete control, but were unable to turn their dominance into clear cut chances.
That was until the 42nd minute when a cross into the box by Widdowson was headed on by Hawkins and into the path of Guttridge, who slide the ball under Beasant and into the net.
There was almost a debut goal on the stroke of half-time for Donnellan, but Beasant pushed his close range header over the bar as Daggers took their two-goal lead into half-time.
Daggers went close to a third goal 13 minutes into the second half, but a snapshot from Guttridge was comfortable for Beasant amid claims of a shove in the box on Whitely in the build-up.
The Victoria Road side were given something to think about with 11 minutes remaining, though, as Michael Cheek narrowly headed over from close range.
It seemed to spark Daggers back into life as less than a minute later, Whitely netted his seventh goal of the season from 25 yards.
The former Enfield Town man let fly from distance with his weaker left foot and the saw the effort fly past a hapless Beasant.
There was also time for Okenabirhie to make a playing return before full-time as Daggers moved up to fourth in the table.
Daggers (4-2-3-1): Justham; Ling (Heard 73), Staunton, S Donnellan, Widdowson; Boucaud, Raymond; Maguire-Drew, Guttridge (Okenabirhie 81), Whitely; Hawkins (Benson 87)
Subs: Cousins, Robson
Braintree (4-4-2): Beasant; Clohessy, Gayle, Parry, Okimo; Maybanks (Jules 65), Lee (Corne 75), Isaac, Hall-Johnson; Midson, Cheek (Barnard 86)
Subs: Williams, Dias
Sent off: Hall-Johnson 21 (dangerous challenge)
Attendance: 1,261 (including 102 Braintree fans)
Referee: Anthony Coggins
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