Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still ‘let down’ by defending for Gateshead goal

PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 March 2017

Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Daggers boss believes defence could have coped better in build-up to only goal in loss at Heed

Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still was left to rue poor defending from his side in their 1-0 defeat away to Gateshead in the National League.

Danny Johnson’s 48th-minute strike was the only goal in a game of few chances as Daggers slipped to fourth following their third loss in four games.

In the build-up to the goal, left-back Joe Widdowson looked to be beaten too easily by the Heed’s James Bolton, while Craig Robson gave Johnson too much room to turn the ball in at the near post past keeper Elliot Justham.

All three could arguably have done considerably better in their dealings with the goal, and Still was upset it proved costly in such a close game.

“This was going to be a tough game for us, no doubt about that because they are on a good run, but we pushed them back in the second half,” he said.

“In the first half, we kept ourselves in the game, so I wasn’t overly disappointed when they came in at the break.

“We gave them a goal too early in the second half and I thought our defending for the goal was poor, we could have cleared the ball quite comfortably.”

To their credit, Daggers did keep pressing in search of an equaliser and created plenty of openings as the game wore on.

However, they were unable to find the net and even when striker Oliver Hawkins did, he scored from an offside position.

Normally prolific, Daggers have found the net just four times in their last five games, and Still was disappointed his team’s lack of goals hurt them once again.

“Gradually as the game went on, we got into the ascendancy and it’s one of those when you want the ball to fall to the right person at the right place at the right time,” he added.

“If that happened, we could have got a goal. We got a goal that was offside and had plenty of the ball in the penalty box, without creating any clear-cut chances.”

The trip to Gateshead was the second match in succession where Daggers have failed to find the net, after last week’s 2-0 home loss to Maidstone — a worrying trend ahead of hosting title hopefuls Forest Green Rovers this weekend.

But Still was not too concerned to see his Daggers blunted at Gateshead, noting the match on the whole did not see many clear-cut opportunities for either team.

“There weren’t that many chances, it wasn’t that sort of match and sometimes the games are like that,” he added.

“Elliot has probably made one good save at the end and I don’t really remember their goalkeeper making a good save. It wasn’t a match of chances for both teams.”

Daggers will hope to return to form sooner rather than later to remain in the play-off places.

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