Dagenham & Redbridge player ratings: Defence impresses for Daggers as they beat Tranmere Rovers
PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 January 2017
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Ned Keating provides player ratings following the 2-0 National League win at Tranmere Rovers
As so often has been the case away to their promotion rivals in the National League this season, Dagenham & Redbridge turned in a professional display to see off Tranmere Rovers.
The Essex club soaked up plenty of pressure from the Birkenhead club before taking the lead through Corey Whitely, while Oliver Hawkins’ goal early in the second half game at the perfect time.
Though Rovers likely enjoyed the majority of possession, they were unable to do much with it as Daggers’ rearguard did brilliantly.
The shining lights at the back were Shaun Donnellan and Craig Robson at centre-back, with both putting in top-quality displays.
Elliot Justham (7.5) – A third clean sheet in a row for the first time this season, and richly deserved too. Produced a fine save to deny James Wallace from distance near the end of the first one, and a sublime reaction stop late on to keep out the same player with a header from a corner.
Jake Sheppard (7) – A promising debut from the right-back who resembled ‘Road Runner’ at times in that he looked full of energy. One or two moments where he made the wrong decision, such as opting to race upfield to close down the Tranmere keeper and leave the right-back berth open, or where he’d take a touch more than he should have, but that will come with more game time.
Shaun Donnellan (8.5) – It was a shock to see him keep skipper Scott Doe out of the starting XI, but his performance showed why. The on-loan West Bromwich Albion man was utterly imperious at the back and never once looked flustered against seasoned pros like Andy Cook and Andy Mangan.
Craig Robson (8) – With no Doe, the ex-Bognor Regis Town man took on added responsibility and with great aplomb. Like Donnellan, looked calm and composed at the back, while his distribution and reading of the game was as superb as ever.
Joe Widdowson (7) – A couple of hairy moments, such as when he was beaten to a ball that should have been his by Cook, before winning it back and then haphazardly returning it to the Rovers forward, took the shine off a decent display. Much like Sheppard, was not asked too many questions because of Tranmere’s formation, which also allowed him to get forward regularly.
Andre Boucaud (7.5) – Did what he does best in terms of dictating the tempo, slowing the game down to Daggers’ benefit as Rovers looked dangerous when moving the ball around at pace. Was a little wasteful in possession, mind.
Frankie Raymond (7) – Never easy performing the ‘water carrier’ role away from home against a top side, but got on with the task with little fuss. Perhaps a touch fortunate to avoid being substituted, though, as like Boucaud, he gave the ball away a little too often for my liking.
Corey Whitely (7.5) – Yes, he was extremely fortunate with his goal, but probably deserved it on the basis of his first-half showing. Asked plenty of questions of Liam Ridehalgh in the opening 45 minutes, so it was a shame he did not do it as much after the interval. Understand he was taken off as a precaution and that he should be fit for to face Chester.
Luke Guttridge (7) – Not as influential as in recent weeks, but held the ball up well in attack, again helping to slow the play down and frustrate Tranmere.
Fejiri Okenabirhie (7.5) – A quiet enough afternoon from the usually energetic winger, who was unable to get to the byline as much as he probably would have liked, instead opting to cut inside.
Oliver Hawkins (8) – Took his goal brilliant, showing a different side to his game by running at defenders. Also did what we know and love, winning plenty of flick-ons for his team-mates to chase.
Luke Howell for Whitely 70 (7) – Good to see the midfielder back and did well on the right flank, offering Sheppard plenty of protection.
Jordan Maguire-Drew for Okenabirhie 83
Scott Doe for Sheppard 90+4
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