Doe delights Daggers in Devon
PUBLISHED: 17:04 06 April 2013 | UPDATED: 17:04 06 April 2013
Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu
League Two: Exeter City 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 1
An early goal from Scott Doe and a dogged defensive display earned Daggers three vital points in sunny Devon.
Doe headed home from a Matthew Saunders corner after only five minutes and combined with Luke Wilkinson to frustrate play-off chasing Exeter thereafter as Daggers moved five points clear of the drop zone with three matches remaining.
And they owed a big thanks to young keeper Jordan Seabright, who produced a stunning save in the second half to deny the home side an equaliser.
Interim boss Wayne Burnett made four changes to his starting line-up, following the Bank Holiday Monday defeat at home against Bristol Rovers.
Seabright replaced Jonathan Miles in goal, while Gavin Hoyte, Mo Sharif and Ben Strevens dropped to the bench to be replaced by Saunders, Kevin Maher and Jake Reed.
And Daggers forced a corner inside the first minute as Toni Silva’s cross was deflected behind by Kevin Amankwaah.
The Exeter player was injured in the process and unable to continue, but the hosts survived the corner, before Craig Woodman fired a free-kick over at the other end.
Daggers took the lead form their next corner on five minutes, though, as Saunders swung the ball in from the left and Doe timed his run perfectly to glance a header inside the near post.
It was just the start Daggers needed and gave their travelling fans the chance to air their vocals early on.
And the visitors kept their shape well as Exeter looked to respond, with Seabright called upon only to field the odd headed back pass.
Reed, fresh from scoring his first Football League goal, worked manfully as a lone striker, as Daggers put five across the midfield.
And Femi Ilesanmi put in an inviting cross on 20 minutes, but Luke Howell could not get his head on it.
An intelligent run by Reed, looking to get onto Abu Ogogo’s pass, forced Danny Coles to put the ball behind his own line for a Daggers corner on the right.
Saunders picked out Wilkinson this time, whose header was too high and flew comfortably over the crossbar, but Exeter looked concerned at set-pieces and Daggers enjoyed a brief spell of superiority.
Good work by Silva on the right allowed Howell to help the ball onto Medy Elito, who let fly from 30 yards and saw his shot clear the crossbar.
Seabright had to clear hurriedly from John O’Flynn after a backpass from Ilesanmi on the half hour, as the home side grew increasingly frustrated.
Silva produced a great run through midfield before losing his footing in the box and seeing penalty claims waved away by referee Paul Tierney.
And more direct running saw Silva beat Woodman and cross low from the right, before Exeter managed to scramble the ball clear.
Grecians boss Paul Tisdale made his second change on 35 minutes, sending Guillem Bauza on for Jake Gosling.
And Seabright did well to clear another Ilesanmi backpass as O’Flynn looked to capitalise soon after.
A long Seabright goal kick was headed on by Elito and Reed wriggled into the box, before Saunders stood up a cross which skimmed the head of Silva.
And Saunders then tested Artur Krysiak with a 25-yard free kick, forcing a diving save to his left with three minutes left in the half.
Seabright smothered Lawson D’Ath’s low cross at the other end, as the home fans tried to lift their side. But that had been the most serious threat to the youngster’s goal during the opening 45 minutes.
Silva was shown a yellow card for a crunching tackle on Aaron Dawson early in the second half.
And Reed was left clutching his ankle after a late challenge from Exeter’s Pat Baldwin, who escaped a booking.
A foul on Silva gave Saunders the chance to whip in a free kick from the left, but it just cleared the crossbar as Krysiak scampered to his right.
And Silva appeared to hurt his left arm when Dawson fell on him on halfway, before Wilkinson was booked for kicking the ball away after conceding a free kick.
Arron Davies swung a high ball into the box, but Seabright punched clear well under pressure before Krysiak smothered at the feet of Reed, after good work from Elito on the right.
Burnett sent Louis Dennis on for Silva midway through the second half in a like-for-like swap on the left.
But the main focus was on defensive duties and when a long ball up the middle almost put O’Flynn in, Seabright punched clear for Bauza to head back towards goal, before Wilkinson muscled his man off the ball and Daggers were awarded a free kick.
Ilesanmi’s push on Bauza gave Exeter a chance to send in a free kick, which Woodman whipped in for Coles to glance goalwards and Seabright to claw away in stunning fashion.
Bauza was booked for a foul on Kevin Maher with 15 minutes remaining, before Burnett sent Strevens on for Reed, who had run himself into the ground in attack.
But Strevens conceded a free kick some 35 yards out, in a central position, which Woodman sent goalwards for Seabright to claim comfortably under his crossbar.
The young keeper also saved a pair of headers from Scot Bennett as normal time drew to a close, with Ilesanmi and Dennis also earning cautions, and Burnett used his third substitution to send Jonathan Fortune on for Saunders.
Daggers dug deep through four minutes of stoppage time, though, to bank three valuable points.
Exeter: Krysiak, Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Davies, Doherty (Keohane 74), Amankwaah (Dawson 3), O’Flynn, D’Ath, Gosling (Bauza 35).
Dagenham: Seabright, Wilkinson, Ilesanmi, Doe, Silva (Dennis 66), Elito, Reed (Strevens 77), Saunders (Fortune 89), Maher, Howell, Ogogo.
Referee: Paul Tierney.
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