Saturday, 15 September 2012

Daggers 1-1 Accrington Stanley, Murphy's Law

Despite yet another dominant performance, we're all sat scratching our heads once more as Dagenham & Redbridge are still without a league win following a 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley. Once again the Daggers probably deserved the victory, but that familiar combination of sloppy defending and lack of clinical finishing leaves us winless once more.

Considering we have a decent home record against Accrington in recent years, I was mildly confident before the game. Stanley though had started well in the league, picking up 10 points from 15 available, whilst they had defeated both Southend & Cheltenham away from home. This would prove to be a stern test, but going on previous performances and the phrase that we were simply “due a win”, I opted for a 3-1 prediction.

After going through the turnstiles and into the beaming sun, I met up with Mike & Lee in anticipation for the start of the game. The teams were then read out as follows...

Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Hoyte, Doe, Wilkinson, Femi, Howell, Ogogo, Spillane, Elito, Woodall, Gayle. Subs: Seabright, DJ Green, Green, Reed, Williams, Scott, Bingham.

Following the defeat at Southend last weekend, John Still opted to make a single change. Brian Woodall was brought in following some impressive substitute appearances, which meant Sam Williams was forced to make way. Luke Wilkinson's red card was rescinded which meant Spillane was allowed to continue in central midfield in what would be a 4-3-3 formation.

Accrington Stanley: Dunbavin, Murphy, Liddle, Nsiala, Winnard, Molyneux, Joyce, Hatfield, Miller, Amond, Boco. Subs: Dawber, Chippendale, Clark, Eckersley, Schofield, Lindfield, Sheppard.

Paul Cook kept exactly the same side that drew 1-1 with Bradford City last week for the trip to Essex, with midweek loan signing Danny Schofield forced to sit on the bench. Dangerman Padraig Amond would also be starting up front in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

It was Accrington who were immediately out of the blocks, testing Chris Lewington from the off. First Romauld Boco saw his shot go for a corner; whilst Amond's looping header minutes later forced Lewington into a superb tip over the bar. From the resulting corner, Lewy spilled the ball which caused a scramble in the box, fortunately though Boco was unable to find the target when presented with a shooting opportunity.

The Daggers then began to come into the game. Neat play between Woodall & Gayle saw the latter have his testing shot saved well by the diving Dunbavin. After a slow start the home side were now looking like the dominant force, Elito & Femi taking turns to test the Accrington full backs. Elito's continued pressure nearly told with 16 minutes played, but his far post cross was just too high for the outstretched head of Gayle.

Gavin Hoyte was then booked rather harshly for a challenge on Lee Molyneux. Accrington and Amond in particular were continuing to look a threat when coming forward. The former Shamrock front man latched onto a difficult ball inside the box before turning and firing just over the ball. Superb work from the Irishman who just couldn't quite keep his shot down.

Lee Molyneux
Just before the 30 minute mark in the game and Lee Molyneux came within inches of scoring a fabulous goal. The defender picked up the ball inside the Daggers half before skipping past two players and firing a superb shot goalwards that cannoned back off of the bar, much to my relief. Such was the quality of the strike, that it drew applause from the Sieve; a superb effort.

John Still's men were still looking threatening, although Dwight Gayle's wayward free kick on 30 minutes doesn't really back up that statement. With 34 minutes played, Mickey Spillane was presented with the Daggers' best chance of the game so far. Clever player from Elito down the right saw the wide man manage to put the ball into the danger area, Spillane however could only manage to head onto the bar.

Democratic Republic of Congo International Aristote Nsiala was then booked for a poor challenge on the far side. Abu Ogogo was the next to try his luck with a poor effort that dragged wide of the post. The final chance of the half came from the head of Mickey Spillane, once again though he failed to hit the target and the scores remained level going into half time.

There's no need for any of that half time nonsense, so we'll move straight into the second half of the match. The first chance fell to Mickey Spillane; however his speculative free kick flew over the bar and into the Bury Road terrace.

The Victoria Road faithful were then nearly treated to a moment of magic from Brian Woodall. The loveable forward plucked the ball out of the air superbly, before turning his man to face the goal. With a single swing of the outside of his boot everyone though Brian had scored, unfortunately though Dunbavin just about got a hand to the ball to push it wide. Poxy goalkeepers eh, always ruining things!

The Daggers were continuining to look like the better side as Ogogo headed Elito's ball in directly at the busy Dunbavin. Gavin Hoyte & Luke Howell then both took turns to test the stern Accrington defence, however both of their attempts were blocked. It was beginning to look like another, "one of those days" for the home side.

With 54 minutes played, Medy Elito blew the best chance of the game by far. Mickey Spillane drove down the left hand side before cutting the ball back superbly for the onrushing Elito whose side foot shot flew wide of the post. Everyone in the ground thought it was in, which is why it was extra disappointing to see it fly past the post.

With 35 minutes to play Paul Cook made his first change, replacing George Miller to allow Danny Schofield to make his debut. Almost immediately it made a difference as Lewington tipped another Amond header over the bar. From the resulting corner Joyce's shot was blocked which allowed a quickfire Daggers breakaway. Unfortunately though, not everyone was on the same page which meant the breakaway - broke down.

Daggers fans in the TBS given something to cheer.
Dean Winnard was then replaced by Craig Lindfield who rather surprisingly went into a right-wing back position. I was always under the impression that Lindfield was a striker. It didn't matter though because with 60 minutes played, the Daggers took a deserved lead. A low, driven ball into the box found Luke Howell waiting at the far post to prod home for a 1-0 advantage.

As is so often the case when a side takes the lead, they were immediately put on the back foot. The substitution of Lindfield was making a real difference as he began to make some impressive runs down the right. After playing a neat one-two with Schofield, Lindfield attempted to lob Lewington. Rather unsurprisingly though his effort went over the bar - a good chance for Accrington.

Paul Cook was then forced to show his hand, bringing off Will Hatfield for Karl Sheppard as the Lancashire club reverted into a more familiar 4-4-2 formation. The away side then saw a penalty appeal waved away as substitute Sheppard was brought down in the box under a Lewington challenge. I'm not sure whether he had control of the ball, so I'll reframe from commenting on whether I thought it should have been a spot kick.

Accrington really should have equalised on 72 minutes. Lee Molyneux created space for himself on the left before hitting an enticing low ball into the box. Somehow no Accrington player was able to get on the end of it, so it rolled out agonisingly for a goal kick to the home side. Dwight Gayle's effort inside the box was then cleared minutes later as the game became more end to end.

With some superb work from Brian Woodall on 78 minutes, the Daggers could and perhaps should have doubled their lead. The frontman back heeled the ball wonderfully for Dwight Gayle whose strike went straight at Ian Dunbavin. From the rebound neither Gayle nor Woodall could find the net, with the ball eventually going out for a corner. We were then back up the other end as Sheppard headed Boco's corner just wide of the post - Accrington were coming closer.

Despite the dominance of the Daggers, yet again we allowed the away side to nip in and get an equaliser. Molyneux who had been dangerous all afternoon, whipped in another ball towards the back post where my namesake Murphy was on hand to head home into the bottom corner. It was just typical, following all of our chances we weren't going to get the result that our performance had warranted.

John Still then made his first change of the game on 87 minutes, with Danny J Green replacing Medy Elito. As we made our way into injury time, DJ nearly gave us all three points. A superb ball towards the back stick reached Green who could only fire his header over the bar when he should have really been looking to keep it down.

The final chance of the game though fell rather fittingly to Molyneux - a free kick just outside the box following an Abu Ogogo foul. It would have been crushing had Molyneux found the net here. He looked at it, he stepped up and he fired it about an inch wide of the post. It was so close that I honest to god thought it was in the back of the net. That was the full time whistle and the spoils were shared.

This result leaves the Daggers on 3 points, still without a win, whilst Stanley are on 11 points in the Play Off places. It was a good performance from the home side though who simply couldn't put away their chances once more. It's a problem that needs sorting out pretty soon, along with our sloppy defensive mistakes.

Man of the Match without a doubt for me this afternoon would be Brian Woodall. He was just fantastic, his touch couldn't be faulted, his willingness was second to none and his involvement in opportunities going forward was superb. I'm beginning to agree with John Still that Femi is one of the best left backs in the league as well.

As for Accrington, firstly a massive well done to the 56 supporters that made the trip down to Essex. Having done the reverse trip last season I know how awful it is! Lee Molyneux was superb for Stanley; he was the creator of so many opportunities and really stood out for me. Craig Lindfield also looked menacing when brought on, whilst you know what you're going to get with Amond.

I kind of look forward to travelling to Accrington in January, providing neither of us are involved in the FA Cup 3rd Round. I'd also like to wish good luck to Accrington as they're a very good, well run club!

Next up for us though is one of our bogey teams, Northampton Town at Victoria Road on Tuesday night. Let's hope we can finally get that long awaited victory. A note to leave you all on...we're still above Barnet!

Remember to follow me on Twitter, @NickDRFCMurphy.


  1. I couldn't make the game yesterday so want to thank you for sucj a wounderful match report mate. Top stuff!

  2. Excellent report. As an aside, saw Cunnington scored again for Tamworth. How do we manage to sign a player, not play him, then sell him and watch him score 7 in 9 games?