A Mark Stein hattrick helped the Daggers to come back from 1-0 behind to beat
Kettering Town 3-1 at Rockingham Road today in a match that was very nearly
ruined by a staggeringly inept display of refereeing.
Daggers started with an attacking formation including Steve Watts, Mark Stein
and Junior McDougald up front.
However, it was the home side that gained the upper hand, taking the lead in
the 7th minute when Shaun Murray's free-kick was met by Brett Solkhon who beat
the outrushing Tony Roberts to the ball and heading into the unguarded net.
Daggers were finding it incredibly hard to make headway in attack thanks to a
flag-happy linesman, but in the 14th minute, Junior McDougald (right) lashed the
ball across from the left to Stein at the far post who expertly guided the ball
into the corner of the net to level the scores.
Stein came close to putting the Daggers in front soon afterwards, but his
header was directed straight at the Kettering goalkeeper.
hosts were belying their rock-bottom league position though and had the better
chances in the opening period and, in the second half, Niall Inman should have
restored their lead but miskicked his shot into Tony Robert's arms.
Roberts (left) was again in action a few minutes later, pulling off a fine
save from Shutt.
the 72nd minute, though, Kettering finally capitulated to the Daggers' attack.
A wonderful pass from Steve Watts was met by Tarkan Mustafa (right) who
jinked into the box and played an inch-perfect cross to Mark Stein who calmly
slotted the ball into the corner of the net.
came the most contentious incident of the match. Lee Matthews (left)
played in a fine header which Steffan Dancy attempted to head off the line, but
only succeeded in putting the ball out of the reach of Bowling. Bowling
did make contact with the ball, but was only able to push it into the
side-netting and clearly over the line. To
the utter amazement of the visiting support, the useless idiot masquerading as a
referee (right) and his equally hopeless assistant allowed play to
continue. It seems that they were the only two people in the ground who
didn't think the ball had gone in.
Stein almost completed his hattrick shortly afterwards when his overhead kick
was well saved by Bowling.
He did get his third in the 80th minute when some lovely interplay between
Mark Janney and Paul Terry culminated in Terry slotting the ball back to Stein
who took the simplest of tap-ins.
The result is the 8th consecutive Conference win for the Daggers.