The Daggers slumped to a second successive defeat to remain without a point in
the Conference against a decent looking Stevenage Borough side at the Glyn
predicted, Garry Hill tinkered with his line up for this one. Paul Bruce (left),
who has impressed through pre-season and at Leigh dropped to the bench allowing
Jimmy Jackson to push up to left midfield. Ashley Vickers moved out from the
centre to left back with Lee Matthews coming in to the starting line up,
partnering Mark Smith in front of James Pullen in goal.
Mark Bentley go the nod over Mark Janney on the right of midfield, with PT
and Shippy paired through the middle and Stein and Braithwaite at the front.
Alex Meechan once again warmed the bench with Lee Goodwin, Mark Janney, Paul
Bruce and Chris Piper.
game started well enough for the Daggers with some neat football played, Mark
Bentley in particular causing trouble down the right. They really should have
taken the lead when Stein found Braithwaite (right) 10 yards out in space.
Unfortunately the shot was too close to Nathan Abbey who saved well.
It was very much against the run of play that Boro took the lead on 15
minutes. While the home defence dithered the ball was slipped by Steve Watson to
Anthony Elding who calmly slotted hone past Pullen.
The goal completely changed the game with Boro now well on top and making
chance after chance. Tarkan Mustafa was lucky to only see yellow when a
desperate tackle after 32 minutes pole-axed Elding as the Daggers looked all at
in the second half the Daggers did manage a little more threat. First Mark Bentley fired
just over before Mark Stein found Paul Terry (left) who could only find Nathan Abbey's feet.
As it looked likely that the Daggers would fond a way to get level Boro then
extended their lead just after the hour. Cook ran through the middle chased by
Mustafa who was judged to have brought him down, which was protested loudly. The
free kick was 25 yards out and dead centre. Pullen strangely lined up his wall
to protect the middle of the goal and stayed behind it. Peter Costello hit a
peach of a shot into the top left corner to raptures from the Boro fans.
seemed happy to sit on the 2-0 and the Daggers steamed back at them as a result,
immediately bringing Meechan and Bruce on for Shipp and Jackson. They pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute
when Mark Smith (right) whipped the ball in and Ashley Vickers beat Abbey to the
ball to head over the line.
last 15 minutes were all the Daggers but huff and puff as they did they could
not find a way to equalise. Stein hit the post and Meechan (left) somehow headed
the rebound wide in the best chance and in the last seconds Alex Meechan saw his low header cleared with a diving
save when it looked in.
Time finally ran out on the Daggers though and it really is a dismal start to
the 2003/04 campaign.
Elsewhere Hereford beat Forest Green 5-1 to cement top spot after just 2
games, with the only other 100% record held by Aldershot, although Leigh play
Accrington Stanley on Wednesday. Morecambe lost at Halifax while Shrewsbury and
Chester both won 1-0.