The Daggers put on a superb second half display tonight, making short work of a
full-strength but managerless Leyton Orient side to progress to the 2nd Round of
this season's LDV Vans Trophy.
The Daggers lined up with a very recognisable
team for this local derby. Robbo made a welcome return in goal with a back four of Mustafa, Vickers, Beckwith and Kimble. In midfield Mark Bentley took his preferred position in the centre, partnering Danny Hill with Tony Scully and Mark Janney out wide. Up front it was Leon Braithwaite and
Alex Meechan (left).
The first half was pretty ordinary. Orient had chances but could not hit the target, shooting left and right of Robbo's goal, then Chris Tate heading well over with a presentable chance. The Daggers struggled to open up the O's defence, Alex Meechan coming closest but once again being out muscled by strong central defenders.
The Daggers fans were limited to taunting Tate about his dodgy hair "style" mostly
and enjoying a muscular tussle between Ashley Vickers and Jabo Ibehre, both of
whom were spoken to by the referee twice. The crowd supped the half time tea with no hint of what the second half would bring.
Whatever Garry Hill said in
the dressing room worked wonders. Within three minutes the home side took the lead from an excellent move which first of all gave Tarkan Mustafa
(right) all sorts of space out on the right. His cross wasn't the best but Alex Meechan acrobatically went for the overhead. The shot may have been creeping inside the far post anyway but Mark Bentley
put it in from a yard out to make sure.
The O's pressed up looking for an equaliser which left space for the Daggers to break into. On
56 minutes this was used perfectly. Bentley picked the ball up deep in his own half and sensing the space available charged upfield supported by Meechan, Janney and Scully. Bentley put away Janney who squared to Meechan who reversed the ball to Scully
(left) who smashed it gleefully into the net from 12 yards, in possibly the best move seen from the Daggers since the second against Plymouth last season.
Alex Meechan was immediately substituted having been the victim of a very late challenge having set Scully up, Danny Shipp coming on. The Daggers dominance didn't falter though as they carved the O's apart. The third was another great move on the break with a pinpoint cross from
Bentley finding Leon Braithwaite (right) on the far post who headed home emphatically. The fourth was
similar the Daggers opening the O's up and again Scully in all sorts of space up the
left. This time the cross a low fizzing one which Bentley, arriving late, finished in style from six yards out.
Suddenly 0-0 at half time was 4-0 with just 68 minutes on the clock and the Daggers crowd was loving it. In should have been five when
Leon Braithwaite was put clear shortly afterwards. Running into the box and about to shoot a
desperate lunge from the O's Peters flattened him but amazingly the referee, possibly out of sympathy, ruled the tackle fair. How the linesman, who had an even better view, did not signal a penalty is a mystery.
The Daggers then pretty much declared their score. The O's huffed and puffed but now instead of their shooting being
inaccurate they suffered from shooting too straight, Robbo (left) seeming a magnet for everything they hit at him. On
76 minutes they did get their consolation though when Bentley was judged to have handled a little
harshly as it was more of
a case of ball-to-hand than the other
way round. Lockwood's penalty was saveable but Robbo chose wrong and it was 4-1.
The last 15 minutes were somewhat less packed with incident although both sides had chances to score
again Robbo finally stretched to make a decent save from Ibehre.
Garry Hill will have been most satisfied with the birthday present from his team though and will be looking forward to the draw for round two on Soccer AM on Saturday.
1 Tony Roberts
19 Tarkan Mustafa
3 Ashley Vickers
26 Alan Kimble
5 Dean Beckwith
18 Mark Bentley
8 Tony Scully
14 Danny Hill
7 Mark Janney (off 84 mins)
20 Alex Meechan (off 58 mins)
15 Leon Braithwaite
6 Chris Piper
13 James Pullen
12 Lenny Piper
9 Danny Shipp (on 58 mins)
21 Tom McGowan (on 84 mins)
1 Lee Harrison
18 Mark Peters
3 Matthew Lockwood
19 David Hunt
27 Alan McCormack (off 61 mins)
5 David McGhee
17 Jabo Ibehre
12 Marcus Ebdon
16 Wayne Purser
22 Boniek Forbes (off 68 mins)
15 Chris Tate (off 61 mins)
9 Gary Alexander(on 61 mins)
10 Lee Thorpe(on 68 mins)
25 Brian Saah
14 Billy Jones(on 61 mins)
13 Glenn Morris