Daggers topsy-turvy season continued on Saturday when they were beaten by Burton
Albion at Victoria Road.
In a classic away performance from the Brewers, the Daggers were frustrated
throughout the match and, despite having many more shots on goal than the
visitors, were unable to get the ball into
Following Wednesday's emphatic LDV Vans Trophy win over Leyton Orient,
manager Garry Hill (right) changed the team around a little, introducing Chris
Piper (above) into the starting eleven and favouring Leon Braithwaite over
Alex Meechan to partner Danny Shipp up front. New signing, Steve
Watts, was surprisingly only started from
The Daggers signalled their intention from the outset, coming at the visitors
with all guns blazing. Just two minutes into the match, the home support
thought they had taken an early lead when Leon Braithwaite (left) lifted the
ball over Duke in the Burton goal. Somehow, though, Darren Wassall managed
to get back to hook the ball off the line.
Kimble (right) then had a crack from some range, but his shot was too high and
drifted harmlessly over the bar.
The Daggers saw chance after chance thwarted by some excellent defending and
then, on 21 minutes, Burton got their first real chance to counter-attack and
the Daggers found themselves a goal down.
Ducros crossed from the right into the path of Barry Williams who shot and the
ball deflected off Dean Beckwith (left) into the net, leaving Pullen with no
The Daggers thought they had a good shout for a penalty soon after this when
Chris Piper burst into the area, only to be bundled off the ball by Terry
Henshaw when a goal looked likely. To be fair, the challenge was
shoulder-to-shoulder and Piper really should have been strong enough to
withstand the challenge.
another chance for the Daggers came when Mark Bentley (right) tried his luck
from around 18 yards, but his shot wasn't good enough to beat Matt Duke who got
down well to hold the ball.
The Daggers again went agonisingly close when Tony Scully volleyed powerfully
goalwards, only for his shot to crash into Duke and rebound to Mark
Janney. Janney himself shot goalwards, but Steve Chettle had managed to
get himself between Janney and the goal and the ball rebounded to safety.
Shipp (left) then saw a shot fly the wrong side of the post and into the side
netting and Chris Piper saw a brilliant volley tipped over by the annoyingly
The Daggers went in at half-time undeservedly a goal down having outplayed
Burton throughout the match buit having been frustrated by an excellent
performance from Matt Duke and the Brewers' defence.
The story was no different in the second half and with the half only five
minutes old, the Brewers again caught the Daggers on the break to make it 2-0.
Andy Sinton raced to a through ball, beating the Daggers defence and cracked the
ball home from the edge of the area.
The Daggers stepped up their game further and came very close to reducing the
deficit when Danny Shipp raced to a floated ball to head goalwards from a narrow
angle. The ball looked to be dropping into the unguarded net, but clipped
off the crossbar and fell to safety.
Lenny Piper (above right), Steve Watts (left) and Alex Meechan (below right)
were all introduced to the match, but the loss of Scully and Janney meant that
the side then lacked the width that had seemed to be their best asset and none
of the substitutes were able to make any real impact on the game.
be fair to Burton, it was clear that Nigel Clough had done his homework on the
Daggers very well indeed and the tactic of piling men behind the ball thwarted
the Daggers at every turn. In goal for the Brewers, Matt Duke had a
magnificent game, saving the visitors from conceding a goal on several
It is hard to know if this is just a blip or whether the rest of the season
is likely to continue in this up and down manner. Whatever the case, it
seems that the Play Offs are a rapidly disappearing pipe-dream.
However, if the Daggers are able to play with the same pace and determination
on Saturday at Thurrock, it would be hard to see anything but a very convincing