SOLID STAGS PICK UP DESERVED POINT AT DAGENHAM
Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Dagenham and Redbridge 0 - 0 Mansfield Town
Attendance: 1,377 (172 from Mansfield)
Date: 1 March 2014
Martin Shaw at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium, Victoria Road.
Mansfield Town picked up a solid point in a 0-0 draw at Dagenham and Redbridge this afternoon. It was a fair result in a game both sides could have won with better finishing. There were plenty of good performances from Stags players, with Sutton, Tafazolli and Daniel defending particularly well, Marriott back to his best in goal with some super saves in a faultless display, and McGuire impressive on his return to the side. Up front Rhead was commanding in the air, but the Stags missed too many chances especially through top-scorer Clucas while Sutton missed a glorious chance with a free header from close range.
The table is incredibly tight, with five teams including the Stags on 39 points, though some teams have played fewer games. Exeter are right into the mix now, with the same points and same games played as the Stags. Morecambe are another side right in the mix too now, on 40 points. 53 points will surely be enough for a side to stay up (possibly 52), so really the Stags need to concentrate on their own points tally and get 13 or 14 points from the final 12 games to ensure staying up.
Paul Cox made one change to the side beaten by Bury on Tuesday night as McGuire replaced the out-of-sorts Clements. It was a surprise to me that Cain didn’t get a place in the starting eleven. Of the 20 Stags players who travelled on the morning of the game to Dagenham, those to miss out were Dyer and Deakin (in addition to assistant manager Murray). Dagenham included prolific goal scorer Rhys Murphy.
With Stags physio Simon Murphy having left the club to go to Leicester City, Chris Bowman stepped up from youth team physio as interim physio with a successor to Simon Murphy to be found.
It was a sunny but cool day in East London for only the Stags second ever visit to Dagenham and Redbridge, the first being what can only be described as a horrendous day: the last game before relegation to the Conference six years ago.
Stagsnet report here
Saturday, 1st March 2014: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Mansfield Town 0
chad.co.uk report by John Lomas
Mansfield Town shrugged off the humiliation of their 4-1 home midweek capitulation to Bury to dig deep and come away from Dagenham & Redbridge with a hard-earned point in a 0-0 draw in East London this afternoon.
Stags had a few opportunities to win it with Sam Clucas close on two or three occasions and Ritchie Sutton putting a free header wide.
But the home side came closer with keeper Alan Marriott winning three one-on-one situations in the second half.
Stags could have done with all three points to leapfrog the London side and give themselves a bit more breathing space from the drop zone, Stags still 20th and just six points clear of trouble.
But, on a day when they couldn’t find a goal, at least they ended the day with a clean sheet and another point towards their target.
Paul Cox made just one change as Jamie McGuire returned to the midfield to replace Chris Clements with the rest of the team given a chance to make amends for Tuesday night’s home humiliation.
The first half-an-hour was scrappy and saw few chances for either side.
After Norris had turned Sutton and tried to race away down the left, Dempster chopped him down to earn a booking as early as the third minute.
On seven minutes it was Norris who had the first goal attempt of the afternoon and he cleverly made space just outside the box before sending a low shot lacking real venom at Marriott.
Then Tafazolli had to turn a low Elito cross from the left round his near post for a corner.
On 16 minutes Clucas chased a pass to the left by-line and, just beating the keeper to it, he stabbed it goalwards from an almost impossible angle and saw it end up on the roof of the net.
Three minutes later Rhead nodded down McGuire’s ball towards Clucas who managed to get a shot on target but lacking any real threat or power to seriously trouble Lewington, who gathered the ball low to his left.
On 21 minutes Saah lost the ball in the box to present Clucas with an unexpected chance that he snatched at and sent a tame shot at the keeper from 12 yards.
On the half-hour Norris almost broke the slumber with a dipping half-volley from 25 yards from a poor McGuire clearance that only just cleared the crossbar.
Marriott punched away the home side’s second corner as Dagenham began to dominate possession.
On 33 minutes Sutton then missed a golden chance for the visitors as he failed to get a free header on target at the far post from five yards from a superb Clucas free kick.
Ogogo then spread the ball wide to Elito on the right who drilled a low shot that Marriott smothered at his near post.
Mansfield then launched the ball upfield where Clucas controlled well and sent a half-volley just wide.
Clucas was well off target soon after from Rhead’s flick, but continuing to look the man most likely to find a breakthrough.
Azees was then close with a half-volley from 20 yards after Westlake was caught hesitating.
Ogogo and McGuire clashed in midfield with the Stags man brought down and the Daggers skipper booked, Anthony Howell also warned for his protests.
With five minutes to go to the break Clucas nodded a long Marriott clearance down for Stevenson, who pulled a tame finish wide.
Sutton then made a vital interception as Murphy’s cutting pass behind Westlake put Norris to the by-line for a dangerous low cross.
Stevenson saw a low shot from a tight angle smothered at the near post by Lewington as play went from end to end.
Then a lovely dummy by Murphy saw him let a low pass across the Stags box run behind him and set up Norris for a stabbed finish straight at Marriott from 14 yards.
After one added minute the half then ended just as it was starting to warm up.
The second half was seconds old as Clucas flicked an effort towards goal and Rhead and Doe needed treatment for a clash of heads.
Dagenham was furious when Murphy tried to burst down the centre and the referee blew to let McGuire get treatment after staying down in the other box.
Howell’s flick to McGuire on 51 minutes saw the midfielder lash an excellent dipping shot just over the right angle.
Hutchonson took over from Stevenson on 54 minutes for the visitors.
Westlake then saw a powerful shot deflect wide for a corner as Stags began to assert themselves. From that Azeez seemed to put up a hand to block but no penalty was given.
The Daggers broke quickly and Elito’s final pass to his left put Azeez one on one with Marriott, the keeper doing superbly well to get down and make the save.
McGuire was given a final warning for persistent fouling but escaped a booking.
Dagenham then took an eternity to clear Stags’ second corner of the game.
The home side then came close again as D’ath threaded a fine pass into space on the left of the Mansfield box where Murphy raced onto it and forced another vital block from Marriott in another one-one-on.
The danger wasn’t over as the ball ran loose back to Murphy who rifled over from a tight angle.
From a short corner, Elito drilled the ball hard and low right through a crowd of players and out for a throw when it only needed a touch.
McGuire headed away at the near post from the Daggers’ fifth corner.
Clucas wasn’t far over the far angle with an explosive shot from the right hand corner of the box after swapping passes with Westlake on 64 minutes.
Elito then played a superb pass over the top on 66 minutes which Murphy controlled well and forced another stop out of a busy Marriott.
On 69 minutes Hoyte’s free kick to Murphy saw him shield the ball well from Dempster in the box before turning well to launch a rising shot just over from eight yards.
Rhead was late in on Hoyte on 71 minutes to earn himself a yellow card.
Lewington punched a Stags corner away on 74 minutes and the home side broke quickly to set up Azeez in the box. Daniel challenged and down went Azeez, but the referee was unimpressed and played on.
Stags then won a free kick over 30 yards from goal which Daniel sent skidding through the wall at Lewington.
Palmer replaced Rhead on 76 minutes and, two minutes later, McGuire’s square ball to his right set up Westlake for a rasping half-volley that flew over the top.
Stags were furious when Clucas needed treatment and, after then going off, was made to wait an eternity before being allowed back on as play continued.
Howell’s foul on 87 minutes saw him become the third of the visitors to be booked.
Dickson poked a good chance wide two minutes from time, but an offside flag was already up.
The home side were finishing the stronger and Stags had to defend two corners.
Four minutes were added on in which Sutton got his face in the way of a Dickson shot.
McGuire was booked for dissent in the final minute.
Still the referee played on and near the end of a fifth minute the home side won a corner which Dempster headed clear and the point was in the bag.
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE: Lewington, Ilesanmi, Doe, Saah, Elito, Ogogo, Murphy (Shields 87), D’Ath (L. Howell 83), Hoyte, Azeez (Dickson 76), Norris. Subs not used: Seabright, Wilkinson, Bingham, Saunders.
STAGS: Marriott; Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli; Westlake, McGuire, Stevenson (Hutchinson 54), A. Howell, Daniel; Rhead (Palmer 76), Clucas. Subs not used: Meikle, Cain, Clements, Briscoe, Beevers.
REFEREE: Gavin Ward of Surrey.
ATTENDANCE: 1,377 (172 away).?CHAD STAGS MAN OF THE MATCH: Alan Marriott.
Blunt Daggers denied by Mansfield Town
Colin Munford at Victoria Road
League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Mansfield Town 0
Try as they may the Daggers failed to breach a stubborn Mansfield defence as they had to settle for a share of the spoils at Victoria Road.
The better chances came their way, especially in the second half, but an inability to finish them off and some solid saves from Alan Marriott proved costly as they were unable to pick up a victory for the sixth successive home game.
Boss Wayne Burnett made three changes from the side which lost 2-1 at home to Plymouth Argyle last time out with Zavon Hines missing out completely, while Luke Wilkinson and Billy Bingham were dropped to the bench. In came Femi Ilesanmi, Medy Elito and Luke Norris.
A solid start from the hosts resulted in the first chance coming their way when Norris saw an effort easily gathered by Stags goalkeeper Alan Marriott.
That strong beginning began to wane though and Sam Clucas should have tested Chris Lewington on two occasions but his efforts were weak, and the home ‘keeper saved easily.
He should have been tested on 33 minutes though when a good free-kick in from Clucas found Ritchie Sutton unmarked at the back post but he somehow headed wide.
Norris continued to be the main threat for the Daggers on the attack and he went closest of all when letting fly from 30 yards and the shot was narrowly over the bar, hitting the stanchion post behind the goal.
Within a matter of seconds the ball was up the other end though and Clucas had Lewington scrambling but thankfully for the home custodian it drifted wide.
Everything continued to fall to Norris for the Daggers and he forced Marriott to get down well and save two minutes before the break.
Mansfield had the first chance of the second period when Jamie McGuire took aim from 30 yards and had Lewington at full stretch, only to see the effort creep over the bar.
It wasn’t for the want of trying for the hosts either though as Elito launched a three-man counter attack and found Charlton loanee Ade Azeez in space but his shot was poor and straight at Marriott.
Lawson D’Ath continues to excel for the Daggers and another lovely throughball from the Reading man found the run of Murphy, but again Marriott made himself big and blocked the shot.
If the first half was a quiet one for Murphy the second wasn’t as he again pierced through the Stags backline but was denied by the visiting goalkeeper.
Another ball through from D’Ath then found Murphy in the box and a lovely turn and shot from the Daggers top goalscorer flashed over the bar.
Penalty appeals were waved away when D’Ath launched another counter and played in Azeez.
The youngster went through on goal and went down under the challenge of Colin Daniel, though referee Gavin Ward waved play on.
Daggers ended the match on top as they tried to find what would surely be the winning goal, but despite plenty of pressure they lacked the final killer touch in front of goal as the winless run at Victoria Road extended to six games.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Ilesanmi, Doe, Saah, Hoyte, Elito, Ogogo, Murphy (Shields 87), D’Ath (Howell 83), Azeez (Dickson 77), Norris
Unused substitutes: Seabright, Wilkinson, Bingham, Saunders.
Mansfield Town: Marriott, Sutton, Dempster, Tafazolli, Westlake, McGuire, Stevenson (Hutchinson 55), Howell, Daniel, Rhead (Palmer 77), Clucas.
Unused substitutes: Beevers, Meikle, Cain, Clements, Briscoe.
Attendance: 1,377 (172 Mansfield Town fans)
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