Pools suffered their third consecutive League Two defeat as Dagenham & Redbridge took all three points with a 2-0 win.
Again, there was a goal in each half to secure the points for the visitors and, despite a more positive display and plenty of possession from Colin Cooper’s side, there was little to test the visiting keeper. It was another bad start to the night for Pools as Dagenham took the lead after just five minutes of the game. The opener arrived from nothing as a quiet start; Luke Howell picked up the ball to the right of goal and shot from just inside the box and his effort could only be touched on by Scott Flinders on its way into the back of the net. Pools slowly dug themselves out of any disappointment to start to show more attacking play than has been seen so far this season. Ryan Brobbel looked confident down the left wing and started to link up well with both Darren Holden and Jonathan Franks as Pools started to open the visitors up. Franks had a couple of chances to draw Pools level, first sending his effort from close range wide of the near post and then sending his effort over the bar from a central position. Brad Walker, who looked a threat from set pieces, headed over a Ryan Brobbel corner that had been headed back on to him by Franks, while the midfielder sent a freekick low through the area only to see it deflected wide for a corner kick. With Pools dominating possession by this point, the visitors rarely ventured outside of their own half – though Flinders did have to make a save from an Ashley Chambers strike from distance. At the other end, the busy Luke James ran through on goal only to be denied by a brave block by Liam O’Brien in the Daggers’ goal. For all of their possession though, Pools did go in a goal behind at the break, but there was more promise going into the second half that there was more to come this evening. Pools weren’t allowed as much time on the ball as the second half started and they had to work harder to get forward. Luke James showed great pace down the right to burst past his man and square a ball into the box, with his effort being blocked out for a corner for his side. Jonathan Franks intercepted a short pass back to O’Brien and looked set to help Pools to the equaliser but as he wriggled through and tried to pick out James with his pass, the ball rolled loose and it was a visiting defender who arrived first to clear. Another determined effort from James – this time from distance – pulled a good save out of the keeper and won Pools another corner. But Pools were hit with a sucker punch on 64 minutesas the Daggers made full use of the counter to burst forward towards Flinders’ goal where Abu Ogo hit a perfectly-placed strike past Flinders The second goal took the wind out of Pools’ sails and the visitors started to show more spark in possession and, with just twenty minutes of the game remaining, it looked like another bad night for Cooper’s side. Pools did see more of the ball in the remainder of the game, with space opening up down the right with Jack Compton but that killer touch was lacking; Neil Austin went closest in the dying minutes with a well-executed overhead kick that hit the crossbar. For all of Pools’ possession this evening, there was not enough in the final third to earn the breakthrough. There were plenty of chances and positive play but in the end, not enough to test Liam O’Brien and Dagenham left The Vic with all three points. Full Time: Pools 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 2Booked: None Att:2792 (70 Dagenham & Redbridge) Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Austin, Bates, Holden, Parnaby (Hawkins 71), Walker (Compton 61), Brobbel, Woods (Harewood 66), Franks, James. Subs Not Used: Dixon, Collins, Richards, Smith Dagenham & Redbridge: O’Brien, Connors, Doe, Saah, Cureton (Goldberg 90), Ogogo, Chambers, Howell, Partridge, Hemmings (Porter 81), Boucaud Subs Not Used: Cousins, Doidge, Labadie, Green, Goldberg, Gayle