Victory For Pools Over Daggers
Pools beat Dagenham & Redbridge 3-1 to take three important points from today’s match at Victoria Park.
Two first-half strikes and another after the break gave Craig Hignett’s side another victory to help them take another step away from the relegation zone.
Pools burst into action this afternoon and were on the attack from the off with the opening goal coming after just four minutes.
The busy Luke James was flattened by Joe Widdowson as he waited on the goalline for a cross to arrive from the right.
The referee, Mr England, was quick to point to the spot and Billy Paynter confidently stepped up to take it. The skipper sent the keeper the wrong way as he slotted home the opener and his 12th goal of the season.
Pools continued their early dominance and it was 2-0 on 14 minutes as a Nathan Thomas freekick picked out the crowd of players waiting in the box and it was Jake Carroll who got the killer touch to head it past Liam O’Brien and into the back of the net.
Hignett’s men were in confident mood by now and played some great attacking football, with some fancy footwork on display from Lewis Hawkins in the middle and Nathan Thomas enjoying space down the left.
Rob Jones went close to scoring on the half-hour mark when another Thomas freekick was flicked out to the far post but the defender’s powerful header went just wide of the near post.
Dagenham & Redbridge got a goal back against the run of play on 33 minutes as Matthew Cash hit a low drive from 30 yards that made its way through the area and past Carson to make it 2-1.
And from then on in, it was a much more even affair as the visitors sensed a way back in and Pools lost some of their swagger.
Jake Carroll came to the rescue for Pools shortly after their goal as he got back to clear an effort off the line before Josh Passley sent a strike from the edge of the box just over the bar.
From such a bright start to the first half, it finished much closer as the visitors sensed a way back into the game following their goal.
And it was the Daggers who started the second half brightest, going close twice to equalising early on as the Pools nerves started to show on and off the pitch.
Christian Doidge first went close with a close-range effort before Passley sent a strike flashing across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.
But just as the tension inside The Vic was rising, Jake Gray made a move to ease it; the on-loan midfielder pushed forward with the ball to send a low drive past O’Brien and restore the two-goal advantage for his side.
Dagenham were soon back on the attack themselves and when the lively Passley again broke through on goal, this time going one-on-one with Carson, the Pools keeper had to be strong to send it wide.
At the other end, trickery from Nathan Thomas set up Billy Paynter for another chance on goal but O’Brien blocked well at the near post to deny the striker a second.
After a quiet spell, the game picked up again in the closing minutes when the ball went end-to-end but there was little to test either keeper.
In the end it was a comfortable victory for Craig Hignett's side who record successive league victories for the first time since August.
Full Time: Pools 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 1
Attendance: 3947 (88 Dagenham & Redbridge)
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, R Jones (Jackson 46), Carroll, Featherstone, James, Gray, Hawkins, Thomas, Paynter.
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Walker, Bingham, Oates, Woods, Richards.
Dagenham & Redbridge: O’Brien, Passley, Dikamona, Boucaud (Cureton 67), Doidge (Hawkins 55), Muldoon, Hemmings (Chambers 60), Worrall, Cash, Hoyte, Widdowson.
Subs Not Used: Cousins, McClure, Jones, Shepherd.