Match Details: 12/02/2011
Dagenham and Redbridge 2-1 Yeovil Town
npower League One
Yeovil Goals: Oli Johnson (33)
Yeovil Line-Up: 5. Paul Huntington, 6. Nathan Smith, 7. Andy Williams, 8. Luke Ayling, 9. Sam Williams, 12. Oli Johnson, 13. Stephen Henderson, 14. Max Ehmer, 16. Ed Upson, 18. Andrew Tutte, 20. Paul Wotton,
Subs: 1. Richard Martin, 2. Craig Alcock, 15. Alex Russell, 17. Craig Calver, 19. Adam Virgo, 21. Antonio German, 23. Billy Gibson
Substitutes Used: Billy Gibson for Andrew Tutte (78 mins), Antonio German for Sam Williams (78 mins)
Bookings: Luke Ayling (Foul, 55)
Yeovil Town were defeated in a crucial six-pointer this afternoon, as they put in their worst performance of 2011 at Victoria Road. The first half saw a goal each scored as Oli Johnson quickly cancelled out a Romain Vincelot header. But the Glovers squandered chance after chance before the break, and were made to pay midway through the second period as Jon Nurse's turn in the box proved to be the winner in a second period that was woeful to watch.
Team news saw winger Andy Welsh and striker Dean Bowditch fail to make the squad, with both players being left at home due to injuries. Striker Sam Williams therefore earned a recall, although unexpectedly lined up as a left-winger, with Andy Williams as the sole striker, and Oli Johnson operating deep in a 4-4-1-1 formation. New loan signing Antonio German made the bench, but his former QPR team-mate Danny Fitzsimons didn't make the squad at all. In the opposition side there was no place for former Glover Gavin Tomlin, who sat on the bench against his old side, and did not take part in the game that unfolded.
The Glovers got off to a good start, with Andy Williams looping a header over the bar. The same player also created the game's first golden opportunity when he intercepted a poor Darren Currie pass inside his own half, running clean through on goal, only to find his attempt to beat veteran goalkeeper Tony Roberts at his near post also went wide of the upright.
Chances for Dagenham were at a premium. They had one early attempt after Soloman Taiwo picked a loose ball up from a free kick move, but his shot into the side netting was from an impossible angle. At the other end, chances were being carved out far more emphatically. Andrew Tutte's edge of the area shot cannoned off the crossbar, coming straight out, and from the loose ball Ed Upson fired wide of the target.
The Daggers were indebted to keeper Tony Roberts midway through the half, when he pulled off a stunning double save to keep the scoreline blank, with Paul Huntington's deflection of a Yeovil strike on goal sending the ball towards the net, only to find a single outstretched hand from Roberts palming the ball out. Ed Upson's rebound attempt was towards a gaping goal, but the goalkeeper flung himself to his left to push the ball out for a corner.
In the lead up to the unexpected Christmas break, the Glovers had a nasty habit of switching off from set pieces, and that tendency came back to haunt them on the half hour mark, as Dagenham scored horrifically against the run of play. A corner from Darren Currie was put into the box, and Romain Vincelot's penalty spot header was planted in the back of the net, despite keeper Stephen Henderson getting a hand to it. Noticeable though was the complete absence of marking, with no Yeovil player within a couple of yards of the goalscorer. Terrible defending, and 1-0 down.
Thankfully it only took a couple of minutes for the Glovers to carve out an equaliser. Oli Johnson capitalised on a mistake inside the Daggers penalty area, to fire into the far corner, to bring back parity at 1-1. Defensive errors or not, the goal was little more than Yeovil's play deserved. But that - 33 minutes into the match - was as good as it got for the Glovers. They fizzled out a little bit towards the end of the first period, and the half time break came without too much further action.
Worth noting at this stage were the half time statistics - at the end of the 45 minutes, Yeovil had managed 11 on-target shots, with eight off-target, whilst the Daggers had managed two on-target and four off-target. Yet the scoreline that mattered was 1-1, and the Glovers needed to convert more of their efforts to finish off the match against a Dagenham side, who frequently looked ragged at the back.
Sadly things didn't quite work out like that, with a woeful second half being dished up. The Yeovil performance degraded badly, and the ball seemingly spent more time up in the air than it did on the deck. That sort of pattern to the game was guaranteed to play into the home side's hands - playing to the strengths that manager Terry Skiverton had picked out in his pre-match interview and meaning that any pattern to the Glovers play disappeared.
There was one reasonable opportunity when a right-wing cross met the head of Oli Johnson just past the hour mark, and he really should have done better than to flick the ball wide of the target, in what was a golden opportunity. Instead of that, the failure to take chances cos the Glovers again. Bas Savage had just been introduced as a substitute for the Daggers, and his pass to Jon Nurse on the corner of the box saw him given room to turn and fire the ball into the far corner of the net for a 2-1 lead that in truth based on the second half pattern had been coming somewhat, with the Glovers rolling back on their heels somewhat.
With 12 minutes remaining, the substitutions that Yeovil had been crying out for during the second period finally took place to a chorus of boos from the away supporters when they thought Sam Williams wasn't one of those being replaced, followed by sarcastic cheers when they realised he was. Andrew Tutte was the other to depart, with Antonio German making his debut, and Billy Gibson getting a longer outing than he has tended to get so far.
Not that the double substitution changed the pattern of play. Despite Dagenham losing a key centre-back in Scott Doe, through an elbow injury, and having to play out the match with only one recognised centre-back on the field of play, the Glovers never put the home side under pressure in the closing stages, and just seemed to lose their way entirely, with new boy German not really involved in the 12 minutes he got on the field. Dagenham's victory became inevitable, and the Glovers were left counting the cost of failing to sort out the result during the opening 45 minutes. Overall end game stats showed 25 shots from the Glovers, yet only one goal to show for it, whilst Dagenham's three on target chances netted two goals. Sometimes quality is better than quantity.
Thankfully, despite the second half performance, Dagenham's win didn't do too much damage to Yeovil's League One position, with fellow West Country trio Plymouth Argyle, Swindon Town and Bristol Rovers all losing - with the latter heading to the foot of the table. Walsall also lost, meaning that the Glovers dropped just a single place, and are still two points off the relegation zone, with Tranmere's 3-1 win over the Pilgrims the one result that saw them drop that single place. Two defeats in a row though, and a dreadful 45 minutes at Victoria Road will make Tuesday night's match against Peterborough United vitally important if they are not to undo the hard work they have put into 2011 so far.
Final Score: Dagenham and Redbridge 2 Yeovil Town 1.
Scorers: Romain Vincelot (30 mins, 1-0), Oli Johnson (33 mins, 1-1), Jon Nurse (72 mins, 2-1)
Dagenham and Redbridge: (4-4-2)
1. Tony Roberts
19. Abu Ogogo 4. Scott Doe 6. Mark Arber 29. Oluwafemi Ilesanmi
17. Darren Currie 20. Romain Vincelot 18. Solomon Taiwo 15. Damian Scannell
39. Marvin Morgan 9. Jon Nurse
30. Chris Lewington (GK) 3. Damien McCrory 11. Gavin Tomlin 12. Philip Ifil 16. Bas Savage (70 mins for Marvin Morgan) 24. Billy Bingham 31. Phil Walsh (74 mins for Scott Doe)
Yeovil Town (4-4-1-1):
13. Stephen Henderson
8. Luke Ayling 5. Paul Huntington 14. Max Ehmer 6. Nathan Smith
18. Andrew Tutte (78) 16. Edward Upson 20. Paul Wotton 9. Sam Williams
12. Oli Johnson
7. Andrew Williams
1. Richard Martin (GK) 2. Craig Alcock 15. Alex Russell 17. Craig Calver 19. Adam Virgo 21. Antonio German (78 mins for Sam Williams) 23. Billy Gibson (78 mins for Andrew Tutte)
Daggers Bookings: Scott Doe (56 mins, foul), Jon Nurse (72 mins, excessive celebration)
Yeovil Bookings: Luke Ayling (55 mins, foul)
Referee: David Phillips (West Sussex). Assistants: Mark Scholes (Buckinghamshire) and Rob Whitton (Essex). Fourth Official: Oleksandr Saliy (Middlesex).
Attendance: 2,119 (including 337 Yeovil fans).