‘Three Massive Errors’

Ashley Hemmings’s speculative overhead kick was the only positive for the Daggers after Portsmouth ran out easy winners, as Youcef Dahmani reports.

Pompey’s Kyle Bennett was the key performer for the visitors, scoring one and providing two assists. Michael Doyle, Christian Burgess and Gareth Evans also scored to boost Pompey’s push for promotion.

For the home side, it was yet another humbling defeat. Manager John Still told BBC London: “We played very well first half and we started the second half alright. We made three massive errors.

“I don’t think they won it. I actually think we lost it. Everything about what we were doing was fine. You’ve got to play with your head.”

Still brought Clevid Dikamona and Josh Passley into the starting XI for Joe Worrall and Jamie Cureton following the Daggers’ midweek victory over Morecambe.

It was a quiet start at Victoria Road with only two chances created in the first 20 minutes, both coming from Pompey’s Adam McGurk and Kyle Bennett.

Daggers’ first opportunity came when Passley whipped a cross in from the right hand side. Striker Chris Doidge headed the ball across the goal and Matty Cash’s effort had Pompey’s Paul Jones scrambling across his line, pushing the ball out for a corner.

It was a Passley corner and a Doidge pass once again that set up Cash just minutes later. However, his tame backheel effort was easily pushed to safety by the Pompey stopper.

Spectacular

The momentum was in the home side’s favour and in the 34th minute they took the lead. A searching free kick from Justin Hoyte found Hemmings in the box, and his spectacular overhead kick looped into the far corner.

The visitors pushed for an equaliser before half time. Michael Smith easily beat Hoyte and cut inside, however his shot fizzed across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick.

Just before the hour, Portsmouth equalised. Gary Roberts broke down the left hand side and his cross found Doyle, whose volley beat Cousins.

Dagenham tried to restore the lead instantly. The ball fell for Muldoon outside the box after a goal mouth scramble, however his shot was easily caught by the keeper.

One Man Show

Thereafter, Portsmouth took control. Kyle Bennett’s superb free kick was headed by Burgess in the middle of the box to give the visitors the lead.

Cousins saved the Daggers from conceding a third after he produced two consecutive saves in the 72nd minute.

All hope was lost for the Daggers as in 85th minute. Portsmouth scored again, when another Bennett free kick was met by this time second-half substitute, Evans, to put the visitors 3-1 up.

Three minutes later it was game, set and match. Bennett capped off his man-of-the-match performance after dribbling his way into the centre of the area, easily beating Dominic Hyam and lifting the ball over Cousins.

The Daggers will travel to 15th placed Luton Town on Tuesday needing nothing but three points to retain any hope of staying in the Football League.

Hi I’m Youcef Dahmani,

I am a sports reporter/editor and I have been writing articles and features on Dagenham & Redbridge. I work in the press box and have been regularly attending matches for the past two seasons.

MMA is another sport that I cover, reporting on live events inside the east London region and have created multimedia pieces in this field. During this time I have met a wide range of people within the sport and have interviewed a wide range of people including Darren Stewart, an east London fighter, who has recently made it into the UFC.

About me

I am studying in my final year of Sports Journalism at the University of East London. Sport has been something which I have always had a passion for and seek to pursue a career within sports media. I am a multilingual journalist that likes to expand on sport outside the UK.