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21:43 26th January 2010

Dagenham 0-3 Notts County

Ben Davies stole the show as Notts County climbed back into the play-off places, following a hotly contested 3-0 win over promotion hopefuls Dagenham & Redbridge. Davies produced a stunning opener on the stroke of half time before adding another moments after the break. Karl Hawley's deflected strike completed the victory as the game drew to a close, sending the travelling supporters home with smiles on their faces, ready for the visit of Barnet at the weekend. A definite six pointer, Notts went into the game knowing that a win would see them leapfrog Dagenham and possibly climb back into the play-off positions. Following a hard-fought draw with Wigan at the weekend, they were looking to take their form back into the league and round off a great day for fans, after the announcement that the club's future had been secured. Tired legs might've been expected as the Magpies ran out for the third time in seven days, but the team worked tirelessly from the off, harrying well to nullify the home side's promising start. Still, it was Dave Kevan's side that produced the first clear-cut chance of the half in their first bout of passing football. Mike Edwards, returning to the starting line-up for his 200th appearances in the black and white stripes, was almost caught in possession and hastily distributed. Cleverly rising to flick the ball over the backline with his heel, Neal Bishop found Lee Hughes, who sent the ball skidding millimetres past the left upright. It was by no means a tidy affair and chances were typically being scrapped for - forwards on both teams closing down enthusiastically in an attempt to force errors. Paul Benson, for the Daggers, was making his presence known and managed to get amongst the County rearguard, teeing up his strike partner, Josh Scott, to send a volley bouncing wide from the edge of the box. Kasper Schmeichel appeared to have the shot covered, though he looked helpless as Scott found himself in another dangerous position moments later. Danny Green had whipped a teasing centre behind the defence from the right flank, evading the head of the stretching Stephen Hunt and, by a much narrower margin, the encroaching Scott. As the red glow of the scoreboard behind the Dagenham goal closed in on the 45 minute mark, Notts grew in confidence, stringing together more penetrable offensive moves. Craig Westcarr, in an advanced position, helped to create the first of these. Collecting the ball 25 yards out, he faked a shot before laying off to Davies, who fired towards Hawley at the back post. Peeling away from a defender, the striker connected, only to be denied by the feet of Tony Roberts, as he scurried across his goalmouth. Hawley found space inside the box again shortly after and had his low strike blocked. Reaching Davies on the left wing, he cut inside and appeared to steady himself for a trademark in-swinging cross but instead curved the ball into the far top corner. Roberts dived at full reach but could do nothing as the ball rustled the inside netting. It was Davies' second spectacular goal in a week that, once again, sent the travelling support into hysterics - another goal of the year contender, perhaps. The crowd continued their chants of 'super Ben' after the interval when he seemed to net his second of the game - another free-kick from a similar spot to his goal against the Latics on Saturday. Instead of bending it into the bottom corner again, he swung into a crowded penalty area. Hughes ran away to perform a new jig, which involved an enthusiastic wobble of the head, subsequent to him glancing the ball into the bottom corner. Whether he got the slightest of touches is debateable; however, the general consensus was that Davies was to be given the credit. At the other end Notts were equally as effective, throwing bodies on the line in a fully committed fashion, living up to their record as the league's best defensive armour. Schmeichel was equally alert, claiming multiple high balls with ease. Contemporaneously, County remained an unrelenting threat and Davies almost completed his hat-trick. Capitalising on a loose ball 12 yards from goal, he opened up his body to volley, causing Roberts to block well, nearly resulting in the ball dipping under the crossbar. As the Daggers looked to salvage something from the game, the Magpies broke again in a sharp, fluid, counter attack involving some intelligent hold up play from Hawley and the quick thinking of Westcarr. Hughes was fed into the channel by the impactful winger so that he could switch to the roaming Bishop, whose volley across goal beat the goalkeeper but not Scott Doe, as he slid to somehow hack to safety. Bishop was making a habit of freeing himself on the left and when John Thompson's diagonal pass picked him out, it led to Notts' third and final goal. The midfielder nodded infield towards the newly introduced Ade Akinbiyi, who quickly laid off for Hawley to fire at goal. A strong deflection left Roberts stranded as the ball looped into his unguarded net, scenes of dejection surrounding him. This rounded off a convincing, all-round away performance by the Magpies and fittingly complemented the positive investment news. Attendance: 1,916 (306 Notts County supporters) Man of the Match: Ben Davies Notts County: Kasper Schmeichel, John Thompson, Mike Edwards, Stephen Hunt, Johnnie Jackson, Craig Westcarr (Hamshaw 65), Neal Bishop, Ricky Ravenhill, Ben Davies (Clapham 84), Karl Hawley, Lee Hughes (Akinbiyi 80). Substitutes: Russell Hoult, Matt Hamshaw, Ben Fairclough, Jamie Clapham, Sean Canham, Ade Akinbiyi, Alex Troke. Scorer(s): Davies (43, 47), Hawley (83) Yellow Card(s): Edwards (64), Hamshaw (78) Dagenham & Redbridge: Tony Roberts, Scott Doe, Mark Arber, Danny Green (Montgomery 79), Josh Scott (Thomas 69), Paul Benson, Abu Ogogo, Danny Spiller, Marlon Pack (Currie 69), Peter Gain, Jamie Day. Substitutes: Chris Lewington, John Nurse, Wesley Thomas, Darren Currie, Romain Vincelot, Graeme Montgomery, Walsh. Scorer(s): None Yellow Card(s): Green (53) Report by Dane Vincent
    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.