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Match Reports

Notts 2-0 Dagenham and Redbridge

Home run continues with win under the lights

8 October 2019

Match Reports

Notts 2-0 Dagenham and Redbridge

Home run continues with win under the lights

8 October 2019

Regan Booty and Kristian Dennis were on target as we beat Dagenham and Redbridge 2-0 to secure our third successive home win.

Booty netted directly from a free-kick midway through the first half and we had to withstand some pressure for the hour that followed, with Sam Slocombe making some excellent saves.

He was intent on securing a fourth home clean sheet in a row, however, and Dennis came off the bench to make sure of the points three minutes from time with a curling effort into the top corner.

Neal Ardley made one change from the side that drew in Dover at the weekend as Sean Shields came into the starting XI for his full debut.

Sam Osborne was the man to make way, dropping to the bench where he was joined by club captain Michael Doyle, who had completed his four-match suspension.

The game's first two openings both fell the way of Enzio Boldewijn on six and seven minutes. First he cut in off the right flank to send a strike at goal, which was well stopped by Elliot Justham, before Booty's threaded ball picked him out but the Dutchman was off balance as he shot and the keeper made a comfortable save.

We were seeing plenty of the ball but struggling to unlock a resilient Daggers defence which was sitting deep, but their first opening came from a challenge higher up the field on 22 minutes.

Shields was put under pressure on the halfway line and the ball broke for Angelo Balanta, who drove towards our goal before striking from the edge of the area. Slocombe comfortably pushed the shot away, though.

That was the catalyst for us to inject some pace into our attacks and it paid off just moments later.

Mitch Rose played the ball into Wes Thomas, who turned just outside the area before being brought down inside the D, slightly to the right of centre. Booty stepped up and curled the free-kick into the bottom corner on Justham's side of the goal and wheeled away in delight at opening his Meadow Lane account with a fine effort. 

After the goal, Dagenham started to press higher and were forcing some errors across the midfield, with several players guilty of playing sloppy passes, and would have levelled had it not been for an excellent challenge from Richard Brindley on 36 minutes.

Matt Robinson threaded a lovely ball through for Balanta, who looked to pick out his strike partner Joe Quigley with a low cross, but the right back made a brilliant challenge at the back post to divert the ball clear.

A minute later, we could have doubled the lead against the run of play when Rose's long throw found its way to Kyle Wootton in the area but the striker couldn't generate any power on his header and Justham gathered comfortably.

The visitors were in the ascendency and, shortly after Robinson had sliced an effort high and wide, Balanta went close to levelling proceedings.

We were almost the masters of our own downfall as Rose gave the ball away carelessly in midfield and the former QPR striker was able to curl an effort towards Slocombe's top right corner. The shot had the keeper panicking but beat the post, much to the relief of the vast majority of the 3,670 people inside Meadow Lane.

We needed half-time to come so the players could regroup and regain some composure but an unwanted two minutes were added on for stoppages and deep into those, it looked like Dagenham might find an equaliser when Alex McQueen was stood over a free-kick just outside the area. He bent his effort around the wall, but only found the side netting and we went into the break with our one-goal lead intact. 

Given the way the first period had ended, anxiety was encompassing Meadow Lane but that was put to rest as we got back on the front foot and forced Justham into a pair of saves.

Shields was first to test him, shooting on the turn but the Daggers keeper got down well to hold, before the winger looked to turn provider as he curled an inswinging cross to Wootton, whose flicked header went straight down the throat of the visiting stopper.

Booty fancied his chances of a second direct free-kick on 53 minutes when Thomas was brought down after a neat turn 20 yards from goal, but the midfielder's effort went over the wall and the crossbar on this occasion. 

Openings were being found with increasing regularity and Dagenham right back William Wright was next to have a sighter when striking on the full after a deep cross was headed clear. He caught the ball well but his effort lacked direction and Slocombe had the ball covered as it sailed wide of his near post.

The anxiety from the stands began to return and, to quell it, Ardley opted to freshen things up, sending on Doyle and Dennis in place of Shields and Thomas - a move that saw Booty shift out to the left flank.

The changes almost had the desired effect when the striker picked out Boldewijn with a through ball on 64 minutes and the winger worked room for a shot but could only fire over.

A deep cross then picked out Dennis at the back post but he was crowded out by a pair of recovering defenders and the ball broke kindly for Justham to scoop up.

Dagenham boss Peter Taylor made all three of his changes before the 70-minute mark and they paved the way for his side to give Slocombe a busy spell between the sticks. 

Reece Grant, the first player introduced, beat the offside trap to latch onto a through ball from Balanta and must have thought he would level things, only for the stopper to make an excellent save with his feet to deny him one-on-one.

Fellow substitute James Dobson curled a low strike from range, which Slocombe had to get down to push away, before Dagenham's third man off the bench, Joan Luque, sent a snap-shot narrowly wide.

Grant tested Slocombe again on 76 minutes, firing low from the edge of the area and the keeper got down to his left to make a smart stop to turn the ball behind.

Brindley's low cross found Wootton at the back post, but he was crowded out as we began to relieve some pressure, before the resultant corner was scrambled into the hands of Justham.

Pierce Bird replaced Zoumana Bakayogo for the final 11 minutes as we switched to a five-man defence, before Luke Croll went close for the visitors when he met a corner at the near post and flashed a header across the face of goal.

Rose beat the post with a snap-shot that caught Justham flat-footed but the keeper was left helpless on 87 minutes when Dennis doubled the lead.

Boldewijn held the ball up well on the edge of the area and set it back for the striker to hit first time, curling a beautiful effort in off the far post to secure the points.

Four minutes were added on, in which Dagenham continued to search for a goal, but Dennis' effort had instilled a sense of certainty around Meadow Lane and the referee's whistle was greeted with a rapturous reception as we went four unbeaten at home.

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