Report: Daggers Strike Blow To Hartlepool
Hartlepool United were undone this afternoon by bottom placed Dagenham, as Gavin Tomlin's 86th minute winner left Pools without a win in three outings.
Hartlepool United were defeated by a solitary goal this afternoon, John Still's Dagenham earning an 86th minute winner in a dull and unentertaining game.
Mick Wadsworth made two changes to his side that bowed out in the cup last week, Ritchie Humphreys losing out to James Brown, and Paul Murray replacing Joe Gamble.
So it was the in-form surprise packages against a side who only have 2 away wins to their name thus far. Easy you may think. Well, when it involves Hartlepool and add into the equation of the Manager of the Month curse, that 'easy' suddenly becomes complicated.
But for the first 20 minutes or so, it not only looked like Pools were going wipe away the curse of the accolade, it looked like veteran Tony Roberts was in for a long 90 minutes in the Daggers goal. Early efforts from Gary Liddle and Neil Austin shaded the net, as the presence of James Brown was threatening to the visitors.
And it was Brown who nearly created the first goal. A good one two with the lively Leon McSweeney fed Gary Liddle through on goal, but his chance smashed off the cross bar. Minutes later Neil Austin came oh so close to removing the memory of Liddle's crossbar-denied shot, as his run from far right was picked up by an alert Brown who neatly played it out left to the skipper, but unfortunalty his low shot drifted wide of the goal.
Austin had another chance to break the deadlock from a free kick, but his set-piece deflected for a corner. The resulting corner earned another seconds later and Horwood's outswinging cross was met by Andy Monkhouse, but the goal drought for the left winger continued as he saw his looping header bounce onto the roof of the net.
It was then when the Pools fans began worrying that it was going to be another 'one of those day's'. There was a brief moment however for the fans behind the Town End to be thrilled by 41 year old Tony Roberts who responded with the usual insults with his own comical actions in reply.
An unmarked Antony Sweeney should of got on the end of a loose ball deep into the first half, and Horwood tried his luck with a left footed volley as Pools entered the break somehow wondering why they weren't ahead.HT: Hartlepool United 0-0 Dagenham & Redbridge
With the increasing strength of the wind causing difficult conditions, plus Dagenham's canines to sit deep and camp in their own half, it wasn't long before the Vic faithful got frustrated.
Stray balls across the defence from a poor Armann Bjornsson didn't help either, as the long ball to Brown just wasn't suiting his strengths. The lofty impressive Marvin Morgan layed the ball wide for Gavin Tomlin who cut deep inside, but thankfully his effort landed the wrong side of the net.
The game was fastly fallen victim of the strong gusts, and the actual football on the pitch wasn't exactly eye pleasing. Roars of uplifting from the crowd didn't spur Pools on and the introduction of Ritchie Humphreys brought a bit of passion to what looked like a disinterested Pools side.
The flat slow tempod game was quickly falling into the hands of the visitors as Morgan's nuisance stature up front was proving a danger to the Pools back line. Neil Austin limped off and was replaced by Fabian Yantorno. The Uruguayan instantly made an impact as Morgan went on an unchallenged run but despite rounding Kean in goal, Yantorno timed his tackle perfectly and snuffed away the chance.
Humphreys attempted to force an impact, but his deep throws into the mixture failed to make an impression as they were caught up in the game-killing wind. With 86 minutes on the clock, Pools' attempts of finding a winner were being thwarted, but Dagenham's weren't, and they sealed all three points.
A long ball from defence was brought down by Morgan, who helped the ball to the left. After a good pass into Jon Nurse, he cut inside and played a low cross from the by line into Gavin Tomlin
who cooly flicked the ball past Jake Kean from 3 yards out.
Not even Kean's attacking surge into the box nor a Bjornsson header could salvage a point for Pools, as they stretched their beaten run to 3 games. A far cry from the end of last year... FT: Hartlepool United 0-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
Well to be truthfully honest there isn't really much to say because as Evan Horwood said in his post math interview, 'you might as well of flicked a coin before the start to determine the winner' such was the conditions this game was played under.
It wasn't for the want of trying from Pools, it was just another game that went by, in which we failed to score. How to solve that problem? Well, the obvious answer would be to bring in a striker that can score, or switch to 4-4-2 at home to suit the strengths of James Brown and Adam Boyd.
4-5-1 has worked superbly on the road, but at home, we just don't have a player that can fit into the lone role. For all of Brown's efforts, they went unawarded largely thanks to no assistance from another striker. I'm sure this run is just a blip, but a return to winning ways is now needed, and soon.
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