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Colin Munford at Fratton Park
Thursday, December 26, 2013
League Two: Portsmouth 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 0
Romain Padovani’s first half header proved to be the difference as Daggers fell to their third defeat on the spin.
Portsmouth were by far the better side on the day, but only had the solitary goal to show for it as Daggers struggled to create much in front of goal.
One change was made by Wayne Burnett to the starting line-up which lost 1-0 at home to Torquay on Saturday, with Chris Dickson handed his first league start, in place of Reading loanee Lawson D’Ath.
It was a slow start for the visitors, with Pompey spending almost the entire opening 10 minutes in the Daggers half.
But in terms of chances it was Burnett’s side which had the first opportunity as a dinked ball in from Rhys Murphy found Dickson in the box, but his weak header was straight at Pompey goalkeeper Trevor Carson.
Richie Barker’s hosts continued to spend most of the time on the front foot and only a last-ditch block from Luke Howell denied Padovani.
Lewington had to be alert to come out and block an Agyemang effort with the veteran striker bearing down on goal, while Jed Wallace fired over from just outside the box.
Holmes was the thorn in the Daggers side before the break with the Pompey attacker giving free rein across the pitch.
And he again forced Lewington into a top save as he let fly from the edge of the area and the ‘keeper was on hand to push the effort away from danger.
But just as it appeared to be petering out to half time, the hosts went in front a minute before the break.
And it was another set piece that proved the Daggers undoing when the dangerous Holmes floated one in and Padovani was free to head into the ground and past Lewington.
D’Ath was brought on for Medy Elito at the start of the second period, however the hosts thought they had extended their lead when Agyemang volleyed in from six yards, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Slowly the Daggers got into the game and should have levelled on 54 minutes when Hines’ free-kick was only half cleared to Dickson.
The ball sat up nicely for him but he fired it deep into the stand to waste their best chance of the match.
Another free-kick was floated into the Pompey box and this time Brian Saah was the man on the end of it, and he had Carson worried with his header, but it fell inches wide.
Despite not playing anywhere near their best the Daggers were still in the game and enjoyed their best spell of the game in the final quarter of an hour.
Scott Doe saw a byline cross held by Carson after Johnny Ertl had done well to deny the centre back a header following a dangerous ball in from D’Ath.
Doe was in the thick of it and flicked a Hines corner goalwards but Carson calmly collected.
Such was D’Ath’s desperation to get Daggers back into the game he dived in the area trying to win a penalty for a ‘foul’ by Sonny Bradley, and picked up a booking for his troubles.
And despite five minutes of stoppage time Daggers were unable to break the Pompey backline and Padovani almost put the game to bed with a drilled effort from distance, which went just over the bar.
Portsmouth: Carson, East, Devera, Bradley, Padovani, Holmes, Painter (Whatmough 70), Ferry (Ertl 60), Ageymang (Bird 90+2), Racon, Wallace.
Unused substites: Sullivan, Moutaouakil, Connolly, Harris.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Ilesanmi, Doe, Saah, Hoyte, Ogogo (Edgar 86), Howell, Elito (D’Ath 46), Murphy, Hines, Dickson (Obafemi 68).
Unused substitutes: Seabright, Wilkinson, Scott, Connors.
Attendance: 15,192 (244 Daggers fans)