League two side Dagenham and Redbridge were denied a draw after a 77th minute goal from Marcus Bent earned the Premiership club their first pre season victory.
Bent struck as a mix up between the previously unbeatable Will Antwi and Dagenham club captain Mark Arber allowed the former Everton and Ipswich striker the opportunity to slot between goalkeeper Tony Roberts legs for a much needed victory.
The Daggers started with a slightly changed line up that saw winger Graeme Montgomery partner Paul Benson meaning that Peter Gain filled in on the left allowing Stuart Thurgood a place in the centre of midfield alongside Solomon Taiwo. The only other change from the 2-0 victory over Southend was the return of Mark Arber to the central defence meaning that Scott Doe replaced Abu Ogogo at right back.
Despite early fears that Cameron Jerome’s pace would prove hard to contain for the Daggers defence, the home side were more than matching their more illustrious opponents and a fierce Montgomery shot tested Maik Taylor in the Birmingham goal.
Chances were few and far between in the first half and a low Stuart Parnaby shot from distance that rolled narrowly wide was the best Alex McClish’s side could muster.
The second half also began fairly quietly with the Blue’s maintaining possession relatively comfortably but showing little creativity through a strong Daggers defence. In fact, John Still’s men were looking more dangerous on the counter attack as a Danny Green burst from midfield saw the young winger hit a spectacular shot which sailed narrowly over the bar and hit the goal support behind.
This saw the Blue’s respond as Keith Fahey hit a crisply struck shot but Roberts was in the right place to make a save. However, the game changed with the introduction of Marcus Bent for the ineffective Jerome. A long ball from James Mcfadden saw Antwi and Arber leave the ball for eachother allowing Bent to pounce for the opener. Bent had another great chance moments later but the onrushing Roberts this time got his body in the way to deflect it wide.
With the game drifting towards an anticlimatic end, the Daggers had a fantastic chance to equalise. Some great work from Green on the right allowed him to cross to an unmarked Josh Scott who headed narrowly over from close range as the Daggers went down to a narrow and perhaps undeserved defeat.