After completely missing the Brentford away defeat through illness, Dagenham & Redbridge bounced back here with a 3-0 victory.
Against a team that would have been expected to provide a stern test for the home side, the Daggers got off to the best possible start. In the 2nd minute, a long goal kick from Tony Roberts saw Paul Benson lay the ball back to Sam Saunders who hit a wonderful shot into the roof of the net from fully 25 yards.
The goal clearly shook Chesterfield who were missing influential striker Jack Lester and their number one goalkeeper Alan Lee. However the visitors nearly equalised after 20 minutes as a corner was headered straight onto the bar.
The Daggers had more problems soon after as centre back Mark Arber had to come off with a broken nose meaning winger Jon Nurse had to deputise in defence for the rest of the game.
This should have been an area for Chesterfield to exploit but just before half time, a coming together of Ben Strevens and Lloyd Kerry saw the Chesterfield man sent off for a punch in the ribs. Nevertheless, Strevens was lucky to stay on the pitch himself after a grab to Kerry’s more sensitive area.
Strevens was involved again just after half time but on this occasion he was on the end of a pre meditated challenge. Chesterfield captain Robert Page came flying in with an elbow as both jumped for a header and the former was correctly given his marching orders.
With the away side now down to 9 men it was clearly a case of damage limitations. However, the Daggers were clearly finding it tricky to finish them off. A lot of credit goes to the Chesterfield stand in goalkeeper who produced brilliant saves from both Benson and Saunders to keep them in the game.
Nevertheless, on 85 minutes a corner was cleared only as far as substitute striker Mark Nwokeji who fired a shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the box.
With this goal Dagenham opened up and played with more freedom. A 3rd goal come right at the end as a cross saw Nwokeji clatterred by the goalkeeper before Benson could calmly header in the loose ball.
It was clear that Chesterfield were archetects of their own downfall here as with 11 vs 11 they could definitely have given the Daggers a game. However, with Ward left isolated up front, they were never going to trouble the Daggers backline.
A tough test away to Wycombe follows next Saturday. COME ON THE DAGGERS!!!
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