JIMMY JOY AS TEAM HIT TOP

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Sean Kearns

JIMMY Floyd Has­sel­baink praised the char­ac­ter of his Bur­ton Al­bion side af­ter they came from be­hind against Da­gen­ham to lift them­selves into top spot.

Bur­ton were the bet­ter side through­out but found them­selves be­hind mid­way through the sec­ond half when Alex Jaku­biak struck a pow­er­ful ef­fort past Jon McLaugh­lin to put the Dag­gers in front.

But the Brew­ers had come into this match on a 12-match un­beaten run and they showed the spirit that has en­cap­su­lated Has­sel­baink’s reign so far when they equalised five min­utes later as Adam McGurk ri­fled home.

Goals from Nasser El Khay­ati and Damien McCrory com­pleted the come­back to send Bur­ton to the top of the ta­ble – and Has­sel­baink was de­lighted to see his side’s spirit af­ter go­ing a goal be­hind.

“It was pleas­ing to see the re­ac­tion, but I must say we were on top for most of the match,” said Has­sel­baink.

“They made us work re­ally hard be­cause they are in a good spell, but to come here and dom­i­nate the game, like we did, was fan­tas­tic.

“Of course, it was dis­ap­point­ing to go one goal be­hind but the re­ac­tion was very good and it was from good play, not just run­ning around.

“We showed good for­ward pass­ing, good move­ment and we had mo­ments of in­di­vid­ual clev­er­ness, with play­ers who dare to take on oth­ers. That cre­ates op­por­tu­ni­ties. It was good to see.”

Jamie Cure­ton had the best chance of the first half but saw his ef­fort cleared off the line by Shane Cans­dell-Sher­riff af­ter he had rounded McLaugh­lin.

Mid­way through the sec­ond half the Dag­gers were ahead when Jaku­biak pounced on a loose ball and an­gled a pow­er­ful shot into the bot­tom left-hand cor­ner.

Five min­utes later, Al­bion were de­servedly level when McCrory’s ef­fort can­noned off the cross­bar and fell to McGurk who ri­fled home.

With 15 min­utes to play, sub­sti­tute El Khay­ati put them ahead with his first goal for the club.

He pow­ered a vol­ley past McLaugh­lin be­fore McCrory rounded off the win in in­jury time.

Dag­gers boss Wayne Bur­nett missed the match through ill­ness and his as­sis­tant War­ren Hack­ett was dis­ap­pointed with how the home side gave away three goals.

“It was a very scrappy game and there wasn’t much in it in the first half,” ad­mit­ted Hack­ett.

“We came out bet­ter in the sec­ond half and man­aged to score our goal.Yes, it was a lit­tle bit for­tu­nate, but we still scored.

“Then, af­ter that, we had some­thing to pro­tect, but we gifted them their three goals.

“I would have ex­pected us to have been 100 per cent fo­cused hav­ing gone 1-0 up but we switched off for one mo­ment and did the same for their sec­ond and third. We’ve worked hard on this un­beaten run and now we must dust our­selves down and get go­ing again.”

PIC­TURES: Dave Simp­son/TGSPHOTO

EYE FOR GOAL: Adam McGurk scores the open­ing Bur­ton goal. Inset: Alex Jaku­biak of Da­gen­ham nets his side’s goal

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