JIMMY JOY AS TEAM HIT TOP
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.”
EYE FOR GOAL: Adam McGurk scores the opening Burton goal. Inset: Alex Jakubiak of Dagenham nets his side’s goal