BUR­NETT RE­FUTES TALK OF THE DROP

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Re­becca Cole

DA­GEN­HAM & Red­bridge boss Wayne Bur­nett in­sists his side are cer­tainly far closer to where they need to be in or­der to steer clear of rel­e­ga­tion, de­spite con­ced­ing a late equaliser against Plymouth.

Joss Labadie’s strike just be­fore the hour looked to have sealed back-to-back league wins for the Dag­gers for the first time this sea­son, only for sub­sti­tute Ryan Brunt to strike in in­jury time.

Pick­ing up four points from their last two games, how­ever, is a step in the right di­rec­tion when you con­sider the ten games prior to that had yielded the same re­turn.

And Bur­nett be­lieves a dom­i­nant dis­play against one of the di­vi­sion’s front run­ners is cause for op­ti­mism.

“We should have won, we were the bet­ter team, the play­ers were mag­nif­i­cent, you can’t fault them,” he said.“We were bet­ter in ev­ery depart­ment and we matched them for sure.

“They didn’t have a shot in the sec­ond half, un­til the fi­nal minute, which tells you how well we played.

“My play­ers were mag­nif­i­cent again, the last three games we have been very good. You can see we’re start­ing to get there.

“We only played one up top be­cause of in­juries, but I thought it worked quite well ac­tu­ally. We definitely weren’t trou­bled too much de­fen­sively, we played the league lead­ers and we have matched them and at times we have been bet­ter than them.

“Joss [Labadie] is break­ing for­ward, he drives the team for­ward, he’s a com­peti­tor. He’s a hard worker, he’s a de­man­der.”

The hosts were the dom­i­nant force in the first-half as Jodi Jones shot just over on 19 min­utes, be­fore he was de­nied by Chris­tian Wal­ton on the half-hour hav­ing skipped past three Plymouth de­fend­ers.

The Dag­gers had a good shout for a penalty on 35 min­utes when Jones was brought down by Gary Sawyer but ref­eree Dar­ren Dead­man waved play on.

Labadie struck on 59 min­utes, forc­ing a pow­er­ful ef­fort past Wal­ton, and while Craig Tan­ner and Ben Pur­ring­ton threat­ened for the visi­tors it seemed like the points were safe at that stage.

But up popped Brunt to find the bot­tom cor­ner with a minute to play, leav­ing Ar­gyle boss Derek Adams in­sist­ing a late equaliser will do lit­tle to pa­per over the cracks that ap­peared dur­ing the game.

“It was a very poor per­for­mance for us from start to fin­ish, it was the only shot we really had on tar­get all game,” he said.

“We had to make two sub­sti­tu­tions at half­time, the physio wanted me to make them. It has been a bit stop-start the last couple of weeks due to in­jury.

“We never had one ball in be­hind Da­gen­ham, in the whole game, but they had a lot of balls in be­hind us.

“We just didn't per­form to the stan­dards we are ca­pa­ble of.

“It's not easy making changes with the thread­bare squad we have at the mo­ment but it was a fan­tas­tic strike from Ryan [Brunt].

“He is ca­pa­ble of scor­ing goals like that and when it comes to him at the edge of the box, it’s a fan­tas­tic fin­ish to get a point.”

PIC­TURES:TGSPHOTO

STAR MAN CLEVID DIKAMONA

Da­gen­ham LAST-GASP HERO: Ryan Brunt is con­grat­u­lated as he net­ted a 93rd minute equaliser af­ter Joss Labadie had put Da­gen­ham ahead, inset

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