BURNETT REFUTES TALK OF THE DROP
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.”
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