Re­turn­ing man­ager John has Still got it

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matt Bamsey

NEW Da­gen­ham man­ager John Still took huge en­cour­age­ment af­ter his side climbed away from rel­e­ga­tion dan­ger with a sec­ond straight vic­tory.

The 65-year-old, who re­turned on New Year’s Eve for his third stint as man­ager af­ter his sack­ing from Lu­ton, watched from the ra­dio booth as goals from Joss Labadie and Ash­ley Cham­bers gave him a dream start.

And Still is rel­ish­ing the chal­lenge of haul­ing the Dag­gers clear of the drop zone, even though he was plan­ning on tak­ing a break from the game.

He said: “We showed a real never-say­die at­ti­tude and team ethic that will serve us well be­tween now and the end of the sea­son.

“When I left Lu­ton my in­ten­tion was to have a hol­i­day and a bit of a break from the game. I had a couple of other op­por­tu­ni­ties but, if there is one club I couldn’t say no to, it was Da­gen­ham.

“I am still get­ting to know the play­ers but I was very pleased with this per­for­mance.

“The first two goals were a bit strange but the win­ner was a per­fect goal – a ter­rific cross and a header.

“That is back-to-back wins now and the boys will be in good spir­its.”

Da­gen­ham took the lead against the run of play af­ter Labadie climbed high­est to head Ash­ley Hem­mings’ cor­ner past Bobby Ole­jnik.

They car­ried a con­stant threat from set-pieces and Labadie came close to adding a sec­ond when he headed Frankie Ray­mond’s free-kick nar­rowly wide.

Mo­ments later Alex Ni­cholls squan­dered a gilt-edged chance to snatch an equaliser af­ter latch­ing on to Lee Holmes’ cross only to side­foot the ball wide of a gap­ing goal.

But Ex­eter did force the lev­eller their pres­sure de­served. Holmes de­liv­ered a cor­ner to the back post and Tom Nichols bun­dled the ball home from close range.

Af­ter the break Nichols tested Mark Cousins with a glanc­ing header be­fore Dag­gers swept down the other end and snatched the win­ner. Hem­mings pro­vided a stun­ning cross for Cham­bers to plant a pow­er­ful header past Ole­jnik.

Ex­eter were de­nied a lev­eller in stop­page time when Holmes’ free-kick was headed off the line by Justin Hoyte.

Gre­cians man­ager Paul Tis­dale said: “I am dis­ap­pointed to have lost and that is com­pounded by the fact we have now lost four in a row.

“I am more than happy with the way we have played box-to-box, but we haven’t con­verted our play into goals.

“We were fluid, quick to the ball and mo­ti­vated and ev­ery­thing else.

“But I am ac­count­able for re­sults and that is four losses in a row which isn’t great.The play­ers are re­spon­si­ble for their jobs.”

STAR MAN ASH­LEY HEM­MINGS

Da­gen­ham

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