Returning manager John has Still got it
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