Date: 1st December 2015 at 10:03pm
Written by:

Dagenham returned to the Globe Arena on Tuesday night hoping to repeat the win they richly deserved just two weeks earlier in the FA Cup. Their hosts have seemed to have suffered a collective lack of confidence since losing this game so badly, having led 2-0 after just seven or so minutes. Unusually, the game was broadcast live on local radio, which tends to concentrate on the teams to the south of Lancashire as if Morecambe and Fleetwood aren`t actually part of the county at all. In the run-up to the broadcast, Manager Jim Bentley – as is his wont – was very straightforward about the problems his team have been experiencing in recent times. He identified the main worry as being in central defence but insisted that this was just a blip in the team`s fortunes. Tonight, however, he made four changes from the team which finally recovered from a position when they would have been 6-1 down last Saturday were it not for Barry Roche`s double penalty saves only to finally lose by the narrowest of margins: 4-3 to Stevenage. Long-term injury returnee Peter Murphy lined-up alongside Adam Dugdale, Paul Mullin and loan signing Anton Forrester right from the off.

There was bad news for the Shrimps after only twenty minutes when Roche – who spoke eloquently and positively in a couple of radio interviews before the game – had to come off with what might have been a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Tony Thompson, who appeared between the Morecambe sticks for the first time tonight. Ten minutes later – by which time the Daggers hadn`t even tested the substitute goalkeeper, Josh Passley brought down Sean Beeley in the penalty area and although Liam O`Brien did well to stop Mullin’s original shot to his left, he could only parry the ball to allow the centre forward to smash the rebound past him as the goalkeeper`s team-mates basically stood by and watched. The Daggers went in one-nil down at half time and manager Wayne Burnett replaced Ashley Chambers with Kyle Vassell and changed the visitors` formation. It did them no good – the best chance they had was in the ninety-third minute and that was fluffed by 40 year old Jamie Cureton. Other than that, the visitors never really put any pressure on Morecambe`s rookie goalkeeper and looked like what they are: a team with serious relegation worries.

The win propels the Shrimps up four places to thirteenth in the table. The Manager expressed his pleasure with the return of key players such as Captain Murphy and Dugdale at the end of the match. He also acknowledged the clean sheet, which has been a rarity for his team in recent times. However, he singled-out Kevin Ellison for particular praise for his performance tonight, saying `he has been my best signing`. Because of their defeat last time they met the Daggers, Morecambe have no game on Saturday. The Manager welcomed the break: he said it will give other key players such as Alex Kenyon and Andy Fleming further time to recover from long-term injuries. Dagenham, on the other hand, face Whitehawk in the FA Cup at home this coming weekend just one point and one place above the relegation positions in League Two.
Ref: Stephen Martin