No joy on the road at Dagenham
Dagenham & Redbridge 2
Ogogo (10), Howell (72)
Bristol Rovers 0
Another frustrating performance at Dagenham & Redbridge means that Rovers are still looking for their first points on the road this season.
A disappointing first half performance saw them trail at the break to Abu Ogogo’s tenth minute goal and they were fortunate to only be one goal behind at the half time whistle as the Daggers squandered two more excellent opportunities.
They were handed a lifeline on 57 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Ogogo handled Michael Smith’s ball into the box, but Matt Harrold’s spot kick was too close to keeper Chris Lewington who dived low to his right to push the ball away.
It was game over after 72 minutes when they were punished for poor marking at a corner and Luke Howell scored from close range.
Manager John Ward was without the services of Ryan Brunt this afternoon as the striker continues to recover from a troublesome ankle injury.
Andy Bond made his debut, on the right of midfield, with Ellis Harrison switching to the left and there was a recall for Eliot Richards up front.
Goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall came to his side’s rescue as early as the third minute when he dived bravely at the feet of Abu Ogogo to smother the home skipper’s shot.
Rovers response came from Eliot Richards, who hit a shot over the bar just a few minutes later.
However the home side threatened again when Mark McChrystal blocked a shot from Rhys Murphy. That was on eight minutes and two minutes later the opening goal arrived.
A free kick from out on the right flashed across the face of goal, but was played back in where Ogogo was on hand to score from close range.
John-Joe O’Toole hit a low shot just wide of the upright as Rovers tried to get back on level terms, but his side were fortunate not to concede again on 20 minutes when Murphy met a cross from Zavon Hines and somehow managed to head over with the goal at his mercy.
The hard working Harold then saw a shot deflected behind and a header blocked while Ollie Norburn’s volley produced a comfortable save from Lewington.
Norburn saw another effort blocked and Bond hit a shot over the bar, though there was almost another goal for the Daggers before the break when Mildenhall did well to get something on a shot from Afolabi Obafemi. It took the sting out of the effort and Tom Parkes was able to complete the clearance.
Rovers began the second half brightly and after Billy Bingham had curled a shot over the bar were awarded a penalty when Ogogo was adjudged to have handled Smith’s cross. Harrold stepped up to take the resulting penalty and although he hit his shot firmly, it was too close to Lewington who pushed his effort away.
O’Toole headed over from Norburn’s corner shortly afterwards, but although they were enjoying a decent spell of possession, Rovers failed to trouble Lewington.
Mildenhall did well to touch a shot from Murphy behind when the home side threatened again, but from the resulting corner the Daggers scored a second goal. No one picked up Howell as he met the ball into the box and headed in from close range.
That was the last of the meaningful action and the home side comfortably saw out the remainder of the game.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Andy Bond, John-Joe O’Toole, Ollie Norburn (Tom Lockyer, 86), Ellis Harrison (Alefe Santos, 46), Eliot Richards (David Clarkson, 73), Matt Harrold
Substitutes: Garry Kenneth, Matt Gill, Mitch Harding, Conor Gough
Yellow Card: Harrison (23)
Dagenham & Redbridge: Chris Lewington, Gavin Hoyte, Scott Doe, Brian Saah, Jack Connors, Abu Ogogo, Luke Howell, Billy Bingham, Zavon Hines (Sean Shields, 90), Rhys Murphy, Afolabi Obafemi (Medy Elito, 23)
Substitutes: Luke Wilkinson, Oluwafemi Ilesanmi, Matt Saunders, Brian Woodall, Jordan Seabright
Yellow Cards: Saah (56), Hoyte (83)
Referee: Mr G Horwood
Rovers supporters: 358