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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:15 20th June 2014

Stevenage recorded back-to-back wins with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Dagenham & Redbridge this afternoon.

Second half goals from Charlie Lee and Chris Whelpdale handed Boro all three points as Graham Westley's men controlled large parts of the game and piled on the pressure as the game went on.

Team news at Victoria Road saw two changes from the side that started the 1-0 win against Exeter. Charlie Lee came in for the injured Lee Barnard with Chris Whelpdale returned in place of the departed Charlie Adams.

Ryan Brunt nodded just wide with less than a minute on the clock as Stevenage started encouragingly but soon enough the hosts began to push forward and created the best of the chances in the opening quarter.

A Damian Batt cross from the right was scrambled clear and Chris Day – on his 300th Stevenage appearance – was forced into a low save after Luke Howell latched onto an Patrick Agyemang pass and burst into the area.

From an 11th minute corner Dagenham should really have taken the lead when left wing-back Joe Widdowson cut onto his right and curled in a lovely cross but centre-back Ayo Obileye somehow headed wide.

The game continued rather scrappily but Boro gradually came into the half and hit the woodwork just prior to the 20 minute mark. Good work by Brunt and Lee won Stevenage a corner and when the low delivery found Parrett, his whipped effort missed everyone before hitting Brunt and bouncing up onto the crossbar, possibly with the help of ‘keeper Mark Cousins. 

Rhys Murphy headed wide when well placed as Dagenham threatened to take a 23rd minute lead before a foul by Widdowson on Parrett – which earned the left wing-back a caution – was to signal the start of a sustained period of possession for Boro in  the remainder of the half

Charles saw a powerful header from the resulting free-kick blocked, Lee blasted over under pressure after being found by Brunt and then Lee showed superb control to take a cross-field ball down and fizz a dangerous cross across the box that somehow missed everyone.

They then went oh so close moments before half-time when Brunt nodded a ball onto Lee, who in turn flicked it round the corner for the incoming Parrett to volley inches over. It was an excellent move and one worthy of breaking the deadlock, but at the break it was goalless.

If the first half was about Boro gradually coming into the game, the second was about dominance for the visitors. Pett nearly gave Stevenage the dream start when he was found in space in the box by the marauding Parrett, took a touch and fired back across Cousins only for the keeper to make the save of the game in acrobatic style. The resulting corner was cleared but back came Boro with Pett winning the 50th minute corner from which Boro broke the deadlock.

The initial delivery went long but found Wells at the back of the box, who turned and played the ball back in. In flew Lee, whose initial header rattled the bar with Cousins beaten only for the rebound to fall back into the path of the in-form midfielder who fired home in front of the 310 travelling fans.

Scott Doe headed inches over as Dagenham rallied and pushed for an immediate equaliser and Day had to turn a low shot from distance behind, but in truth these were brief moments of panic for Boro who instead imposed themselves on their opponents and launched wave after wave of attack.

In previous games this season Stevenage have sat back with a lead but here they set about increasing their lead, probing forward at every opportunity. With Widdowson on a booking, Pett was looking increasingly influential out wide with Parrett and Lee making surging bursts forward to support the impressive Brunt. 

With 20 minutes remaining the Daggers made a double-sub, provoking ironic cheers from the home faithful at the departure of former Boro man Agyemang but howls of derision at the remove of Rhys Murphy. 

However within seconds Victoria Road was silenced but for the jubilant away support as Boro doubled their advantage. Pett and Parrett were again involved, with the latter realising his opportunity for a shot inside the box was gone after a wayward touch, yet still having the vision to roll the ball across for Whelpdale who gleefully smashed home.

Buoyed by that goal Stevenage continued to play attacking football and Parrett went close with 17 minutes left when he flicked the ball over one player and powered past two others only to be pushed wide and win Boro a corner. Even Dave McAllister, an unsung hero for the visitors with a great shift in front of the back four, was bursting forward to win another corner as Dagenham struggled to match Stevenage’s intensity.

Dagenham did muster a couple of chances as the game drew to a conclusion, with Charles having to make a superb recovery tackle on the edge of the box after being caught in possession, Day punching an 80th minute free-kick clear and Luke Howell firing in a couple of efforts from range. However in truth the points were Boro’s, meaning not only a welcome win on the road and clean sheet but back-to-back wins for the first time since March.

Momentum is key in football and Stevenage will be hoping to put in a similarly impressive performance when Cambridge United come to town on Sunday afternoon (3pm).

Dagenham: Cousins, Batt, Doe, Saah, Bingham, Murphy (Jakubiak 71), Chambers, Howell, Obileye (Porter 54), Widdowson, Agyemang (Hemmings 71)

Subs not used: O’Brien, Labadie, Partridge, Boucard

Stevenage: Day, Henry, Wells, Charles, Okimo, Whelpdale, McAllister, Parrett (Walton 82), Pett, Lee (Beardsley 85), Brunt

Subs not used: Beasant, Deacon, Conlon, Zola, Marriott

Attendance: 1,779 (310 away)

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