Stevenage crash out of the JPT after another second-half disaster

Ben Kennedy scored from the spot against Dagenham. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Ben Kennedy scored from the spot against Dagenham. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Johnstone’s Paint Trophy: Stevenage 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 2

Stevenage have been knocked out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy by Dagenham in what was the club’s fifth successive defeat.

Just as with the reversal at home to Mansfield Town eight days ago, Boro were level with their opponents at the break only to concede twice within the first 10 minutes of the restart. The visitors then survived a late Ben Kennedy penalty to book their passage through to the next round.

Stevenage put out their strongest possible line-up as they looked for an upturn their fortunes, but it still wasn’t enough for them to get the result they so desperately desired.

Kennedy was lively, so too Tom Conlon, but there was not enough about the team to snatch a win.

It would be unkind to say that Stevenage were poor in the first half. They weren’t. But for all of their possession, they created little. Dagenham were happy to sit back, and to allow that wonderful little devil of a player, Jamie Cureton, to work his magic off the shoulders of defenders.

Early on Kennedy fired straight at Dagenham keeper Liam O’Brien before Boro lost Ronnie Henry to injury.

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O’Brien then had his palms stung by Dean Parrett from the edge of the box, before Day was forced into a save from Ashley Chambers as the Daggers broke from a Stevenage corner.

Both sides traded shots at the start of the second period, two-to-one in the visitors’ favour, before Dagenham took the lead.

Day wasn’t the only 40-year-old on the pitch; that accolade went to Cureton, and when he timed his run to sneak in behind following a pass from Chambers he curled past the Boro keeper, a former team-mate of his at QPR, to put his side ahead.

And as with the game against Mansfield just eight days ago, a second soon followed as the visitors began to take charge. This time Cureton and Chambers reversed roles, with the latter firing into the corner for 2-0.

It could also have been three after on-loan QPR winger Jake Mulraney got in down the left just five minutes later, but his deflected shot was kept out by Chris Day.

O’Brien was then called into second-half action, saving low from Jamar Loza after good work from Brett Williams, but Boro continued to frustrate as they looked for an opening, for anything, having not scored in their previous three games.

Out of nothing, and with 10 minutes to go, Boro were awarded their second penalty in two games – and with it a lifeline.

On Saturday Williams was brought down and his subsequent spot kick was saved. Here he was tripped again, but this time up stepped Kennedy to fire home from the spot to give his side a chance.

However, Lady Luck was not on the side of Teddy Sheringham’s men and Dagenham were able to hold on to book their place in the next round.

Stevenage: Day, Henry (Franks 19), Ogilvie, Hughes, Wells, Conlon, Kennedy, Schumacher, Parrett (Whelpdale 54), Loza (Hitchcock 90), Williams. Subs: Lumley, Pett.

Dagenham & Redbridge: O’Brien, Passley, Nosworthy, Dikamona (Obileye 46), Cureton (Doidge 82), Chambers, Jones (Mulraney 54), Raymond, Hemmings, Ferdinand, Hoyte. Subs: Cousins, Yusuff.

Att: 1,401 (123 away)