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VERDICT: Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Bury 1
STICK or twist – that was the conundrum facing Bury manager Kevin Blackwell after another frustrating road trip.
A goal in each half from Dagenham strikers Afolabi Obafemi and Rhys Murphy was enough to twist the knife into the hearts of Blackwell’s Shakers, whose late penalty from Anton Forrester was scant consolation in a match they dominated.
Their failure to turn possession into clearcut chances left the struggling Gigg Lane outfit still searching for a victory on their travels this season.
It also extended a worrying slump of four League Two matches without a win that has seen them fall to 20th position in the table.
The obvious clamour from the terraces was for Blackwell to go back to the banker to improve his hand. But after bringing in a staggering 25 new players over the summer, the Bury boss said he was content to continue with the cards he had been dealt.
“People can get carried away asking for changes, but you can’t keep changing things,” he said.
“If 20 new people turn up in your office in the morning and someone got a fax wrong because they sent it to the wrong place and you sacked them, well you can’t do that can you?
“I have got a brand new workforce and I have got to work with them and give them the confidence and the courage to learn what’s required from them.”
Saturday’s match followed a predictable pattern for Bury, who lacked the attacking intent and energy to turn their territorial advantage into goals.
They could only muster two weak headers from winger Craig Jones before Obafemi’s 43rd-minute opener.
Veteran left-back Gareth Roberts allowed the Daggers forward to turn him in the box before his desperate challenge deflected Obafemi’s curling effort past the dive of Bury keeper Trevor Carson and into the bottom corner.
Murphy then compounded a tough day for Roberts, muscling his way past the Bury captain to latch on to a flick-on from Zavon Hines before passing the ball past the onrushing Carson for the Daggers’ second on 52 minutes.
Carson was then forced to tip a Murphy header behind at full stretch before Blackwell finally shuffled his pack from the bench.
The change in personnel, cut short rookie striker Jessy Reindorf’s first start for Bury, replacing him with the more creative John Rooney, and it increased the Shakers’ mobility up front.
And the introduction of Jordan Sinnott for Tommy Miller in the heart of the midfield gave them a spark that had been missing from the centre of the park.
The on-loan Huddersfield midfielder forced Dagenham keeper Chris Lewington into three smart saves – one low to his right from a 30-yard free-kick and two from fierce drives in the closing stages.
Sinnott’s enthusiastic cameo could well provide the way forward for Blackwell’s side.
But the Yorkshire teenager’s lively display was not enough to force a second late comeback in as many weeks following the previous weekend’s last-gasp leveller at home to Southend.
The Daggers’ Billy Bingham gave them a glimmer of hope, however, after he was adjudged to have handled in the box and Forrester converted the 89th-minute spot-kick for his fifth goal of the season.
Roberts then almost made amends for a poor personal performance, but his stoppage-time shot from the edge of the box cannoned back off the post.
It is doubtful that would have stopped Blackwell from dipping into the loan market this week for cover in Roberts’ position.
But the late slice of bad luck compounded the bad vibe in the Bury camp, leaving the manager to pray for patience as he gambled in Jordan Mustoe.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington; Hoyte, Doe, Saah, Connors; Bingham; Obafemi (Elito 69), Howell, Ogogo, Hines (Woodall 87); Murphy.
Not used: Seabright, Wilkinson, Ilesanmi, Saunders, Shields.
Bury: Carson 6; Beeley 6, Cameron 6, Edjenguele 5, Roberts 4; Jones 6, Miller 4 (Sinnott 7 56), Procter 6, Mayor 6 (Sedgwick 6 64); Reindorf 6 (Rooney 6 56), Forrester 6.
Not used: Jensen, Hinds, Holden, Soares.
Goals: Dagenham & Redbridge 2 (Obafemi 43, Murphy 52) Bury 1 (Forrester 89) Yellow cards: Bury – Edjenguele 57.
Referee: Brendan Malone Attendance: 1,604 (192 visiting).
Star man: Jordan Sinnott had more shots at goal in the final half an hour of the match than the rest of the team could muster in 90 minutes. The on-loan Huddersfield Town midfielder may not be the finished article, but the teenager added the energy and enthusiasm Bury were sadly lacking and must now be pushing for a place in the middle of the park.
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