Rotherham United slumped to a first defeat in six games at the hands of Dagenham & Redbridge. Some fine goalkeeping by Andy Warrington wasn’t enough for the Millers who succumbed to a 5-0 defeat against an energetic Dagenham side.
Steve Evans was forced into two changes to the side, with Michael O’Connor and new loan signing Luke Rooney replacing injured duo Kari Arnason and Jamie Devitt.
The Millers forced an early corner after some good work by Alex Revell on the right hand side, but survived a let off at the other end when Dwight Gayle’s shot from the edge of the box went out for a throw-in following some neat footwork. However, with five and a half minutes on the clock, Gayle didn’t make the same mistake twice, and when Jake Reed cut back the Daggers striker fired under Andy Warrington to put the home side ahead.
Neither team could really get a foothold in the game as it went from end to end, but the Millers did have the better opportunities in a game that lacked anything clear cut. Ian Sharps headed over from O’Connor’s corner kick, before the Irishman himself then saw a free-kick held well by Chris Lewington. However, it was not before Lee Frecklington had forced him into an acrobatic stop with a volley from 25 yards out.
Dagenham did double their lead just after the half hour mark following some magnificent work by Oluwafemi Ilesanmi. The left-back dispossessed Rooney on the edge of his own area before running the length of the field and squaring for Luke Howell to hit home from 18 yards. A third almost followed just six minutes before the break, by Matt Saunders’ left-footed effort just whisked past the post.
Dagenham & Redbridge 2-0 Millers
Medy Elito fired over from a good position within five minutes of the restart , prompting Evans into a change of formation with Pringle going through the middle. However, it wasn’t until the hour mark that either side managed to carve anything out. Michael Spillane’s fine run to get to the byline led to a cutback for goalscorer Howell who fired high and wide from a good position inside the area. Moments later, the hosts came even closer to a third goal with a slip in the defence, only for Warrington to put his body on the line and make an excellent point blank stop from Gayle.
With the Millers pushing to get back into the game, they were hit on the counter-attack, Spillane had an excellent chance to add a third, only for Warrington to pull off yet another fine save, this time with his legs.
The third did eventually come with 15 minutes remaining, as another run to the byline resulted in Howell tapping home for his second of the afternoon. The Millers tried to reply instantly, but O’Connor’s shot from all of 30 yards was comfortable for Lewington. The ‘keeper was also alert two minutes later as substitute Daniel Nardiello was slipped in, racing out of his goal to beat away the shot.
It should have been 4-0 on 80 minutes when a Dagenham corner found Gayle unmarked but his volley was again expertly saved by Warrington. The Millers failed to clear however, and Elito had a simple finish to add the fourth goal. Rotherham continued to push however, and forced a number of corners, but it was Warrington who had to be alert again to deny Gayle when he’d skipped clear of the defence. At the other end, Bradley headed over a corner kick by O’Connor at the back post.
With injury time edging closer, the Millers came closest they had all game to a goal as Pringle’s free-kick was headed up in the air by Bradley, beyond the goalkeeper but not Ogogo who headed off the line.
Three minutes were added on, and the Millers’ misery was compounded as a cross was fired across goal for Gayle to slide home on the line and cap seal the game for the home side.
There was a late rally from the Millers, but despite his hard work and good piece of skill, Nardiello’s shot from the edge of the box was beaten away.
Dagenham 5-0 Millers
Dagenham: Lewington, Wilkinson (Bingham 87), Ilesanmi, Doe, Spillane, Elito, Reed (Woodall 81), Saunders, Howell, Agogo, Gayle.
Unused: Seabright, Scott, Green, Hoyte, Currie.
Millers: Warrington, Bradley, Sharps, Morgan (Hunt 23), Morris, Rooney (Evans HT), O’Connor, Frecklington, Pringle, Odejayi (Nardiello 63), Revell.
Unused: Thompson, Wilson, Taylor, Denton.
Att: 1,720 (297)