Burton Albion 1-1 Dagenham & RedbridgeFrustration was the feeling at the Pirelli Stadium as Burton Albion had to settle for another 1-1 draw in front of their own fans as ten-man Dagenham & Redbridge held on for a vital point. The goal from on loan midfielder Lawson D'Ath was a screamer on the stroke of half time and came somewhat out of the blue but it gave the visitors something to hold on to, particularly after left back Jack Connors was red carded for a second bookable foul on Zeli Ismail less than ten minutes after half time. Substitute Billy Kee fired home Albion's equaliser with just under twenty minutes to go but despite Alamo style pressure as the game wore on Albion were unable to grab a winner with Robbie Weir hitting the post in stoppage time.
Dagenham piled on some early pressure with the wind in their favour but Rob Lainton and his back four saw off the threat as a corner and a teasing cross were repelled.
Albion's response was quick and a sublime ball up the line from Damien McCrory found Gary Alexander who in turn. Although Dagenham regained possession some tenacious play from Jimmy Phillips won the ball back and his cross was just too high for Adam McGurk bursting into the six yard box.
Luke Wilkinson took a more direct approach on ten minutes as he strode forward unopposed before letting fly from all of thirty five yards with Lainton getting everything behind the ball before collecting the ball in.
Albion won themselves a corner on fourteen minutes when Alexander exerted pressure on a Daggers defender to concede the flag kick and Adam McGurk rose well at the back post to guide a header back across goal where Jack Connors was on the post to make sure it was headed wide.
It was becoming something of a midfield battle with neither side able to really assert themselves. Ismail providing most of Albion's best moments using his pace and directness down the right to cause problems for Connors and Luke Wilkinson at the back for the Daggers.
Another chance from a corner came Albion's way just before the half hour mark and again it was the delivery onto the head of McGurk that caused the problems, the Albion striker this time denied as his goalbound header was blocked and then gathered in by the keeper at the near post. The Brewers kept the pressure up and only a superb last ditch challenge from Scott Doe denied Robbie Weir from firing a piledriver into the net as Albion again exposed the Daggers defence.
Thirty four minutes were on the clock when the net rippled for Albion but unfortunately it was the side netting. Matty Palmer played McGurk in down the left channel and the striker superbly cut inside his man before laying the ball into the path of the onrushing Palmer. The young midfielder checked his run and then tried to guide a low shot inside the post but it was inches the wrong side of the upright.
Ismail then led a speedy break from a Daggers corner and Connors had to 'take one for the team' when he tripped the flying winger as he burst past him earning himself a yellow card.
Just as it looked as if half time was going to come with the game level Dagenham came up with a fantastic finish to grab the lead. On loan midfielder Lawson D'ATH cut inside Phil Edwards on the left and burst forward before letting fly with a long range effort that flew over Lainton and into the top corner.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-1 Dagenham & Redbridge
The second half was barely three minutes old when Albion almost fell two behind. Ismail attempted to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick but had his pocket picked by Connors who then found Medy Elito on the edge of the box and his rasping shot was acrobatically kept out by Lainton flying across his goal.
For Connors, and indeed Elito, it proved to be their last meaningful action. When Ismail raided down the Albion right again and nipped past the young left back there was contact that sent the Wolves man sprawling and Connors saw yellow for the second time, quickly followed by the red card to reduce the visitors to ten men. Elito was quickly withdrawn to allow the Daggers to bring on another left back Femi Ilesanmi to try and cope with the threat from Ismail.
Albion were unable to profit from the free kick and that spelled the time for Gary Rowett to make his first change with Adam McGurk making way for Billy Kee in a straight swap in attack.
With the man advantage Burton sensed that the game was still there for the taking but it took until the 69th minute for their domination to pay dividends. Lainton threw the ball out from the back to Ismail who immediately raced into the Dagenham half before feeding the ball across field to Phillips. His instant first touch was excellent and enabled him to find KEE with a pass that allowed the substitute to turn and fire home a trademark finish, low into the bottom corner of Lewington's net.
There looked to be only one winner as Albion continued to press and the unfortunate Ilesanmi had to retreat back to the subs bench with injury meaning a late appearance for Brian Saah, a centre half to fill the gap in defence. Alex MacDonald and Dominic Knowles were also thrown on in a double attacking change from the Brewers.
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff disappointingly headed over at the far post from a corner and then found himself in the referee's notebook as he halted a breakout from Daggers substitute Luke Norris in the centre circle.
Ismail continued to torment the Daggers defence down the right hand side but Albion were unable to find a finishing touch to his mesmerising play.
As the game ticked over into stoppage time and with Albion still hammering away at the Daggers defence Robbie Weir thrashed a low shot against the post and there was a collective gasp around the ground as the ball bounced out and across goal to safety. It was the final sign that it was not to be Albion's day in attack and the Daggers left with another hard earned result on the road.