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Match Report: Town v Dagenham

27 July 2013

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Town earn deserved victory over Dagenham & Redbridge

Luton 3

Cullen 3, Lacey 62, Whalley 77


Dagenham & Redbridge 0



John Still's Luton side put in another good pre-season performance to ease 3-0 past Dagenham & Redbridge, the manager's former club.


Mark Cullen put the Hatters ahead in just the third minute, heading home from Scott Griffiths' delightful left-wing cross.


And it stayed 1-0 until after break when Alex Lacey, captaining the side once again, headed home from a Jake Howells corner after 62 minutes.


Winger Shaun Whalley wrapped up the points with about a quarter of an hour remaining, running down the right before dancing into the box and firing in the corner of the net to seal the win.


Luton lined up in a 4-4-2 with Mark Tyler in goal, a back four of Jonathan Smith, Lacey, Anthony Charles and Griffiths, a central midfield pairing of Luke Guttridge and Matt Robinson, with Andre Gray and Howells playing out wide and John Shaw up front with Cullen.


The Hatters took the lead with the first real chance of the match, Griffiths breaking free down the left and whipping in an inviting cross which Cullen headed beyond Chris Lewington in the Dagenham goal.


Two good blocks from Charles, one of Luton's summer signings, saw the visitors awarded two corners, which ultimately didn't threaten Luton as Dagenham pressed to get back on level terms.


The match became quite a scrappy affair, with both sets of midfield battling it out for possession, and neither side able to gain a real foothold in the game.


Rhys Murphy had the visitors' first effort of the match in the 15th minute, but his effort was well over, not threatening experienced stopper Tyler.


Minutes later Murphy played striker Josh Scott in behind the Luton defence with the Hatters caught high up the pitch, but Tyler raced off his line to clear the danger.


In the 20th minute the Hatters almost doubled their advantage, Cullen feeding the ball to Smith who whipped a ball into the box, but Cullen headed just over.


After 26 minutes, Smith delivered another dangerous cross from the right-hand side which Shaw headed narrowly wide. However, Cullen picked up a slight knock and was replaced by Shaun Whalley in the 37th minute.


And the winger didn't take long to get into the game, picking up on Shaw's excellent lay off to surge towards the Dagenham goal, but his effort was well saved by Lewington, diving to his left.


Gray then threatened the visitors' goal one minute before the break, but his powerful shot went narrowly wide of the left-hand post.


Just before the break the Daggers almost levelled the scores, Scott beating Griffiths and laying off to Murphy, but the latter's strike was well blocked by Charles – the Hatters 1-0 up at the break.


The second half began as dramatically as the first with the visitors striking the post in the 47th minute. Billy Bingham's corner was headed beyond Tyler and onto the post by defender Scott Doe, before Lacey cleared the danger.


Dagenham were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position after 55 minutes following challenges from firstly Robinson and then Charles, but Murphy's effort went narrowly over.


It was all change for the Hatters in the 59th minute as Charles, Robinson, Guttridge, Gray and Shaw were replaced by Steve McNulty, Solomon Taiwo, Andy Parry, Dave Martin and Alex Wall.


Just three minutes later the Hatters doubled their advantage, Howells whipping in a left-footed corner which Lacey rose highest to meet and head beyond Lewington.


Dagenham substitute Jake Reed made some lively runs down the Luton left, firstly crossing for Murphy who shot wide, before shooting narrowly wide himself.


With about 20 minutes left, Ronnie Henry came on for Smith, and the former Stevenage man made some good runs down the right supporting the attacking Whalley.


In the 77th minute the Hatters made it three, winger Whalley scoring a lovely individual goal, picking the ball up on the right before jinking into the visitors' box and shooting low in the corner.


The Daggers enjoyed some rare spells of possession as the game neared the latter stages, but the Hatter got men behind the ball to break down the visitors' attacks.


Dagenham substitute Louis Dennis flashed two powerful efforts narrowly wide of Tyler's left-hand post, but the Hatters fully deserved their victory.



TOWN: Tyler; Smith (Henry, 71), Lacey, Charles (McNulty, 59), Griffiths; Gray (Martin, 59), Robinson (Taiwo, 59), Guttridge (Parry, 59), Howells (O'Donnell, 79); Cullen (Whalley, 37), Shaw (Wall, 59)


Not used: King, Stevenson 

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