NIGEL Worthington missed out on becoming the first York City manager to rack up five straight Football League victories in 29 years following a 2-0 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Disregarding the Conference era, the Minstermen have not completed a nap-hand of consecutive League wins since Denis Smith’s all-conquering side romped to the old fourth division title in 1984.

To give a measure of the time that has passed in between, City’s silver-haired supremo Worthington was a promising 22-year-old back then, preparing for top-flight football with new club Sheffield Wednesday.

But, three decades on, Worthington’s team were thwarted in their bid to emulate their record-breaking predecessors, losing 2-0 at a ground that had borne witness to one of their previous four triumphs.

Dagenham and City were relegation rivals when they met on the final day of last season, with Chris Smith’s second-half strike settling matters.

The Daggers are tipped to struggle again this term but a goal in each half from strikers Rhys Murphy and Brian Woodall ended manager Wayne Burnett’s six-month and seven-game wait for his first home win in charge of the unfashionable Essex outfit.

It was a disappointing result for the visitors as, before kick-off, the fixture had appeared to present a feasible chance of getting six points on the board only two games into the new campaign.

But, while City matched their opponents’ endeavour and effort level, industry should, in truth, be the minimum requirement of any professional footballer and needs to be allied with a degree of quality for a team to be successful.

The Minstermen, who only netted three times in pre-season albeit against higher-level opposition, have started their 2013/14 campaign with only one goal from their opening three fixtures.

Worthington recalled Richard Cresswell to his starting line up at Victoria Road alongside Ryan Jarvis but with neither player really threatening to get in behind the opponents’ defence, as Murphy did so well for the hosts to break the deadlock, City were reliant on a regular and reliable supply from the flanks for attacking potency.

As the City boss has previously stressed, that requires constant probing down the touchlines for his 4-4-2 formation to prove fruitful.

A rampaging Lanre Oyebanjo provided such impetus from full-back, but wingers Ashley Chambers and Michael Coulson were generally well shackled.

Their cause, at times, was not helped either, though, by some of their team-mates’ tendency to shove balls down the flanks without looking whether there was a potential recipient. As a consequence, City were too often scrapping for 50-50 balls in a percentage game they ultimately lost.

Despite also forcing nine corners to the Daggers’ two and trying a quartet of different flag kick deliverers in Chambers, Coulson, Ben Davies and Jarvis, the closest the Minstermen came to a goal from that source was when Cresswell’s first-half header was cleared off the line by home captain Abu Ogogo.

In a disjointed start to the game, the visitors sat back very deep with home striker Josh Scott scuffing the only chance during the opening 20 minutes wide from the edge of the penalty box.

Led by Oyebanjo, however, City began to find their feet.

First, the former Histon right-back charged to the byline before delivering a low cross to the near post that Jarvis failed to meet.

Shortly afterwards, his diving header was cleared off the line by Brian Saah and he then sent in a 27th-minute centre that Cresswell glanced wide.

At the other end, Michael Ingham did well to punch clear at his far post, where Scott was lurking to nod in a Woodall free-kick.

Then, after Chambers directed a weak ten-yard volley straight at home shot-stopper Chris Lewington, the home side forged in front on 36 minutes.

Woodall’s through ball from just inside the City half saw Murphy peel away from Smith who, stood upright, threw up his arm in a vain appeal for offside.

But, when the assistant referee’s flag stayed down, former Arsenal trainee Murphy went on to keep his composure, rounding Ingham to his right and rolling the ball into an empty net.

City might have levelled five minutes later but when Cresswell rose highest to meet Chambers’ corner his effort was headed away by Ogogo.

Any away fans baying for the blood of referee Andy Davies, due to a perceived sense of injustice following the opening goal, might then have reflected on how their side profited from an awful decision on the stroke of half-time.

After Murphy had hooked the ball over last man David McGurk just inside City’s half, the 22-year-old forward was denied a clear run on goal when Hampshire official Davies decided to stop play in order to book Smith and Saah for an off-the-ball skirmish on the edge of the Daggers’ penalty box. In the second half, Coulson bobbled a 20-yard effort across the face of Lewington’s goal and Cresswell directed a header straight into the grateful ’keeper’s arms following a left-wing free-kick from Davies.

But, on 54 minutes, Ingham’s hands were stung by a rising 25-yard Medy Elito drive after the Daggers midfielder had collected the ball in his own half and sprinted away from Smith’s lunging challenge.

For City, Jarvis saw a curling and dipping long-range attempt miss the target following the faintest of deflections and Chambers’ goal-bound effort was blocked by Oluwafemi Ilesanmi.

Despite strikers Wes Fletcher and Ryan Bowman being sent on, however, the Minstermen failed to test Lewington for the rest of the game and Woodall put the outcome beyond doubt on 79 minutes.

Collecting left-back Ilesanmi’s crossfield pass on his chest, the Dagenham forward eased past Davies before prodding a low eight-yard shot in off the advancing Ingham’s right-hand post.

Jarvis and Tom Platt then missed the target from distance for the visitors but substitute Afolabi Obafemi should have added a third goal in stoppage time, lifting a glaring eight-yard opportunity over with only Ingham to beat.

Match facts

Dagenham 2 (Murphy 36; Woodall 79), York City 0

Michael Ingham 6
Was rounded a little too easily for the first goal, although was left exposed for both.

Lanre Oyebanjo 8
STAR MAN – made rampaging runs that were a scourge to Dagenham throughout and defended reliably too.

Chris Smith 6
Caught appealing for offside as Murphy raced through for first goal and, for once, was well contained at attacking set pieces.

David McGurk 7
Displayed his customary positional sense to snuff out several home attacks.

Ben Davies 6
Proved the best of City’s four corner takers but will be annoyed at how Woodall deceived him for second goal.

Michael Coulson 5
Peripheral for long periods and struggled to make an impact from wide positions.

Lewis Montrose 6
Tried to add a little composure to proceedings at times but played the percentages a little too hopefully at other stages.

Tom Platt 6
Always looking to release the wingers with searching passes but sometimes in too much of a rush to do so.

Ashley Chambers 5
Found the going hard on a sticky pitch and provided few frightening moments for the opposition.

Ryan Jarvis 5
Went close with a couple of shots but could not get the ball down for any meaningful length of time to influence proceedings.

Richard Cresswell 6
Won the majority of his aerial contests, battled and scrapped but only threatened a goal once.

Subs: Craig Clay 6 – eager (for Montrose, 60), Wes Fletcher 5 – quiet (for Chambers, 63), Ryan Bowman (for Cresswell, 75). Not used: Kettings, Parslow, Fyfield, Allan.


Chris Lewington, Gavin Hoyte, Scott Doe, Brian Saah, Oluwafemi Ilesanmi, Luke Howell (Billy Bingham, 78), Abu Ogogo, Medy Elito, Josh Scott (Louis Dennis, 82), Rhys Murphy (Alofabi Obafemi, 84), Brian Woodall. Subs not used: Jordan Seabright, Jake Reed, Sean Shields, Jack Connors.

Star man: Elito – carried ball at City’s defence with pace and purpose.

Referee: Andy Davies (Hampshire).

Rating: 5/10 – made a couple of poor and puzzling calls.

Booked: Oyebanjo 31, Coulson 37, Saah 45, Smith 45, Montrose 50.

Sent off: None.

Attendance: 1,487 (358 from City) .

Shots on target: Dagenham 4, City 6.

Shots off target: Dagenham 8, City 11.

Corners: Dagenham 2, City 9.

Fouls conceded: Dagenham 14, City 13.

Offsides: Dagenham 3, City 1.