Scowen shines through Gaz's gloom
Dagenham & Redbridge 3 Wycombe Wanderers 0
New boss, same story.
The Daggers recorded their first league victory of the season with an easy 3-0 win that sent Wycombe crashing into the relegation zone where only Barnet prevent them from propping up the entire football league.
The dreadful run of results that cost Gary Waddock his job now stretches to just one point collected from the last possible twenty-one.
Before kick-off, there was a sense of optimism among the travelling support. Gareth Ainsworth's work ethic and passion are plain to see, and hopes were high that the caretaker manager might instil some of his own attributes into the players.
And to be fair, they did try hard, but all the passion in the world doesn't help when each week they look like eleven strangers playing together for the first time.
There was one massive positive and that was the performance of Josh Scowen who was recalled from a loan spell at Conference South side Eastbourne Borough earlier in the week.
Quick as lightning and strong in the tackle, Scowen's reading of the game was superb and his timely interventions got Wycombe out of trouble on several occasions.
He shone in a holding role alongside an out-of-form Stuart Lewis and Matt Spring who is currently unrecognisable from the player who looked so promising against Watford at the start of the season. Having almost no creativity in the middle of the park isn't helping Wycombe's cause one bit.
Dean Morgan and Jo Kuffour were asked to play the wide roles in a front-three with youngster Olly Taylor leading the line.
The experienced pair showed flashes of skill, and the Blues certainly need some of that, but for long periods of the game they were virtual spectators.
It was a baptism of fire for young Taylor who battled hard but was so off the pace that he appeared to be running in water.
He was replaced at half time by Matt McClure who immediately prodded a decent chance wide of the post. His introduction did herald an improvement with more balls played to feet, but strikers judge themselves on goals, and he'll be disappointed to have missed another chance near the end of the game.
Joel Grant replaced Morgan after 68 minutes and saw a lot of the ball, probably contributing more to Wycombe's possession percentage than any of those who played the full ninety.
Another substitute was Junior Morais who replaced Kuffour for the last twenty minutes. One of Wycombe's up and coming youngsters, he showed a raw willingness to run at defenders and was able to provide an end product with a string of whipped crosses that caused rare concern in the Daggers' defence.
The action itself followed a familiar pattern. Wycombe were fragile defensively and offered little threat at the other end.
Their only first-half efforts were a curling free-kick from Morgan after 12 minutes and a shot from Spring two minutes before the break, both well saved by keeper Chris Lewington.
The Daggers had several attempts on goal before taking the lead after 26 minutes when a free kick was flighted to the back post and a completely unmarked Luke Wilkinson headed it goalwards. Blues keeper Jordan Archer made a fine reaction save from point-blank range but Dwight Gayle was on hand to slot home the rebound.
Gayle almost doubled his tally just moments later but this time Archer came out on top.
Wycombe's improvement at the start of the second half was dashed after 56 minutes when Danny Foster was penalised for handball for the second week in a row and Mickey Spillane buried the spot-kick to make it 2-0.
The nearest the Blues came to pulling one back was when Grant clipped a shot over the bar, but the Daggers had several opportunities to increase their lead before Billy Bingham rifled home the third goal after 89 minutes.
Losing so heavily to a fellow struggler is the worst possible start for Ainsworth who has expressed a desire to do the job permanently.
Line-up & ratings
Archer (6), Foster (4), Doherty (5), Johnson (5), Dunne (6), Kuffour (5) Morais 72 (5)), Lewis (5), Spring (4), Scowen (7), Morgan (5) (Grant 68 (5)), Taylor (4) (McClure 46 (5)),
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