The Kassam Stadium hosted a 3-3 thriller when the Daggers visited the hosts on Saturday afternoon.

The game started off at a blistering pace and it only took Oxford 3 minutes to go ahead. Brilliant work from Morris saw him out-strength his marker before dispatching Riley who put a magnificent cross in for teenager Alex Jakubiak who bundled home. The Daggers responded very well indeed to this early deficit and 4 minutes later the visitors found themselves level. Jamie Cureton beat the offside trap excellently before squaring for Ashley Hemmings to blast home into the open net. The tempo of the game did not reduce after that and Oxford United regained their upper-foot as the U’s looked to regain their lead. Alfie Potter busted through on goal at the 30 minute mark and beat Daggers keeper Liam O’brien with a left-footed poke, only to be denied by the post. Danny Hylton also came close and saw his effort cleared off the line by a desperate Daggers leg. Excellent defending meant that all was level going into the break.

After the half time break, Oxford came out asleep and were duly punished. This time Jamie Cureton was the end product of another brilliantly worked goal and he drilled home beyond the stranded Long. The Daggers deservedly went 2-1 up and the U’s began their fight back. On 55 Tom Newey grabbed an assist as he floated in an inviting cross towards Danny Hylton who fantastically guided his header over Liam O’Brien who could only stand and watch. 2-2 the score read and United continued to press. This was rewarded once more as Alex Jakubiak was pulled back inside Dagenham’s penalty area and the U’s forward was rewarded with a penalty. Up stepped Danny Hylton who was looking for his 5th goal of the season. Danny Hylton went to his left, Liam O’Brien went to his right but the penalty was placed out of reach of the Dagenham goalkeeper. The score line now read 3-2 in Oxford’s favour. The game seemed to lose some of its furious tempo from there on in and the game began to level up. A few half chances were squandered by both sides and the game became slightly stagnant. Abu Ogogo then stole the headlines. A miraculous 35 yard volley looped over the advanced Long to bring the score to 3-3 and to send the 150 Dagenham fans crazy. This wonderful strike must surely be an early goal of the season contender as Abu Ogogo looped his effort directly into the top corner. This piece of master drew applause from the Oxford fans and it was deserved. This was the final goal of the game and both sides deserved the point. A very fair result after a highly contested game between the two League 2 sides.

Oxford United

George Long – Long had a slightly nervy game and left himself liable when the Daggers attacked. He was also found stranded after finding himself too advanced off of his goal line as Abu Ogogo struck from distance 6.5
Joe Riley – Riley had a routine game in at right back and contained the Dagenham wingers well. He also proved himself as a threat going forward as he bagged himself an assist. 8.0
Jake Wright – Wright, as usual, was consistent and put in a good shift. However he was nowhere near his top form and he was at fault for Dagenham’s first goal as he gave away possession cheaply. 7.0
Johnny Mullins – Mullins put in a good performance as per usual but was lacking his usual sharpness. He nearly scored a speculative 25 yard volley which was parried away for a corner but the U’s number 5 will be very disappointed to have conceded 3 goals. 7.5
Tom Newey – Newey seems to have found some form after his atrocious start in the opener vs Burton and the fullback put in a very solid performance on Saturday. 7.5
Michael Collins – Collins put in a magnificent shift midweek against a full-strength West Bram side and his efforts were mirrored against Dagenham. His work rate was unmatched in midfield and he dispatched the ball impeccably. Once again, high appraisal for Collins is deserved. 8.5
Josh Ruffels – Collins’ counterpart Ruffels also put in a very good performance against the Daggers. His distribution was good but would have liked to see him on the ball more as he seemed our only source of creativity. 7.5
Alex Jakubiak – The teenager only turned 18 last Wednesday and bagged his first start due to the absence of the suspended Brown and the youngster flourished. He bagged himself a goal and also won a penalty to top his performance off nicely. 8.0
Danny Hylton – Hylton caused problems from the first minute to the last. His work ethic was superb and he ran himself into the ground. His efforts were rewarded as he bagged two goals as well as obtaining the Man of The Match award which was highly deserved. 9.0
Alfie Potter – Potter had a quiet game and other than the chance where he was desperately unlucky not to score, he did not seem to make an impact on the game. 6.5
Carlton Morris – Morris did superbly in the build up to Oxford’s first but, like Potter, was unable to influence the game. 6.5

Substitutions

Will Hoskins – Hoskins made an instant impact on the game as he played a pivotal role in the build up play which led to Alex Jakubiak being fouled in the penalty area. He looked sharp and impressed in the 30 minutes he was on for. 8.0
Callum O’Dowda – Callum O’Dowda looked sharp when he was on the ball but could not help the U’s net a fourth. 6.5

 

Dagenham and Redbridge

Liam O’Brien – O’Brien had a nervy start to the game as he conceded within the first 3 minutes and almost conceded 3 times more in the first half. In the second half he stepped up to the plate and pulled off two excellent saves. However he could not prevent 2 Danny Hylton strikes 7.0
Matt Partridge – Partridge had a good game and he contained the likes of Potter and Jakubiak very well. He was good going forward to as he put in a few good crosses 7.5
Scott Doe – Doe had a good game and made it frustrating for the U’s. However the centre half will be disappointed with conceding 3 goals. 7.0
Brian Saah – The powerful centre half was largely at fault for Oxford’s opener and was beaten in the air for Oxford’s second. Despite this he had a fairly solid game. 7.0
Jack Connors – Connors looked out of place at left back and was consequently substituted early in the second half. He left his team exposed and it cost his team. 5.0
Andre Boucard – Boucard was a good asset to the Dagenham side as the pacey wide man was set up very well to counter attack which was the main set-up of the Dagenham side. 7.5
Luke Howell – Howell had a decent performance in midfield but he really should have scored in the second half when he missed an open goal. 7.5
Abu Ogogo – Certainly raised the roof with his speculative volley and may have an early goal of the season contender on his hands. 8.0
Ashley Hemmings – Hemmings grabbed a goal for himself after good work from Carlton which topped a strong performance 7.5
Ashley Chambers – The explosive forward was lively and proved a trouble for the Oxford fullbacks 8.0
Jamie Cureton – The experienced striker bagged a goal and continued his tradition of always seeming to score against Oxford. His performance was exceptional and despite his age he was very lively. 8.5

Substitutions

Damien Batt – Damien Bart arrived by a rapturous applause from the United fans as he was a pinnacle player in the 2010 play-off winning side. He played well when he came on and was solid defensively. 7.0
George Porter – Porter was fairly good when he came on for Hemmings but was not given enough time on the ball 7.0
Joss Labadie – Labadie was not on long enough to receive a rating 5.0

 

Man of the Match

Danny Hylton – The tireless forward had an outstanding game and had two goals to show for his efforts. He troubled both Dagenham fullbacks continuously and proved a real threat. Outstanding. 9.0

*Images owned by Oxford United @OUFClive. I do not own these images. Full credit to given to @OUFClive


About Author

Aspiring sports journalist from Oxford. Also a lifelong supporter and season ticket holder of Oxford United. My job here is to supply brief match reports and player ratings of Oxford United players and the teams they oppose.