Three defeats from the first three league games have left the Lions second bottom of the table after relegated Dagenham and Redbridge registered a two nil win on their first ever visit to Nethermoor this afternoon.
Manager Mark Bower rang the changes after Tuesday’s home defeat to Wrexham as Adam Smith and Rob Atkinson replaced Adam Lockwood in defence and David Syers in midfield but the defensive frailties that dogged the Lions last season were evident against a less than impressive Daggers side to return to Essex with all three points in the bag.
It took the visitors just six minutes to breach the home defence when Danny East lost a challenge to Feriji Okenabirhie who scooted to the byeline and provided the perfect cross for Chris Assombalonga to rise above the home defence and head home.
The same player then put an audacious lob just over before Smith hit a rasping shot just wide.
In a game of few chances the impressive Okenabirhie was proving a constant threat for the visitors and curled a looping shot over just before the break.
Jordan Preston replaced Smith on the restart and he and Ollie Johnson were unable to take advantage of the latter’s creativity as the ball got stuck between their feet.
Adam Boyes came on for Johnson shortly after and David Syers eventually replaced Rob Atkinson as the home side sought to add some impetus to an attack that had created very little up front.
The change nearly paid dividends as Preston’s cross found Boyes but his effort was wide of the mark.
Any thoughts of squaring the game were dispelled on 76 minutes when Oliver Hawkins was left unmarked in the six-yard box from a corner and had the easiest of conversions to double the visitors lead and seal the victory
Tuesday’s visit to old foes and newly promoted North Ferriby now assumes the status of a ‘six pointer’ as the Lions seek to kick start their season.
Mark Bower’s reaction to the defeat
Will Hatfield post match
25 Atkinson (Syers 68)
7 Smith (preston 45)
10 Johnson (Boyes 60)