|Havant and Waterlooville||3-0||Dagenham and Redbridge|
|Rutherford 3', Harris 73', Lewis 90'|
By Henry Deacon (@H_Deaconmedia)
Alfie Rutherford started of the scoring in the opening period before Ed Harris and Theo Lewis struck in the second period to get the Hawks a first win in nine league games.
The Hawks did finish with ten men as Andreas Robinson was sent off in the dying end of the game following a melee of players.
The result means the gap from us to safety is cut in half to two points after a positive night of results for teams in and around Havant in the table.
Lee Bradbury made four changes from the team that lost out 2-0 with Maidstone on Saturday. In came Mike Carter, Chris Paul, Ed Harris and Josh Huggins to a refreshing line-up for the Hawks.
And it seemed as if it worked from the get go as Havant got off to the perfect start as after three minutes they got their noses in front.
A great ball over the top made its way into the path of Alfie Rutherford, who darted his way into the penalty area, before turning twice and nestling the ball into the bottom left hand corner to give the hosts the perfect start.
Dagenham responded well to the set back, but they rarely threatened in a first half which saw clear cut chances coming few and far between and play being hogged in the midfield areas.
The first chance that the visiting side had came 17 minutes in when Angelo Balanta broke free on the counterattack before playing the ball out to Harfield on the edge of the area, but when he went for goal the ball fell straight at the path of Hawks ‘keeper Ben Dudzinski.
Five minutes later and the Hawks looked to get a second when Andreas Robinson played a free kick towards the back post, where Ed Harris intended to cushion a header towards Alfie Rutherford across the face of goal to nod home, but Harris could only nestle his header narrowly over the bar.
Six minutes later the potent Rutherford was looking to double his tally for the evening when he was immaculately teed up by Chris Paul before shooting from an acute position inside the area forcing Justham to dive low to parry the ball out of play.
Just after the half hour mark Harfield had a go from the best part of 25 yards out nearly caught everyone off guard before being fired wide of the target, the visiting supporters thought for a second, they had got their equaliser.
The final chance of the half fell to the Hawks when a corner found its way into the towering presence of Tyler Cordner whose header had to be expertly watched by the Dagenham ‘keeper Justham.
HALF-TIME: Havant and Waterlooville 1-0 Dagenham and Redbridge
Dagenham came out at the start of the second period with intent and certainly has the look of a side who were looking to give manager Peter Taylor a reaction.
Tyler Cordner though was instrumental in Dagenham not breaching the damb with a flurry of defensive headers to stop the strike force of Kandi and Balanta from getting that golden chance.
Liam Gordon perhaps had the best chance of the visitors flurry when he had time and space in the penalty area to try and get a shot away in the penalty area, but took too much time to get it away with Ed Harris seeing the ball out of play.
With 20 minutes to play the Hawks seemed to have a second wind to their sails and were in search of the second and what seemed the match winning goal.
Alfie Rutherford once again was causing trouble, playing the ball out to Wes Fogden who was well marked by the Dagenham defence and was forced to knock the ball out of play for a corner when forced out wide.
However, from the resulting set piece the Hawks got their second when an initial ball in from Chris Paul was half cleared with the ball being played back into the path of Ed Harris from close range, and with the goal at his mercy would make no mistake, hammering the ball into the roof of the net to give the Hawks a cushion.
The game fizzled out a little bit in the minutes that followed. Dagenham looked to get a reply which would have set up a grandstand finish, but again the Hawks defence held firm with the ball mainly being held in the middle of the park.
In the games’ dying seconds the Hawks got the third goal and the icing on top of the cake when Theo Lewis, who was unmarked in space was allowed the time to shoot from 25 yards out before rifling the ball into roof of the goal to seal an impressive win.
However, the game would end on a sour note when a melee involving a number of players resulted in the Referee sending off Alex McQueen for the visitors and Andreas Robinson for the Hawks.
FULL-TIME: Havant and Waterlooville 3-0 Dagenham and Redbridge
A much improved and re-vitalised Hawks got over the line against a Dagenham outfit who will be looking to have improvements themselves going into the weekend.
However, for the Hawks, it was the reaction that manager Lee Bradbury wanted following Saturday’s disappointing result at the Gallagher Stadium.
The Hawks take on Chesterfield at Westleigh Park next in The National League on Saturday.