FC Halifax Town suffered their first defeat in seven games as they lost 3-1 at Dagenham and Redbridge.
Town conceded their first away goals of the season to go 2-0 down with a quarter of the game gone thanks to Craig Robson and Corey Whitely, and were 3-0 down by half-time through a Scott Garner own goal.
Matty Brown headed in his second of the season in the second-half but it was too little, too late for a Halifax fight back; the damage had already been done.
Ultimately, the result is nothing more than a disappointing end to a very good eight days for Town, who still occupy eighth place in the National League and are only two points off top spot, a very acceptable position 11 games in.
Halifax were below par, and it looked as if the game was one match too many for their outstanding recent run to continue; after the euphoria of Tuesday’s win at Leyton Orient, this sent The Shaymen back down to earth with a bump.
Billy Heath will have been unhappy to concede for the first time on the road from a set-piece, with Robson rising at the far post to head back across goal into the far corner.
That was after a bright start from Town, with Matty Kosylo testing Mark Cousins with a driven shot after jinking in from the left flank.
But Dagenham seemed energised by that goal, and soon added a second when Morgan Ferrier found Whitely unmarked 20 yards out, and Dagenham’s top-scorer picked his spot superbly to beat Sam Johnson. The first-half was barely half-way through, and the Halifax drawing board already needed to be wiped clean.
Dagenham were half-a-yard quicker all over the pitch, and Town couldn’t cope with the hosts’ pace and aggression on the ball.
There wasn’t the same zip about Halifax that had seen them win at Leyton Orient on Tuesday, with attempted moves breaking down and a lack of composure in possession.
Dagenham weren’t the division’s highest home scorers before the game for nothing, and played some well-constructed, sharp football, with good movement and a high work-rate; striker Ferrier was a handful and unsettled the usually unflappable Garner.
Tom Denton and Adam Morgan didn’t have the same impact they’d had in midweek. Josh Macdonald and Kosylo both looked fairly lively but didn’t really see enough of the ball.
The excellent Ferrier then worked half-a-yard of space past Josh Wilde before his cross was deflected past Johnson by Garner to cap a sobering half for The Shaymen.
Heath revisited the drawing board at half-time and brought on Ben Tomlinson for the ineffective Morgan, but it already looked over as a contest.
Denton headed off target from Macdonald’s cross, but Dagenham went close to a fourth through Chike Kandi.
There was a lack of intensity to the contest after the interval, although Brown’s excellent header from Connor Oliver’s flighted free-kick was a reward for Town not letting their heads drop and plugging away.
Dagenham: Cousins, Nunn, Robson, Robinson, Ling, Boucaud, Howells, Lokko, Ferrier, Whitely, Kandi (Bloomfield 77). Subs not used: Justham, Adams, N’Gala, Wheeler.
Scorers: Robson (17), Whitely (23), Garner (og 45)
Shots on target: 6
Shots off target: 4
Halifax: Johnson, Wilde, Garner, Brown, McManus, Macdonald (Charles 81), Hotte (Lynch 85), Oliver, Kosylo, Morgan (Tomlinson 46), Denton. Subs not used: Nicholson, Moyo.
Scorer: Brown (71)
Shots on target: 3
Shots off target: 4
Referee: Savvas Yianni
Town man of the match: Matty Brown