Hartlepool United captain Ryan Donaldson surprised by performance in 3-1 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge

Ryan Donaldson admitted he didn’t see Hartlepool United’s poor performance in their 3-1 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge coming.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 10:12 am
Ryan Donaldson on the attack during the Vanarama National League match between Dagenham and Redbridge and Hartlepool United at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium, London on Saturday 14th September 2019. (Credit: Ian Randall | MI News)

The Pools skipper felt his side were ‘second best for most of the game’ at Victoria Road as a first half strike from Joe Quigley and a tight angled finish from Angelo Balanta put the Daggers into a commanding position.

Donaldson pulled a goal back for the visitors late on but any excitement of a comeback was short lived as Quigley fired in his second and Dagenham’s third just 90 seconds later.

After going five games unbeaten going into the game, the Hartlepool skipper said: “I don’t think we saw that performance coming, we’ve been playing well and training was really good in the build up.

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“So we didn’t see it coming but it can happen and you’ve just got to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We were just a bit flat and too spread out which isn’t like us.

“We’ve been really hard to beat in the last few games and kept our shape well and we just got a bit disjointed and we couldn’t really recover and they seemed to be on the front foot more than us and we struggled to turn the tide.

“It’s hard to analyse straight after the game but we’ll watch it and the gaffer will point out where it went wrong.”

While it was a bad day at the office for Hartlepool, Donaldson also recognised the superior quality Dagenham showed on a hot day in East London.

“Dagenham are a good team, they showed that today and they’re seven unbeaten now,” he admitted.

“But we’re a good team ourselves and we were looking forward to the test.

“They deserved to win because they were the better side from about minute 10 to minute 90 in my view and it’s tough to take but it can happen.

“We’ve been that team that have played well the last few weeks and we didn’t get too up when we were winning and we won’t get too down when we’re losing, that’s the old saying. It’s tough but we’ll find out what went wrong and move on.”