MANAGER Chris Wilder bemoaned the “ridiculous” goals Oxford United conceded as their encouraging run was derailed by Dagenham & Redbridge last night.
The Daggers triumphed 3-2 in npower League Two at the Kassam Stadium, thanks to two headers at corners and one tap-in.
Tom Craddock replied with a brace, but United could not force an equaliser despite playing the final 20 minutes with an extra man following Kevin Maher’s red card.
The U’s, who had won three of their previous four games, were below par from the outset.
Wilder felt they should have found a way to dig in and take something from the game, but was bitterly disappointed with the goals his side gave away.
The United boss said: “We just looked flat-footed – there wasn’t a lot of anticipation, it was all a reaction.
“We should have been able to scrap and get a point.
“We thought we had turned a bit of a corner in terms of performances and results, but if you concede ridiculous goals like that, you’re going to get punished.
“We looked dodgy all night at the back, which we haven’t done over the last three or four games. I’m going to have to look at that and act on it.”
Centre back Jake Wright was unhappy with the defensive display, but felt only one U’s player could take any pride from their individual performance.
He said: “Apart from Tommy Craddock, we weren’t good enough.
“It’s a really bad setback and I thought over the last three or four weeks we’ve been really good and positive.
“We weren’t at our best, but it’s still a night where we should be getting a result.”
Alfie Potter missed the game with a hamstring injury, but he has a chance of returning for Saturday’s home game against Torquay United.
One encouraging sign was the return of Liam Davis, who made his first appearance of the season as a second-half substitute after recovering from a groin injury.
Wilder said: “It was good Liam got back in, he’s pushing for selection now, which we need."