FRUSTRATED Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett wants his players to rediscover their touch after watching his team suffer a first defeat in six matches at Dagenham.

Hignett felt there were too many of his men short of their best and it proved costly as the Daggers claimed a 3-1 win at Victoria Road.

Dagenham opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Joan Luque pulled the ball back for Joe Quigley to beat Ben Killip in the Hartlepool goal.

Harry Phipps and James Dobson came close to doubling the lead before Angelo Balanta did in the 69th minute by slotting in from a tight angle.

Ryan Donaldson’s deflected strike in the 80th minute raised hope but then Quigley scored his second to send Pools north pointless.

“We were alright with the ball but it was the dirty bits of the game that we’ve been doing so well recently that we didn’t do – the tracking back and the running,” Hignett told Pools TV.

“They kept getting in and we didn’t do anything about it. We didn’t get close to anyone, go with runners or put a tackle in, so without the ball we were disappointing.

“Too many had an off-day and you can’t carry players at this level. We carried too many today and we didn’t deserve anything from the game.

“In recent weeks we’ve been getting chances but the final ball and that little bit of quality wasn’t there today and when we did get openings we didn’t take them.

“The second goal was embarrassing and then for the third we’re all like statues – you can’t give goals away like that and expect to come away with anything.

“That is as angry as I’ve been, I think. They’ve been great the last five or six few weeks so I don’t want to be too harsh but they know the standard today wasn’t what we expect. We’ll go away and analyse it and if we have to make adjustments we will.”

Hartlepool defender Fraser Kerr faces a spell on the sidelines after leaving Dagenham on crutches. The Scottish centre-back was forced off with 15-minutes to go with a suspected ankle injury. Kerr hadn’t missed a minute of the season so far.

Hartlepool: Killip, Kioso, Kerr (Hawkes 75), Raynes, Cunningham, Kitching, Mafuta, Kennedy (Kabamba 66), Noble, Donaldson, Toure. Subs (not used): Richardson, Featherstone, Holohan.