Azeez seals final-day win for Daggers at Cheltenham
PUBLISHED: 17:04 03 May 2014 | UPDATED: 22:18 03 May 2014
Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu
League Two: Cheltenham Town 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 3
Dagenham & Redbridge’s season ended on a high as Ade Azeez’s second half strike saw them edge home by the odd goal in five against Cheltenham - for their first ever win at home of the Robins.
Daggers twice came from behind in the first half as Sido Jombati’s own goal and Scott Doe’s first of the campaign cancelled out Steve Elliott’s header and a deflected Matt Richards effort.
And though the visitors played nowhere near their best, they managed to come away with the three points when Azeez was the first to react to Connor Roberts’ save from a Gavin Hoyte shot, and tap home from close range.
Boss Wayne Burnett made five changes from the shambles which was last weekend’s 3-0 home defeat to Northampton Town, with Billy Bingham, Lawson D’Ath, Ian Gayle, Blair Turgott and Ade Azeez recalled.
There was also room on the bench for Academy product Jon Nouble, who signed a deal with the club in the week.
A slow opening was edged by the hosts as Byron Harrison headed over from Sido Jombati’s good ball in from the right.
They had most of the early possession and they skipper Steve Elliott was just unable to get his head to a teasing Matt Richards corner.
But the Daggers didn’t learn their lesson and the two combined on 17 minutes for the opener.
Richards’ floated free-kick into the box found the skipper and he rose highest to head home with Seabright coming out of his goal.
Daggers hadn’t created much but just four minutes later found themselves level with a bizarre own goal.
Sido Jombati, under no pressure, floated a ball back for debutant goalkeeper Connor Roberts who tried in vain to get something on it as the ball trickled into the net.
The game had burst into life and parity only last three minutes when some good build-up play found Richards on the edge of the box.
His shot took a huge deflection off a diving Gavin Hoyte and looped over a stranded Seabright.
Roberts came out well to deny Turgott when through on goal, but Daggers went on to level a minute before the break.
Bingham’s free-kick from wide on the left found Scott Doe and the defender slotted past Roberts for his first of the season.
Like the first, the second half was slow to get going. Daggers had Ogogo to thank for flicking over a dangerous ball into the box.
Turgott then appeared to bring down Braham-Barrett in the box, though penalty appeals were waved away.
Daggers got a little bit more joy in front of goal and Turgott was presented with a chance when Elito and Roberts collided.
The ball fell to Turgott just inside the area, but his shot was weak and easily cleared by the Robins.
However, the Daggers did take the lead on 67 minutes when a Hoyte shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Roberts, but Azeez was on hand to tap home his third goal for the Daggers.
Nouble came on for his first-team debut and was immediately in the action as he was pulled down by Roberts just outside the area, though Bingham’s free-kick was straight into the wall.
But the Daggers held on with only a few minor scares late on and they ended the season with 60 points and a ninth-place finish. Most, if not every Dagenham fan would have settled for that at the start of the season.
Cheltenham Town: Roberts, Jombati, Braham-Barrett, Kotwica, Hanks (Noble 70), Elliott, Richards, Williams (Cureton 70), Ihiekwe, McGlashan, Harrison.
Unused substitutes: Brown, Gornell, Vincent, Brundle, Bowen.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Seabright, Hoyte, Doe, Gayle (Wilkinson 80), Connors, Bingham, Ogogo, D’Ath, Turgott (Nouble 80), Azeez, Elito (Shields 90+4).
Unused substitutes: Lewington, Ilesanmi, Dickson, Howell.
Attendance: 3,002 (184 Daggers fans)