Bingham’s free kick helps Daggers to vital win
21:44 03 March 2015
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Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Hartlepool United 0
Dagenham & Redbridge earned an important win against basement boys Hartlepool United thanks to Billy Bingham’s superb free kick.
Wayne Burnett’s team were handed an undeserved lead when Scott Harrison headed into his own net midway through the first half.
And Bingham’s free kick in the 66th minute ensured the hosts would take home all three points against the Monkey Hangers.
Shamir Fenelon was handed his full debut after playing the final 10 minutes during the 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town on Saturday, but Burnett kept faith with the rest of his team.
Alex Jakubiak dropped to the bench after five consecutive starts, whilst Jodi Jones and Damian Batt were back among the replacements.
However Daggers were forced to make a late change to the starting line up with Batt coming in for Abu Ogogo, who was injured in the warm up.
The away side start started strongly at Victoria Road with Jack Compton influential early on and winning Ronnie Moore’s team an early corner.
Compton then had a shot deflected over the bar by Bingham as Hartlepool dominated the opening exchanges.
It took the hosts 11 minutes to put together a decent attack, but Fenelon dragged his effort well wide from 25-yards-out.
A minute later and the Brighton & Hove Albion loanee was involved again and he turned nearly inside the box before cutting back for Ashley Hemmings. He side footed against Jamie Cureton, though, and the good opportunity was gone.
That didn’t kick Daggers into gear, though, as the away side continued to look more threatening and won a number of corners.
One of those set pieces in the 19th minute caused Mark Cousins to be bundled into the post and the home keeper suffered a nasty cut on the top of his head.
Liam O’Brien came on to replace him and the break benefitted Burnett’s team as he called on his players to improve.
The team talk worked instantly as from the restart Fenelon won the ball deep inside Hartlepool’s half before passing into Hemmings.
Daggers wide man composed himself before whipping in an inviting cross and Harrison could only turn the ball past his own keeper when trying to clear.
The hosts had the lead in the 22nd minute despite not even getting close to their best.
After that the game turned into a scrappy affair with the strong wind affecting both teams and changes few and far between.
No clear cut opportunities were forthcoming until the stroke of half time when Andre Boucaud’s corner found Hemmings at the back post.
But he couldn’t celebrate his 24th birthday with a goal as he headed against the crossbar and Fenelon’s follow up effort was blocked for a corner.
Daggers couldn’t make the most of that and after four minutes of stoppage time the first half was brought to a close.
They started brighter after the break with Cureton shooting over inside the first minute, but a poor clearance from Scott Doe allowed O’Brien to be tested for the first time.
Ryan Bird volleyed first time from outside the box, but Ayo Obileye got a slight deflection on the effort to take the sting out of the shot and O’Brien gathered at the second attempt.
Hartlepool had an opportunity to test O’Brien again in the 59th minute when Luke Howell fouled Compton outside the box. But Daggers substitute keeper punched the delivery clear.
The visitors made a double substitution two minutes later and it added more impetus to their game forcing Warren Hackett to call on the home players to lift their game.
Shortly afterwards and Bingham display the quality Burnett had been urging his side to show with an outstanding free kick.
Fenelon and Cureton linked up nicely to win a free kick 25-yards-out and Bingham curled the effort towards the top corner and in off the post.
It was an outstanding goal by the midfielder, his third of the campaign, and gave Daggers some much needed breathing space.
Hartlepool remained a threat and former West Ham United forward Marlon Harewood was trying to have an impact for his side.
He controlled a pass in the 75th minute before working a yard of space and getting a shot off, but O’Brien got down well to his right.
Jakubiak was introduced shortly afterwards and nearly scored a stunning goal seven minutes from time as he raced past three players, but his shot was deflected wide.
Doe made an outstanding clearance a minute before full time to prevent Nicky Featherstone’s fierce strike going into the net.
Burnett brought off Bingham in the 90th minute and he left the Victoria Road pitch to a standing ovation after a excellent display.
The full time whistle shortly followed to earn Daggers a much needed victory and put them on 40 points.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins (O’Brien 21), Batt, Doe, Obileye, Widdowson, Howell, Bingham (Carr 90), Boucaud, Hemmings, Fenelon (Jakubiak 76), Cureton.
Unused substitutes: Saah, Labadie, Gayle, Jones.
Hartlepool United: Flinders, Austin, Franks (J Jones 61), Compton, Featherstone (Walker 84), Duckworth, Smith (Harewood 61), Harrison, Mirfin, Tshibola, Bird.
Unused substitutes: Maxted, Richards, D Jones, Morgan.
Attendance: 1,791 (123 Hartlepool United supporters)