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Cureton admits first goal was always crucial

13:30 06 March 2015

Jamie Cureton of Dagenham & Redbridge in action against Hartlepool United (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).

Jamie Cureton of Dagenham & Redbridge in action against Hartlepool United (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).

Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu

Daggers forward confident ahead of this weekend’s trip to Tranmere Rovers

Dagenham & Redbridge attackers Shamir Fenelon (right) and Jamie Cureton (left) celebrate as Scott Harrison of Hartlepool United holds is head in his hands after scoring an own goal to put Dagenham ahead (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).Dagenham & Redbridge attackers Shamir Fenelon (right) and Jamie Cureton (left) celebrate as Scott Harrison of Hartlepool United holds is head in his hands after scoring an own goal to put Dagenham ahead (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).

Jamie Cureton admitted it was vitally important Dagenham & Redbridge defeated Hartlepool United on Tuesday night, especially after losing at Mansfield Town.

The 39-year-old netted at Field Mill on Saturday, the 250th league goal of his career, but it wasn’t enough for Wayne Burnett’s side as they lost 2-1.

Jamie Cureton of Dagenham & Redbridge runs clear of the Hartlepool United defence (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).Jamie Cureton of Dagenham & Redbridge runs clear of the Hartlepool United defence (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).

However a Scott Harrison own goal and a wonderful Billy Bingham free-kick ensured they got back to winning ways at Victoria Road in midweek.

An inviting cross from Ashley Hemmings created the opener after 22 minutes and Cureton praised the winger.

Jamie Cureton of Dagenham & Redbridge gets in a shot ahead of David Mirfin of Hartlepool United (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).Jamie Cureton of Dagenham & Redbridge gets in a shot ahead of David Mirfin of Hartlepool United (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).

“It was a typical game where there was a lot of pressure on two teams down the bottom,” he said.

“It was bitty and it just happened that the first goal was always going to be key and that was probably the only bit of quality in the first half.

“Ashley did very well to get down the left and put in a good cross and he has put it into an area where if the defender doesn’t touch it, one of the centre forwards does.”

Fortunately for Burnett’s side Harrison diverted it past his own keeper Scott Flinders.

The goal came just after keeper Mark Cousins had been forced off with a nasty cut to the head following a collision at a Pools corner.

Liam O’Brien came on and looked assured as Daggers were able to defend strongly, before Bingham’s excellent set-piece.

Cureton and Shamir Fenelon linked up well to win the free-kick and the midfielder curled it brilliantly into the top corner to ensure another home victory.

“We just tried to see the game out (after the opening goal) and Bill has scored a great free-kick and Hartlepool didn’t really have a lot of fight left in them after that,” added Cureton.

“We had Mansfield, then Hartlepool and Tranmere Rovers (on Saturday), so we knew this week was massive.

“When you don’t win the first one you put extra pressure on yourselves, but if we can come out of it with four or six points that is not too bad.”

Daggers will hope for success at Prenton Park this weekend and Cureton believes they only need a few more wins to be safe.

He added: “It will be a massive game going up to Tranmere.

“We are on 40 points now so a few more wins and we will be okay and we can maybe start to enjoy the season a bit more.”

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