Cureton steals the show with stunning display as Daggers thrash rivals
17:03 06 April 2015
Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu
Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 4 AFC Wimbledon 0
A masterclass in finishing from Jamie Cureton helped Daggers to a 4-0 win against local rivals AFC Wimbledon – three points which has all but confirmed their status as a league club for another season.
The 39-year-old scored three goals in a match for the first time in seven years to help Wayne Burnett’s side record their biggest victory of the campaign.
And results elsewhere mean the Victoria Road outfit are 13 points clear of the relegation places with only five matches remaining this year and they have reached the magic 52 points mark as well.
It was a day to remember for Daggers and Cureton’s, whose goals take him up to 18 for the season – an outstanding tally.
Burnett surprisingly made just one change to the team that was beaten by Shrewsbury Town on Good Friday.
Damian Batt dropped out of the squad all together and Christian Doidge replaced the right-back – with Abu Ogogo moving back to right-back.
Doidge partnered Jamie Cureton up front with the pair starting together for just the second time this season.
And after just two minutes the pair linked up alongside Billy Bingham and Andre Boucaud to wonderful effect.
Boucaud passed into Bingham, he clipped the ball forward to Doidge who brilliantly chested the ball down to the Trinidad and Tobago international.
He chipped the ball forward to the onrushing Bingham, who forced Dons keeper Ross Worner to misjudge the ball.
It fell perfectly to poacher Cureton and his header was strong enough to beat Barry Fuller on the line and Daggers led after a minute and 21 seconds.
Burnett’s team continued to make a blistering start and Ashley Hemmings latched onto a loose ball with six played and ran at the Wimbledon defence.
He cut inside and appeared to be shoved to the ground by Fuller, but referee Stewart Attwell, famous for the ‘ghost goal’ incident, failed to award a spot-kick.
Dons did start controlling proceeding afterwards, though, and won three corners inside the opening quarter of an hour.
They couldn’t make the most of any of them, though, with George Francomb’s tame curler the only effort they could muster.
That was until the 24th minute, however, when Adebayo Akinfenwa controlled near the touchline. He passed to Alfie Potter, who raced down the line.
Potter got past Scott Doe and crossed into the area where Ayo Obileye got the slightest of touches, and that seemed to put Craig Tanner off as he headed wide from a couple of yards out.
It was an excellent chance for Wimbledon to equalise and Akinfenwa’s presence up top was becoming more prominent as the game wore on.
Tanner hit the bar four minutes later too, although he was offside, but the onslaught from Neal Ardley’s team continued.
Hemmings did have a great chance to doubled Daggers’ advantage eight minutes before the break, though. Luke Howell brilliantly passed to the wideman, but he smashed over the bar.
And 1-0 was how it remained until half time as although Dons had enjoyed lots of possession, they had failed to break the hosts down.
Doidge was replaced by Alex Jakubiak at the interval, despite battling well during the opening 45 at Victoria Road.
The second period started at a much slower pace compared to the first, although the visitors were still looking more likely to get the next goal.
But that wasn’t to be the case as Daggers extended their lead in the 58th minute with a goal from a set piece.
A poor pass inside Wimbledon’s half nearly let Hemmings in on goal, but Fuller blocked his effort.
The hosts were to make the most of that mistake, however, as Boucaud’s corner to the back post was met by Doe and he made it 2-0.
It was the central defenders first goal since netting at Cheltenham Town on the last day of the 2013/14 campaign and gave Daggers some much needed breathing space.
Jake Reeves forced Cousins into an outstanding save in the 61st minute when he lashed towards goal from outside the box.
The home keeper acrobatically tipped onto the bar and the two-goal lead remained intact.
Reeves and Sean Rigg linked up shortly afterwards, but the latter fired across the face of goal and wide and that would prove costly.
Howell spotted the run of Cureton, who was on the shoulder of the last defender, and he emphatically smashed past Ross Worner from range to make it 3-0 with 71 minutes gone.
And three minutes later he completed his first hat-trick since scoring a treble for Norwich in a 5-1 win against Colchester on March 22 2008.
Hemmings brought the ball forward and passed into Boucaud, he teed up Jakuabiak who passed back to Cureton and the 39-year-old curled into the top corner.
In the 85th minute Cureton was replaced by Jodi Jones and he left the field to a standing ovation. He had given a masterclass in finishing.
The full time whistle followed and Burnett, his staff and all the players were clapped off by Daggers supporters. It isn’t mathematically confirmed yet, but they are all but safe now.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins, Ogogo, Doe, Obileye, Widdowson, Howell, Bingham, Boucaud, Hemmings (Carr 85), Cureton (Jones 85), Doidge (Jakubiak 46).
Unused substitutes: Moore, Chambers, Labadie, Gayle.
AFC Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Bulman, Francomb (Beere 87), Akinfenwa (Azzez 80), Rigg (Sweeney 80), Reeves, Tanner, Goodman, Potter, Oshilaja.
Unused substitutes: McDonnell, Moore, Harrison, Gallagher.
Attendance: 2,346 (819 AFC Wimbledon supporters).