Dagenham & Redbridge downed by late Accrington goal
16:52 19 March 2016
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Sky Bet League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Accrington Stanley 1
Dagenham & Redbridge were unlocked by a late goal from Accrington Stanley’s Billy Kee to remain rooted to the bottom of League Two.
The hosts started well and perhaps should have been a goal up by half time, but for a glaring miss from Jamie Cureton.
Stanley grew into the match and looked more of a threat in the second half, with Kee’s goal testament to that.
There were just two changes for Daggers, but neither were surprising with boss John Still stating a desire for more goals.
Cureton and Christian Doidge both started as the hosts reverted to two up top, replacing Ashley Chambers and Oliver Hawkins.
It did mean that loanee Matty Cash moved out to the left of midfield, having featured centrally during most of his three appearances to date.
There was less than four minutes on the clock when the first chance was fashioned, with Daggers stopper Liam O’Brien forced into early action.
Neat interplay from the visitors allowed Sean McConville to shoot from just inside the box, but O’Brien tipped the ball over for a corner which was wasted.
Despite the early effort, it was the hosts who controlled much of the opening exchanges and were unlucky not to take the lead in the 15th minute.
A Cash corner deep into the box was headed back across goal by Joe Worrall to Dom Hyam, but his left footed half volley on the turn went narrowly over.
Daggers, though, did look susceptible at times and were let off the hook in the 20th minute when Piero Mingoia fired wide after a poor clearance from Hyam.
While the hosts continued to carve out chances and control possession, they almost came unstuck at the back in the 33rd minute.
McConville smacked the bar with a header that hit the back of O’Brien before the keeper gratefully clutched the ball.
Good work from Cureton down the right allowed the evergreen striker to cross for Cash two minutes later.
The Nottingham Forest loanee’s header was saved by Etheridge, but the Stanley stopper nearly dropped the ball at the feet of Doidge before recollecting.
Daggers were now on the up with Cash bursting into the box nine minutes before the break.
The teenager passed to Cureton, taking Etheridge out of the game, but the frontman blazed over from seven yards when it looked easier to score.
Neither side could find a breakthrough as the half ended leve, but it was Stanley who started the second half on top as they twice tested O’Brien.
The hosts received a further let off in the 63rd minute when a clearance by Worrall trickled only to Scott Brown six yards out, but the Stanley man screwed wide.
Matt McClure was brought on to introduce some much needed pace to the home attack, and almost struck in the 73rd minute.
The ball broke to the striker in the box, but his half volley was of target and flew into the away fans behind the goal.
It was the visitors who would finally make the breakthrough, though, when Billy Kee netted in the 83rd minute.
The Stanley striker had two bites at the cherry from close range, the first hitting Hyam before firing the second low into the right corner.
With just eight games left in their season, Daggers’ time as a Football League club looks to be drawing to a close.
Daggers: O’Brien; Hoyte, Worrall, Hyam, Widdowson; Passley (Hawkins), Labadie, Muldoon, Cash (Chambers 78); Cureton (McClure 68), Doidge
Unused subs: Cousins, Dikamona, Boucaud, Taylor
Accrington: Etheridge; Halliday, Davies, Hughes, Pearson; Mingoia, Conneely, Brown (Proctor 86), McConville; McCartan (Boco 86), Kee
Unused subs: Mooney, Barry, Wakefield, Carver, Shaw
Attendance: 1,345 (including 71 Accrington fans)
Referee: Gavin Ward