Daggers come out on top in five-goal thriller with Tranmere to move nine points clear of bottom two
17:05 07 March 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: Tranmere Rovers 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 3
Three stunning goals help Dagenham & Redbridge achieve back-to-back victories as they edged a five-goal thriller with Tranmere Rovers.
Jamie Cureton put them ahead just before half time, but that was cancelled out by an excellent strike by home substitute Danny Gardner in the 43rd minute.
But Wayne Burnett’s side started brilliantly after the interval and Ashley Hemmings and Billy Bingham scored to put them in control.
Max Power pulled one back late on for Rovers, but Daggers just about held on for an excellent three points which moves them up to 16th and nine points away from the bottom two.
With Mark Cousins ruled out injured, Liam O’Brien came into the starting 11 for the first time since October and there was a place amongst the replacements for Lewis Moore.
The young goalkeeper has appeared alongside the substitutes twice in the Essex Senior Cup and progressed through Swansea City’s academy.
Matt Partridge also returned to the bench, but Daggers were unchanged other from Tuesday night with captain Abu Ogogo’s hamstring still troubling him.
Referee Jeremy Simpson and his linesmen David Benton and Jason Whiteley ensured the opening to the game was extremely stop start.
A number of needless free kick’s were awarded by the officials for challenging that didn’t appeal to be fouls.
A deflected effort from Hemmings was the only noteworthy action for the visitors, although they had started confidently.
Tranmere looked nervous, but Jennison Myrie-Williams did go close for Micky Adam’s team inside the opening 10 minutes.
It took 29 minutes for a clear cut opportunity to arise, but once it was created Luke Howell should have done a little bit better.
Andre Boucaud passed back to Batt and his scuffed cross came perfectly for Howell, however he had more time that he realised inside the box and could only fire wide with the outside of his foot.
That seemed to boost Burnett’s team, though, and the best football of the half came 13 minutes before the break when Boucaud picked out Howell on the right touchline. He combined with Batt before running into the area.
He exchanged passes with Cureton wonderfully before passing back to the experienced forward, but he dragged his effort wide when he should have at least hit the target.
Cureton did find the net in the 39th minute, but it was ruled out for offside. A minute later and the officials couldn’t stop him.
Hemmings’s long pass went over the Tranmere defence and Cureton showed excellent pace to outsprint them before lobbing over the head of Rovers keeper Owain Fon Williams.
It was a wonderful goal and his 14th of the campaign to keep up his remarkable season.
The lead unfortunately didn’t last long as Gardner, who had only come on in the 40th minute, was given too much space by Batt.
He worked half a yard before smashing past O’Brien and into the far corner.
The game suddenly became end-to-end and Daggers would have entered the break ahead, but for an excellent block by Josh Thompson.
Howell released Shamir Fenelon, the Brighton & Hove Albion forward got to the byline and cut back for Cureton. But his first time shot was blocked by Thompson and it remained level at half time.
Daggers started the second period brightly and Fenelon got in down the right, but Cureton could stab wide at the back post.
However in the 51st minute they went back in front thanks to a magical finish by Hemmings.
Boucaud passed out to the winger and he ran inside Rovers substitute Danny Holmes before bending the ball with the outside of his foot past Fon Williams from outside the box.
It was a sensational goal and his celebration matched it with a somersault to toast his strike.
Things got better for Burnett’s side three minutes later as well when Fenelon got to the byline and crossed into the box.
His cross wasn’t the great, but Rovers clearance was even poorer as it came to Bingham.
The midfielder, fresh from finding the net against Hartlepool, fired low and hard and beat Fon Williams from 25-yards to put Daggers two-goals ahead.
Tranmere pushed to reduce the arrears and O’Brien made an important save when Myrie-Williams was put through on goal in the 62nd minute.
Four minutes after that opportunity and it could have been all over when Hemmings put Cureton through on goal, but he fired over with just Fon Williams to beat.
Adam’s team tried to find a way back into the game and Gardner went close with another long range effort before substitute Kayode Odejayi had a close range header saved by O’Brien, but Daggers always seemed in control.
However Max Power ensured it wouldn’t be straight forward for Burnett’s side by smashing past a body of players and O’Brien in the 87th minute to make it 3-2.
Four minutes were added on at Prenton Park and Joss Labadie and Matt Partridge were introduced to try and kill time.
It worked to good effect, but Tranmere should have scored deep into four minutes of stoppage time when Jonaoi Donacien volleyed over from close range at the back post.
Fortunately his effort flew over the bar and so did Rovers chances of getting anything from the game as Daggers held on.
Dagenham & Redbridge: O’Brien, Batt, Doe ©, Obileye, Widdowson, Howell, Bingham, Boucaud (Labadie 87), Hemmings, Cureton (Partridge 89), Fenelon (Jakubiak 67).
Unused substitutes: Moore, Carr, Gayle, Jones.
Tranmere Rovers: Fon Williams, Donacien, Dugdale, Thompson (Holmes 46), Taylor, Power, Jennings, Koumas (Gardner 40), Myrie-Williams, Hugill (Odejayi 63), Donnelly.
Unused substitutes: Ramsbottom, Ridehalgh, Laird, Hume.
Attendance: 4,762 (136 Daggers supporters).