Daggers end 2015 in style with Stevenage win
16:54 28 December 2015
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Sky Bet League Two: Stevenage 1 Dagenham & Redbridge 3
Dagenham & Redbridge moved off the bottom of League Two with a superb win at Stevenage.
After starting slowly, Daggers took the initiative in the first half with two goals in as many minutes.
While they weren’t as good in the second half, the east Londoners had done enough in the opening 45 minutes to earn just a third league win of the season.
The visitors to Hertfordshire made five changes from the loss against Cambridge United on Saturday and the merry-go-round in goal continued.
Mark Cousins, who had been dropped for the visit of the U’s, returned in goal at the expense of Liam O’Brien, who took his place on the bench.
There were also recalls for Clevid Dikamona, Ashley Chambers and Christian Doidge while there was a first start since October 17 for Frankie Raymond.
Both teams had good spells of possession and pressure inside the opening eight minute, with Daggers best chance coming from a counter attack.
Chambers sped forward down the left flank before passing across the pitch to Josh Passley, but his shot from 18 yards flew over the bar.
Six minutes later and Daggers were a little fortunate to stay level when Jamille Matt’s header was deflected onto the bar by Ayo Obileye before being cleared.
The visitors had another let off three minutes later when Charlie Lee was gifted a free header in the box that he mercifully put wide.
Daggers took full advantage to take the lead just over a minute later through a rare header from Chambers.
Hemmings fizzed the ball across the box from the left and it made it all the way to Passley on the other flank.
Passley delivered the ball back into the box and it was met by Chambers in the middle of the box to put Dagenham in front.
And as if to hammer home their position, Daggers added a second through Joss Labadie just a minute later.
The midfielder broke forward at great pace with only Hemmings in support as he strode into the box.
Labadie chose to back himself instead, dummying one way before going the other and firing past Chris Day into the bottom left corner.
Unsurprisingly, the quickfire double sparked the visitors into life and they embarked on a dominant spell in which they created several chances.
At times, it resembled a shooting gallery with Chambers, Doidge and Labadie all lining up to add to the tally, but sadly fluffing their lines.
Daggers thought they did have a third in the 28th minute, but Chambers’ long strike from distance was ruled out for a foul in the build up.
The visitors would soon regret to take one of their chances when Christian Doidge scored an own goal in from a Callum McFadzean corner in the 32nd minute.
But any nerves Daggers had about blowing another two goal lead were swiftly allayed in the 37th minute.
Raymond played a hopefully long ball forward from midfield that looked like it would be easily dealt with.
Chambers had other plans, outmuscling Jamie McCombe before sliding the ball across goal for Doidge to put the ball in the right net.
Daggers starred the second half second best and were fortunate not to concede when Stevenage had several good chances in 65th minute.
More than one of those chances required Cousins to produce a brilliant reflext save to maintain Dagenham’s two-goal advantage.
The visitors continued to invite pressure onto their goal, but their defence also continued to hold out brilliantly well.
Daggers had a great chance to see the game out in the 81st minute when Labadie found Chambers in an advanced position.
The forward beat two defenders before passing to Raymond, whose effort was well saved by Day.
Six minutes were indicated at the end of the match and Daggers were thankful to Cousins again who brilliantly denied Ben Kennedy’s goal-bound header.
That was as tense as it got for Daggers in stoppage time and they will take huge confidence on their trip to Exeter City in the new year
Daggers: Cousins; Passley, Obileye, Dikamona, Hoyte, Hemmings; Labadie, Dunne; Raymond; Chambers (Cureton 81), Doidge (Vassell 68)
Unused subs: O’Brien, Connors, Nosworthy, Boucaud, Jones
Attendance: 3, 152 (including 232 Daggers fans)
Referee: Oliver Langford