Late heartbreak for Daggers

COCA-COLA LEAGUE TWO Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Bournemouth 1 by MIKE SIMMONDS THE WHEELS are starting to come off Dagenham & Redbridge s play-off challenge as a late, late goal from Bournemouth s Mark Molesley condemned them to defeat on Tuesday night. Mol

COCA-COLA LEAGUE TWO

Dagenham & Redbridge 0

Bournemouth 1

by MIKE SIMMONDS


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THE WHEELS are starting to come off Dagenham & Redbridge's play-off challenge as a late, late goal from Bournemouth's Mark Molesley condemned them to defeat on Tuesday night.

Molesley, who had looked like the Cherries' most likely source of a goal, struck deep into injury time, with a mazy run and tremendous drive into the bottom corner.

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Defeat was harsh on Daggers, as they had been dominant in the first half, but as is the case at the moment, they couldn't turn their possession into goals.

Mark Arber returned from injury to slot back into central defence, allowing Danny Foster to move back to right back, meaning Jon Nurse continued his partnership with Ben Strevens in attack.

Strevens tried an audacious effort in the opening 20 seconds, but his chip flew just wide, before Sam Saunders beat keeper Shwan Jalal from a tight angle, only for Anton Robinson to clear off the line.

Nurse had an effort blocked, while on a rare foray forward, Molesley unleashed a 25-yard curler that flew just wide, with Tony Roberts beaten.

Doug Loft then tried his luck from distance, with a left-foot drive that was arrowing in, only for Jalal to pull off a stunning fingertip save.

Then came the moment of controversy as the excellent Matt Ritchie let fly from outside the area, Jalal parried, but Danny Foster poked the rebound through the keepers legs and over the line.

However, the goal was disallowed as the linesman had somehow spotted Foster offside, a decision that only he managed to see.

Daggers were also denied a penalty when Arber's shot was handled in the area, and although it was a tight call, you only have to remember that the hosts were penalised for something similar against Accrington Stanley at the weekend.

Arber came close before the break too, as he only needed a touch to convertet Saunders' free kick, but it skimmed his head, and then Saunders lacked composure when well-placed, volleying wildly over.

Despite having the upper hand going into half time, the second half degenerated into a scrappy affair with both sides locked in a midfield battle.

As they had at Dean Court, the Cherries looked like a poor side, but Daggers stopped passing the ball and looked to hit either Strevens or Nurse first time, with countless wasted balls either going out for a goal kick, or straight into Jalal's arms.

The most entertaining aspect of the half was Roberts' banter with the noisy away fans behind the goal, but despite it being his 401st appearance, the veteran appeared to become swept up in the moment, rather than concentrate on his kicking.

It almost came back to haunt him as substitute Jeff Goulding, who had already put a header against the post from point-blank range, got the better when the keeper horrendously mis-kicked.

Fortunately for the keeper, Goulding put his shot from a narrow angle wide of the open goal.

With time running out, Still threw Wesley Thomas on for Nurse, but you got the sense that it was a little too late and changes needed to be made earlier as Bournemouth had what ascendancy was on offer.

That was to show in injury time as Molesley's glorious strike broke Daggers' hearts and gave the Cherries a real chance of avoiding the drop.

Daggers: Roberts 6, Foster 7, Griffiths 7, Arber 7, Okuonghae 8, Saunders 6, Southam 6, Loft 6, Ritchie 8, Strevens 6, Nurse 6 (Thomas 82).

Subs not used: Hogan, Uddin, Montgomery, Taiwo.

Att: 1,602 (inc 432 away).

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