Dagenham & Redbridge were denied a closing-day victory by a superb 98th-minute free-kick from Josh Barrett as the 2023-24 National League season came to an exciting end.

Daggers looked to have secured victory in the third minute of stoppage time thanks to Dion Pereira, but the visitors ensured a share of the spoils in a dramatic finale.

But the big news - for Daggers - had come off the pitch, with executive director Peter B Freund releasing a statement which included the announcement of a deal to sell the club to a 'very strong and experienced group which already owns and operates football clubs in the United States and Europe'.

With the hosts having little but pride to play for on the final day of the season, boss Ben Strevens took the opportunity to shuffle his pack and give some minutes to different members of his squad.

Aldershot, meanwhile, were chasing a win to secure a play-off place and Theo Widdrington's third-minute challenge on Jake Hessenthaler was clear evidence of their desperation, yet avoided a card of any colour.

Keenan Appiah-Forson was bundled off the ball by Cian Harries, just inside the box, but penalty appeals were waved away by Aaron Jackson, before the visitors made their first attack of note and Josh Stokes saw his shot deflected behind.

That raised the decibel levels in the away end, but the travelling fans were almost silenced in the 12th minute when Elliott Johnson found former Shots striker Inih Effiong in the box and his shot on the turn was pushed behind by Jordi Van Stappershoef.

A foul on Shiloh Remy then gave Daggers a free-kick chance, 25 yards out to the right of centre, but Effiong fired into the wall and Josh Hare's follow-up was comfortably gathered.

And when Conor Lawless played Harvey Kedwell through on the left, his cross was behind Effiong and tidied up before Remy could connect.

Kedwell, Lawless and Johnson combined well on the left to play Hessenthaler into the box, but his ball across the face of goal eluded Remy midway through the first half.

Shots also managed to manufacture some space out wide at the other end, but struggled to find the final ball, with Ryan Glover scuffing his shot when a half-chance did arise.

Daggers opened the scoring on 34 minutes when Kedwell collected his half-cleared corner and found Keenan Appiah-Forson, whose crossfield ball found Josh Hare to tee up Effiong, who beat a defender and fired home from six yards for his 16th goal of the campaign.

Shots captain Lorent Tolaj was shown the first yellow card of the day for a tackle form behind on Johnson, in front of the home dugout, just before the break, with the Daggers left-back sharing his thoughts on the challenge before play restarted.

The second half was barely a minute old when Shots were awarded a penalty, as Kwame Thomas went down in the box as Tyler Frost's shot was deflected behind.

Referee Jackson consulted his assistant before pointing to the spot, before showing yellow cards to Strevens and opposite number Tommy Widdrington, but Johnson escaped any censure for the challenge.

Cian Harries sent Elliot Justham the wrong way from the spot to level in front of the delighted Shots fans, who had helped boost the attendance to 2,574.

And Glover saw a shot deflected past the far post on the hour - as Daggers fans taunted the visitors with a chant of "two-nil to the Halifax".

Strevens made a triple change on 63 minutes, as Remy, Kedwell and Lawless made way for Pereira, Josh Rees and Ryan Hill.

Daggers coach Lewis Young was shown a yellow card, after Ollie Harfield had gone to retrieve the ball for a throw-in by the Daggers dugout, with Strevens then shown a red before play could resume.

And Shots took the lead moments later when the ball was sent in from the right and Tolaj headed home from close range.

Daggers went close to a quick response as Pereira weaved his way through the visiting defence and found Hill, who cut onto his right foot to force Van Stappershoef into a diving save.

And Pereira was involved again on 80 minutes, swapping passes with Effiong whose left-footed shot was clawed behind.

Daggers were back on terms soon after, though, as Hessenthaler's through ball sent Rees into space and, after reaching the edge of the box, he teed up Hill to fire home his sixth goal in the last 10 games and 11th in total for the season.

And the hosts were inches away from an 89th-minute winner as Hill found Effiong on the edge of the box and his shot on the turn came back off the underside of the crossbar.

Effiong fired another chance over from close range as nine minutes of stoppage time began, with Nik Tavares seeing a header from a corner pushed over.

But Daggers struck in the 93rd minute as Luton loanee Pereira drilled a low left-footed shot into the far corner, only for Barrett to have the last word.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Hare, Johnson, Tavares, Eastman, Hessenthaler, Effiong, Remy (Pereira 63), Kedwell (Rees 63), Appiah-Forson, Lawless (Hill 63). Unused subs: Page, Longe-King.

Attendance: 2574 (including 752 Aldershot fans).