Labadie leads by example as Daggers beat Morecambe
PUBLISHED: 21:39 05 April 2016 | UPDATED: 21:39 05 April 2016
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Sky Bet League Two; Dagenham & Redbridge 2 Morecambe 1
A tremendous display from skipper Joss Labadie helped Dagenham & Redbridge pick up a vital home win against Morecambe.
It was a brilliant first half for their hosts with the skipper scoring the first before assisting their second.
But it was a lot more nervy after the break, with the hosts having to dig deep to hang on for the three points.
There were just two changes for the hosts, with Mark Cousins replacing the injured Liam O’Brien in goal after the latter suffered a broken toe.
It meant Lewis Moore took his place on the substitutes bench as the replacement goalkeeper, where he was joined by new signing Luke Pennell.
There was also a recall to the starting XI for Ashley Hemmings at the expense of Josh Passley after the former Walsall man overcame a bout of flu.
Daggers started brightly against a Morecambe side who had little to play for except pridge, with Joss Labadie shooting just wide from 20 yards in the fifth minute.
Labadie was clearly in confident mood and put the hosts in front in fortuitous circumstances three minutes later.
The ball first bounced off the referee into the path of the midfielder before shooting from 25 yards.
Barry Roche in the Morecambe goal looked well placed to save, but the ball hit a divot before flying over his head and into the net.
Despite controlling possession, the hosts were not having it all their own way with the Shrimps going close in the 17th minute.
Paul Mullin first had a penalty shout turned down for handball against Dom Hyam, before forcing Cousins into a splendid save from close range seconds later.
With the visitors still posing a threat, Daggers knew a second was a must, but Christian Doidge could only blaze over from the edge of the area nine minutes later.
They did get it, though, in the 30th minute after Joss Labadie won the ball superbly in midfield.
Labadie broke forward before laying the ball off to Jamie Cureton, who still had work to do just inside the box.
But the forward looked a man in confident mood, rounding Roche before calmly tucking home.
Daggers held on to their lead into the break to lead at home a half time for the first time since playing Whitehawk in the FA Cup in December.
The hosts continued to press after half time, looking to kill the game off, with Doidge flashing the ball across the box to no avail in the 60th minute.
Daggers were given a let off with 19 minutes remaining when substitute Kevin Ellison smacked the post with a header.
It seemed to spark Daggers into life as their two Nottingham Forest loanees almost combined well for a third in the 73rd minute.
Matty Cash delivered a superb corner from the left that was met by Joe Worrall, but the defender’s header went just wide.
It proved a costly miss as Morecambe pulled a goal back just two minutes later through Tom Barkhuizen.
Hyam’s clearance in the area smacked against Shaun Miller and into the path of Barkhuizen, who tucked home from close range.
Despite mounting pressure, Daggers held on to win and close within 11 points of Stevenage in safety.
Daggers: Cousins; Hoyte, Worrall, Hyam, Widdowson; Cash, Labadie, Muldoon, Hemmings; Doidge, Cureton (Passley 77)
Unused subs: Moore, Dikamona, Boucaud, McClure, Chambers, Pennell
Morecambe: Roche; Beeley, Edwards, Goodall, Conlan; Parrish, Oliver (Barkhuizen 57), Fleming (Miller 74); Mullin (Ellison 58), Stockton, Devitt
Unused subs: O’Hara, McGowan, Kenyon, Molyneux, Miller
Attendance: 1,233 (including 33 Morecambe fans)
Referee: Keith Hill