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Joshua Richards, at Kingsmeadow
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Dagenham & Redbridge conceded late to stay bottom of League Two and are now three points adrift of safety following defeat at AFC Wimbledon who are now nine points clear of the drop zone.
Michael Spillane looked to have earned his side an important point after cancelling out Jack Midson’s opener.
But Kieran Djilil came off the bench to volley in the winner with four minutes remaining.
A largely forgettable first half took a long time to get going with Wimbledon out of form and the Daggers’ players struggling to get up and support lone striker Brian Woodall – in for the suspended Josh Scott.
Ben Reeves was the first to test Don’s keeper Seb Brown, after the home defence failed to clear Damien McCrory’s corner, but the midfielder’s fierce volley was comfortably saved by Brown at his near post.
The best opportunity of the half fell to Woodall five minutes before the interval when Jon Nurse picked him out inside the box, but the former Gresley forward swerved his shot hopelessly wide as he appeared to lose his balance at the vital time.
Wimbledon went close on the stroke of half time, when Sam Hatton’s superb long pass reached Byron Harrison inside the box after keeper Jonathan Bond hesitated, but the on-loan Watford stopper made amends with a smart near-post save.
Bond was at his sharpest soon after the break however, making a fine double save to deny Midson and then Rashid Yussuff with the follow up.
Daggers though, continued to pose the greater goal threat, despite enjoying less possession and Nurse stung the fingertips of Brown with a snapshot from a difficult angle.
With the game at a stalemate, Daggers introduced Rob Edmans for Medy Elito to give them a greater presence going forwards.
And Edmans almost made an instant impact when he lost his marker to attack Nurse’s superb right-wing cross, but the former Chelmsford target man failed to connect with the goal gaping.
Just two minutes later and Daggers were behind. Midson let fly from 25 yards to net his 18th goal of the season.
But Daggers, to their credit, refused to throw in the towel and after Nurse and Woodall both saw efforts blocked on the line, Spillane finally headed the equaliser with eight minutes remaining.
Damien McCrory’s superb inswinging delivery found the defender unmarked inside the box and Brown could only push his header into the side-netting.
It looked as though Daggers would push on for the winner in the final minutes, but it was Wimbledon who nicked the points to end a seven-match winless run.
Yussuff’s left-wing cross looped through to Djilali who volleyed past Bond at his near post.
Deep into stoppage time Edmans, who had been a constant threat since coming on, met Woodall’s cross with a diving header, but Brown saved to ensure Wimbledon earned the win.
AFC Wimbledon: Brown, Hatton, Mitchel-King (Johnson 46), Balkestein, Gwillim, Jolley, S Moore, Knott, Yussuff, Harrison (Djilali 65), Midson. Subs not used: Turner, L Moore, Kiernan.
Daggers: Bond, Doe, Spillane, Arber, McCrory, Nurse, Ogogo, Bingham, Elito (Edmans 71), Reeves (Green 55), Woodall. Subs not used: Lewington, Rose, Abdulla.
Attendance: 4,243 (381 away).