Saturday 24th April 2010.
Coca-Cola League Two
Morecambe 1 Dagenham and Redbridge 0
A superb volley from Morecambe defender Darren Moss four minutes from time saw Dagenham and Redbridge suffer yet more away day heartache at a sun-drenched Christie Park last Saturday.
Darren Moss who scored the all important late winner on Saturday.
The Essex club arrived on the Lancashire coast with only one win on their travels in 2010 and only four all season, but two home victories in a row had seen them jump into the final play off place, two points ahead of hosts Morecambe with just three matches to play.
John Still’s side were unchanged from the win over Burton Albion the previous week so Jon Nurse was once again preferred to Graeme Montgomery on the left hand side of midfield while Scott Doe continued to partner captain Mark Arber in the centre of defence. Meanwhile Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy welcomed back skipper Jim Bentley into his defence.
With so much at stake the tension of the occasion seemed to affect both sides in the early exchanges although it was the visitors who settled quicker. They thought they had been given the boost of an early goal when Paul Benson turned the ball home from close range following a scramble in the Morecambe area after sixteen minutes but the assistant on the far side had already raised his flag for offside against the Daggers front man so his celebrations were cut short.
That merely seemed to fire up McIlroy’s boys and they really should have been out of sight by the break. Stewart Drummond somehow failed to hit the target twice from close range with the goal at his mercy while Paul Mullin and Gary Hunter both hit the woodwork with Daggers keeper Tony Roberts beaten as The Shrimps finished the half on top.
The second period followed a similar pattern with Morecambe always looking far more dangerous. Drummond found his luck was out again when Daggers defender Abu Ogogo cleared his goalbound effort off the line on the hour while Roberts then denied Hunter with a fine save soon after.
Roared on by a loud contingent of travelling fans behind the goal the Essex club looked for a big finish but it was not to be their day and the best they could muster was a couple of weak efforts from Josh Scott which did not really trouble Barry Roche in the home goal.
But just as it was looking like The Daggers would hold on for a very important point Morecambe finally made the breakthrough with less then five minutes remaining.
A corner from the left by substitute Neil Wainwright was only half cleared and the ball fell to Moss on the edge of the area who hit a stunning left foot volley into the top right hand corner of the net. The celebrations that followed showed just how much it meant to the Shrimps and it certainly was a great time for Moss to hit his first goal for the club.
Although the win was not quiet enough to lift McIlroy’s team into the play off places they are now only behind 7th placed Port Vale on goal difference while The Daggers are a further point and three places adrift.
Daggers manager John Still said,
‘It was a tough, tough game on an atrocious pitch but I thought they edged it and deserved to win. But we battled very hard against a team with a very good home record.’
Daggers manager John Still is confident about his sides play offs chances despite defeat at Morecambe.
Dagenham now hosts Hereford United on Saturday before a trip to relegated Darlington where they will be hoping to avoid last day agony for a second season in a row.
‘We now need six points from these last two games which I feel we are capable of doing.’ said an upbeat Still.
However the Daggers may have to face these crucial matches without two key players. Defender Doe limped off with a ankle injury midway through the first half while Benson followed him after suffering a broken nose in a clash with Bentley.
It is not yet known how long either will be out for but it was yet more bad news on another away day to forget for the Essex boys.
Morecambe – Roche, Moss, Bentley, Artell, Parrish, Duffy (Wainwright 50), Hunter, Drummond (Panther 89), Stanley, Mullin, Curtis (Haining 89).
Dagenham and Redbridge – Roberts, Ogogo, Doe (Uddin 31), Arber, McCrory, Green (Currie 90), Vincelot, Gain, Nurse, Benson (Walsh 69), Scott.
Attendence –2,100 (157 from Dagenham).