Graeme Montgomery propelled the Daggers right into the play-off mix with a goal deep into added time to defeat a resolute Burton Albion at the LBBD Stadium. It looked like the points were shared before the Daggers won a corner that was despatched by Montgomery, this came after the midfielder had earlier come on from the bench.
Burton's preparations were interrupted before kick off after keeper Artur Krysiak injured himself during the warm up. His place in the Brewers goal was taken by 46 year old Kevin Poole.
The Daggers tried to test Poole very early on. In the opening thirty seconds Josh Scott hooked over a cross from which Paul Benson was unable to keep his header down.
Poole's first action came in the home side's next attack. Danny Green thundered a long range free-kick that forced Poole to tip the ball over his own cross bar.
From that moment on Dagenham's performance in the opening half was rather lacklustre. The visitors gradually imposed themselves and forced the Daggers back towards their own goal.
On fifteen minutes Russell Penn ran through the back four. He played the ball across goal from which Cleveland Taylor pulled it back toward Shaun Harrad. Harrad forced a shot towards goal and Tony Roberts had to scramble the ball behind with his legs.
Harrad headed the resulting corner just over before Burton where within a posts width of taking the lead. Andrew Corbett sent over a fine cross from which Jacques Maghoma sneaked in and headed the post against the woodwork.
Burton's pressure was rewarded on 22 minutes. The ball broke to Harrad on the edge of the area. The striker wasted no time in curling a first time shot to the far corner. Roberts did get a fingertip to the shot, but it was struck well enough to find the back of the net.
Dagenham's most likely source of attack came from Green's set-pieces. He crossed for Benson who directed a header straight at Poole. Benson did exactly the same thing moments later; placing a header straight into the keepers clutches after Green had hit a volley into the ground.
The Daggers had a scare immediately after the restart. Harrad found himself through on goal only to pull his effort wide of the post. The referee's assistant did however eventually flag the forward offside.
The home side really needed some inspiration to get back into the game and they got it from a pretty unlikely source. Romain Vincelot was quickest to react to win the ball in midfield. No-one foresaw what he did next. Thirty yards from goal, the Frenchman thrashed an awesome shot that beat Poole and rocketed into the top corner.
The game was up for grabs after Vincelot's strike. Mark Arber headed over the bar while Green's free-kick reached Scott, whose flicked header bounced wide. Damien McCrory also mishit a half volley and saw the ball drift harmlessly over.
But the action was not all at one end and Burton remained a threat. Harrad hit a free-kick against the Daggers wall. That was followed by a well worked move that resulted in Russell Penn shooting over from the edge of the area.
Benson continued his habit of finding Poole with a half volley that was held by the veteran keeper. Another chance fell to the clubs leading scorer, a more difficult header that he kept on target but once again it was held by Poole.
Graeme Montgomery was sent on from the bench before two clear opportunities went begging for the Daggers.
Benson found himself through on goal with only the keeper to beat. However just when you expected to see the net rippling Benson pulled his effort past the post.
Benson then set up Green on the edge of the area. Green had space to shoot but like Benson he couldn't get his effort on target and the Daggers frustrations continued.
But just as it seemed that the goal wouldn't come Montgomery became the hero. Deep into the four minutes of added time a corner, hotly disputed by the visitors, was sent into the Burton area. The ball bobbled about before Montgomery pounced to strike into the bottom corner to win the game in the most dramatic way.