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Match Report


Posted Sat 01 May 10 at 18:14 PM

Monty's the hero yet again

Just what is it with this season and late goals? Two weeks ago the Daggers won in the very last minute against Burton Albion while only last week Morecambe dealt a very late blow to the club's play offs ambitions.

But the tide turned yet again. With the match heading into added time poised at 1-1, a long free-kick was pumped into the Hereford United penalty area. Goalkeeper Adam Bartlett could only punch the ball to the edge of the penalty area where Graeme Montgomery stood ready to become the hero once more.

Montgomery lined up an exquisite volley that looped over the keeper and made its way into the very top corner of the Hereford goal sparking wild celebrations all around the LBBD Stadium. The goal was so important that it allowed the Daggers to jump into seventh spot and they head into the final game in control of their own destiny.

This came after the Daggers got off to a rather hesitant start and it was the visitors who looked the more likely side to go ahead.

They almost took the lead in the very first minute. Marc Pugh got in beyond the home defence, who were grateful to Tony Roberts for being alert enough to sweep up the through ball and prevent an early goal.

Matthew Mansett was proving to be handful at the heart of Hereford's defence. He wriggled his way to a shooting opportunity inside the visitors area only to drag his effort across goal.

Mansett later had a couple of headers, both from decent positions, neither of which he could direct on target.

He got a better opportunity after fifteen minutes. Gavin McCallum tricked his way to a crossing opportunity, where he found the Hereford striker, who once again headed past the post.

Paul Benson with an ambitious volley and Damien McCrory with an over hit free-kick were Dagenham's only real opportunities early on and it took them half an hour to work the Hereford keeper. That came from Danny Green, who didn't really get hold of his shot leaving Adam Bartlett with a comfortable save.

As the first half wore on the better the Daggers got. Jon Nurse forced his way to the middle of the Bulls defence. The ball made its way to Benson, who struck first time, only to see the ball roll narrowly wide.

Benson weren't to be denied a minute later. He ignored the visitors offside claims and hit a right footed shot towards goal. Bartlett managed to get something on the ball, but it wasn't enough to prevent the ball bouncing into the back of the net.

The goal sparked a much more assertive Daggers. Green struck a long range shot straight at the keeper while Benson crossed low into the penalty area where an outstretched Romain Vincelot couldn't quite convert the ball into Bartlett's goal.

Vincelot was having outstanding game in midfield, demonstrating tremendous work rate combined with a neat touch on the ball. Early in the second half his awareness worked an opportunity on the edge of the area. The Frenchman struck a fine left footed shot just missing Bartlett's left post.

McCrory crossed low for Josh Scott. Scott turned and shot in an instant, however he smashed his effort over the bar.

Hereford were far from out the game and an onside Mansett burst clear. Scott Doe made up several yards to rescue his side and made a crucial block.

Doe couldn't do anything about Hereford's equaliser. Ryan Green made an overlapping run and crossed low that allowed Pugh to slide the ball home at the far post.

What followed was one of the most tense finishes to a game seen at this ground for sometime. The match ebbed and flowed at both ends. Mansett shot over the bar while Green threaded a fine ball beyond the Hereford defence only for Bartlett to win the race for the ball ahead of Vincelot.

Still repeated his change of Burton Albion from a couple of weeks ago by bringing on Graeme Montgomery from the bench. Phil Walsh also came on for the final 15 minutes.

Nevertheless it was still anyone's game. Bartlett made a brilliant save to deny a Walsh header . The keeper then recovered to push the ball away from Montgomery.

The home supporters then breathed a huge collective sigh of relief after Kenny Lunt's free-kick took a deflection, but Mark Arber was on hand to clear the ball on the goal line.

As the match headed into added time it was to take one brilliant turn. Montgomery's quite wonderful strike means the Daggers play off fate are now in their own hands.

Att: 2,663 (239 Hereford)

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