Daggers 2-0 Macclesfield Town
Any Daggers fan who had resigned themselves to relegation from the Football League may be forced to take a rethink after this win. A brace from Medy Elito was enough to see off the Silkmen and although John Still's side are still bottom of the table they're now just one point from safety.
Still completed the double signing of John Akinde & Charlie Wassmer on Saturday morning and Akinde was thrown straight into the Daggers starting eleven; Wassmer was on the substitutes bench alongside Brian Woodall who was the man to miss out due to Akinde's inclusion. It was 4-4-2 for the Daggers with Jon Nurse starting up front on his 200th appearance for the club.
It took Akinde just a minute to get involved, he & Nurse linked up well 20 yards out but his shot lacked conviction and was very easy for Richard O'Donnell who would prove to have a busy afternoon. The first fifteen minutes saw the Daggers on top playing some nice football without creating a golden chance, but that all changed in the 16th minute.
The ball was played forward to Elito on the right hand side, covered by two he jinked his way into the area and shot with his left foot, the ball took a big deflection on it's way but Elito didn't care as he ran off celebrating his 3rd goal of the campaign. The first of which came on the opening day of the season when these two sides met at Moss Rose.
Damien McCrory was getting involved a lot from left back with the Irishman having many set-pieces to preside over, his delivery was patchy but he came so near to grabbing a St Patrick's Day goal with one effort from the right which missed everyone and then the far post by a matter of inches. Elito & Josh Parker were a real threat on either flank, Elito on the left this time shot and it struck Akinde before drifting wide.
The last five minutes of the half saw Spillane & then Akinde be denied by O'Donnell and Daggers fans must have been wondering how it was just 1-0 at the break, and also where performances like this have been all season.
Neither side made a change at the break but Gary Simpson seemed to have his side fired up as they started the 2nd half strongly. Ben Smith who was a real physical presence up top for the Silkmen got his head to everything in the opening stages, in the first fifteen minutes he headed straight at Chris Lewington, over the bar and then onto the crossbar. Lewington had to react quickly to deny Donnelly heading in the rebound.
The next goal in this game was vital and Parker showed great pace as he almost created it, he retrieved a ball on the right and crossed low, Akinde cleverly let it run across him for Howell who had made a lung-busting run to get there. It had goal all over it but Connolly covered well from right back to get a touch on the ball and take a clattering for his troubles.
Howell was also injured in the collision and was soon replaced by Billy Bingham, the ex MK Dons man has only just returned from a long injury lay off so everyone hopes that this isn't serious, he walked back to the tunnel unaided at least.
The game moved into the last fifteen minutes and Nurse had a great chance to wrap it up but he fired wide from 15 yards when he should have at the very least hit the target. Akinde & Nurse played well together all afternoon and it's a partnership that Josh Scott may find it hard to break up on his return.
With less than two minutes to go Macclesfield won a corner and O'Donnell joined the attackers in the Daggers box, Woodall who had come on for Akinde and Elito headed clear as the clock ran down. Nurse again should have made it two when through on goal but his touch was too heavy before Elito wrapped it up in the final minute.
His shot from the left hand side looked to be a comfortable save for O'Donnell but it somehow went through the 'keeper who had been impressive all afternoon and the Daggers could celebrate a vital win.
Vicarage Field Man of The Match - Medy Elito
To see updates from the match as it happened click here.
To hear post-match reaction from Assistant Manager Terry Harris on Daggers Player click here.