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Bizarre late goal seals precious Daggers win over Oxford United

Medy Elito of Dagenham and Redbridge and Ryan Williams of Oxford United tussle for the ball. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO Medy Elito of Dagenham and Redbridge and Ryan Williams of Oxford United tussle for the ball. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Saturday, March 29, 2014
5:06 PM

League Two: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Oxford United 0

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Daggers’ play-off hopes remain alive as a bizarre own goal from Matt Bevans a minute from time gave them a precious first three points at home for the first victory at Victoria Road since New Year’s Day.

Both goalkeepers were rarely tested throughout the match until on 89 minutes Luke Howell’s shot was blocked but it hit Michael Raynes, then Bevans, and looped over Ryan Clarke in the Oxford goal.

Manager Wayne Burnett made three changes to the side which drew 0-0 at home to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday, with new loanee Blair Turgott making his debut in place of Ade Azeez.

Howell and Jack Connors also came in for Billy Bingham and Femi Ilesanmi.

Much of the early possession came the way of the hosts, but like in recent weeks at home, they lacked the final ball and finishing touch.

Luke Howell tried his luck from 30 yards with just six minutes on the clock but Oxford goalkeeper Ryan Clarke watched the effort go harmlessly wide.

A good ball in from Chambers on the right found Medy Elito unmarked at the back post but his fluffed shot was well off target.

Turgott tried to capitalise on a stray ball from Ryan Williams but again the effort was poor and it sailed wide of the goal.

The U’s had been on the back foot, but on one occasion where they did get forward, David Connolly’s shot in a packed goalmouth was blocked.

The visitors were slowly getting into the game and ended the half on top as Williams played through Josh Ruffels and the right winger continued his run and was found by Ruffels’ pull back.

But when presented with the chance Williams flashed the effort over Chris Lewington’s bar in the best chance of the half.

The hosts again started the second period on top and had the best opportunity of the match so far with 56 minutes on the clock.

Chambers played the ball out to Elito down the left and his great ball into the box found Luke Norris.

He did well to jink past his man to create some space in the box but with just Clarke to beat he fired well over the bar.

Just like the opening half, Gary Waddock’s side weathered the storm and Deane Smalley’s header from a Ruffels corner was deflected behind for another corner.

The quality in the final third was lacking throughout and Turgott was presented with another chance but again fluffed his chance well wide of the target, and that was to prove his last touch as he was replaced by Ade Azeez.

Lewington was forced to make his first real save of the afternoon 13 minutes from time when Ruffels’ fine ball in found substitute James Constable.

He managed to work some space in the box but his shot on goal was well blocked by the legs of the Daggers stopper.

Time was ticking away but with four minutes to go some great play from Chambers saw him able to drift it into the box but his pull back found substitute Chris Dickson.

The ball however got stuck under his feet and the chance went begging.

However, with a minute to go a bit of luck went Daggers way as they found themselves in front.

A Dickson ball across from the right found Howell unmarked on the edge of the box. His initial shot was blocked but it struck Oxford defender Michael Raynes, then Bevans, and looped over a stranded Clarke to send the home fans delirious.

There was still time for Oxford to go close and it was substitute Constable again. He controlled the ball with his knee but then fired the effort inches wide of the goal as Daggers.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Hoyte, Saah, Doe, Connors, Howell, Ogogo, Chambers, Norris (Dickson 81), Turgott (Azeez 69), Elito.

Unused subsitutes: Seabright, Bingham, D’Ath, Shields, Gayle, Azeez.

Oxford United: Clarke, Bevans, Raynes, Wright, Hunt, Smalley (Rigg 69), Whing, Davies, Williams (Wroe 76), Connolly (Constable 73), Ruffels.

Unused substitutes: Crocombe, Rose, Long.

Attendance: 1,893 (598 Oxford United fans)

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