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Monday, May 5, 2014
Dagenham & Redbridge manager Wayne Burnett was delighted to end the season on a high, as a 3-2 win at Cheltenham Town secured a ninth-place finish in League Two.
Ade Azeez netted the winner in the second half, after the Daggers had twice levelled through a Sido Jombati own goal and Scott Doe’s first, and last, goal of the season.
The visitors went into the day knowing they could finish as high as ninth, but as low as 16th.
And wherever they ended in the table, Burnett was proud of his side’s achievements, with many predicting another season of struggle for the Victoria Road side.
“It’s a fantastic achievement, if it had been 16th it would have been a fantastic achievement as far as I am concerned,” said Burnett.
“These players have given me and this football club everything and rightly so, that’s what they get paid to do.
“I am really pleased that we finished on a high. Pleased for the supporters, the players and everyone associated with the football club.”
Burnett was disappointed with both goals the Daggers conceded, though knew they were fortunate to be level through Jombati’s own goal.
And though he deemed it a ‘bizarre’ day with that own goal, he felt it would have been even more so if Gavin Hoyte had scored for the Daggers, with the right back still yet to find the target since he joined the club.
“I thought he (Cheltenham goalkeeper Conor Roberts) should have just saved it and given away a free-kick,” he added.
“I think he thought he was Superman at one point, I don’t know what was going on there.
“We conceded a poor first goal in my opinion, and we got back in the game with a poor goal from their point of view I guess and then they scored again.
“It was just slack, there were some mistakes from us and we weren’t concentrating. It was an accumulation of things really for their second goal.
“But we managed to get back in it with a good goal from Doey (Scott Doe) and Hoytey (Gavin Hoyte) nearly scored, so it was a bizarre day.
“That would have been strange. But Ade’s popped up in the end and I am delighted for him because he worked tirelessly.
“I don’t know what has come over Gavin, he’s got a bit of stick because he hasn’t scored in his time at the club and he’s hit the post, but Ade reacted and followed up and we’ve managed to get the winner.
“I think we moved the ball all right at times, there was a bit more fluidity to our game.”
Fresh from signing a professional contract with the club on Wednesday, Jon Nouble was given his first taste of action, with a 10 minute cameo at the end.
And Burnett was pleased to hand the 19-year-old the opportunity.
“I thought he did all right,” Burnett remarked. “We had three youth team players in the squad that have come through our system and I think that’s a fantastic achievement because it is the foundations of this football club.
“But I think he has done very well, he deserves a chance – he’s got potential but that’s it at the moment. He’s a very hard worker and he’s very tall.”