8:30am Monday 31st March 2014
By David Pritchard
DAGENHAM & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett admitted his side were fortunate to take all three points against Oxford United.
There was little to choose between the teams in a tight contest, which was decided by a freak goal in the 89th minute.
Luke Howell tried his luck with a speculative shot which struck Michael Raynes and Matt Bevans before arcing over goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and into the net.
Burnett joked it was something the Daggers had been practising, but acknowledged it was harsh on the visitors.
“It was a brilliant goal, we’ve been working on that all week,” he said.
“I would be very disappointed if I was the Oxford team, because they worked incredibly hard.
“But we worked hard and I think we had slightly the better chances throughout the game.
“I certainly think we had the lion’s share of possession, without hurting them too much, but I didn’t think they hurt us a great deal.
“Overall a draw would have been fair, but I’ll absolutely take it.”
Dagenham only avoided relegation last season by virtue of goal difference, but the victory over United ended any lingering concerns of the drop this term.
And they can now look up rather than down.
Burnett said: “Us and Accrington were hot favourites to go down, that’s reflected by our budget, which is one of the smallest in the league.
“But this group have a fantastic work ethic, they’ve got a great never-say-die attitude and we’ve got some decent players.
“All the hard work has paid dividends.”
The Daggers are now just five points behind United in the league table as both sides bid to secure a play-off spot.
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