National League: Macclesfield Town 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 0
PUBLISHED: 14:39 28 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:33 28 April 2018
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Two late second-half goals from substitute Scott Wilson condemned Dagenham & Redbridge to a 2-0 defeat on the final day of The National League season.
Travelling to a Macclesfield side that were crowned champions with a 2-0 victory over Eastleigh last weekend, Dagenham were looking for their third win in a row after their 1-0 victory over Maidenhead last time out.
Boss John Still opted to make just one change for the season finale, with Bondz N’Gala dropping down to the bench in favour of Luke Pennell.
The Essex club came to spoil the Macclesfield party and almost put themselves in the ascendancy early on with Michael Cheek’s effort flying wide of Shwan Jalal’s left-hand post from range.
Cheek, looking to add to the 15 goals he’d already collected during the campaign, was presented with a second opportunity after 11 minutes. Latching on to a Matt Robinson through ball, the forward got the better of Keith Lowe in the penalty area before placing a tame shot into Jalal’s hands from close range.
Dagenham had most of the possession in the first 25 minutes, with Danny Whitehead’s long-range effort the closest the home side came to breaking the deadlock.
Fejiri Okenabirhie also saw an effort fly wide of the post for the visitors with 30 minutes on the clock.
But a mistake by Pennell almost allowed Nathan Blissett to open the scoring for Macclesfield 10 minutes before half time.
The left-back’s short back pass caused all sorts of problems for Mark Cousins but Blissett, the Plymouth Argyle loanee, could only lift his effort over the top of the crossbar.
On a big day for the home crowd, they thought they finally had their moment of joy on the stroke of half-time when Blissett met Danny Whitaker’s corner at the far post with force before beating Cousins, but his joy was halted by the assistant referee’s flag.
The second half began with Macclesfield on top although Ben Nunn produced a great last-ditch tackle to deny Blissett in the opening stages.
With 60 minutes on the clock, the pressure was well and truly growing on the Dagenham defence and that man Blissett was denied from close range again, as his goalbound effort brought out the best In Cousins.
Hands were on heads in the away end on 71 minutes, though, as Daggers came within inches of taking the lead.
Dangerman Cheek, again, tried his luck from an angle but with the ball seemingly having everyone else beaten, Mitch Hancox got back heroically to clear the ball away from danger and keep the game poised heading into the final quarter.
Robinson was replaced by Elliot Bonds soon after, before the all-important moment of the game followed on 79 minutes as substitute Wilson opening the scoring from close range after Hancox’s pinpoint cross found the forward in the area.
And it was 2-0 just three minutes later with Wilson doubling the lead at the near post after some great work from Tyrone Marsh led to the opportunity and Macclesfield’s top scorer made no mistake in slotting home his 14th goal of the season.
The final whistle signalled the end of the season and the 2-0 defeat at Moss Rose ensured that Dagenham finished in 11th position.
Macclesfield Town: Jalal, Hodgkiss, Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Kennedy, Marsh, Blissett (Wilson 74), Hancox, Evans (Burgess 65), Whitehead (Pilington 86), Whitaker.
Unused subs: Ramsbottom, Lloyd.
Dagenham and Redbridge: Cousins, Nunn, Pennell, Robson, Robinson (Bonds 73), Howell (Bloomfield 78), Okenabirhie, Sparkes, Boucard (Gordon 84), Cheek, Howells. Unused subs: Moore, Ngala.