Brilliant Bingham goal secures Daggers safety
Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Crawley Town 1
A wonder-strike from Billy Bingham earned Dagenham & Redbridge the crucial point that ensures they will play League Two football next season.
Ex-Daggers loanee Charlie Wassmer inevitably put promotion-chasing Crawley in front.
But Bingham levelled with his second goal of the season – letting fly from 30 yards – to give Daggers a nine-point cushion above the relegation zone with two matches to play.
One change for Daggers saw Josh Scott replace Dominic Green, as the home side adopted a narrow 4-3-1-2 formation.
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Crawley enjoyed the majority of possession early on, but failed to create a clear cut chance.
While Daggers direct approach proved more effective and their best moments came via set-pieces.
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A corner from Medy Elito went through the hands of keeper Michel Kuipers and into the path of Brian Woodall, who could only volley into the side netting from a difficult angle.
Moments later, Michael Spillane found space inside the box to meet Damien McCrory’s free-kick, but headed over.
Against the run of play Crawley took the lead on 18 minutes. After the home side struggled to clear a corner Scott Davies crossed Wassmer to volley in from close range.
The home side had keeper Chris Lewington to thank for keeping them in the game with a string of brave saves to thwart Billy Clarke, Scott Neilson and Josh Simpson.
Shortly before half time another expert cross from right-back Davies found Gary Alexander free at the far post, but the big striker made poor connection as the ball trickled wide.
As the clock ticked into first half stoppage time Bingham’s stunning strike levelled the match.
Spillane played the ball in field from the left and Bingham’s 30-yarder flew into the top corner.
Alexander missed two chances to put Crawley back in front after the break on an afternoon to forget for the journeyman striker.
His first effort found the roof of the net, as he held off the challenge of Mathieu Baudry, while he should have done better after getting on the end of Davies’ low cross, but blasted over.
Fine skill from Woodall almost had Daggers in front with 20 minutes remaining after the forward controlled Mark Arber’s free-kick on his chest and his subsequent volley was pushed wide by Kuipers.
And the final chance of the match fell to Abu Ogogo who shot wide from the edge of the box, but no-one inside Victoria Road was complaining come full-time.
Dag & Red: Lewington, Doe, Baudry, Arber, McCrory, Bingham, Ogogo, Spillane, Elito, Woodall, Scott (Green 83).
Subs not used: Hogan, Reed, Howell, Parker.
Crawley: Kuipers, Davies, Wassmer, Davis, Howell, Simpson, McFadzean, Bulman, Neilson (Akinde 75), Clarke, Alexander.
Subs not used: Shearer, Watt, Hunt, Dempster.
Attendance: 2,456 (670 away).