Lewington penalty save earns Daggers a vital three points

Port Vale 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

A second-half penalty save from Daggers keep Chris Lewington preserved a priceless three points for John Still’s side as they moved up to 19th.

Michael Spillane headed the visitors in front on 65 minutes in a game of few chances.

Port Vale were presented with a glorious opportunity to claim a point, but Marc Richards fluffed his lines with Lewington pushing away the spot-kick to ease Daggers relegation fears.

Two changes for Daggers saw Brian Woodall rewarded with a start for a goal last week, as John Akinde dropped to the bench.

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Billy Bingham came into a five-man midfield, with Josh Parker not in the squad.

An open start to the match saw Vale top-scorer Richards force Lewington into an early save with a 20-yard effort.

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While at the other end, Bingham hit a low effort from 25 yards that was comfortable gathered by Stuart Tomlinson.

Chances were few and far between after that though, as Daggers defended rigidly, but struggled to give support to lone-strike Woodall.

Approaching half time Daggers survived a scare when Mattieu Baudry failed to clear a long ball forwards that found its way through to Richards, but Lewington was quickly off his line to smother.

Seconds before the interval, Medy Elito was denied by the woodwork. Spillane slipped the ball through to the tricky winger on the edge of the box and his left-foot shot had Tomlinson beaten, but came back off the post.

Shortly after the break, Scott Doe attempted to score his now ‘trademark goal’ with a near post run to meet Elito’s corner, but Tomlinson was well placed to catch the header.

On 65 minutes, with Vale Park beginning to wonder where a goal was going to come from, Daggers broke the deadlock.

Damien McCrory’s perfect delivery from the left found Spillane well placed to head in from six yards.

The home side were unable to apply significant pressure after the goal, with Daggers central-midfield three expertly protecting their defence.

But with eight minutes remaining a foul by substitute Charlie Wassmer on Tom Pope, gifted Vale the chance to equalise from the penalty spot.

However, Lewington denied Richards from 12 yards as Daggers extended their unbeaten run to four matches.

Port Vale: Tomlinson, Yates, McCombe, McDonald, Loft, Williamson (Pope 61), Griffith, Morsy (Marshall 61), Dodds (Roe 75), Richards, Rigg. Subs not used: Martin, James.

Daggers: Lewington, Doe, Baudry (Wassmer 75), Arber, McCrory, Bingham, Spillane, Ogogo, Nurse, Elito, Woodall (Scott 84). Subs not used: Hogan, Akinde, Abdulla.

Attendance: 4,127 (114 away supporters).

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