Peterborough United 5 Dagenham & Redbridge 0
Daggers relegated after United defeat
Daggers brave fight against relegation came to an unflattering end with a thumping defeat at London Road.
The Posh, already assured of a place in the play-offs, named a full strength side as they looked to end a three-match winless run and made the perfect start, taking the lead on nine minutes.
With Phil Ifil out of position, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing bombed down the left flank, outpacing skipper Mark Arber and as keeper Tony Roberts raced forward from his goal-line the Welshman stumbled at the vital moment and Medez-Laing stroked the ball underneath him.
Despite their nervous start, the rest of the first half belonged to Daggers who created and wasted countless opportunities to equalise.
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Winger Darren Currie twice hit the post, while John Akinde missed three gilt-edged opportunities, timing his runs to perfection to beat the offside trap each time, but was denied by Peterborough keeper Joe Lewis on every occasion. It just wasn’t to be Daggers day.
The home side dominated for much of the second period and the only surprise about the second goal was that it had not come sooner than the 65th minute.
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The impressive Mendez-Laing chased a seemingly lost cause on the left flank, kept the ball in play and squared for Grant McCann to blast home first time from the edge of the box.
The visitors immediately made a double change and switched to three at the back with virtually seven forwards, but despite creating several chances could find no lifeline.
Their fate was finally confirmed as Peterborough hit three goals in the closing eight minutes.
First George Boyd blasted in substitute David Ball’s cut-back from the byline, then League One top scorer and former Daggers striker Craig Mackail-Smith almost apologetically added the fourth.
The fifth arrived in added on time courtesy of Ball, who cut in from the left and beat Roberts at his near post.
The final whistle confirmed Daggers demotion, but the overwhelming positives from their maiden League One voyage bode well for an immediate return, providing they keep hold of the nucleus of their squad who battled for 46 games so valiantly.
Daggers: Roberts, Ifil, Arber, Antwi, Ilesanmi (DJ Green 67), Currie, Vincelot, Taiwo, Gain (Lee 77), Akinde (Savage 67), Nurse. Unused subs: Lewington, Doe, Scannell, Walsh.
Attendance: 7,519 (including 1,005 away supporters).