Second half howler leads to Daggers collapse against Crewe
League Two: Crewe Alexandra 4 Dagenham & Redbridge 1
A howler from Dagenham & Redbridge goalkeeper Chris Lewington sparked a second-half collapse as John Still's side suffered their third defeat in a row.
Daggers were given a boost ahead of kick-off, with Brian Woodall declared fit to start after missing the midweek defeat to Millwall with a groin problem.
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And the former Gresley man left his mark on the game with the opening goal on 17 minutes.
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Defender David Artell made a hash of his clearance, driving the ball straight at Woodall, who kept his composure to place the ball past keeper Steve Phillips.
Midway through the half Dominic Green had a chance to double Daggers lead after being teed up by Cristian Montano, but his low shot was pushed behind the near post by Phillips.
Crewe’s best work predictably came through Nick Powell, named the league's Young Player of the Month earlier this week.
The 17-year-old twice called Lewington into action, first with a fizzing effort from 30 yards and then with a near post strike from inside the box, but the Daggers stopper could not be beaten.
The visitors, marshalled by the excellent Michael Spillane, had defended resiliently in the first half, but their resolve was finally broken on 41 minutes with Crewe’s equaliser.
Artell met Jamie Lowry's free-kick and chested the ball into the path of Greg Pearson to score on the half volley, his second goal in as many games since joining on loan from Burton.
Shortly after half time Daggers survived a scare, when Pearson's header was cleared off the line by Dominic Green.
While at the other end, Cristian Montano skipped past Adam Dugdale, but his fierce effort from the edge of the box was pushed away by Phillips.
The defining moment of the game came on 71 minutes, when a mistake by Lewington gifted Crewe the second goal.
Abu Ogogo’s back pass along the floor bobbled over the young keeper's foot and over the line.
Daggers pushed desperately for an equaliser to spare their keeper’s blushes in the closing stages.
Jon Nurse caught Phillips in possession, but his powerful shoot was blocked brilliantly by Matt Tootle.
Substitute Eoin Wearen hit a low volley straight at the keeper from the edge of the box and Nurse side-footed wide from 10 yards.
But Crewe made the points safe on 83 minutes when Dugdale rose at the far post to head Lowry's swirling free-kick into the back of the net.
And they added a fourth three minutes later when A-Jay Leitch-Smith's shot was blocked by Doe, into the path of Powell who dinked the ball over Lewington to complete a miserable afternoon.
Crewe: Phillips, Tootle, Artell, Dugdale, Davis, Murphy, Westwood, Lowry, Moore, Pearson (Leitch-Smith 84), Powell. Unused subs: Martin, Shelley, Mellor, Clayton.
Daggers: Lewington, Ogogo, Spillane, Doe, Ilesanmi, Abdulla, Bingham, Montano, Dominic Green (Wearen 65), Nurse, Woodall (Cunnington 62). Unused subs: Hogan, Rose, Arber.
Attendance: 3,282 (including 126 away supporters).