Match report: Exeter City 2 Dagenham 1Exeter City signed off the 2014/15 season with a 2-1 home victory against Dagenham & Redbridge, to secure a 10th-place finish in Sky Bet League 2.
All of the goals came in the second period, as Jimmy Keohane struck a beautiful opener before Tom Nichols was gifted a tap in for number 15 of the campaign.
Former Grecians striker Jamie Cureton – who was named as Daggers captain for the afternoon – halved the deficit in stoppage-time but it was City that claimed the win.
James Hamon was the first of the goalkeepers to be called into action as Jodi Jones slipped a neat ball into the path of Ashley Chambers – the stopper got his angles right though to deny an opener.
Then left-back Jamie McAllister did well to prevent a forward burst from Jones down the right and made a telling touch as the youngster almost burst into the box.
At the other ends, Mark Cousins was scrambling as Lee Holmes bent a left-footed effort as the ball broke to him outside the area, but it flashed just wide of the target.
A slick passing interchange from the visitors allowed the ball to find its way to Jones on the right – after skipping past McAllister, it needed a block from Jordan Moore-Taylor to take the sting out of the effort and allowing Hamon to collect.
And then Hamon was again forced to make a terrific one-on-one save when Cureton slipped a ball into the path of Matt Partridge, whose high effort was clawed away.
Holmes was looking like one of the chief threats for Exeter and a pop shot from 25 yards needed blocking out. Shortly after he beat a man and dinked into the six-yard box from the right-hand side, but Morrison volleyed wide under pressure.
Chambers had the ball in the back of the net towards the end of the first period for the visitors – a high, looping effort found the top corner, but to his dismay the assistant referee had his flag up as the game remained goalless.
Midfielder Ryan Harley attempted to break the deadlock before half-time as he cut in off the left, but pulled an effort wide of the near post from 20 yards.
Half-time: Exeter City 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 0
The Daggers started the second period brightly and were close to opening the scoring just after the restart. Billy Bingham was released down the left with only Matt Oakley left defending – he stood up the attacker well and ultimately the Daggers man wasn’t able to pick up Jones at the far post, and screwed a delivery wide.
Jones then won a free-kick as he took a tumble, and Hamon had to scoop the wet ball around his near post as the midfielder fired a free-kick over the wall.
But for all the Daggers’ pressure, it was the Grecians that opened the scoring on the hour. Picking the ball up on the right, substitute Keohane showed terrific footwork to beat his marker and then curled a left-footed effort beyond Mark Cousins and into the top far corner.
And then Nichols was given a total gift for the Grecians’ second. Just after Hamon had shown some great footwork to twice sell dummies to Cureton, goalkeeper Cousins tried something similar with teammate Ian Gayle – but the defender played a blind pass to set up Nichols for a tap-in under the bar, with the goalkeeper nowhere to be seen.
The Grecians nearly added a third soon after as sub David Wheeler burst to the byline and pulled back for Morrison – a deft flick was taken off target by a recovering defender.
Keohane then almost added a second as he linked up well on the left of the box with Morrison but Cousins made a sprawling stop.
Pat Baldwin was then introduced for Morrison for the final 10 minutes of the game, making a return after spending a majority of the season consigned to the injury table.
Dagenham had the final say as former City striker Cureton added one to his ever-growing tally as he diverted in from Chambers’ low cross – and was also applauded from the home fans for a neat finish.
But it was the last action of note as Exeter ended the campaign with a win.
Full-time: Exeter City 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1
Exeter City: Hamon; Davies, Ribeiro, Moore-Taylor, McAllister; Oakley, Harley, Holmes (Keohane 51); Nicholls (Wheeler 62), Nichols, Morrison (Baldwin 79).
Unused subs: Pym, Tillson, Jay, Reid.
Goals: Keohane (61), Nichols (69).
Dagenham & Redbridge: Cousins; Partridge, Gayle, Doe, Bingham; Jones (Howell 64), Ogogo, Boucaud (Jakubiak 71 (Doidge 89)), Hemmings; Chambers, Cureton.
Unused subs: Moore, Connors, Raymond, Obileye.
Goal: Cureton (90).
Attendance: 3,645 (167 away).
Referee: Brendan Malone