Crawley 3 Dagenham 2: Murphy brace earns tense win

Crawley Town V Bristol Rovers (Pic by Jon & Joe Rigby) SUS-151121-221829008
Crawley Town V Bristol Rovers (Pic by Jon & Joe Rigby) SUS-151121-221829008
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Two goals by Rhys Murphy plus another by Matt Harrold earned Reds a 3-2 win against Dagenham.

Harrold and Murphy scored a goal each in the last five minutes of the first half to earn Crawley a 2-0 lead at half-time.

Substitute Christian Doidge made it 2-1 midway through the second half before Murphy added his second of the game to create a 3-1 lead with jjst eight minutes to go.

However Crawley fans were made to sweat as Dagenham’s Jamie Cureton scored an 85th minute second goal.

They then had to hold out for an exciting last few minutes plus five minutes of added-time to clinch a deserved three points.

Crawley Town manager Mark Yates made two changes to the side which lost 3-1 at Carlisle.

Luke Rooney started his first game since being sent-off against Accrington Stanley on September 26.

He came in place of the suspended Simon Walton while Roarie Deacon was prefered to loanee defender Josh Emmanuel who was dropped to the bench.

Dagenham also made two changes from the side which was held to a draw in the FA Cup by Whitehawk with Justin Hoyte and Joe Widdowson selected in place of Jack Connors and Andre Boucard who were on the bench.

It was all Crawley in the first 20 minutes with four corners earned but no clear-cut chances to score were created.

Dagenham then had the first chance against the run of play after 25 minutes when Josh Passley’s cross from the right was lifted wide and over the bar by topscorer Jamie Cureton.

Cureton, 40, is the oldest outfield player playing in the tpp four divisions but he again looked sharp as he turned quickly to get on the end of another Passley ball but this time his chance was blocked by Josh Yorwerth before the ball was gathered by keeper Mark Cousins.

Crawley took the lead five minutes before half-time when Gwion Edwards’ cross was not cleared by Justin Hoyte and Harrold seized upon the mistake to score from close-range.

Reds then doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time as Mitch Hancox crossed from the left and Murphy rose to nod home as well-taken header.

After the break Dagenham brought on striker Christian Doidge for Kyle Vassell as they looked improve their firepower up front.

Daggers went close eight minutes vafter the restart when Passley crossed to Cureton just a few yards in front of goal but he hammered the ball against the crossbar.

Dagenham pulled a goal back in the 65th minute when Cureton teed up Doidge to score.

This came seconds after Reds had a penalty appeal turned down at the other end when Clevid Dikamona brought down Harrold.

Murphy seemed to have sealed victory with eight minutes to go when he went on a run, the visitors failed to close him down and he fired a powerful shot from just outside the area.

Just as it looked like it was all over, Dagenham scored a second goal with five minutes to go when Passley linked up again with Cureton who rolled his shot under keeper Darryl Flahavan.

REDS: Flahavan, Bradley, Edwards, Smith, Rooney (Jenkins 76), Young, Harrold (Barnard 87), Deacon (Fenelon 65), Hancox, Yorwerth, Murphy.

UNUSED SUBS: Preston, Ashton, Tomlin, Emmanuel

DAGGERS: Cousins, Passley, Labadie, Nosworthy, Dikamona, Cureton, Vassell (Doidge 46), Jones, Dunne, Hoyte, Widdowson.

UNUSED SUBS: O’Brien, Connors, Boucard, Chambers, Pask, Obileye

REFEREE: Brendan Malone

ATTENDANCE: 1.483 (155 away)

CRAWLEY OBSERVER MAN OF THE MATCH: Rhys Murphy

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