Comeback win caps it all off for Wayne
WAYNE Burnett was left amazed once more and hailed Dagenham & Redbridge’s ninth-placed finish as a “fantastic achievement” after they signed off with a comeback win at Cheltenham.
The unfancied Daggers hit back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to win 3-2 at the Robins, surpassing all pre-season expectations.
“I’m led to believe that we finished ninth which is a fantastic achievement for this football club, finishing above teams like Plymouth and Portsmouth,” Burnett said.
“The players never cease to amaze me and have surpassed all my expectations.
“The remit was to stay in the league and we have done that. We were oddson favourites to go down and probably will be next season as well.
“We scored a bit of a fortunate goal to start with but we managed to come from behind twice which is good.
“At one point out there we had three youth team players on the pitch and that is fantastic because they are the foundations to this football club.
“We cannot go out and buy so we have to produce and develop our own players. Our unique selling point is that we have some fantastic football coaches.”
Cheltenham boss Mark Yates admitted the way his team slipped to another home defeat summed up a difficult season for the Robins, who finished 17th after play-off appearances in each of the last two seasons.
They started well and took the lead through Steve Elliott’s header from Joe Hanks’ free-kick in the 17th minute.
But it all started to go wrong when Sido Jombati scored a farcical own goal, chipping over debutant goalkeeper Connor Roberts in the 21stminute.
“We were 1-0 up playing well and have you ever seen an own goal like it? ”Yates said. “I have no idea what Sido was doing and I felt sorry for Connor, who knew he couldn’t handle it, but maybe he should have given the indirect free-kick away.
“We played some good stuff in the first half, but we looked a bit leggy in the second and it was a complete summing up of our season.We had a decent penalty shout before their third goal, but I am not going to complain about that.
“We have a few young boys a game and they did exactly what we asked of them apart from the goals we conceded, which we all poor.
“We have some talent and it’s up to us to nurture it and get the best out of it. The young lads weren’t the problem.We will now reflect on it and see where we go.”
STAR MAN ABU OGOGO Dagen