Police are called in following bite claim
POLICE were called to the Lamex Stadium last night after Stevenage defender Ronnie Henry accused Joss Labadie of biting his finger, manager Graham Westley revealed.
A controversial second-half goal from Luke Howell earned Daggers their second win of the week, while Stevenage’s untimely stumble saw them lose ground in the race for the play-offs.
Yet rather than be stunned by a questionable goal, or his own side’s profligacy, Westley was left bemused by the alleged clash between Henry and Labadie.
“He’s not in a good situation, he’s in the treatment room and he’s suffered quite a nasty injury,” said Westley.
“Ronnie was in a state of shock.You don’t go on a football pitch expecting to lose your finger, and Ronnie was horrified by what has gone on because it’s a football match and he’s nearly lost his finger.
“It has become a police matter and when it becomes a police matter anybody in a responsible position should let it be dealt with by the authorities.
“So in passing comment, word is around the place, that there’s been an incident and the police are involved.”
Stevenage’s patchy pitch made it difficult for both sides to play passing football, but Westley’s outfit started brightly and controlled most of the first half. The Daggers went ahead nine minutes into the second half with a controversial goal that took a long period of deliberation between the officials before it was allowed.
Labadie, seemingly the central figure at the Lamex, was clearly offside when a ball was hit forwards and the linesman raised his flag.
But because he did not touch the ball play continued and Howell stroked Christian Doidge’s cross into the goal.
Stevenage were stunned, but went close to a leveller late on, only for visiting ‘keeper Mark Cousins to thwart Bruno Andrade.
“It’s a difficult decision,” Dagenham boss Wayne Burnett said of the goal.
“But he’s given it and that’s the rules, are you interfering with play, or are you not interfering with play.
“I didn’t really see it and I don’t want to comment on it because it would be unfair at this present time.
“It was a very good performance.We changed the team because it wasn’t conducive to how we wanted to try and play and I left our top goalscorer out.
“We had the wind against us and the players said at half-time that the wind was a bit of a factor and we can’t play on this pitch.We played some okay football at times but we know we can do better, we played the conditions.”
STAR MAN MARK COUSIN