‘Fantastic’ Billy’s the Kee for Stanley
ACCRINGTON Stanley’s hopes of achieving automatic promotion remain on course after a narrow victory against Dagenham & Redbridge.
Billy Kee notched his 16th goal of the season with a composed leftfooted finish in the dying embers of the game when the likelihood of a draw seemed all but certain.
Accrington manager John Coleman said:“It was a tough game as Dagenham are fighting for their lives and they offered us a real threat throughout the first half. I thought we struggled to get to grips with them defensively.
“In the second half we kept plugging away and we finally got our reward.
“I don’t think there’s a more fitting player that could have scored.
“I thought Billy was fantastic. That kind of dogged determinism despite getting battered all afternoon is what sets him apart.”
Jamie Cureton spurned a golden opportunity for the Daggers in the first half but could only watch on in horror as his effort cleared the bar.
The Daggers are still bottom of the Football League on 25 points but the gap between themselves and safety has now increased to ten points with nine games left.
Despite going into the encounter bottom, the Daggers largely held their own throughout the first period.
Stanley’s opportunities, by and large, were reduced to long-range efforts as both Shay McCartan and Scott Brown had their efforts parried away having stung the palms of Liam O’Brien.
After the re-start Accrington got to grips with a stubborn Dagenham side as first Kee saw his pulled effort fall agonisingly wide of the post before Brown failed to convert with the goal was at his mercy.
The pressure finally told in the 83rd minute when Kee received the ball in the penalty box from Sean McConville and saw his effort initially blocked. But he collected the rebound and nestled a leftfooted shot past the despairing O’Brien.
Daggers manager John Still said: “It was absolutely not what we needed and I’m desperately disappointed because the boys have competed really well against a side that is going for promotion.
“We should have been one-nil up at the break – there’s no doubt about that whatsoever. If Jamie’s effort had gone in then it would have changed the dynamic of the game as they would have had to push out a bit more.
“In the second half they sat a lot deeper and were a lot more patient with the ball and it was frustrating as it restricted our opportunities.
“As long as we compete I can suffer disappointing performances.”
STAR MAN BILLY KEE Accring