Hartlepool United 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 1: Match report, great win for Pools
Hartlepool United moved closer to League Two safety with an exciting victory over bottom club Dagenham & Redbridge.
Billy Paynter gave Pools the ideal start with a fourth-minute penalty with Jake Carroll's first goal for the club doubling the lead.
Matt Cash's screamer pulled one back but Jake Gray's sixth goal of the season settled it nine minutes after half-time giving Pools back-to-back league wins for the first time since August.
It gives Pools a seven point cushion over second-bottom York and nine over the Daggers.
Pools got off to a sensational start, taking a fourth-minute lead.
Nathan Thomas played a good ball in from the left side into the six-yard box, where Luke James was felled, inexplicably, by Joe Widdowson.
PAYNTER stepped up and put his spot-kick into the keeper's bottom left corner.
And Pools were in dreamland when they doubled the lead in the 14th minute.
Thomas delivered the free-kick from wide on the right, with CARROLL getting his head to it to send it into the keeper's right corner.
Pools had a spring in their step with Thomas shooting from outside of boot from 21 yards, Liam O'Brien down well to save to his right
It was all Pools now and Jones headed wide following another Thomas free-kick
But The Daggers were back in it on 33 minutes with a goal out of the blue.
CASH picked the ball up in midfield and fired a low bullet past the despairing dive of Trevor Carson.
It lifted the Londoners and Carroll went from goal-scorer to goal-saver in the 39th minute.
Pools were cut open by Dagenham and Passley sent his shot towards the Town End net but the left-back was there to clear off the line.
The first threat of the second half came from Daggers, Christian Doidge just wide from a Justin Hoyte cross.
It was all Dagenham and Cash was inches away from a Daggers equaliser in the 53rd minute.
But just seconds after almost letting Daggers equalise, Pools made it 3-1 in the 54th minute.
James found GRAY who advanced and scored from the edge of box with a great finish.
This was proving an entertaining match and Daggers should have made it 3-2 when they opened up Pools just before the hour but a great save by Carson thwarted Passley.
Pools were soon back in charge with some good moves and a series of corners but could not add to their tally.
Thomas showed great skill and cross from left but Paynter's header from close range was saved by O'Brien.
Dagenham were not without their moments with sub Jamie Cureton heading over from a Cash cross.
But Pools saw out the game with comfort to extend the gap to the bottom two to seven and nine points over York and Dagenham.
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE 1
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, R Jones (Jackson 46), Carroll, Featherstone (Walker 74), James, Gray (Bingham 81), Hawkins, Thomas, Paynter.
Subs: Bartlett, Walker, Bingham, Oates, Woods, Richards, Jackson.
Goals: Paynter pen 4, Carroll 14, Gray 54
Dagenham & Redbridge: O'Brien, Hoyte, Dikamona, Worrall, Widdowson, Bocaud (Cureton 67), Muldoon, Hemmings (Chambers 60), Cash, Doidge
(O Hawkins 56)
Subs: Cousins, Cureton, McClure, Chambers, O Hawkins, J Jones, Shepherd
Goal: Cash 33
Referee: Darren England (S Yorks)
Att: 3,947 (away 88)