Aaron Pierre’s solitary strike gave Wycombe an important 1-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge.The defender struck early in the second half to secure all three points in a scrappy game, although his team-mates were relieved to see Jamie Cureton squander a great, late chance to deny them victory.
Gareth Ainsworth handed a start to Matt McClure in attack in the only change from the side that won 3-2 at Luton in midweek, with Fred Onyedinma making way.
Wanderers started on the front foot and pushed high up the pitch to send a number of dangerous deliveries into the hosts’ box, although that did leave plenty of space behind the Wycombe defence for Dagenham to try to exploit.
Sam Saunders’ wicked cross on 10 minutes just missed Sam Wood at the back post before Wood forced the first save of the game from Mark Cousins at the end of a fine move involving Matt Bloomfield and Paul Hayes.
Then Hayes took one touch too many inside the box when the ball was worked into his path, before the Blues felt they should have had a penalty when Scott Doe stuck out an arm to block Sam Wood’s cross, but the referee was unsighted and waved the appeals away.
There was little quality in the game although a rare attack from the Daggers nearly broke the deadlock just before the break when Jamie Cureton’s glancing header looked like it might loop over Matt Ingram, only for the keeper to tip it over the bar.
The half-time whistle blew to end the first goalless half of football the Blues have been involved in since February 7th, and the start of the second period didn’t offer much hope of the deadlock being broken with both defences remaining firmly on top.
Fred Onyedinma joined the attack on the hour-mark in place of Matt McClure, and within five minutes, the Blues were ahead through the unlikely source of Aaron Pierre. A succession of corners cranked up the pressure from the visitors and Pierre kept his cool to poke home from Sam Saunders’ cross in front of a bouncing away end.
The introduction of Jodi Jones from the Daggers’ bench instilled some new energy into the hosts’ attack but it was Wycombe who came close to finding the next goal, with Joe Jacobson’s exquisite free-kick bouncing back off the bar with 12 minutes remaining.
Aaron Pierre came close to a second goal when his header was cleared off the line by Billy Bingham before his next headed effort from the resulting corner was saved by Cousins.
The chances kept coming as Sam Wood dragged his shot wide from Paul Hayes’ lay-off but there was a real scare at the other end when Mark Cousins’ long punt found Jamie Cureton onside but he tapped the ball wide with just the keeper to beat on 88 minutes.
It proved to be costly for the Daggers as they were unable to salvage a point in stoppage time and left the Blues celebrating a 12th away win of the season.
Wycombe: Ingram, Yennaris, Jacobson, Mawson, Pierre, Saunders, Bean, Bloomfield, Wood, Hayes, McClure (Onyedinma 59).
Unused subs: Lynch, Rowe, Murphy, Ephraim, Craig, Holloway.
Dagenham: Cousins, Obileye, Widdowson, Doe, Ogogo, Chambers (Jones 67), Howell (Jakubiak 74), Bingham, Boucaud, Hemmings, Cureton.
Unused subs: Moore, Doidge, Labadie, Partridge, Gayle.
Referee: Mr G Etchingham