Howell sticks a Dagger in Stevenage’s play-off push

Dean Parrett

Dean Parrett - Credit: Archant

Luke Howell’s controversial second-half goal handed Dagenham and Redbridge a 1-0 win over Stevenage in Sky Bet League Two.

Howell scored a tap-in from three yards from Billy Bingham’s cross. The assistant had his flag raised for a run from Joss Labadie but, after a lengthy discussion with the referee, and then the fourth official, it was deemed a goal.

Ugly scenes followed the final whistle, with Ronnie Henry particularly irate after being the victim of an alleged biting incident.

It ended Boro’s eight game unbeaten streak and dropped them out of the play-off places.

Dagenham made two changes to the team that beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0, with Jamie Cureton and Ashley Chambers dropping to the bench for Joss Labadie and Christian Doidge.

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Graham Westley named an unchanged side from Tuesday’s draw with Exeter and it yielded similar results: plenty of forward promise but little in the way of goal-scoring chances.

Boro were much the better team in the first-half, and the best chance fell to Charlie Lee, following good hustle and a cross by Tom Pett, but he headed over. Kevin Lisbie showed his experience to win fouls in dangerous positions and set up attacks but his chances on goal were limited. And it was the same for Lee, who looked like Boro’s most likely culprit to open the scoring.

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Chris Day was a spectator for much of the first 45 minutes as Dagenham opted to hit the corners and back the pace of Joss Labadie and Ashley Hemmings against the full-backs. It was a tactic that only worked once but Labadie hit the side netting with a thunderous strike from close range.

Howell’s controversial goal was scored 10 minutes after the restart and it served to deflate the hosts, who were poor for the majority of the second half.

Westley threw the dice with 25 minutes to go, bringing on teenage sensation Ben Kennedy for Tom Pett, and then Bruno Andrade for Bira Dembele, and Boro laid seige on the Dagenham box, but the defence defence didn’t break, even after five minutes of injury time.


Stevenage: Day, Dembele (Andrade - 86), Pett (Kennedy - 74), Parrett, Wells, Lee, Okimo, Henry, Keane, Lisbie, Martin (Whelpdale - 45). Subs: Beasant, Bond, Walton, Johnson.

Dagengam & Redbridge: Cousins, Doe, Bingham (Partridge -80), Ogogo, Doidge (Cureton - 74), Labadie, Howell, Hemmings, Obileye, Boucaud, Widdowson. Subs: Moore, Chambers, Gayle, Yusuff, Jakubiak.

Attendance: 2,795

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