In the early exchanges, it was the Daggers who settled the quicker and Jalal was soon tested, doing well to push Streven's shot round the post. Indeed the visitors looked the better side at this stage, with quick passing and movement. Our defence appeared a little shaky at times and had to survive a few anxious moments.
At the other end, Goulding was playing the targetman role well, but our attacks were sporadic and somewhat disjointed.
However, we gradually began to gain a greater foothold in the game. On 20 mins, Cummings cut in from the left to set up (either!) Goulding or Bartley, but the two got in each other's way and the chance was gone.
Then, in the 24th minute we got the stroke of luck we've been lacking of late. Bradbury ran at the visitors' defence and his left-footed shot from the edge of the area took a huge deflection, leaving Roberts a helpless spectator as the ball found the right-hand corner of the net.
However, there was nothing lucky about the way we doubled our lead on the half hour mark: Hollands found himself in space on left and smartly pulled the ball back for Pitman to flick it past the onrushing Roberts in true goal-poacher fashion. It must be the new haircut!
The Dagenham keeper had been taunted with "Dodgy keeper!" chants by the North Stand ever since he scuffed a kick early on, but there was nothing dodgy about the save he made shortly afterwards to deny Hollands. The Cherries' midfielder struck a sweet right-footed volley which he saved brilliantly, diving to his left.
So, without playing particularly well, we found ourselves two-up at half-time.
The second period began in similar fashion to the first: the visitors had plenty of possession but lacked a cutting edge up front; we played well in patches but struggled to find our rhythm. In fact, neither side managed to create many clear-cut chances.
Goulding was substituted on the hour mark to be replaced by McQuoid who, while lively, was much less effective at holding the ball up.
Despite edging possession, the Daggers were making little impression on the home defence and it took a set piece in the 72nd minute to get them back into the game. Saunders floated in a free kick from near the corner flag and Nurse headed firmly past Jalal.
This resulted in a nervy last quarter of an hour with the visitors piling on the pressure and even Anderton having to make crucial tackles in and around our box. They came very close to scoring when Nurse got past Bradbury and thundered a shot off the top of the crossbar.
However, gaps began to appear at the other end and McQuoid had a good chance to put the result beyond doubt when the ref played the advantage after a foul on Bartley. McQuoid was so surprised by the decision that he hesitated and the chance went begging.
Agonisingly, there were 5 minutes of added time, and we're not particularly adept at taking the ball out to the corner flag. Tempers flared around the dugouts as we (allegedly!) delayed the ball being returned to play.
Great relief at the final whistle. Rather an "ugly" win, but how we needed it. Only 3500 witnessed it, but gave the players emphatic support throughout.
Nobody was outstanding, but I'm giving it to Anderton for commitment and leading by example.
AFCB: Jalal, Guyett, Pearce, Cooper, Bradbury, Cummings, Bartley, Anderton, Pitman, Hollands, Goulding
Subs: Pryce, Lindfield, McQuoid (for Goulding, 60 mins), Sturrock (for Pitman, 90 mins), Molesley