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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:12 GMT
Norwich break Daggers hearts
Dagenham's Steve West (centre) is challenged by Norwich's Adam Drury (left) and Malky Mackay
Dagenham's West (centre) battles for possession
Norwich 1-0 Dagenham & Redbridge

A last-minute Zema Abbey winner for Norwich sent Dagenham & Redbridge crashing to a heartbreaking exit from the FA Cup.

The non-league side had held their own against the First Division outfit only to be dealt the crucial bodyblow in dramatic late fashion.

Substitute Abbey lunged in at the far post to convert an Adam Drury cross for the goal that sent the Canaries into the fifth round draw.

But the Daggers can hold their heads high in defeat after a game in which there was no shortage of goalmouth action and excitement.

I am just stunned

Dag & Red manager Garry Hill

The match took just a minute to get into its stride and Dagenham keeper Tony Roberts had to dive low to his left to scramble away a first-time David Nielsen shot.

The non-league outfit responded by going straight up the other end and almost taking the lead.

Danny Shipp, who scored in the third round win against Plymouth, was denied another goal when Norwich keeper Robert Green palmed his goalbound shot away for a corner.

Nielsen then thought he had a clear shot on goal but the lunging leg of Daggers defender Ashley Vickers sent the ball out for a corner.

Norwich were beginning to exert some pressure on the part-timers' goal and home midfielder Darel Russell had two shots saved.

KEY MOMENTS
2 mins: Daggers keeper Roberts scrambles a Nielsen shot away
3: Canaries stopper Green keeps out a Shipp shot
90: Abbey scores Norwich's winner

Paul McVeigh kept visiting keeper Roberts on his toes with a shot before Dagenham showed they still posed a goal threat.

Steve West struck a 25-yard free-kick low and hard but keeper Green was equal to the task - diving to his left to gather.

West was back in the thick of the action staright after the interval when he rose highest to meet a cross by Dagenham's on-loan Aston Villa left-winger John McGrath.

But the header was glanced wide, although the open nature of the game continued and made for a tense and exciting match.

The pace and trickery of Norwich's Mark Rivers troubled the visitors and he gave himself a sight of goal midway through the second half.

He struck his angled drive well but impressive Daggers keeper Roberts pulled off an excellent save to keep the scores level.

McDougald could not get enough power on a shot at the other end to trouble keeper Green.

Shipp again went close to add to the anxiety of the home fans whose fears of an upset were erased with Abbey's late strike.


Norwich: Green, Drury, Mackay, Fleming, Russell, Mulryne, Holt, McVeigh, Rivers, Roberts, Nielsen (Abbey 77).
Subs not used: Crichton, Llewellyn, Henderson, Kenton. Booked: Abbey.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Roberts, Smith, Heffer, Matthews, Vickers, Shipp, Janney, Terry, McGrath (Rooney 70), West (Stein 89), McDougald.
Subs not used: Cole, Hill, Gothard.

Attendance: 21,164

Referee: P Taylor (Hertfordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's John Murray
"A great relief for for Norwich"
Dagenham boss Gary Hill
"It's a cruel blow for us"

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