Not even in London’s West End do you get drama as thrilling as Mansfield Town’s rollercoaster victory in the East End on Saturday.
Agatha Christie would have difficulty writing in as many twists and turns to the plot as we got, the story thankfully having a happy ending as Adi Yussuf took centre stage in the finale with the winning goal – his first in the Football League.
After the game boss Adam Murray revealed the players had come back out motivated by a dressing room row which saw various players having to be separated as they argued over who was to blame which he said showed how much they care.
Mansfield arrived with the third meanest defence in the Football League, grabbed an early lead, then conceded three goals before scoring a penalty in the League for the first time in 93 games two years before.
Then, just when it seemed the struggling Daggers would hold on for the win, two late goals saw the pendulum swing for Mansfield as they won at Dagenham for the first time.
They hadn’t even scored there before so had obviously been saving them up for this one.
The game also represented Mansfield’s fourth away win of the season, already one more than the whole of last season.
It was the first time Mansfield have come from two goals down to win a game since October 2011, when they beat Alfreton 3-2 at home, Stags’ first win during the month of October for three years, and the first back-to-back away wins since April 2014.
The first time Mansfield scored four goals away was in the 4-2 win at Hartlepool in March 2014 and the Stags’ last 4-3 away win was in November 2005 at Rotherham.
But this was a win that put Mansfield back up into the play-offs spots in sixth and, ahead of two home games on the bounce, represents a significant opportunity.
An amazing first half had seen Mansfield go in trailing 3-2 in an end-to-end 45 minutes that could have ended up 6-6.
Left back Mal Benning volleyed Stags into a spectacular sixth minute lead with his right foot from just outside the box, but Matt McClure levelled within three minutes after no one closed him down on the edge of the box.
Mansfield were then rocked by two goals in three minutes by Ashley Chambers on 30 and 32 minutes, the first after he had left Ryan Tafazolli and Benning on their backsides with desperate blocks, the second after he outpaced Tafazolli to a through ball.
Stags bit back from the spot on 37 minutes through Matt Green, not the most convincing of penalty kicks but one that just beat the dive of the keeper down the middle.
Tafazolli and Craig Westcarr both wasted gilt-edges chances while home keeper Liam O’Brian also made two key saves as it seemed the Daggers might chalk up their first home win of the campaign.
The second half saw Stags pushing forwards almost continually though Brian Jensen did have one big save to make from a counter-attack.
But Mansfield saved the best for last. On 81 minutes Adam Chapman launched a right wing corner to the far post and Krystian Pearce ran at it to bury a rocket header – his first goal for the club.
Still the thrills were not over and with four minutes to go Yussuf ran at goal on the right of the box after Green has battled a defender out the way.
He teased a defender and from a tight angle, drilled a powerful low shot under the keeper for a superb finish to a memorable match.