Dagenham & Redbridge boss Daryl McMahon was delighted to see his side get the better of Maidstone United on Boxing Day.
Myles Weston’s 37th-minute goal proved the difference between the National League rivals at Victoria Road, with the win leaving Daggers one point off a play-off place.
And McMahon was especially pleased to see his men keep the lowly visitors off the scoreboard for a first clean sheet in six matches.
“Delighted to get three points. We know Boxing Day are always tough games,” he told the club website.
“All the lads obviously had yesterday [Christmas Day] off like all teams do, sometimes the games can be a bit indifferent and I thought it probably was a little bit today.
“But we’re delighted that we kept a clean sheet, really important that we did that, and got the three points.
“I thought we looked rusty. The performance wasn’t at a level that we as a group want to be at, but when you’re not at that level you want to be at it’s important that you defend properly and do your best to keep a clean sheet and I thought the boys did that excellently.
“It was fully deserved. I thought they defended really well and El [Justham] as well when El was called upon.
“We had two probably brilliant chances to pull away from Maidstone and while it’s 1-0 they’ve left a lot of players forward to try and get back into the game. I thought we defended really well.”
Junior Morias saw an early effort saved by Daniel Barden, while Omar Mussa fired another chance over before finding Weston, 34, on the right to cut inside and curl his shot home.
Elliot Justham denied Jerome Binnon-Williams just before the hour with a strong save, while substitute Paul McCallum sent a good chance straight at Barden.
“It was a good bit of play by Mussa [for Weston’s goal] and there was two, three or four times during the game when we could’ve slid somebody through,” added McMahon.
“Maidstone in that first half were quite high, but we just lacked that final killer pass really.
“I thought Westy was really aggressive on the ball there, took their left-back into the box and it was a great finish. He just used their centre-half to shape it around them and into the net. It was a fantastic finish from Westy.”