AFC Fylde’s play-off hopes suffered a blow after defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Daggers dominated throughout with first-half goals from Chike Kandi and Mason Bloomfield leaving the visitors trailing the promotion places by five points with seven games to play.

Dave Challinor made three changes to the side that drew with Hartlepool United last time out, notably with Jordan Flores making his league debut in place of Zaine Francis-Angol, away on international duty.

Dagenham were first to really threaten when England C star Fejiri Okenabirhie broke clear allowing Dan Sparkes to fire a low ball across goal that was turned around the post by the sliding boot of Simon Grand.

Another Sparkes cross caused havoc in the Fylde area however Okenabirhie scooped his first-time effort well over Jay Lynch’s crossbar.

The hosts were enjoying the lion’s share of possession and only a good block on the edge of the area from Grand prevented the dangerous Okenabirhie from testing Lynch with a stinging volley.

Despite creating very little in the opening 20 minutes, the Coasters should have taken the lead when James Hardy played Danny Rowe through, however the frontman’s placed strike came back off the far post.

Dagenham had a glorious chance of their own seconds later, when Bloomfield cut inside only to see his strike from eight yards stopped on the line by Luke Burke.

The visitors were starting to grow into the game as the half-hour mark passed and Rowe whistled a  free-kick wide of the near post.

However, just as it looked as though Fylde were on top, Dagenham struck with a sucker punch. Ben Nunn let fly from 20 yards in the direction of striker Kandi, who flicked the ball beyond a helpless Lynch from six yards.

Dagenham doubled their lead four minutes before the break. Sparkes whipped in yet another pinpoint cross from the left and Bloomfield got in front of his man to spin a strike into the top corner.  

Grand was agonisingly close to finding an immediate reply when his free header looped over the goalkeeper only for it to be nodded off the line by a reeling Craig Robson.  

Challinor made a tactical change at the break, with Matt Blinkhorn partnering Rowe in attack and the latter was first to chance his arm in the second period with a rasping drive that flew just wide.

Bloomfield was close to wrapping it up for the hosts shortly before the hour when his improvised overhead kick was tipped just over by Lynch, although the frontman was flagged offside anyway.

It was becoming wave after wave of attacks from the dazzling Daggers and Bloomfield again went close when he flicked Kandi’s curling effort just over the bar. 

Kandi was causing no end of problems to the Fylde backline and powered past two challenges before squaring to Okenabirhie who couldn’t find the target.

Fylde were getting themselves into dangerous positions but the end product was lacking and it just wasn’t to be their day as a corner flashed across the gaping goalline and away to safety. 

Substitue Serhat Tasdemir brought a little purpose to the Fylde attack, firing two shots at Mark Cousins in the space of 30 seconds, one of which drifted wide whilst the other was comfortable for the Dagenham stopper.

Okenabirhie was desperate to add has name to the scoresheet, however a strong hand from Lynch pushed the forward’s stinging effort around the post. 

Hardy almost pulled one back in added time when he skipped past one challenge in the box, Maradona-turned around another before firing straight at Cousins.

Dagenham: Cousins, Nunn, Pennell, Robson, Howells, Okenabirhie, Adams, Boucard, Sparkes, Kandi (Howell 86), Bloomfield.

Subs not used: Moore, Robinson, N’Gala, Cheek.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Burke, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Flores (Jones 63), Montrose, Bond, Hardy, Muldoon (Blinkhorn 46), Smith (Tasdemir 69), Rowe.

Subs not used: Taylor, Chettle.

Ref: C Brook

Att: 1,168