Dagenham boss John Still saluted his charges as they stretched their unbeaten home run to seven games with a battling 1-0 win over basement boys Barnet.

Midfielder Matthew Saunders' 17th-minute strike, his second goal in three games, did the trick for the hosts as they leap-frogged Rochdale to go 12th in the table and just three points away from breaking into the play-off positions.

"It was a hard-fought win, but we knew it was going to be," praised Still. "I said on Friday at training that I believed this would one of our toughest games of the season - and it was.

"It would have been nice to have moved up a few more places in the table, but if we keep on winning we'll get up there. Local derbies are always tough. You have to make sure you do everything you can to win the game, that's the most important thing.

"But overall I was delighted wit the victory. It would have been great to have got that second goal to make sure of the victory earlier, but we've got the three points."

As early as the eighth minute Jake Reed rifled inches wide of a post as the Daggers' made their early intentions clear. At the other end Jake Hyde shot wide but it was the hosts who dominated proceedings, although they failed to bag a second goal to kill off the contest.

Defeat for Barnet was their third away loss in a row, with the relegation-strugglers having now not won in their last five matches. The impressive Sam Williams laid off for Saunders to rifle home into the roof of the net after a bright opening from the hosts.

"It wasn't pretty but we got the right result," reflected match-winner Saunders. "We're trying our hardest to break into the play-offs, we'll keep doing that until we get there."

Barnet joint head coach Mark Robson admitted: "We didn't create enough chances unfortunately, but at 1-0 we always thought we could get something. We knew it was going to be a tough game because Dagenham have been doing well and of course there was extra spice with it being a derby.

"We're just disappointed that we've not taken anything from the game. We played well in patches but didn't give ourselves enough chances to score. Their goal was a good one but we could have done better to prevent it. It's no secret it's tough being at the bottom, but we've got enough quality in this squad to get out of trouble."