Wrexham will now have to do it the hard way if they’re to return to English football’s fourth tier for the first time in 14 years.
They’ll face a play-off semi-final against either Notts County or Grimsby Town the weekend after next, before a potential winner-takes-all clash at Wembley on Sunday, June 5.
The Welsh team knew they’d need to upset the odds to win a famous promotion, but fans travelled to east London in hopeful mood after watching their side trounce the champions-elect 3-0 a week ago.
Another victory over Stockport, this time in the FA Trophy semi-final, plus the 6-1 victory over Weymouth, gave rise to hopes they’d timed their promotion run to perfection.
But events at Dagenham soon suggested otherwise, Junior Morias and Myles Weston among those with chances in a first half dominated by the home side.
On the stroke of half time, Paul McCallum had a goal disallowed for Dagenham.
Then, ten minutes after the break, the home team got the goal they deserved, Morias slotting past Dibble.
Elsewhere, events at Edgeley Park were also going against Wrexham, the Hatters taking a two goal lead to press home their claims for the league title.
And by the time McCallum scored a second for Dagenham, The Wrexham faithful were already readying themselves for the rollercoaster of play-off football.
A third Dagenham goal, this time from Matt Robinson, put the seal on a day of anti-climax for the Dragons.
It ended 3-0, a result Phil Parkinson’s men will want to put behind them before the play-off semi-final in two weeks’ time.
They’ll definitely pay at least one visit to Wembley this season though - Wrexham take on Bromley in the FA Trophy Final a week today.