Carlisle United set the tone and the tempo from the first whistle in response to the criticism they had received in the wake of a poor display at Accrington and they got their reward when loanee Jason Kennedy brought Brunton Park to its feet with a well worked goal.
But they were made to survive a frantic period of time added on as they survived a penalty appeal, a sending off and a crunching volley which ricocheted down off the bar as the Daggers rallied and finally showed some fight.
The game took time to settle in the windy conditions but United forced a corner when a Dempsey set piece was put behind by Labadie. His second delivery had Cousins worried but he got the punch before Archibald-Henville could get there.
A defence splitting pass from Grainger sent Brough through on 10 minutes but his near post delivery was stabbed behind for another corner. Dempsey was able to deliver under pressure as he went for a short routine and O'Hanlon looked on in disbelief as his volley on the stretch bounced back off the inside of the post. Connors kept his eye on it and gratefully hooked it clear.
Another deep corner caused problems for the Daggers as Grainger gave O'Hanlon a dipping ball to chase. He had to readjust and his powerful header crashed harmlessly into the side netting.
An error from Bingham in midfield allowed Asamoah to break and he quickly spotted Dempsey as he raced on in support. The young midfielder cut inside but he couldn't get his shot away as Bingham recovered to make a block.
Dagenham fashioned their first chance on 25 minutes when Bingham was left in space at a throw in. He took a touch and let one fly and Gillespie had to parry as it swirled and dipped in front of him.
Carlisle stepped things up after the scare and a quickly taken Grainger free kick gave space for Young to cross. He picked out Brough at the back stick but it was a difficult chance and he could only place it behind.
A through ball from Kennedy put Asamoah in a race to connect before Cousins could get there and the keeper threw himself at it as he got there in the nick of time. Dagenham had a good spell of their own ahead of the break but they couldn't make it count as United defended high and held their shape.
Dempsey's crosses were dangerous throughout and he whipped one across the face of goal as Wyke won a free kick out wide. The big striker was there to meet it but it hit the back of his heel and spun away as it appeared that all he had to do was tap it in.
O'Hanlon popped another header over as Carlisle pushed forward ahead of the break and a rasping shot from Asamoah was almost snapped up on the rebound when Cousins allowed it to spill out of his grasp. Dicker kept it alive and the cut back for Wyke had to be charged down as he angled to slot it into the bottom corner.
Hearts fluttered moments before the break when a long ball forward caught Gillespie and O'Hanlon in two minds. Cureton waited and watched but the blue shirts did enough to squeeze it away before the damage could be done.
United had three chances in quick succession after the break and Wyke should have done better when Asamoah held play up before sending him clear. He hesitated as he went into the box and that allowed Connors to step across and tackle.
Dempsey took the corner and Cousins was almost caught out as it bent wickedly in the air. He had to dive high to palm it from beneath the bar as it threatened to cross the line. Dempsey went deep for the second of his deliveries and the unmarked O'Hanlon sighed in frustration as his header flew high over the bar.
The deserved goal came in fortuitous circumstances when a Wyke cross was struck on the volley by Brough. It was heading wide until it glanced off Kennedy and deflected into the bottom corner.
Carlisle kept the pressure on, with Asamoah and Dempsey shots blocked, but Wyke thought he'd doubled the lead when he showed strength to get to a header. The keeper was beaten but it flew just wide of the upright.
It was all about United and Young pulled wide to call for a pass from Asamoah as the pressure continued to mount. The cross was superb but Jakubiak was back to cover the lively movement.
Carlisle stayed tight through the closing stages, and survived a late shout for a penalty when Labadie tumbled to the floor. There was more drama as tempers erupted in the Carlisle box and that brought red cards for Obileye and Archibald-Henville once the situation had calmed down.
The Blues survived the frantic closing minutes, as the ball bounced down off the bar from a fierce stirke, and the final whistle brought a fully deserved three points which took the Blues six points clear of the League Two drop zone.
United - Kennedy (55)
United - Kennedy (59), Grainger (90)
Sent off - Archibald-Henville (90)
Daggers - Obileye (71), Yusuff (80), Labadie (90)
Sent off - Obileye (90)
Carlisle United - Gillespie, Young, O'Hanlon, Archibald-Henville, Grainger, Brough, Dempsey, Kennedy, Dicker (Potts 83), Wyke (Griffith 89), Asamoah (Rigg 85). Subs - Hanford, Paynter, Beck, Atkinson.
Dagenham - Cousins, Doe, Bingham, Cureton (Doidge 82), Ogogo, Boucaud, Labadie, Partridge, Obileye, Chambers (Yusuff 61), Connors (Jakubiak 72). Subs - Moore, Raymond, Jones, Gayle.
Referee - Mr Graham Salisbury
Attendance - 3,660 (123 away fans)