After a lively start by Stanley where Padraig Amond fired over, it was the Daggers who took control - and kept it.
Brian Woodall's header at the far post was caught by Cameron Belford while Medy Elito's free kick was just over the bar.
The goal was coming and, in the 21st minute, Elito's cross from the left found midfielder Saunders who got in front of his marker and headed home from eight yards out to delight the 37 away fans in a crowd of just 1031.
The Daggers piled on the pressure, looking for a second, with Sam Williams' 25-yard effort pushed away by Belford.
Stanley debutant Laurie Wilson tried his luck on stroke of half-time, an effort which was well caught by keeper Chris Lewington - his first real action of the half.
Dagenham started the second half at the same pace with Abu Ogogo having a goalbound strike blocked.
But number two was not long in coming as, seven minutes after the re-start, Woodall's cross was fired low into the net by Howell.
Stanley tried to get back in it with Lee Molyneux denied by Lewington but they just huffed and puffed and will now be looking over their shoulders at the relegation spots.