Saturday, 26 February 2011

Daggers 1-2 AFC Bournemouth: Norway Ref !

A sad way to start.
RIP Dean Richards
The Daggers succumbed to a late Bournemouth goal to lose 2-1 at Victoria Road in a game full of talking points, as the survival hopes are dented, but only slightly. A quickie at the start, well done to the eight Norwegian Daggers who came over today, nice to see you down here.

As per usual we start with the walk down Viccy Road, of course fully expecting the "winkballers" but luckily for me they didn't show, what a good start to the afternoon ! I walked into the car park and done the usual ritual of getting a programme, a 50/50 ticket and a golden goal, which of course I wouldn't win, but at the end of the day who cares ?
As we walked in we were greeted with the news that Dean Richards, formerly of Spurs had sadly passed away. At this stage I would like to offer my condolences to his family and friends, a tragic loss at such a  young age really.
After hearing that and having a quick flick through the programme for the match, I got my coke and a burger and settled in to the usual routine. The team news came in and I was once again optimistic, especially seeing the out of sorts Femi had been  replaced by Damien McCrory at left back. Then a late announcement, Scott Doe had been taken out of the team, I can only assume that he was injured in the warm up and replaced by Peter Gain in the starting line up, with Femi coming to the bench. As the rain came down slightly heavier the teams came out for what promised to be an entertaining game of football.

Age Hath No Limit

So Bournemouth won the toss and done the dastardly thing, swapped sides, much to our displeasure, but it didn't matter, it's football get on with it. The game kicked off with the usual pump down field to no one with it going out for a throw in. The opening ten minutes were quite action packed, with a number of chances. The first of which fell to Danny Green, who hammered a free kick at Shwan Jalal, which was saved well and cleared quickly with big bad Bas waiting to pounce. Then McCrory was seemingly fouled, with Feeney one on one with Roberts and looking odds on to score, the veteran made a terrific stop to deny him, which led to a corner that was cleared away. Then came a flurry of free kicks to both sides by the worst ref I have ever seen at Victoria Road, whistle happy, didn't let the game flow and made dreadful decisions, sort it out Football League !!! Just under 20 minutes gone and the ball fell to a cherries player who hit a powerful left footed shot which cleared Roberts' bar. Then the ref continued his hate campaign by booking Peter Gain for standing in front of the ball, yes that's right, standing in front of the ball. Ludicrous. A good move down the flank and a slightly lucky rebound, but hey we never usually get that, saw Savage in with a chance of scoring, but he put it about a foot wide of Jalal's post, the closest the Daggers came in the first half. The rain then came lashing down, it was like a monsoon for five minutes, I'm sure the Norwegian Daggers felt right at home in these conditions. A few minutes later, we gained a corner, Green whipped one in with Vincelot getting his head to it, seemingly going in, it was booted away about a yard from goal. Damien McCrory was then booked for a miss timed challenge on a cherries player, what usually would be given as a ticking off was once again a bookable offence to the Daggers dismay. Once again it was just a barrage of free kicks for the last five or so minutes with no flow to the game whatsoever, however it wasn't as bad a first half as you may think with a few chances, but none turned in.

The referee blew up for half time to a chorus of boos, as I got my coke from a pretty empty tea bar it has to be said and trundled back up along the slippery steps and the almost flooded concrete; I was confident of getting something out of the game, we had shown more than enough spirit, fight and it has to be said performance to warrant a result so far. The announcer read out the 50/50 result which of course I didn't win. After a lengthy wait for the half times, in which no decent music was played, we learned that Brentford were beating Bristol Rovers, Plymouth were drawing and that Swindon were losing, not bad so far. So continued the music and a bit of Jessie J, which was much better than the previous selection, we waited for the teams to come back out. They dually did as it brightened up for the second half I think we were all slightly confident, but was this a good thing or a bad thing ?

Nurse For The Daggers

The referee blew to restart with the Daggers attacking the Marcus James Stand & Bournemouth attacking the Bury Road end. Just a few minutes in and Rhoys Wiggings was penalised for hand ball half way into the cherries half. Danny Green swung the ball in delightfully and Jon Nurse was on hand at the back post to apply a cool headed finish into the back of the net to silence the away faithful. Dagenham & Redbridge 1-0  AFC Bournemouth. As Victoria Road erupted, there was a sense of relief that we got the first goal, we tend to do "ok" when we score first, same again please ! A couple of minutes later it looked like the lead was doubled, but it was ruled out for offside, no doubt the BBC won't show that bit, as they never do. Then it was another Daggers chance, Nurse down the left played the ball to what looked like Gain, i may be wrong and his finish hit Jalal who fumbled , but recovered well. Bournemouth went straight up the other end with a great counter attacking piece of play and swung a delightful ball in which was directed into the corner of the net, luckily for us, it was given offside. Just a minute or so later with the warning not heeded, the same ball was swung in but at the backpost and the header was directed right into the top corner of the goal to make it 1-1. Then the scorer, Danny Ings, who had just come on, done the criminal thing, celebrated right next to the Carling Stand and was rightfully had a go at, to put it lightly. The Daggers continued to attack, with Savage's shot being deflected and going out for a corner at the sieve side, Green's corner coming to nothing. Then came the inevitable change, Morgan coming on for Savage up front, with Nurse having a terrific game, he was never coming off. Then Michael Symes had a great chance, but a fantastic point blank save was made by Roberts, even though the offside flag had gone up by this point. Another flurry of free kicks, most of them against the Daggers were given, a number of them were reputable and another ref would not have given them. Nurse then had a header that hit the side netting that we all thought was in, the reason i jumped up in celebration, and then looked like some what of a plonker. It was Bournemouth's turn to make a change with Symes coming off for the veteran and assistant manager at Dean Court, Steve Fletcher replacing him.
The Daggers then gained a free kick for a change which came to nothing before Damien Scannell replaced Darren Currie who put in another impressive display. Arber then gave away a free kick in the cherries box for challenging Shwan Jalal from a corner, a rule that should be changed in my opinion. If a goalkeeper has use of his hands and a normal player can only use his head, how else can he possibly win the ball, absolutely stupid. Marvin Morgan then done well to charge down the keeper from a short back pass, unfortunately it just went into the midfield, but a great work effort by the former Aldershot man. Then with just two minutes left, disaster. Anton Robinson was free in the box, after a knock down from Fletcher, he slotted the ball into the corner of the empty net with Robbo helpless. It rolled agonisingly in and it added to the list of points the Daggers have dropped in the last few minutes of games now. As much as I'd like to say the Daggers came within inches of scoring or we actually scored, I can't. It was even more direct than usual, with almost every ball forward being given offside, Morgan, Nurse & Scannell all joining in the offside frenzy. The real low point for me was towards the end, we got a free kick near our corner spot which was taken by Roberts and did unfortunately go out of play. It was the fan by the shop that angered me. It may have just been banter as Robbo usually does, but it seemed like he was having a go at Roberts, which in my book is down right wrong. This man has kept us in games so many times this season it's unbelievable, he is an absolute legend at the club and that is no under statement, but as I say it may have just been banter, but by Robbo's body language I wouldn't say it was.

A Look At The Bottom Half
 As the referee blew, the 1900 or so Daggers trudged out onto Bury & Victoria Road to go home thinking of what might have been.  Well done to the 800 Bournemouth contingent that made the trip, great effort by them from the south coast. Despite the result I was once again happy with our performance, we played well in thoroughly difficult conditions against one of the better side's in the league. This was a battling performance by a team with good confidence and belief that we can avoid the drop. I'm sorry, but I cannot go without mentioning the referee. He was absolutely dreadful, I have great respect for referee's it's a tough job and I wouldn't like to do it, but they dig holes for themselves. It was a terrible performance by him, he did not take conditions into account and he was too whistle happy. The Football League need to take a look at their referees and evaluate them better as this was absolutely abismal, before I become accused, I am not in any way blaming the referee for the defeat if you know what I mean.

Special mentions have to go to Romain Vincelot who done a marvelous job covering for Scott Doe at centre half and was a perhaps deserved man of the match. Damien McCrory, starting his first game properly since November i believe who done very well. Lastly Tony Roberts, another amazing performance with some brilliant saves that for the umpteenth time this season kept us in the match. I hope your reading this Gary Speed, Robbo for Wales !
 If it wasn't for another late lapse at the end, we would have got a well deserved point from the game, extended our good home run and edged closer away to safety.

Ratings: Roberts 9, Ogogo 7, Vincelot 9, Arber 7, McCrory 8, Gain 7, Green 7, Currie 7, Taiwo 6, Nurse 8, Savage 7, Morgan 6, Scannell 6. Bear in mind the last two only played 20 and 10 minutes respectively.

The Daggers stay in 23rd, 3 clear of Plymouth and 2 away from safety with games in hand on those around them.
Next Up: Bristol Rovers vs Dagenham & Redbridge, 15:00 Saturday 5th March.

I believe we can do this, we are the Daggers and we will never be beaten !!!!!

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Big Preview: Daggers vs AFC Bournemouth

The Daggers are at Victoria Road again this Saturday for their fourth home game in six matches against a Bournemouth side unbeaten under Lee Bradbury. 15:00 Kick Off

The first look as always, is at the recent results of the two sides, we'll be nice and start with the cherries. They played a very tight game at Dean Court on Tuesday night against a currently poor Sheffield Wednesday, drawing 0-0 and Michael Symes missed a penalty to secure all three points. They had a slightly larger share of the possession in a tight game that probably could have gone either way. Their last Saturday game was also a draw against promotion chasing Huddersfield also at Dean Court, a game in which the cherries dominated entirely. Michael Symes scored their goal in that one, more about him later. The Daggers played out one of the most entertaining games at Victoria Road in recent seasons on Tuesday night, also against Huddersfield Town, the final score being 1-1. The game was very open and could have gone either way, the Daggers goal coming from winger Danny Green from the penalty spot who had a good game. The Daggers home form is really looking up recently, being unbeaten in their last three at home, turning Victoria Road back into the fortress it once was we hope !!

Danny Green slots home the Penalty

Next up is the form of both the teams, which has been pretty decent in recent times it has to be said. Bournemouth as mentioned previously haven't lost since Eddie Howe departed for Burnley, with Lee Bradbury doing a sterling job for the South coast club. Their last defeat was 2-1 away at Colchester in January that was screened by SkySports, since then they are unbeaten in eight, winning four, including a win against league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion. The current form table shows them to be fourth, with twelve points from a possible eighteen, which is pretty good considering the teams they have faced in recent weeks. If we look at their away form over the season, they have picked up eighteen points from a possible forty-five, conceding one more than they've scored, but on the day this will probably count for nothing. The form of striker Michael Symes has been key recently, scoring in his previous three games before Tuesday night. To the Daggers who have been on a decent run of form themselves recently, beaten only once in the last five outings, the only defeat coming at Walsall which I'm told was a very poor display. Our last home defeat was actually just over a month ago against MK Dons, as we have picked up quite considerably recently. In the form table we have eight points from eighteen which doesn't necessarily seem good, but it's quite a decent return for a side down the bottom end of the league. The form of Romain Vincelot & Jon Nurse has been key to the recent revival each gaining a good tally of goals, with Danny Green also chipping in recently.
The key man in this has been the form of Tony Roberts in 2011, he's kept us in so many games and without him between the sticks we could be a number of points worse for wear. The Daggers will be boosted by Plymouth being deducted ten points, whilst it's a bad thing, it's taken the Daggers up a place and we're now only two points from safety with three games in hand.

Symes of Accrington

Team News: The Daggers could be unchanged from the midweek draw, but Peter Gain will return from his three match ban and could replace Solomon Taiwo or Darren Currie who has become something of a regular at home in recent games. The Daggers will still be missing big centre half Will Antwi through a groin injury, but should be available next weekend. The one almost certain change for the Daggers will be at left back, Damien McCrory who replaced Femi 30 minutes in during the midweek game should start against the cherries. The only other possible change could be that of Marvin Morgan coming in for Bas Savage, but that's John Still's decision, however they will both play some part in the game. Lee Bradbury could name an unchanged side from the one that drew with Sheffield Wednesday in midweek with Warren Cummings still missing through illness. Their man to watch is Liam Feeney or Michael Symes, both carry a big threat with Feeney being the tricky winger, a Dagenham kind of player as he was signed from non league Salisbury City. Symes formerly of Accrington has scored seven goals this season, but has been their main threat home and away from Dean Court recently.

Previous Meetings:-
Bournemouth 3-0 Dagenham & Redbridge 2010/2011
Dagenham & Redbridge 1-0 Bournemouth 2009/2010
Bournemouth 0-0 Dagenham & Redbridge 2009/2010
Dagenham & Redbridge 0-1 Bournemouth 2008/2009
Bournemouth 2-1 Dagenham & Redbridge 2008/2009
Bournemouth 4-1 Dagenham (predecessor) 1985/1986 FA Cup
Walthamstowe Avenue (predecessor) 1-3 Bournemouth & Boscombe (predecessor) 1967/1968 FA Cup
Walthamstowe Avenue (predecessor) 2-3 Bournemouth & Boscombe (predecessor) 1959/1960 FA Cup
Bournemouth & Boscombe (predecessor) 8-1 Walthamstowe Avenue (predecessor) 1935/1936 FA Cup
Walthamstowe Avenue (predecessor) 1-1 Bournemouth & Boscombe (predecessor) 1935/1936 FA Cup

The referee for this game is Mr R L Lewis, whom I can't find stats for, the linesmen are P J Knight & W Atkin. The fourth official is H W Leonard.

This game should be a tough contest between two teams that gained promotion last season, expect a battle with some good football at times, the margins of scores between these two do tend to be tight in the modern era. My prediction, again it's an optimistic 1-1, I cannot see us getting a win, unless it's a late one.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Daggers 1-1 Huddersfield: The Great Escape Is On

The Daggers claimed a great home point against promotion playing Huddersfield in one of the most entertaining games at Victoria Road in the last few seasons.

As always we start as I walk up Victoria Road, once again quietly confident of a result here, with Huddersfield having drawn their last two and us having won our last two at home, as reflected in my prediction. Walking into the car park we was approached by my old friends, the interviewers from winkball, who still don't get the fact that I do not wish to be interviewed, I just want to get into the poxy ground ! Through the turnstiles and paid for my chips and a coke, settling into my seat as "pulse" come out and dance, seemingly dropping a member every home game now, we're down to five ! The team news came over and hearing Jordan Rhodes on the bench was a real boost, but then hearing Femi was once again starting for us deflated me, considering his recent form has been poor and the Terriers were liable to tear him apart.

Dami Mc, Has Come Back !

The game started with Huddersfield having the first "attack" that didn't come to anything. Then about two minutes in, possibly the most controversial incident of the game; Danny Green swung a ball in, Vincelot got a firm header on it, but it cannoned off of a Huddersfield plays hand. This was the most blatant penalty I have seen out of the what seems like hundreds that haven't been given against us this season, but it went out for a corner instead, to the disgrace of the home fans. For the next ten minutes each side had equal shares of possession and equal chances, Tony Roberts making a fantastic save to deny a town player and Mark Arbers header going just over the bar. A corner came in from Huddersfield which was cleared to the the edge of the Dag & Red "D" Scott Doe went to challenge and got absolutely kyboshed by a Huddersfield player, laid out flat on the deck. A terrible foul, made worse by the fact he didn't get the ball, what looked a nasty injury at first turned out to be not so bad and Doe continued to play on like the Essex warrior he is. Just previous to this, former Everton striker Danny Cademarteri danced his way past about four Daggers players, only being denied at the last by an excellent Roberts save, who put it out for a corner. Just after, they scored, Tom Clarke netting from inside the Daggers 6 yard box with the aid of a deflection or so into the far corner of the net. Just before the next part was one of the strangest things I've seen at Victoria Road, a drop ball was given inside the Huddersfield 6 yard box, needless to say, nothing came of it. Then came possibly the biggest cheer of the night, the out of form Femi substituted to the delight of the 1700 or so Daggers, replaced by fans favourite Damien McCrory who got a fantastic reception and dually had a great game. Just after Danny Green had a shot from outside of the area, that just went wide of the target, then a barage of free kicks for both teams as the first half peetered out; the last parts of the action were shots from Savage & Cademarteri that were both blocked.  The best thing about the first half ? When the lino gave offside and an old bloke in the Carling Stand shouted, "make sure you give it next time or I'll stick that flag up your arse sideways." Only at Dagenham, only at Dagenham.

The referee blew for half time with myself quite confident of the second half, with the Daggers showing more than enough to warrant a point out of the game and possibly even more. The half times were read out and results were going our way with Tranmere & Plymouth both losing. Then it was 50/50 time, first three numbers were correct, we just needed the last one, and yes you guessed it, I didn't get it. It was 3 numbers off, ahh well, at least Spurs were losing to the announcers displeasure. As i took a sip of my tea, which you could probably stand a spoon up in Huddersfield emerged from the tunnel under the MJ stand, later followed by the Daggers who took plenty of time.

Green scored the Penalty

A comical start to the second half, with the Daggers having to kick off three times due to Huddersfield players running towards the ball before it was even kicked, cue ironical crowd cheers. The Daggers were fired up, spurred on by a half time team talk seemingly. We came out all guns blazing with Green delivering some fantastic balls into the box. The best actually came from Nurse i believe, who whipped one in right on the 6 yard box, but to our disbelief no one could get on the end of it, Vincelot chased it and ended up in the wall by the sieve. The Daggers onslaught continued with numerous shots and crosses, but to no avail. On 53 minutes, Huddersfield had thought they'd doubled their lead, a good ball through was latched onto by Gary Roberts, whose left footed shot smashed off the post and was cleared by Mark Arber. Straight up the other end, Solomon Taiwo had a fierce shot from outside of the area, that went wide. Then came the moment. After such a long time it seemed, the Daggers won a penalty at home. A ball was swung in, then hit Lee Peltier on the hand and the linesman put his flag up. PENALTY. Despite continued protests by the terriers players, Green put the ball on the spot and hammered in an unstoppable penalty, straight down the middle of the goal that lifted the roof off of Victoria Road. The Daggers continued to press for the next 10-15 minutes, with Vincelot, Nurse & Green all coming close for the Daggers, Vincelot firing in, but missing. Then came a double sub, Dagenham lad Afobe on for Cademarteri and Marvin Morgan on for Bas Savage for us. Then another onslaught of corners from the Daggers, with Mark Arber close to turning one in after a swivel and shot that went over the bar. Jordan Rhodes came on for Huddersfield as they had a corner which was cleared to safety, the Daggers then went up the other end and got a corner of their own which came to nothing.  Then an amazing bit of play from the Daggers, Ogogo playing the ball foward to Currie, who took a sublime touch and completely mugged off a terriers player, only for the cross to go straight down Ian Bennetts throat. Before I go on, I think this proves that Currie & Green can play in the same team, they combined well tonight and I would definately like to see more of it in the future at home anyways. Back to the action, a ball swung in by the Terriers, which Jordan Rhodes got his head to, what looked like an unstoppable header into the back of the net was superbly tipped over by veteran Roberts who saved the day once again. My heart was in my throat by this point.

The last five minutes were a joy to watch, if not extremely nerve racking. A Daggers corner was cleared away upfield with Huddersfield looking good money to score, but step forward Solomon Taiwo who took one for the team, with Huddersfield racing away he committed a very smart foul, tackling the player with no intention of getting the ball, but getting a yellow card. If it weren't for him there, I doubt the scores would have stayed the same. The free kick led to a Huddersfield corner, which was once again whipped in delightfully, but didn't find it's way into the net from a scramble in the box. The ball went upfield for the last time, towards the Carling Stand Marvin Morgan got a free kick for having his shirt pulled. This was last chance saloon for the Daggers. The ball was swung in by Green and about five players went for the ball at the far post, as it was booted upwards it hit the bar, the last action of the game. How unlucky that was, was incredible, but at the end of the day, it was a deserved share of the spoils against a very good Huddersfield team, that won't particularly enjoy the trip up to Yorkshire, then again not many teams do from that part when we play them down here. Final Score, Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Huddersfield Town

Robbo once again in fine form.

The result was a fair indication of the game, with that being one of the most entertaining games at Victoria Road that I've seen in years. Both sides had chances to win and this result will benefit the Daggers more than the Terriers. The Daggers are now 2 points from safety and still with three games in hand on some teams, it looks increasingly possible that we can do the great escape and prove everyone, including some of our own fans wrong. With Tony Roberts continuing to be in stunning form recently this result will have spurred the lads on considerably. My man of the match is once again Roberts, although i thought Green had an exceptional game tonight.

Ratings: Roberts 9, Doe 8, Arber 7, Femi 5, Ogogo 7, Vincelot 7, Green 8, Currie 7, Taiwo 7, Nurse 8, Savage 6. Subs: McCrory 7, Morgan 6.
Attendance: 2336

Next Up: Daggers vs AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.

Come On You Daggers. I Believe !!!!

Monday, 21 February 2011

The Big Preview: Daggers vs Huddersfield

The Daggers are back at Victoria Road on Tuesday night hoping for a win that can lift them ever closer to safety against a promotion chasing Terriers side.

First look is towards recent results, at the weekend Huddersfield played out a tight game at Dean Court against Bournemouth, in a game that ended 1-1, their scorer was Danny Cademarteri on 89 minutes, but after the game gaffer Lee Clark described it was "the worst performance of the year" by his men. They also had a very undisciplined game having 6 yellow cards given against them. They did create a lot of chances in the game, but failed to convert any into goals and only two were even on target. The Daggers then, we didn't play at the weekend due to Leyton Orient being in the FA Cup against Arsenal on Sunday, so for yet another weekend we got "time off." The last game was one of the worst performances of the season I'm told, a 1-0 defeat to the hands of relegation rivals Walsall at the Banks Stadium. I'm told the Daggers didn't really fashion many chances and only good defending prevented a heavier defeat. Thinks have looked up recently however and if we take our chances we can stay up.

Let's take a look at the form of the two sides. Huddersfield are on a very good run, unbeaten since the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup back in January. They haven't lost in the league since a 4-1 hammering at Southampton in the last game of 2010. The last away game was a 4-1 defeat of Exeter City, barring the 1-1 draw on Saturday, but they have drawn two on the bounce in the league with both performances below parr. In the form guide they are a very respectable 4th, having picked up 12 out of a possible 18 points in the last 6 games.  The Daggers are also on a decent run of form, 11th in the form table, which is fairly good considering we are bottom of the table. Having picked up 10 points from a possible 18, this game looks like it could go either way, but if it was on league positions, Huddersfield are clear favourites. The Daggers have picked up the home form of late, with two wins in their last two, if we're honest a undeserved 2-1 victory against Yeovil and a fantastic 4-1 victory against Brentford, which came on a Tuesday night.  Looking at scoring stats 3rd placed Huddersfield have netted 49 times, with 25 coming away from home, whilst the Daggers have scored 31 times in 28 games.


Jon Jo Bates In Action For Bedfont Town

Huddersfield Hitman Jordan Rhodes

Team News: The Daggers may once again stay unchanged from the defeat away at Walsall, with Peter Gain serving the last of his 3 game ban. Danny Green has come back into the side in place of Darren Currie, but John Still may change it and bring Currie back who has been on good form at Victoria Road recently when Green was serving his suspension. Damien Scannell has come back into the side and should once again start, unless Still feels he needs to make a change. Will Antwi is unlikely to be available once again as he's out with a recurrant groin injury, whilst Josh Scott is out for the season.  The only other concern for me is the form of left back Femi Ilesanmi. He has been quite dreadful of late and it wouldn't suprise me if former Plymouth man Damien McCrory made a return to the defence in his place. New signing Jon Jo Bates from Bedfont Town may get a place on the bench if Still feels he is ready, although the 18 year old is unlikely to be thrown in at the deep end this early on in his Dagenham & Redbridge career. Huddersfield may stay unchanged for the game at Viccy Road, but are sweating on left back Gary Naysmith who picked up a slight injury at the weekend and is on a race to be fit. Other than that they should be the same with keeper Alex Smithies and Tom Clarke & Damien Johnson all still injured and they won't be back. Their man to watch is Jordan Rhodes, the 16 goal hit man was on the bench at the weekend, but I'd be suprised if he doesn't make an appearance here.

Previous Meetings:
Huddersfield Town 6-1 Dagenham & Redbridge FA Cup Round 1     2009/2010

The referee for this one is Mr Graham Scott, the Daggers game's he's reffed are:-
Dagenham & Redbridge 2-0 Gillingham       2008/2009
Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Port Vale        2008/2009
Kidderminster Harriers 1-4 Dagenham & Redbridge        2006/2007

The Linesmen are P A Kelly & A Slaughter
The fourth official is W G Norcott.

My Prediction, unfortunately I cannot see us getting a win here, but I'll be optimistic and go for a 1-1 draw, one team will score, the Daggers haven't had a 0-0 for around 45 games.

Come On The Daggers, In John Still I Believe !!!

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Big Preview: Walsall vs Daggers

The Daggers travel to the Banks Stadium on Tuesday night hoping for a win that will lift them even closer to safety knowing that they have games in hand on the teams in and around them.

At the weekend the teams had contrasting results, both being at home however. The saddlers suffered what seemed an unfortunate defeat to Lee Bradburys Bournemouth, with a late free kick, not dissimilar to Gavin Tomlin's for the Daggers against Southampton in January; cannoning off the underside of the bar. This dually gave Bournemouth the win, but on recent form, Walsall can be extremely confident like the Daggers of escaping the clutches of the relegation zone. Bournemouth's goal came from a corner, which suggests the Daggers may be able to capitalise through set pieces against Walsall. The Daggers however fought through to get a great scrappy win against a rejuvenated Yeovil Town side in recent weeks. The Daggers scored through a Romain Vincelot thunderbolt header from a corner, his 9th goal this season and a great piece of work from Jon Nurse, turning the defender and slotting home cooley. However the result was not as comfortable as it may seem, if the Daggers were playing a better team, they could have been 3-0 down in the first half if Yeovil had taken their chances. The lesson to be learnt is to not lose concentration, with a defence lapse leading to the goal and a number of other opportunities.

Let's go into the form. Walsall have been in good form since appointing Dean Smith as manager, just losing to Bournemouth 1-0 at the weekend ending a run of four games unbeaten that included a thumping 6-1 win over Bristol Rovers at home and a good performance in a 3-1 away win at Carlisle. They now find themselves a very respectable 12th in the form table having picked up eight points from a possible eighteen in six games. They have also had a wide variety of scorers in this time, but the most prolific being Julian Gray. Walsalls home form has been slightly poor, only picking up 4 home wins, like the Daggers and amounting 13 points from 14 games. The Daggers are enjoying their best spell of form in the entire season so far. A terrific 2-1 weekend win came on the back of a good 1-1 draw against a promotion chasing Oldham side & one of the best results of the season, a thumping 4-1 win over Brentford at Victoria Road. This has left the Daggers in 9th in the form table, having picked up ten points from a possible eighteen. The Daggers have been slightly more prolific scoring wise this month with Jon Nurse & Romain Vincelot both bagging three so far as the Daggers have endured a currently unbeaten February. Our away form has however picked up of late, with three away wins and twelve points being amassed that is a respectable for a team near the bottom. Walsall have found the net more times, although they have played more games, they have scored 38 compared to the Daggers slightly lower 31. Defence wise, the Dag & Red are far better, having conceded 42 goals, whereas the saddlers have let in 55 so far.

Walsall loan signing, Tom Williams

Team News: Walsall could be unchanged from Saturdays defeat at the Banks Stadium, but may include left midfielder Tom Williams who signed on loan for the rest of the campaign from Peterborough United this week. Otherwise the Saddlers will be unchanged. The one that you may remember is their goalkeeper, Jonny Brain who regularly featured on Soccer AM for his cock ups whilst playing for Macclesfield Town last season. Let's hope he does the same against us.  

Green Could Make A Return

On Tuesday evening the daggers could also be unchanged from the weekend game against Yeovil, the main injury doubt is centre half Scott Doe who picked up a arm injury and had to be taken off on Saturday. Should he be unable to play, I reckon Will Antwi may come back into the side after a spell out. We do however have midfielder Danny Green back from a three game suspension, but the Daggers haven't lost since he's been banned so will Still be reluctant to change things. My instinct says yes, as the last away game Darren Currie didn't play so Green will probably find himself back in the line up, or maybe Billy Bingham if he's lucky. Peter Gain serves the second of his three game suspension, whilst Josh Scott & John Akinde are out for the season with their respective injuries.

The officials for this one are, Mr P Gibbs from the West Midlands. The daggers games he's refereed are:-
Lincoln City 1-3 Daggers. 2008/2009 season
Daggers 2-1 Aldershot Town. 2006/2007 season
Woking 0-0 Daggers. 2005/2006 season
Northwich 0-1 Daggers. 2003/2004 season.
Telford 1-0 Daggers. 2003/2004 season.

The Linesmen are Mr N Murphy & Mr G R Russell. The fourth official is G P Johnson.

My Prediction, Walsall 1-2 Dagenham & Redbridge.
Up The Daggers, Let's get 3 points and move closer to safety !

Previous Meetings:
2010/2011 Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Walsall
1977/1978 Walsall 1-0 Dagenham (predecessor)            FA Cup
1971/1972 Walsall 4-1 Dagenham (predecessor)            FA Cup
1968/1969 Leytonstone (predecessor) 0-1 Walsall         FA Cup
1967/1968 Leytonstone (predecessor) 0-1 Walsall         FA Cup
1946/1947 Leytonstone (predecessor) 1-6 Walsall         FA Cup

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Daggers 2-1 Yeovil: On The Up

So then, the Daggers secured back to back home wins for the first time since Hereford & Morecambe at the end of last season to ease the relegation fears.

As my day and Daggers blog will always start, I was walking down Victoria Road, once again rather weary of the challenge ahead, Yeovil being in reasonably good form and the Daggers enjoying a mini unbeaten run. Walking up and getting the programme and seeing Jon Nurse spelt wrongly on the front, I was hoping for another Nurse special like his heroics against Brentford the other week. Settling into my seat for the game and hearing over the tannoy that Man Utd had gone 2-1 up against Man City in the derby we were all hoping that we'd have some of the same. As the team news rung out, the fact the Dean Bowditch was missing for glovers was a real boost, however Taiwo was back for the Daggers, but i was unsure to view this in a good light or bad.

The game started pretty scrapilly with no one really getting and hold on the game and most of the play being in the midfield and in the air. It was extremely poor football and Yeovil really should have been a goal up inside 15 minutes. After a mistake near the half way line a Yeovil player raced away into the Daggers half and with only the evergreen Tony Roberts to beat, he put the ball wide into the side netting to the ironic cheers of the Daggers. If only Yeovil had taken their first half chances this game could have been so much different, but luckily for us they didn't and the Daggers survived. A few minutes later, Scott Doe was presented with the chance to head in from close range, but blazed it over the bar. Then in a 5 minute period, Tony Roberts kept the Daggers in it, every week I go on about this man, but the performances he churns out week after week are amazing and yet again he showed his worth, With Yeovil seemingly taking the lead he produced an amazing stretched out hand to deny them what looked like a certain goal. Just as we thought the danger was over, a poor clearance landed to a glover and he curled a shot that looked like it was going into the bottom corner, but a great palm away once again prevented them. In this 5 minute stint Tony Roberts single handedly kept us in the game like he has done many times before.  

Roberts To The Rescue !

The Daggers then got a corner, Currie whipped the ball in for an unamarked Romain Vincelot to head home from inside the 6 yard box, Steven Henderson couldn't quite get to it. The players wheeled off in celebration, the goal drought at the Marcus James End has well and truely been broken. Then just as we were settling back into our seats, Yeovil broke away and Oli Johnson slotted home to make it 1-1. The Daggers once again fell asleep after conceding, but flicking through my programme, I noticed that Yeovil hadn't won any games this season after conceding first, don't you just love stats ! For the rest of the first half, nothing of real note with a few crosses being slung in for both teams, but none coming to any fruition. As the referee blew for half time just as we had earned a corner, i tucked into my chips listening to the half times.

Good news from most grounds in League One where a lot of the teams around us hadn't really asserted any dominance, this was probably the first time we cheered an Orient score as they were beating Brizzle Rovers 2-0. Into the Premiership they went and upon hearing West Ham were 3-0 down, a large cheer went around the ground from all the people that must have surely been Arsenal or Spurs fans. Anyways, enough about half time, into the second half we go !

As the second half started so did the idiot shouting like hell in the Carling Stand. Not usually I say this, but I felt sorry for the linesman, having to put up with that idiot all the game, it's not what football's about, especially when there's little kids all around him. Enough about that, back to the action; Vincelot was penalised quite a few times for fouls that we could only marvel it, surely it was the other way ref ! Damien Scannell had the first real chance of the second half, but he could only succeed in blazing his shot high and wide. Then came two bookings in quick succession, one for Yeovil for a silly foul by Luke Ayling on Jon Nurse and then for the Daggers with Doe hacking down Nathan Smith. From the resulting free kick from Does challenge, a great piece of defending from Nurse who charged it down like Barbadian rhino, the block eventually going out of play near the dugouts; if that's what you call them. The Daggers then penned in the glovers for a while with about 4 corners all coming to nothing. Then on 69 minutes, Marvin Morgan who had a decent game, nothing to shout about but a decent game none the less came off to be replaced by big Bas Savage. Then just minutes later, like at Oldham last week, as Bas came on we scored a vital goal. The ball was hooked to Nurse by Bas, , Nurse was on the 6 yard box whilst facing the Carling Stand, he turned hid defender and then slotted home past the helpless glovers keeper.
Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 Yeovil Town.
Nurse scored another at Viccy Road
Nurse and co ran off to celebrate into a jubilant sieve then getting absolutely mobbed to the joy of everyone, Victoria Road was bouncing like hamster on a pogo stick. Wary of what happened last time, I was nervous as I'm sure everyone else was, but we had passed 2 minutes, in which time Yeovil's goal had previously come. Then a flurry of subs from the Daggers & Yeovil. Antonio German the main sub on for Yeovil, whilst the Daggers replaced Scott Doe who had an arm problem with the returning Phil Walsh at centre half. Last time he played there for us, we conceded a last minute goal, lightening doesn't strike twice fortunately. We did have another chance or two, but Scannell was flagged offside and the last 10 minutes were extremely nervy. Fortunately we held on, a scare in injury time when it looked like Yeovil had scored, but it was blocked and cleared up field. As the ball was pumped in and cleared one last time, the referee decided enough was enough and the Daggers had won on a picturesque evening in Essex.

A great performance all round, my main criticism however was once again Femi, I say fair play to bloke he's come in and done a job but he constantly looks suspect at the back and i reckon it should only be a matter of time before McCrory returns to our pitch.
Man Of The Match was deservedly Tony Roberts with some fine saves in the first half that ultimately kept us in the game, not the first time this season that's for sure.
If we're honest we got slightly lucky today, against a better team we probably would have lost, but at the end of the day, that's what we've always needed but never got, a bit of luck. A much improved second half however saw us show our quality and get through a tricky test against Terry Skivertons men.

It Looks Brighter Now !

Well done to the 2100 odd supporters there today and a very well done to the Yeovil 300 odd that made the long journey up but to, unfortunately for them they got nothing, fortunately for us, we got everything. Daggers are now up to 22nd with 4 points seperating them from outside the relegation zone, but we do have games in hand.
Next up: Walsall vs Daggers, 19:45 Kick Off Tuesday Night
My Preview for that will be on Monday night.

Hope you've enjoyed the read, Up The Daggers, we believe !!!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Big Preview: Daggers vs Yeovil Town

So the Daggers face a tricky test against a fast improving Yeovil Town side at Victoria Road this weekend. Since the Daggers 3-1 victory at Huish Park in mid November, a lot has changed, the Daggers goalscorers that day were Medy Elito who has now returned to Colchester & Abu Ogogo along with Will Antwi who are still very much a part of Daggers first XI, especially Ogogo. This game is a great indicator of how far former non league sides can go and show's that there is hope for all non league sides yet.

Something that hasn't changed that both sides must be credited for is the managers. The Daggers were never at all likely to give John Still the boot, after all he is a legend in these parts, he is virtually unsackable. The glovers however have to be credited, Terry Skiverton was going through an extremely rough patch and full credit to himself and the board that he still has his job. One of the youngest managers in the league & his credentials are really starting to shine through, remember he's only 35. At the time of the 3-1 Daggers victory in November, both clubs were on 15 points and were in the relegation zone, 4 points from safety. The Daggers still find themselves in the drop zone, but there's plenty of hope left for us with plenty of games in hand and the squad brimming with confidence and belief. Yeovil however have advanced out of the bottom 4, but are still only 2 points from 21st despite being in what seems a comfortable 15th place position. A defeat at the hands of the Daggers could see them slip back in, on the flip side they're only eleven points off the play offs, although that is a extremely unlikely probability.

On recent form this game is a hard one too call with recent results being up and down like a yo yo. Having lost at home to Charlton at the weekend, they previously beat Plymouth at home and Brentford away. They have been very good recently against the sides in and around them which has proved vital. The Daggers have seen a small revival in recent weeks with a great 4-1 win over Brentford just over a week ago with goals from Nurse, Vincelot & an own goal seeing them move off the bottom briefly and as a consequence getting Adny Scott sacked. At the weekend we achieved a great 1-1 draw at Boundary Park with Vincelot being our scorer again and the defence improving game on game things are definately moving forward for us. Unfortunately for the Daggers this recent good little revival which has seen them go to 16th in the form table has coincided with other teams such as Walsall who have been playing well recently. Yeovil are 11th in the form guide.

Will Currie return ?

Let's take a look at the teams. The Daggers are without two strikers in Josh Scott who has been sidelined for the rest of the season & John Akinde who has been sent back to Bristol City after needing a hernia op, but with Jone Nurse on form and our sudden upturn in form coming with the signing of Marvin Morgan who needs em; eh ? It is however unclear with John Still will stick with the same side that got the draw against Oldham or revert back to the side that beat Brentford 4-1 under the Viccy Road floodlights the other week. This would mean Darren Currie returns to the squad, however Peter Gain is now banned due to getting a straight red at Oldham last week with Danny Green serving out the last game of his suspension. This means Billy Bingham should definately keep his place and Currie may well come back in. For Yeovil on Saturday they may include new loan signing Antonio German who signed today on loan from QPR, he's a striker and is on loan until the rest of the season. They may also include former Millwall left back Danny Fitzsimons who signed on Wednesday. Other than that the Glovers should be unchanged with Dean Bowditch being their main goal threat.

The one thing that may let the game down however is the attendance of the two teams. The Daggers have been averaging a very respecatable 2700 this season, but against Brentford only 1907 turned up, this was under the floodlights however. No disrespect to Yeovil, but I do not expect them to bring a large amount to the Marcus James Stand. However I may and I do hope I'm wrong, whatever the attendance it will be a good atmosphere at a bouncing and optomistic Victoria Road.
The Officials at Victoria Road for this one are Mr David Phillips (referee) who was last man in the middle for the Daggers with the 1-1 draw against Hartlepool in October. The linesmen are M S Scholes & R P Whitton, the fourth Official is O Saliy.

Previous Meetings:-
2009/2010- Yeovil Town 1-3 Dagenham & Redbridge
2002/2003-  Dagenham & Redbridge 0-4 Yeovil Town
2002/2003- Yeovil Town 2-2 Dagenham & Redbridge
2001/2002- Yeovil Town 3-3 Dagenham & Redbridge
2001/2002- Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Yeovil Town
2000/2001- Dagenham & Redbridge 2-0 Yeovil Town
2000/2001- Yeovil Town 1-3 Dagenham & Redbridge

Come On The Daggers, In You We Believe !!!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Interview: Shane Huke

A little treat for you here with Shane Huke agreeing to a small interview for us, let's hope you enjoy it !
Shane played 36 games for the Daggers scoring 2 goals in his time at Victoria Road.
Shane in His Daggers Days

1. What teams have you played for before & after your spell with the Daggers?

Started my youth at Peterborough United before turning pro there. Had loan spells at Bedford town, Cambridge city, Heybridge Swifts before a permanent move to Dagenham and Redbridge. After Dagenham I signed for Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners then later returning back to UK to sign for Rushden and Diamonds.

2. What do you miss most about your time with the Daggers?

The thing I miss most about the daggers is the team spirit and closeness of the lads there. Most of the squad I was with at Dagenham are now my close mates.

In action for Central Coast Mariners

3. You went to play in your native Australia, how good was that for you?

It was great experience. I got to play in the Asian Champions League against some of the best players in Asia. I got to travel to China, Japan and South Korea and compete Asia’s biggest competition.

4. What was your favourite game and your favourite goal in your time playing football?

My favourite game to this day is Dagenham away to Darlington. After going 2-0 down, and bringing it back to win 3-2 and then having that result keep us in league 2 was a fantastic day for me one that will never be forgotten.
My favourite goal well there’s not many to choose from but has to be daggers first away league win against Mansfield town when we won 1-0. Fozzie whipped it in from the right hand side and I scored with a diving header.

5. Who was you closest to at the Daggers ?

There’s a good 6-7 people who I was close with at Dagenham so that’s a tough question to answer.

6. . Do you still keep in touch with anyone from your time here ?

Yeah loads of em. There’s actually 11 of us from my time at daggers going for a meal next week.

Kawaski Frontale Stadium

7. What are the best & worst grounds you've played at ?

Best grounds gotta be Kawaski Frontale’s stadium. Played in front of I think it was 30’000 people. It was a great atmosphere and the Japanese fans were incredible.
Worst I’ve have to say Newport County’s ground. Always so cold and windy there.


8. What is your Daggers XI and why ?

Ed Thompson – Great shot stopper who was plagued with injury. He would have been a great keeper
Fozzie – You know what your gonna get with foz, hard work and nothing but blood, sweat and tears
Uddin – Great die hard defender, Fantastic round the dressing room
Huke – stick myself here just so I can play again with the lads
Sloma – Tuff between him and Scotty but Scotty’s always away with the fairies so Sloma pips it with his whip
Saunda – Tricky winger, hard to play against, Great delivery
Rainford Rocket – Hard worker, goal scorer, a proper captain!
Suvs – Energy of an 18 yr old, great feet both left and right
Dom Green – Tricky, quick, strong winger who could tear a right back to shreds
Benno – Proper goal scorer, right time right place, well deserved his move
Strevabayor – Great touch and worked so well up top with benno. Knows where the net is.

9. Is there any chance of you coming back to the Daggers in the future ?

I'd never turn down a return to the daggers no.

10. How good was it working with John Still & Terry Harris ?

Yeah good, stilly was serious in everything he done but he knew when to have a laugh. Harris knew ‘’How to really whip it’’

11. What team do you support ?

West ham

12. What are your top 3 songs ?

Tough question cant think right now.

13. Your only 25, but any plans for life after football ?

Yeah ive done my mortgage advisors qualification so hopefully one day I can move into that market and also maybe involved in football somehow.

14. Do you reckon there's any chance of playing for your native Australia in the future ??

I think that ship has sailed now but I wouldn’t mind being called up play would never turn it down.

15. If you could meet any five people, why would they be ??

Jimmy carr
Derren Brown
Jennifer Aniston
David Beckham
Muhammed Ali

A great Thanks to Hukey & I wish him all the best in the future !!

Shane Posing For his Rushden Team Profile

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Daggers 4-1 Brentford, back to our best ?

Well what a great night it was at Victoria Road, with a four goal rout as I would put it over a sorry Brentford side, when the prophecy of Arnu (those from the forum won't understand) came true ! The Daggers finally made the most of their chances and made a team pay for the dominance, although seeing a Brentford fan lose his rag was the highlight of my night.

After thinking about the last few home results and the Bees last few away results I was cautiously optimistic walking down Victoria Road to the ground. Once I done the usual ritual of buying a £3 programme, golden goal and 50/50 ticket, for the second game in a row I was approached my a man with recorder, who was interviewing random fans round the ground, but I was gagging for a drink I happily declined him and went through the turnstiles.

On hearing the teams I was once again quite optimistic, a number of players coming in that were hungry to play, but I was slightly worried that without Green we may struggle, but how wrong I was ! The referee blew for the game to start and if I'm honest, Brentford had most of the ball in the first ten minutes, but like most teams, including ourselves, not making much of it. Then came a torrid five minutes for Femi, losing/missing the ball and hitting numerous misplaced passes, whilst I think he's come in and done a good job, McCrory should have the left back reigns handed to him in my opinion. He is much more experienced and has gone through a learning curve in the last few months, but don't get me wrong, Femi has done a overall good job there in the last 4 months. Then on 19 minutes came the first goal, a good move had just been snuffed out down the left and the ball came back to Femi, who put a decent low cross in, which Royce parried. As it hit his fingertips, there was Jon Nurse on hand to slot it into a basically empty net, as well as giving us the lead, this broke a very unhealthy record. This goal was the first time since we played Leyton Orient in September that we scored at the Marcus James Stand end, as the 1600 Daggers cheered we all sensed a sigh of relief.

The Daggers continued to press for the remainder of the half although the main scare came on about 35 minutes, a Bees players cut down the wing and swung a low ball in, a tap in for Brentford and an equaliser, surely ? No, of course not. That gallent 41 year old Welshman by the name of Tony Roberts, make a terrific save at the toes of the player and being kicked in the head in the process. This man is Mr Dagenham, always the joker, but such a professional, he kept our lead there and not for the first time this season ! As half time approached I tucked into my chips and my cup of tea, wary of what may come, whilst having a chuckle at Arsenal losing 1-0, not a good idea that, was it !

As we started the second half, Brentford once again started slightly the brighter, with a Grabban shot being blocked well by Ogogo, but then the Daggers onslaught began. Before I go into this, I have to mention the PA announcer, calling for any FA qualified referee around the ground to report to the dugouts, it had me laughing and it was a great moment. Then we had around about five corners all in quick succession, surely a Dagger was bound to score from one, but they didn't. Brentfords Karleigh Osborne did instead. Currie whipped a ball in that found it's way to the penalty spot, and Osborne, trying to header it over the bar, headed it into the back of his net, giving Bees keeper Simon Royce no chance. After these two goals, I was beginning to think maybe the Daggers tide had turned, maybe we were getting the luck we deserved. As the Daggers began to sit back slightly, they broke out. A great move done both channels, ended up with a ball from Femi, once again played into the middle of the box, smashed into the Brentford net, leaving Royce with not a hope in hell ! As Nurse and the others went off to celebrate I'm sure many fans thought that perhaps this escape is just possible, maybe we can do it, after all I and many others thought this all along.

Just as we were all settling back and from the cheering and celebrations, Jon Nurse hooked a ball from inside the by line in the penalty area back to Vincelot who was waiting on the edge of the six yard box, having beaten his marker. We all knew what came next, a well placed header right into the bottom corner of the goal. Dagenham & Redbridge 4-0 Brentford. Then a few minutes later, a sight that everyone wanted to see, Sam Saunders returning to Victoria Road, in place of Gary Alexander, he was given a largely warm reception, with some fans booing him. Chants of "Sammy Sammy Saunders" ringing round the ground did bring a smile to mine and his face too I'm sure. From then on, nothing much of note if I'm honest with you, a great roar came up when Jon Nurse went off, the fans appreciating his great contribution to the game with big Bas Savage coming on. Marvin Morgan was then given an opportunity to open his Daggers account, but blazed over from just about 8 yards. The only disappointment for me, Brentford scored with almost the last kick of the game Charlie MacDonald lashing one into the back of the Daggers net.

The referee Mr Hooper then finally blew his whistle, the Daggers had won at home for the first time since October and what a feeling, the 300 or so Bees fans slumped out of the ground as we cheered ferociously, that this may be the start of our climb out of the bottom 4. Due to this defeat Brentford boss Andy Scott may well have lost his job, but that's football I'm afraid.
One player that I feel deserves a special mention other than Nurse who was outstanding tonight, Damien Scannell.
He hasn't had the easiest of times here, but he played some great football tonight, always getting there to make the play and doing some terrific tackling and passing. If he keeps up performances like this, who says he can't challenge Danny Green ?

All in all, a great performance and a return to winning ways at Victoria Road.
Hope You Enjoyed My Views !!!