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 The team news came in and I was once again optimistic, especially seeing the out of sorts Femi had been  replaced by Damien McCrory at left back.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 !!!!!

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