Friday, 11 March 2011

The Big Preview: Swindon Town vs Daggers

The Daggers travel to the County Ground hoping to extend their good run of form and see them edge even further clear of the relegation places, whilst Swindon need a win to even think about moving off the bottom.

As usual first look is at the recent results of the two teams, which has been pretty contrasting. Swindon haven't been doing well recently with their last game being a devastating 1-0 defeat away to fellow relegation rivals Plymouth, in which they started really well, but failed to capitalise on dominance before Rory Fallon scored the only goal of the game for the Pilgrims. Their last Saturday game was a 0-0 draw at home to other relegation rivals Walsall, neither side showed any real intent in a game that was pretty drab and short of goal mouth action from start to finish. The Daggers on the other hand have been playing well recently, a 1-0 win in the Essex derby on Tuesday night will give them great confidence for this. The only goal was scored by Bas Savage in a tight affair with neither team playing their best, but Dagenham & Redbridge ground out the result to get them out of the drop zone. Our last Saturday game was a 2-0 victory at the Memorial Stadium against Bristol Rovers. Danny Green & Romain Vincelot scored the goals to help us on our way against a poor Rovers side who looked near certainties for the drop on Saturday, but have picked up slightly since then.

Savage netted in midweek
 Now is a look at the recent form of both of the sides which as I touched on earlier has been pretty contrasting. Swindon haven't won in 14 games since an impressive 4-2 success at Charlton back in January. This run see's them with just one point picked up in the last six, that was against Walsall at the weekend, Paul Hart's first home game since taking over from Danny Wilson in Wiltshire. This run has seen defeats against Plymouth, Southampton, Carlisle, Colchester & Leyton Orient with only two goals scored but a far to many nine conceded. Their defence has shown signs of tightening up recently after keeping a clean sheet at home at the weekend, they need to start scoring to avoid relegation, with only 17 home goals, it's the second poorest on the league behind Yeovil Town. They have also won the joint least at home in the league along with ourselves and a couple of others down there on five. The daggers on the other hand are on their best run of the season, the first back to back wins of the season after the 1-0 defeat of Colchester on Tuesday night lifted us out of the relegation zone on goal difference. With only two defeats in the last eight games, things are really beginning to pick up with what seemed the impossible becoming that much more possible with games in hand. An impressive 9th in the form table with three wins in the last six and only one defeat against AFC Bournemouth at Victoria Road. A decent away record has helped with 15 points picked up away from home and 17 goals scored with it, the same as Swindons home scoring record.

Ritchie in his Daggers
 Team News: Swindon Town should hand a debut to striker Calvin Andrew who signed for the Robins in midweek from Paul Hart's old club Crystal Palace. First choice keeper David Lucas will once again be missing for the clash, so Phil Smith will start once again after playing at Plymouth on Tuesday night. Other than that Hart's men should be unchanged with former daggers Matt Ritchie lining up to play against us rather than with us, he will be a threat. Mike Grella is one of their main goal threats along with the newly signed Andrews as the Robins hope for a good result against the resurgent Daggers. Dagenham & Redbridge should stay unchanged from the the Essex derby win on Tuesday, Femi will once again play at left back after Damien McCrory was injured last Saturday, it's unknown exactly how long he will be out for. Abu Ogogo is fully fit so Ifil will once again take his place on the bench, whilst Will Antwi may return to a place on the bench after regaining some sort of fitness, he could replace Phil Walsh there. The only other change John Still is liable to make is possibly dropping Jon Nurse or more likely Bas Savage for Darren Currie as we revert to the familiar 4-5-1 away formation. Scott Doe will be playing against the club where it all started for him, having been an academy player at the County Ground.

Previous Meetings:
Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 Swindon Town       2010/2011
Swindon Town 1-2 Dagenham (predecessor)           1984/1985
Dagenham (predecessor) 0-0 Swindon Town           1984/1985
Ilford (predecessor) 2-4 Swindon Town                   1933/1934

The referee for this one is Mr G Sutton, the Dag & Red game's he's reffed are;-
Port Vale 3-1 Dagenham & Redbridge                  2009/2010
Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Cheltenham Town     2009/2010
Hartlepool United 2-1 Dagenham & Redbridge     2005/2006

This game is likely to be tight, with both teams in desperate need of the points, Swindon more so I suppose it's anyone's to call. On form and recent results Dagenham & Redbridge should win this one, but this is football and under new boss Paul Hart Swindon are liable to get a result out of this.

My prediction is Swindon Town 1-1 Dagenham & Redbridge.
Everytime i predict a draw we seem to win, so lets hope we can keep it up !!

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