Saturday, 19 March 2011

Daggers 2-1 Charlton: In Our Hands

Back In The Day......
Charlton Athletic once won the FA Cup, Dagenham & Redbridge once won the Ismithian League, but we all know history counts for nothing and today that was proven. This proves that despite one team having players from West Ham and a signing for £150,000 you can still lose if you don't have the grit and determination like the Daggers have shown more of in recent weeks. We all remember the infamous cup replay in 2001, and yet now we're on level terms, amazing.
As per usual we start with the walk down Viccy Road, and alas, the winkballers were back ! Luckily for me they were all occupied with others so i waltzed in, got my usual fix of a 50/50, golden goal and a programme and went through the turnstiles. Getting my burger and my coke, I just turned to see the Marcus James Stand, clearly there was going to be a good attendance today to go with what promised to be an interesting match. The teams were read out and our only change from last week was Solly Taiwo on the bench with Damien Scannell replacing him, so it looked pretty alright. However we always had to be wary of the threat of Charlton, Bradley Wright Phillips & Nathan Ecclestone are two big players and i was shocked that the later didn't start. As the teams were introduced a guard of honour was formed with daggers record goal scorer Danny Shipp at the end. After the usual do da's we done the unusual thing of facing the Bury Road terrace which other teams have made us do in recent weeks. True to recent week's the opposing team made us swap so we were facing our preferred end, good tactical move by Mark Arber. I apologise in advance for the spelling of Charlton's keepers name.

Always Handy To Have A Nurse

The game kicked off with the Daggers having the usual lump forward and an early foray created a opportunity for Nurse who's shot was well saved by Ross Warner in the Addicks goal. A corner followed which was well cleared before a snap shot from Peter Gain found it's way over the bar. We continued the sustained pressure for about 5 minutes, with a number of corners and half shots not really troubling Warner. Then came Charlton's first chance, a corner by McCormack found its way to Llera who's shot was saved easily by Tony Roberts. Just minutes later came a booking for Peter Gain, with Charlton breaking, a challenge from behind took Scott Wagstaff down and Gain was probably rightly booked for a silly challenge. Charlton then had another corner which came to former Scotland international Christian Daily who headed it way over the bar. A good ball in from the left by the lively Damien Scannell found Matt Fry in the middle and was unfortunately cleared away. Then came a good move by the Daggers, the ball was picked up in the centre and played to Jon Nurse down the right who stuck a good first time ball into the box that Warner just got his hands on to with Savage waiting to pounce. Then came the first goal of the game. The ball wasn't cleared within the Charlton 18 yard box and the ball fell to Jon Nurse who weaved one way then took it on to his left foot I think it was and unleashed a magnificent effort past the Charlton defence and Warner into the back of the empty net. Just over 2000 Daggers erupted as the Charlton following looked stunned that they were actually losing as Nurse & co went off to celebrate a magnificent strike.

I've tried my best not to mention this as it's not part of the game, but since Paul Benson left for Charlton Jon Nurse has really stepped up to the plate and for those of you that once said he didn't have enough goals in his game, he's proved you wrong. Then came another great chance for the Daggers so I'm told, at this point I was getting my coke for the second half, sod the half time queues ! As I came back up i scratched off my 50/50 ticket and low and behold I won, £50 in the bank thank you very much ! A corner by Danny Green was then cleared to Femi who stuck the ball back in but it came to nothing. Then one of Charlton's very few chances, on loan striker Nouble tested Tony Roberts who made a decent save to preserve the lead. Just after yet another Gain shot came but once again same outcome, blocked. As the fourth official held his board up to signal two minutes added time Scannell unleashed a good shot that was for the umpteenth time in this game, blocked by Miguel Llera. The referee then blew up for half time in this game with Dagenham & Redbridge leading Charlton Athletic by one goal to nil.

So then the teams went in to the tunnel as everyone descended to get the half time grub & drink. Myself, well I went into the club shop to pick up my winnings, marvelous, just marvelous ! Moving back up and listening to the half times it came as a shock that Orient were losing considering their recent excellent run of form. An overview of the first half ? A good performance with the Daggers having a deserved lead, how Charlton were pushing for the play offs I have no idea if I'm brutally honest. They looked ordinary and I'm sorry to any Addicks reading this, because your team for the players you have got and the money you've spent at this level were poor. Saying that, I not anyone else was confident of just a 1-0 lead, it needed to be built on in the second half, as I'm sure both teams managers gave their teams an inspiring half time team talk. Chris Powell was probably throwing china cups at his men having said that !

Green Celebrates
 The players emerged for the second half with the sieve in jubilant voice and the sun in everyones eyes. The first piece of action was a Danny Green corner which was cleared away by Alan McCormack before Romain Vincelot had a foul given his way. Dean Parrett then tried his luck, but it wasn't in with his shot going wide of the target. Then a lovely little move down the right ended up with the ball falling to Danny Green just outside of the 6 yard box who smashed a half volley into the top corner leaving Warner with no chance for the second time in the match. Everyone went crazy as Greeny ran over to the bench to celebrate, leaving Chris Powell scratching his head as his side were going down with a whimper. The assist for the goal came from the lively Scannell who was having a great game by this point, running his nuts off. The Daggers continued with the momentum, Danny Green having another shot well saved by Warner before a cynical foul outside the box gave Green the chance for another strike. As he lined it up, the whistle blew, it was smashed straight into the wall. Make no mistake whoever blocked that, will have butt cheeks like a baboons arse in the morning ! Jon Nurse was then caught offside, after that yet another challenge on Nurse left his rolled out on the deck, he really earned his money today.

Nouble was Charltons Best

Then came a double substitution for the Addicks. Matt Fry was replaced by Chris Solly and then to the disgust of the Charlton fans Scott Wagstaff was taken off for Kyle Reid. Charlton fans were booing this change by Powell and if I'm honest I can see why, he's taken off one of their main threats for a midfielder really. A rather unusual decision. Femi then commited a challenge as Charlton were attacking down the right, considering a couple of Charlton players had made worse challenges in my opinion, the booking Femi received was pretty harsh. Then Nouble who looked like Charltons only real threat on the afternoon took a shot that was comfortably saved by the veteran Roberts in the Daggers goal. By now the sarcastic taunts by the Addicks fans had stopped so there was no more banter for Robbo to have, what a shame for all of us ! Danny Green was then sent through again, but Ross Worner dashed off of his line to boot the ball upfield, it fell to Christian Daily who was remarkably far upfield. He whipped in a delightful ball that found the head of Nouble yet again, but he could only direct a tame header into the hand of Tony Roberts. Just after this Charlton made their final change in hope of salvaging something from the game. Then Liverpool loanee Nathan Ecclestone came on for Alan McCormack to the delight of the 1156 Charlton followers who had made the trip across London. Then Damien Scannell darted down the left, cut inside and unleashed an unstoppable effort that flashed just inched past the post, I thought it was in. Danny Green then swung another ball in, it was flicked on towards the far post when Scott Doe got a firm connection on to it, it cannoned off of the post and out for a goal kick.

The fourth official held up the board and displayed a minimum of four minutes added time. A corner was put in and an almighty scramble occurred. The ball was eventually hammered in to the net to make it 2-1 to the Daggers, this ensured for a nervy finish. The Charlton fans that had stayed this long finally found their voices, but were no match for the vocals of the sieve who reigned supreme as usual. Wright Phillips who was virtually non existent for the majority stuck a decent ball in that Nouble put on to the roof of the net to Charltons despair. Up the other end it went and Solomon Taiwo was brought on for Damien Scannell who was superb today, he ran his bollocks off, excuse my french. It was just unfortunate he was booked for taking about a whole minute to walk from one side of the pitch to the other to John Still's anger which he vented out on the referee. After a late free kick was conceded by Peter Gain it was last gasp for Charlton and as the ball trickled out of play, it was effectively over. Just one or two more punts and the referee blew his whistle. A frank exchange took place between Nouble & Green, the quick minded of you will get the poor pun in there.
Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 Charlton Athletic.

Powell is under pressure.

I think it is fair to say if beating Swindon was our biggest win previously, then this was simply amazing and obviously our biggest win ever. You simply cannot emphasize the sheer magnitude of this victory, it is amazing. This kind of display shows how far we have come and I'm sure Charlton will agree how far they've slipped. Many Addicks will say "we must be dreadful if we can't even beat Dagenham." The fact is, in this game you only get out what you put in and Charlton, despite all their big names and seemingly great players couldn't fashion any clear cut opportunities. After seeing Charlton this afternoon, I now realise how their run of dreadful form has come about and if they do not pick up they will have to look over there shoulders.
Saying this, take nothing away from the Daggers this afternoon, it was a tremendous performance, we battled, we played decent football and we took our chances. If we play like this every week there is no reason why we cannot stay up.  We made them look ordinary today and we are turning Victoria Road back into a fortress again. This was one of the best performances by us and every credit to the lads, they're doing a terrific job.
As for Charlton, you have to ask was it the correct decision to sack Phil Parkinson, Powell started off well, but he's now lost 7 out of 8 which has seen Charlton plummet down the table into 13th place. If he doesn't watch himself he may soon be out a job.

The Ratings: Roberts 7, Doe 7, Arber 7, Ogogo 8, Femi 7, Gain 7, Green 9, Vincelot 8, Scannel 8, Nurse 8, Savage 7. Subs: Taiwo 7, a fantastic block towards the end, his only piece of action.
Referee: Mr Williamson 7, a lot better than some of the ones we get.

Next Up: Leyton Orient vs Dagenham & Redbridge 19:45 22nd March.

The Table

The last thing, despite this magnificent result we cannot afford to sit back and dwell, with all other clubs getting decent results, it's same as you were really, the usual 50 point mark doesn't seem enough this season, so every point and any point is precious.
Come On You Daggers !!!!

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