Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Daggers 0-2 Peterborough: 4 Minutes To Kill The Game

Dagenham & Redbridge returned to Victoria Road earlier tonight to face Peterborough United who had former Dagger Craig Mackail Smith in their ranks.

Mr 500 !

Walking down a strangely empty Victoria Road, I thought that maybe we could snatch something from this one, although Peterborough have the best attackers in the league in my opinion, they have an unbelievably shaky defence and goalkeeper Joe Lewis hasn't been on form recently either. Getting into Victoria Road, who was there ? You guessed it. Winkballers. After ushering them aside for the umpteenth time this season I preceded into the ground with the usual routine, you should know it all by now. After getting a cuppa instead of my usual coke, I made my way to my place to hear the teams over the tannoy, the big news and expected was that John Akinde replaced Bas Savage up front after a good debut in the defeat at Exeter at the weekend. This was a night of returns and awards, the first of course being Welsh stalwart Tony Roberts making his 500th appearance for the club, what an achievement for the man, a true Daggers legend who started against Leigh RMI, a real character and we'll see him on our hallowed turf for many years to come I should think. Then there was Jon Nurse making his 150th appearance, Mark Arber & Peter Gain playing against their former clubs, but the biggest of these was Craig Mackail Smith who returned to the club that "made him" so to speak. Robbo picked up a tankard as the teams were preparing at the start and the game got underway.

Ball was on the Ball
 The Daggers were the first off the mark, with a lively and energetic first few minutes, West Ham loanee Oliver Lee putting a half volley just wide of the far post. Then just as it seemed the Daggers were getting a hold of the game, Peterborough broke, Craig Mackail Smith playing a pass outside the box to David Ball who is on loan from Manchester City, he took a couple of paces into the penalty area before firing well past a beaten Tony Roberts in the Daggers goal. Peterborough's first attack on the break and they had scored. Just as John Still's men tried to get back on their feet, the lead was doubled on just 8 minutes, a move down the left looked like it was going to be cleared until bouncing back off of Scott Doe's heel and into the path of David Ball who was in the right place at the right time. He put it into the left corner of the net after getting to the ball before the two Daggers players. Inside 10 minutes and the Daggers were already staring down the barrel at a defeat. Dagenham fashioned another chance just afterwards, the ball falling to Akinde who was making his home debut, his turn and shot went wide of the post, should it have been on target it would have been an easy save. Posh then got a free kick just outside the box after a foul was given, McCann's week effort was easily saved by Robbo.

Lee was looking good for the Daggers
 Once again the Daggers went down the left hand side of the pitch, Akinde doing some good hold up play, turned his man easily before laying the ball off to Lee, the ball was bobbling which may have justified his shot that went harmlessly over the bar. Oliver Lee was looking a good acquisition at this stage, doing some neat passing and being Dag & Reds main goal threat, another smart dip into the loan marker by JS. George Boyd then made his way dangerously down the right, controlling the ball well before looping it into the area, no player was able to get there, Arber headed it clear before Lee made sure the danger was averted. Then a moment of danger, Ball broke again down the right this time before cutting in, his curling shot just bounced wide of Robbo's far post before hitting the advertising boarding. A good spell of football then from the home side, after keeping hold of the ball for well over a minute in the far pocket of the pitch, Green exchanged passes with Akinde before hammering a shot over the bar, Nurse in the middle was furious that Green didn't cross the ball considering the time and space he had. Mackail Smith then broke free up the other end, his pace seeing him run through before Arbs got a block in on his shot. Then probably the closest we came to a goal. Another decent move down the right resulted in Akinde turning, running a few steps before blasting in a shot, it deflected off of a Peterborough player and went just wide of the far post, Joe Lewis was stranded in the goal as it went out for a corner. Just before the half time whistle the ball fell to Vincelot who was being given a torrid time by the Posh players who nodded it down to Gain. Peter Gain, famed for consistent goalscoring of course dually volley tamely wide of the target, that was the last action of a poor first half.

Into half times when the scored were read out, hearing Spurs 1-0 down to Real Madrid naturally made me laugh, especially considering a number of Daggers fans probably stayed in to watch that rather than come out, which begs the question are they Daggers fans ? Then came probably the best action of the game. Someone complaining that a Peterborough fan was in the Carling Stand, was he; yes. Was he causing any trouble seeing as he was with his wife; no. A small incident blown out of proportion because of someone complaining to the steward, simply ludicrous, get a life ! The usual thinking I might win the 50/50 was dashed as I didn't win it. So i read the programme, especially enjoying the piece on Robbo, what a read !

Green in the thick
of it

The second half began with a Peterborough free kick, McCann whipped it in from the left and Arber got a firm head on it to clear it away. Dagenham were then given a golden opportunity, a good flowing move down the left hand side ended up with the ball being played into McCrory who was about to pull the trigger, but he stepped on the ball. A golden chance wasted, should it have been Danny Green, an almost certain goal I should think, but alas another chance wasted. The Daggers then had a handball appeal turned down, was it, wasn't it, you decide ? George Boyd was then given his first chance, a ball floated over the top found its way to him, before Scott Doe made sure the ball found its way back to Roberts, a good piece of defending. A few minutes later Danny Green earnt a free kick down the right hand side which he floated in towards the back post, Vincelot failed to get a decent connection on it as he used his right foot, had he used his left it may have been a different story, but the ball found its way back to Lewis. Nurse then continued to work his bo****ks off by chasing down a ball and forcing the Posh player to boot it at him, one again though, no lucky break came from it. Charlie Lee then done well to intercept Green and he then went on a mazey run, half the length of the pitch in fact before clipping a delightful ball over the top to Mackail Smith who dazzled Doe, getting him in a tangle before firing into the side netting to the anguish of the Borough fans.

Akinde, my man of the

Joe Lewis then showed his recent frailties, a chip into the box by Gain turned into a shot and what looked like a simple same from the Posh keeper turned into a palava, having to just tip the ball over the bar for another Green corner. Abu Ogogo was then the next Dagger to misplace a pass, plenty of time in the middle of the pitch so he decided to pass it back to Peterborough who then of course broke away. Mackail Smith took the ball forward before playing it right to Tommy Rowe, his dreadful touch allowed McCrory to pace back and put it out much to Ogogo's relief. Then came the usual flurry of late subs. The first being John Akinde who made a tremendous home debut in my opinion replaced by Damien Scannell much to my dismay, surely Lancaster would have been a smarter choice, but John Still knows best. Then Tom Kennedy was strechered off for Posh after coming off worse in a 50/50 challenge with Ogogo, he was replaced by Grant Basey, he went off to a round of applause, good sportsmanship there. Just a minute afterwards Greeny was then replaced by Currie as Still looked to bring a new dimension to the game, which may have been tried ever so slightly too late. Mackail Smith then broke free once again down the left before cutting in and swinging a shot into the Marcus James Stand with just minutes of regular time left. The final think was Langmead coming on for Wesolowski for Peterborough.

The referee blew his whistle and 1600 or so Daggers trudged out of Victoria Road knowing that we may be back in the relegation zone if Bristol Rovers had won tonight. This game was much like Sheffield Wednesday on the opening day. The game was finished because of two early goals that were well taken and had a slice of luck about them. We were simply not at the races tonight, despite that we continued to fashion opportnities and we looked capable of scoring. What didn't we do enough ? We didn't press the players particularly well and the midfield were simply over run, we also didn't test Joe Lewis enough, in this league the keeper has to be tested or you will simply go down without a fight. Peterborough had two clear cut chances and they took them, what more can you say ? The lads always battle hard and they'll continue to until that last whistle blows come about 16:50 at London Road on the 7th May, they are Daggers and Daggers always give it their all, always give it their heart and always do it for the fans. From what I can see every player was abiding by those rules, ok maybe the performance wasn't to much but in recent weeks despite results we have been sensational. Against Brighton last week we were brilliant, against Exeter we were brilliant, you cant fault the lads for that, but we have to score the vital goals and defend that much better if we're going to stay up. Just a word on the Peterborough support, considering they're up there in the league, I feel the 400 odd they brought tonight was a very poor showing regardless of what's on the TV.

My Ratings:
Roberts 7: Nothing to do real, good kicking on his 500th game for us.
Ogogo 7: Done ok, couple of misplaced passes, challenged well.
Arber 7: Mopped up everything thrown at him, again some un needed hoofing.
Doe 7: Don well against CMS, did get wrong side sometimes, overall was pretty good.
McCrory 7: Done well against the winger, whipped some good balls in as well.
Gain 7: Battled well, couple of shots as well.
Vincelot 8: Good headers again, got stuck in, as good as ever.
Green 7: Decent crossing, good set pieces, consistent of late.
Lee 8: Great game, composed, looks to shoot, will be a future star.
Nurse 7: Done well, got the headers, chased down loose balls.
Akinde 9: My star man, as far as debuts go he was great, held the ball up, good passing, played it, actually got some shots away and even manages to head the ball. What we need.
Currie/Scannell 6: Couldnt get into the game, not their fault though.

Well, we need at least 50 points to stay up and we need to win our home games from now on, three left against teams that we can beat. Will we win them ? Only time weill tell.

Unfortunately for you I'm away from Saturday morning onwards so you will have to miss two match reports, I can tell you're crying into your tea/lager/whisky or whatever you're drinking.

Next Up: Notts County 9th April, 15:00 Kick Off

1 comment:

  1. Good blog!

    And this is not a criticism, just some mitigating circumstances for the small number of Posh fans at the game last night, as sometimes things are not as obvious as they seem. In the last month Posh have played away at Notts County (1400 fans), Sheff Wed (650), MK Dons (1600), and Bristol Rovers (400) and ALL have been midweek! Then they travel to Huddersfield on Saturday so I expect budgets had more to do with the relatively small turnout last night than Spurs being on the telly. :o)