Saturday, 30 April 2011

Daggers 3-0 Carlisle: The Final Showdown

Steve Thompson deserves
the credit.
Dagenham & Redbridge signed off their home campaign this season with a convincing 3-0 home victory against mid-table Carlisle United. Two Jon Nurse goals and a Danny Green strike late on made sure the fight goes down to the last day, although Daggers will have to down without the talismanic Green against Peterborough after he was shown red late on.

Walking down Victoria Road I was understandably nervous, after all a defeat at home and a Walsall win would be enough to send us down. Seeing "pulse", the Daggers dancers with buckets asking for donations at the gate made us laugh a fair bit, they must have been trying to get enough cash to afford a choreographer. The usual fix of golden goal, 50/50 and a programme were bought so I headed through the turnstiles for the last time this season to watch the might Daggers destroy the Cumbrians, or so I hoped. Getting my burger and coke I went to the stand to just hear the teams over the tannoy, our only change was Solomon Taiwo coming in for Billy Bingham in the middle. As all four sides of the ground filled up the atmosphere was very good, with Carlisle bringing a very impressive 350 in my opinion, it was all set for a tense, exciting and potentially nerve racking game. The teams came out onto the pitch, the sunlight glaring down on us all, every single one of our fans hoping for a repeat of the scoreline at Brunton Park in December.

Arbs & Paul Thirwell done the coin toss, which Thirwell won and decided to switch ends, this meant Dagenham would be attacking Bury Road in the first half and Carlisle attacking the Marcus James Stand. The game kicked off and almost instantly there was action. Just four or so minutes in, John Akinde done well to win the ball back down the left, he cut into the box where Lubo Michalik tried to tackle across and win the ball, but only succeeded in bringing down the Bristol City loanee inside the penalty area. The referee blew his whistle and pointed to the spot. This is the point where I owe everyone an apology, because I have previously said that Danny Green has not missed a penalty this season. True to form. Green stepped up and hit the penalty towards the bottom left corner, Adam Collin got a superb hand to it to, but he didn't push it wide of the post. It fell out onto the 6 yard box, where Nurse was running to, he got there ahead of the Carlisle defence and calmly hit the ball home into the bottom right hand corner to give the Daggers a one goal lead. Sigh's of relief rang round Victoria Road along with the decibel counter going crazy, three sides erupted as Jon Nurse ran to the sieve to celebrate the goal.

Everyone composed themselves again and Carlisle kicked off after suffering that very early blow. Nothing much happened for the next 10 minutes, very much a midfield battle, Zoko was released down the left, but a good challenge by Ogogo was Dagenham get a free kick after the Frenchman tried to get the ball back. Danny Green was then given another chance to showcase his set piece ability, he floated a brilliant corner in which met Vincelot's square on the head, he glanced it just yards wide of the far post. Colin's goal kick went up the other end where a Daggers defender cleared it for Carlisle's first corner of the game. James Berrett hit one towards the back post where JPT goalscorer Peter Murphy was on hand to put a bullet header far into the MJ Stand for a Daggers goal kick. Danny Green then got another corner on the left hand side, he whipped it in and it nearly found its way over Collin and into the net, just hitting the top of the net so Carlisle got the goal kick. The Daggers then had another decent appeal for a penalty, John Akinde's shot inside the box, it struck an arm, but it would have been almighty harsh if given. Just on the twenty minute mark and Vincelot got his head to the ball from a Danny Green long throw and it bounced identically to the one he had previously, going just wide of the mark.

Simek shot just wide

A Carlisle United corner was cleared well, where it fell to a Cumbrian player about 40 yards from goal, Danny Green done exceptionally well to tackle him and get the ball. He played it forward to Frenchman Vincelot, with two strides he played it towards Jon Nurse who was in acres down the right hand side. He got to the edge of the box and took slightly too long to choose what to do, it ended up getting stuck under his feet before he played a neat little ball to Akinde near the penalty spot. Akinde, like Nurse got it stuck under his feet, looking to swivel and shoot on the spot, his path was blocked so turned once more and hammered a shot goalwards; it cleared Collin's post and cannoned back off the brick wall behind the goal. A great opportunity that really could and should have heralded more. Carlisle were then give there first real chance of the game, the ball fell to Simek who was about 30 yards out near the corner of the Daggers box, his fierce shot whistled just wide of Roberts' right hand post. A warning to the Daggers of what Carlisle are capable of.

Collin saved Carlisle from a hiding, but couldn't prevent
Nurse's second of the afternoon.

Dagenham & Redbridge then doubled the lead. Michaliks ball back hits Akinde who runs at the defence down the right, his shot was parried well by Collin, but Nurse was once again their to score a simple tap in to make it 2-0. Carlisle's defence was too slow off the mark much to Collin's disgust, but Nurse wheeled off once more to the sieve as we all celebrated another priceless goal. Just after Carlisle kicked off, they managed to get another corner. Berrett whipped it in once more, Robbo had to come through a tough crowd of players to catch the ball, head and shoulders above the rest. News then filtered through of Walsall taking the lead against Charlton which dampened spirits slightly. Jon Nurse then smashed a ball towards goal which was pushed wide by Collin who was more than earning his wage this afternoon. A lovely little move down the left for the Daggers with Akinde & Gain inter changing lead to Gain firing a pin point cross into the box, which the keeper couldn't come for. Nurse could only stretch out a foot and prod it tamely to Collin who was grateful it was straight at him I should think. Another great piece of play, Jon Nurse outstanding in the first period. To any Carlisle fan reading this and thinking I'm being unfair, I have to say, it really was this one sided and there was one more piece to come in the first half. Femi was fouled about 10 yards out the box, Danny Green lined up the free kick and smashed it at Collin who once again parried it down. John Akinde got there ahead of the Cumbrian defence and looked a certainty to score but fluffed his lines and hit it high over the bar and into Bury Road.

That was half time and a sensational first half performance looked like it may have wrapped the game up, but as I was quick to point out at the time, we've been in positions like this before and thrown it away, no room for being complacent just yet. Carlisles fans were understandably not happy and voiced that at their team as they went in for the break. I did of course, not win the 50/50 draw and as the half times were read out it was fairly muted, the good news that Plymouth had won, the bad news being that Walsall were winning and Bristol Rovers were drawing. It was tense and as Pulse performed for the final time this season, one performer stood out from the rest for me. Digger the Dog, how he isn't spotted by a talent agency is simply beyond me.

Antwi made a vital block to deny Zoko
The teams emerged for the second half and I noticed something as Robbo took his place in front of the Bury Road terrace. He was wearing odd boots. One was green and red, the other was black with the Nike tick, make your own assumptions with that one. Carlisle kicked off and gave the ball away straight away. John Akinde I think it was, crossed from the left, Jon Nurse was on hand at the back post, he headed the ball into the floor and just as it looked as though it was in the back of the net, Collin got back to pull off a great save to tip it over the bar. It earned praise from all sides of the ground, this keeper was saving Carlisle from a hiding, excuse that amazing pun. Carlisle then had their first shot of the second period. Zoko was given space on the edge of the box, his rasping shot smashed off Antwi's thigh and out of play, a great block from the big central defender who looked slightly suspect in the first half. Jon Nurse then picked up a booking after a Carlisle free kick on the half way line was blocked by the Barbadian international who wasn't 10 yards away. Tom Taiwo was then taken off for Paddy Madden for Carlisle.

Femi was excellent this afternoon.
Just over 10 minutes after that, Femi who was having a superb game, tackled Zoko excellently down the left and went on a surging run forward. He got to the edge of Cumbrian box before not knowing what to do. Everyone urged him to shoot on his favoured left foot, but he tried to cut inside, he lost the ball but almost won it back, Akinde & Nurse were both on hand to help out but they cleared the danger once again. Danny Green then found his way into the referee's book. As Carlisle looked like breaking away Green tripped Matty Robson after he played the pass. To their dismay the referee blew for the free kick even though Zoko was clean through down the right. Danny Green received a yellow card for his troubles. Then came probably the funniest moment of the game you can't deny we've all wanted to see it. As Dagenham went on the attack, a Carlisle player put his boot through the ball, it ended up in the little hut at the top of the sieve where the camera men are. It made everyone laugh and I'm pretty sure the camera man bricked it.

Madden threatened
Paddy Madden had a first time strike on the edge of the area, but his poor effort goes wide of the post without troubling Roberts. Carlisle then made another substitution, this time Lubo Michalik came off for Danny Livesley. They then threatened once more. Madden who looked like their biggest threat after being introduced, hammered a good shot towards Roberts' far side, the palmed it clear, unlike the Daggers goals, there was no player in a block of blue shirt there to pick up the re bound and slot home, so Green cleared it upfield. Just minutes later after that, Akinde laid the ball off to Nurse on the edge of the area, he hit a curling shot, that was well saved once more by Collin, not even going out for a corner. Greg Abbott then made his final change of the afternoon on 80 minutes, Craig Curran being replaced by Rory Loy. Then Carlisle looked like they would finally get their goal. Mark Arber was dispossessed towards the middle and a Carlisle player sprinted down the left, he put a beauty of a ball in with the unmarked Rory Loy waiting to tap it in. Then, from nowhere big Will Antwi came back and made a priceless interception to deny Long and Carlisle, possibly the challenge of the day. Just another minute later it looked as though Madden was in, however Roberts came out big and strong and collected the ball, sending Madden tumbling as well.

From hero to
villain in seconds
Danny Green then had a good shot from the right saved from Collin, the ball was then cleared. Just a couple of minutes later however Green did find away past the stopper, Akinde prodded the ball to Green who cut inside and hammered the ball past Collin who stood no chance for the visitors. Game, set, match, we were taking our fight to London Road on the last day. John Still then made a sub, John Akinde coming off to rapturous applause, being replaced by Basir Mohammed Savage, Bas Savage to you and I of course. Then came the moment of madness from Danny Green. Lunging in on Matty Robson to earn him his second yellow and a sending off. More importantly, it rules him out of next weeks crunch game against Peterborough, a stupid sending off after his brilliant strike, the only sour note to a great day. Zoko got himself booked in injury time after a bad tackle on Bas Savage.

Final score: Dagenham & Redbridge 3-0 Carlisle United

A simply superb performance all round from the Daggers, especially in the first half, Carlisle were quite poor, although a pick up in the second half saw them pile on a bit of pressure at times. Take nothing away from every Dagger today, they worked their socks off and I'm not even doing player ratings as they were all maginifcent. Stand out performers for me today?  Jon Nurse, Peter Gain, Romain Vincelot & Femi. They were all magnificent, I think special praise deserves to go to Femi, I'm not a fan of him, but he put in a performance again today, considering he's on £175 a week, he's doing a great job and he didn't give Zoko
any time today. Simply superb. A great way to sign off at Victoria Road for the season, and I look forward to seeing the ground again in pre season.

A Vital Game

I'll speak to you next during the week for a Romain Vincelot special blog, until then, I hope you've enjoyed reading this and let's hope we can do it next weekend !

Peterborough United details: Coach Tickets on sale from the Ticket Office at Discounted Prices.
Priced at £10 for Adults & at £5 for everyone else. (Must be purchased by 5th May.)

Moy's End Terrace Prices:
Adults £20, Senior (Over 60) £15, Student (NUS) £15, Junior (U16) £12

A Block Main Stand Prices:
Adults £25, Senior (Over 60) £15, Student (NUS) £15, Junior (U16) £12.

All Under 10's must be accompanied with an adult over the age of 18.
The Tickets are available to purchase at London Road on the day

Can you call it ?

No comments:

Post a Comment