Saturday, 17 September 2011

Daggers 1-2 Morecambe, Revenge.

Dagenham & Redbridge suffered a fourth successive defeat to take their September points total to a big fat zero after a quickfire Morecambe double early in the second half sent the Shrimps home happy.

Walking down to Victoria Road, I was feeling pessimistic, in an optimistic way, which makes no sense at all. I thought we'd lose the game because of our current form, there's always something about when we play Morecambe, just something in the back of my mind that made me think we may actually get something. So in a hurried rush, I arrived at fortress Victoria Road at about 2:40pm and got the usual programme and 50/50, I've cut out getting the golden goal now as it's depressing when the other team always scores first. I went through the turnstiles and saw a quite empty ground, the Morecambe fans surprised me a lot. Considering they're top of the league, you could count the amount they had, the figure was that small, however I don't blame a lot that didn't come, at £22 a ticket I'd probably turn my nose up as well.

The Sieve was slowly filling up, I say slowly, it was filling up about as fast as Phil Ifil can run, so extremely slow! We just caught the the team as we were getting ourselves sorted with beverages and food, or liquid and grub to the common people among us, ie everyone reading this. The only downside for me going into this was that I knew Abu Ogogo was out, Richard Rose is a very good player and I have every confidence, but he's no Abu! I also expected Tomlin to come back into the side, but was unsure who for and as it came over the tannoy, Billy Bingham was the unlucky one.

Daggers Team that Started: Lewington, Femi, Doe, Arber, Rose, Nurse, Gain, Lee, Tomlin, Williams, Scannell. Subs: Hogan, Walsh, McCrory, Bingham, Woodall.

It was just nearing 3:00 and we were off at Victoria Road as it began to cloud over, how ironic! The first five minutes were as ever a midfield battle, although I was hoping we could do a Macclesfield and score after 7 seconds, mind you, scoring at all would be helpful! Morecambe had the first chance of the contest, some good work down the right hand side saw Izak Reid pull a shot away inside the box across Lewington who did, according to the ref, get a touch on it to send it out for a corner, which nothing came of. Then Mr W, you may be able to work out his name from the initial, spotted something very good, that Morecambes kit resembled something Liverpool wore in the 80's, maybe it's modelled on it? Who knows.

The Daggers first chance came just over the 10 minute mark, Damien Scannell who isn't everyones cup of tea fired a shot at Roche from range who made a fairly easy save from the former Southend man. It was then Sam Williams' turn to get a shot away, he turned and fired a half volley which cannoned off of a Morecambe players backside, good intent from the blonde front man.

Yet Another Free Kick
It was a fairly even match after that, very stop start with an endless stream of free kicks for minor and sometimes comical offences, I remember one where Nurse supposedly "handballed" it despite being wrested to the ground by a Morecambe defender who thought he was John Cena, I think that's a wrestler anyways. One bright point, or rather wet point of the afternoon was when the rain came down midway through the first period. Virtually all of the supporters in the Bury Road terrace came running for cover in the Sieve  which was surprisingly dry, cue fantastic songs, "we can see you sneaking in". If we had invested in Arnu's new roof, then this wouldn't have happened, maybe he can give the club 300K in the future to stick one on, forum joke there for any outside readers!

Then came a massive heart in mouth moment for the Daggers. A Morecambe free kick was only partially cleared inside the Daggers box and it was fired back towards the goal line, only a last gasp header off the line from Scott Doe prevented the Shrimps from taking the lead. Doe's header then hit off of Chris Lewington head who was completely unaware as the ball was eventually cleared out down the line by Femi. Five or so minutes later Damien Scannell put in a good cross from down the right, but it went over all of the players and out for a throw in.

The first half was quite drab in all honestly, fairly even, we were matching Morecambe and our corner count was far superior as usual, this is a major criticism for me. For the amount of corners we have game on game, they usually come to nothing, it's something that really annoys me. Scannell did appear to be our main threat in all honesty, Tomlin was doing ok for the amount of the ball he was getting and Williams was doing decent winning flick ons etc.

That was the half over then and we were credible in all honesty, as I said a fairly even match and an interesting one for the second half. I am sitting here with possibly the winning 50/50 ticket on my table, so if anyone does know the 50/50 number could they please be a kind soul and post it underneath, no doubt we'll just get mindless numbers posted now! Good news at half time, Crawley were losing and Pulse weren't performing, there is a god!

The teams reemerged for the second half in the drizzle and I was slyly optimistic, which is never a good sign supporting Dagenham is it? Within minutes Morecambe had broken the deadlock, a ball down the line from tormentor Kevin Ellison found hotshot Danny Carlton who calmly slotted over Chris Lewington to net the opening goal. Mark Arber was the only man with Carlton, but to Arbs' defence, he couldn't do much, a mistimes challenge sees him miss the ball and get a straight red which would have helped our cause no end!

The Daggers nearly hit back immediately, Peter Gain inside the penalty air fired a shot over the bar when he probably should have done slightly better, but that's Gainy, he only scores once every 3 years! It was straight up the other end, Carlton was through once more, only some fantastic keeping from Lewington to block the shot with his body prevented Carlton & Morecambe doubling their afternoon tally.

No need to worry though Morecambe fans, you doubled the lead just minutes later! A cross was put in from the left handside which Lewington palmed out to Drummond who just slotted home with absolute ease, stroked calmly into the bottom corner without so much as an attempt to block. Whilst Lewington probably should have gathered it or punched it better, the defence was so static afterwards that Morecambe deserved the goal so it could act as a bloody wake up call! Then, just minutes from the restart Lewington was tested again, going full stretch to pull off a smart save from a shot drilled across the wet surface.

Then came the first booking of the match, Nick Fenton went into the referee's book after a cynical foul on Jon Nurse. The free kick from the challenge went out for a corner; which was whipped in and found Scannell who fired over, the big man was the most involved for me this afternoon. Then came a flurry of changes. Lewis Alessandra came on for Jason Price, no relation to Vincent. Then a few minutes later came another two. For the Daggers Brian Woodall who had been waiting for several minutes whilst the Daggers were defending, came on for Damien Scannell who was very involved today. This brought some boo's out of the Sieve, which I was very unimpressed with. Kieran Charnock then replaced the booked Nick Fenton for Jim Bentleys side.

Then came a major talking point in the game. Kevin Ellison, no stranger to the Daggers thanks to his fantastic Wembley exploits for Rotherham got down the left hand side and roasted Richard Rose. Rose had to backtrack and caught Ellison in the box with his knees, as a result the Morecambe man went over and was looking for a penalty. The referee blew and to everyones relief gave the Daggers a free kick and booked the baldy for simulation, with a smile on his face he trotted away. I can't tell you how lucky we were as for me, this was a stone wall penalty.

Damien McCrory then came on for Gavin Tomlin at left midfield as the Daggers won a free kick on the far side, Tomlin getting a warm round of applause as he went off. Ollie Lee took the free kick and flighted it in, and to everyones surprise it went straight over Roche inbetween the sticks and into the corner! A delayed applause and cheering ensued, as I'm not quite sure any believed it had gone in, a definite, "did he mean that or what" moment, but at the end of the day, no one gave a monkeys, we were back in the game with 20 minutes still to play, anything could happen from here until the end! Oh, cue Poznan.

Straight after the kick off the Daggers won the ball back, it looked as though they had some real fire in their belly, I recommend gaviscon for that. Oliver Lee picked up the ball, done a shimmy and cut back inside before sticking a good shot just past the post, it looked as though we could actually, against the odds, get something from it! The Daggers got their umpteenth corner of the match and it was whipped in towards the back post. An unmarked Brian Woodall directed it goalwards and just as it looked as though it was going to nestle into the bottom corner, Kevin Ellison popped up to head it off the line to send groans along the Sieve.

Oliver Lee then got another shot away, which made Roche go full stretch to palm it clear, it looked as though the Daggers would get that all important equaliser with every minute that went by. It was then Woodall's turn to get a shot away which was blocked well by the Shrimps defence. It was then sub time again, Haining came on for Reid in a defensive move by Bentley, but John Still counteracted it by sticking Phil Walsh on to play the final five up front in place of Richard Rose who played very well in Abu's absence. We were going three at the back now in an attempt to salvage a point.

I want to tell you that we found that equaliser, but unfortunately we didn't and Morecambe took all three points back home along with the top spot in the league as the Daggers slipped down once again to 19th and extended the losing streak to four in the league.

However I feel there are some positives to take from the game, Femi being the main one, he got a deserved man of the match award today, he was creative and defended very well, shepherding the ball out on numerous occaisions, last season I was highly critical of him, but he's coming on leaps and bounds and I can see him being a regular starter from now on. Chris Lewington, despite his slight cock up was on the whole superb once more, I'm so glad for Lewy, he's been waiting for a few years and he's finally got his chance and boy has he taken it well.

However, it remains that we need someone that can stick the ball in the net, the problem is I like all of our strikers and their individual strengths, for example Sam Williams' hold up play and heading of the ball is very good, all of his shots seem to get blocked unfortunately. Gavin Tomlin's trickery and ability to create chances is second to none, I love Gavlar and think he's a major part of the team, however he's not going to score 20 a season unfortunately. Jon Nurse has surprised me so far this season, he hasn't been able to work himself into games and when he has, he's been quite poor, but every player has a blip, I'm sure he'll come through. Brian Woodall looks like a fantastic prospect and I can see him scoring a few from the bench this season, or perhaps when/ if he starts.

To Morecambe fans reading this, you were quite decent today and you're probably worthy of your place at the top, defence is top notch and the work rate is excellent, I wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season. Although 47 fans is rather poor, on the other hand at £22 a pop for a ticket, can I blame you?

So then, Northampton Town away next week, I'm unsure whether I'm going as yet, but don't be discouraged by our blip, please if you can and have the money, go and support the team, it's times like these our loyal support is needed more than ever.

Lastly, something I've been meaning to do for a while, "Walesdagger" posted on the forum a while ago about someone in the community we can help, Ellie Louise who's sole wish is to walk, she's 9 years old and I urge you to have a look at this link and possibly donate some money to her cause, thing's like this really put football into perspective.


  1. As one of the 47? we counted 70, just like to say thanks to all daggers as usual we were made to feel welcome. Thanks for saying about the penalty, it looked one to me, but i'm old and wear glasses, All the best for the rest of the season, A very happy Shrimp.

  2. Look forwards to reading a match report from Saturday Feb the 4th 2012,