Saturday, 24 September 2011

Northampton 2-1 Daggers, Cobblers!

Dagenham & Redbridge went down 2-1 against Northampton Town earlier today to make it a literal pointless month, the song "wake me up when September ends" has never been more appropriate.


It was a nice start today, with the coach not leaving until 11:45, although even that was delayed by 10 or so minutes as we were waiting for someone. The fairly fast journey was interrupted by news of the league cup draw, the standout tie being Aldershot Town vs Manchester United; and there was a crash on the M1 which saw us sitting in traffic for twenty minutes or so. We approached Sixfields at about 1:50ish and had a nose around the ground for 10 minutes or so. The surrounding area is actually quite nice, with a TGI Fridays and KFC just outside the ground, for people who like food, it's a dream! The only thing that lets it down is the slopes around the ground, if you want extreme hill rolling, this is definitely the place for you, they were sloping more than our decline down the table.
Northamptons Ground
Just after 2:00 after buying an averaged price £3 programme we made our way into the ground, first impressions, it's a very nice, neat little ground although with nearly of the stands the same it lacks a lot of originality. A quick walk along to the end with my mate Kieran and we got to see a brand new Daggers Flag, very good design and watching Charlie, Ryan, Jack & Carl trying to rope it down provided some comedy! Then it was on to the most important part of the day so far, the food. I opted for a hot dog that was priced well at £3.30 and it didn't disappoint, fantastic quality, although the roll it was in was about as soft as Woodall's voice.

Our end was starting to fill up now and as the Daggers came out, two very positive signs, both Kevin Maher & Jake Reed doing some training aside from the rest of the team, they weren't included in the 16, but it's good to see them on the pitch getting some work done. It was filling up rapid, as you could tell from the amount of people walking down the hill behind the opposite stand, then I received news from my man back in Dagenham, you may know him as Lee, that Brian Woodall was getting his second start of the season alongside Sam Williams, interesting news!

video


It was almost time to kick off and the muffled PA system read the Daggers team out as follows: Lewington, Ogogo, Doe, Arber, Femi, Scannell, Lee, Gain, Nurse, Williams, Woodall. Subs: Hogan (who looked fantastic warming up), Rose, DJ Green, Tomlin, Walsh. You may also like to view my video of the Daggers players shooting pre match for some comedy, apologies if you dislike bad language, yadda yadda yadda.

The Teams
The teams came out on the dot, the Daggers would be attacking the hill end first half and the Cobblers would be attacking The Paul Cox Panel & Paint South Stand or, the away end if you like it short! We kicked off and the Daggers got the first chance of the game, the first of a thousand or so corners came in and Sam Williams headed high over the bar to squander a half chance, very difficult, but very positive.

Then came the usual midfield battle, very scrappy with quite a few free kicks, made bearable by my inane humour, then came the Daggers second chance. Oliver Lee who scored a belter against Morecambe a week previous, got down the right hand side and hit a fierce shot across the goal that was just too high, out of play for a goal kick, still very promising. The Daggers hadn't been able to get the wingers into the game as yet, an area that has been lacking quite a bit in recent weeks and contributing to the poor form. Then the lump that is Adebayo Akinfenwa was caught offside, which gave me some amusement.

But for all of the Daggers early pressure, you can just guess what happened next. Northampton got their first corner of the match which was saved on the line well by Lewington, but it wasn't cleared, an almighty scrap in the box with two or three blocks before the ball fell to Aaron Davies who took a touch on the six yard box and slammed home off of the bar and in, there was no need for goal line technology, I assure you this one was over the line. Three sides of Sixfields erupted whilst the Daggers end was stunned into relative silence, once again, it'd been all Daggers, but the opposing team that made the breakthrough. Despondency was the order of the day once more, along with being pissed off at their ludicrous mascot.

Then the Daggers were caught cold from the restart, a complete mix up between Abu Ogogo & Chris Lewington left them to clatter into eachother with the ball falling to Marlon Jackson just inside the box, with his first touch he chose to try and chip it over the pair, but failed horribly and it rolled away, a very lucky escape. Northampton were in the ascendancy now and a free kick was nearly turned in, when one of their players rose highest and glanced his header just past Lewingtons far post, yet another escape; the Daggers early dominance seemed ages ago, mind you we wouldn't know this was yet another ground with no scoreboard!

The Daggers got another flurry of corners, which came to nothing, but not without the want of trying, another Oliver Lee shot blocked to deny us another Poznan. Just after the half hour mark, came the frustration of two offsides, the first for Sam Williams who would have been through had he have held his run; with the other for Woodall who was in the same situation just the other side of the pitch. Chris Lewington then came to the Daggers rescue for the umpteenth time this season. The ball was given to goalscorer Aaron Davies who tee'd himself up superbly and hit an unstoppable shot towards the top corner, or so he and we thought. I'll confess, I thought it was in, but from out of nowhere came the cat, or Chris Lewington as he's more affectionately known as, diving high to get finger tips to send the rasper over, a fantastic save.

That was the last good chance of the opening period, with Northampton probably edging it, Damien Scannell & Peter Gain whipping some balls in towards the end that went straight down the keepers throat. It was the same old story really for the Daggers, the final ball wasn't quite good enough although there was some promise with Scannell, the Daggers went into a goal down from a fairly drab first half. The half time at Northampton is nothing short of dreadful, the little kids penalty shoot out was so entertaining that the bloke who was meant to keeping count didn't even know what the score was, furthermore when one team had won on penalties he was completely oblivious, and there was a shout for goal line technology after one penalty could have been over the line! Music selection was poor and the half time felt longer than usual.

We kicked off for the second half with the Daggers our end, where there was no real atmosphere for a change, you can tell how much difference the drum makes on away days, although the scoreline may have had something to do with it. The first chance of the second half came the Daggers way, Brian Woodall shot was blocked well before Abu Ogogo hit a decent strike with his weaker foot which went just past the post, a positive start once more from the Daggers. Then straight from the goal kick, Ollie Lee won the ball back and threaded it through to Peter Gain who wormed his way past two players to get a tame shot away when he should really have looked up and played in Scannell who was free to his left and had a much better opportunity; however Scannell needed to use his voice a bit more.

Sam Williams then put a header over the bar after some excellent defending from Northampton, a chance that he could have perhaps done better with if I'm being super critical. However, it was carbon copy time, the Daggers are attacking and seem to be in the ascendancy, so what happens, that's right, the Cobblers score. Michael Jacobs was given far too much space down the left and swung a ball in which found the head of Akinfenwa who planted home to double the lead, the Daggers defenders unable to do anything as the fat blocked them out, whilst Lewington had absolutely no chance. As the home fans danced in delight, I proceeded to smash my head against the brick wall behind me.

Umpteenth Corner
Then just over ten minutes after the goal came the Daggers best chance of the game so far, a shot from Damien Scannell was tipped over by Sam Walker between the sticks which meant yet another corner, if only games were won on corners eh. Oliver Lee swung a ball in once again and it met Mark Arbers head who glanced it onto the top of the crossbar and it almost rolled agonisingly across before falling down about a yard from the line. It fell and it was a race to see if Damien Scannell could poke home or the Northampton defender could smash clear, in keeping with the Daggers poor luck, the defender got their first and the ball found its way out of the ground to my and 250 odd others despair.

Then it was substitution time, Marlon Jackson was withdrawn by Gary Johnson and replaced by Jake Robinson as the Cobblers looked to secure their first home victory of the season. Then a bit of action, another Ollie Lee corner found the head of Williams I think it was who's header was blocked by Cee Lo Green, or Bayo Akinfenwa if you don't want to know his lookalike. Then came on Danny J Green as Stilly made his first sub of the afternoon, Brian Woodall who had been decent but ineffective at times departed for the long haired winger.

Daggers Fans
Then for the next five minutes or so came another succession of corners, it was becoming ridiculous the amount we had and that only two or three had actually worked Walker in the Northampton goal. This has been a criticism of mine for a while, the amount of corners we have always had through the years, we have never scored enough from them, something that needs to be worked on if possible in training as it's one of our best threats if worked properly. Then Akinfenwa who was awarded the man of the match came off and was replaced by Greg Kaziboni, local lad makes good once more. John Still made a Daggers change withdrawing Damien Scannell who had been our best player in my opinion for Phil Walsh, who went to play at centre half which seemed a very strange move at the time considering we were two bloody goals behind!

Phil Walsh nearly made an instant impact quite shockingly, a good ball in from the right hand side saw him get a firm connection, but Walker parried well to deny the former striker his first Daggers goal. However in injury time the Daggers did pull one back, Jon Nurse made some room down the right, where the Daggers were getting most of the luck in the second half and swung a good ball in that found Oliver Lee who volleyed in from inside the box, with minutes left it was 2-1, could we salvage something! Unfortunately, nothing did come, although had the referee who resembled a cue ball not given a free kick in the middle of the park, I think Danny J Green could have been away and made a chance.

That was it, a fifth straight defeat and as the despondent Daggers filed out of the exits the team done the usual and came over and clapped us which is to be respected, a game that could have been oh so different had certain chances been taken, but that seems to be the story of the season doesn't it. If that chance was put away the game would have changed, if that ball was delivered in, if he'd have started etc. At the end of the day, it's been a miserable month if we're all honest, but now it's gone, put it behind us, a new month, a new run of games and a new found optimisn for some of us after we win next weekend.

I can't really pick out anyone from todays performance that was particularly good or bad, although if you want my man of the match I'd probably have to go Scannell although Lewington played well this afternoon, the thing was, nothing really concerned me, maybe lack of marking was a concern, but other than that, we played it on the deck for the large part, but didn't quite get it down the wings, it will all come in time, remember Medy & Josh are still out of action and they make a significant difference. All the league games that Medy has started so far, we haven't lost, and that' a stat! My last bit, a mention to "Pabs" as he's known on the forum or Paul O'Brien in person who got a mention in a column in the programme today, thanks for giving the Daggers a good reputation to other fans!

Next week it's Crewe Alexandra and it's Family Fun Day, although if we make it six straight defeats it may turn into a house of horrors. Don't worry, your trusty correspondent will be there reporting on that one!

Keep The Faith & Up The Daggers!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for another excellent report

    ReplyDelete
  2. very good blog there mate. our local paper has a vacancy for a sports journalist, are you out of work?

    yours:Terry Towling.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Drop me an email at daggers_95@hotmail.co.uk if you want Terry, much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete