I went into the ground after buying a programme and a 50/50 ticket where I had a quick slash and progressed along the terrace and into the Sieve. It wasn't as packed as usual which probably had something to do with an incentive from West Ham to get kids in, but oh well the usual figures were in there! I got myself a burger and a sprite before finding my place next to Lee & Bill for a quick pre game chat before hearing the teams announced over the tannoy.
|Daggers vs Plymouth|
The Plymouth line up was as follows: Cole, Berry, Nelson, Gibson, Williams, Walton, Soukouna, Hourihane, Atkinson, Feeney, Lecointe. Subs: Larrieu, Fletcher, Young, Griffiths, Vassel. Player manager Carl Fletcher back on the bench for you Pasoti viewers after a three game ban.
The teams came out to good applause from all sides of the ground following some "dancing" or as I like to call it, rhythmic walking by everyones favourite, Pulse. I'm not sure who won the toss, but whoever it was opted to swap sides yet again so the Daggers would be attacking the newly named Traditional Builders Stand after Marcus James went bust they came in to pick up the pieces. On that note, well done once more to Plymouth Argyle who brought up a fantastic 435 I think it may have been, somewhere around that mark. I've said it time & time again, but for what their supporters have been through it's fantastic to see the numbers still at a good level, some of the best fans in the country for noise & passion.
Anyways, the game kicked off, the Daggers looked as though they were lining up 4-5-1 with Woodall up front, however my eyesight may have deceived me and we could have been 4-4-2, I've forgotten! The first ten minutes were very poor, as you may expect from two sides struggling at the wrong end, a number of offsides were given including two for Nursey who was beginning to get on my nerves and we hadn't even played a quarter of an hour yet!
Warren Feeney fashioned the away sides first real chance of the contest, some neat footwork before getting a shot away that went straight down Chris Lewingtons throat. In the next period of play came the first goal of the contest. Some clever work down Plymouths left hand side by Ladjie Soukouna bamboozled the Daggers defence. The ball was taken to the touchline before being pulled back to 16 year old Matt Lecointe who showed composure beyond his age to smash home into the roof of the net past a helpless Lewington. The green army were in raptures whilst the Sieve fell silent once more, it was a poor start, but if anyone looked like they would score it was the Daggers.
Straight from the kick off Peter Gain got the ball and fired a shot at Jake Cole which was saved with ease by the former Barnet stopper. Then after a corner was cleared well by the Plymouth backline, the ball fell to midfielder Kevin Maher. Maher ran at the bobbling ball before unleashing a shot that probably hit someone on the head coming out of the toilets, a wild & speculative effort that unsurprisingly didn't come off. The Daggers continued the good period of possession by creating another good opportunity. Damien McCrory was given the ball and swung in a wonderfully flighted ball that found the head of Scott Doe who out jumped the Argyle defender, unfortunately the header was planted over the bar. The best chance of the game so far and one that really should have been on target at the very least.
After a small lull in action, it was Robbie Williams who produced the next shot, an ambitious strike that went high over the bar and into the Plymouth support. Unfortunately, no Robbie Williams song fits in well to make a pun so you'll have to take that as it comes. The Daggers were then on the attack and produced another golden chance. A superb Damien McCrory corner, one of the best I've seen this season, found the head of an unmarked Brian Woodall. It looked like it was going in, we all begin to cheer, but it rolled agonisingly wide of the mark; yet another fantastic chance that we really should have done better with.
As for the Daggers, more of the same really. I've seen the last 9 games and it's like watching a repeat over and over. We're not really playing badly, we just can't seem to put the chances away when we need to. Brian Woodall should definitely have scored and Jon Nurse was once again very lackadaisical, not chasing balls down which annoys me a lot! In the middle, the game was bypassing Ollie Lee, but Kevin Maher was keeping the ship steady and playing some very neat passes around to create opportunities.
|The Daggers very own.... PULSE!|
The sides re-emerged for the second half at roughly 4:05 as we all hoped for an improved performance and maybe a goal or two to lighten the mood. The first five minutes were very drab and largely full of Dagenham crosses that were absorbed by the Plymouth defence. However, on about the 50 minute mark came one of the best goals I have ever seen at Victoria Road. The ball fell to 20 year old Irishman Conor Hourihane. He ran up to it and hit it sweetly, with no spin on it at all, it hit off of the far post and went in. A thoroughly mesmeric strike that had myself and many other Daggers applauding it. However, the closing down could have been better; take nothing away from Hourihane though, probably the best finish of his career.
|The Daggers regroup after Scott Doe's goal.|
McCrory who was having a stormer of a game then tried his luck from outside the box, not once but twice. However the luck of the Irish wasn't quite on his side as both of his powerful shots from the same position fizzed wide of Jake Cole's far post. The Daggers were now beginning to dominate the game and Jon Nurse had a shot that was charged down superbly by Plymouth defenders. Argyle defender Robbie Williams wasn't quite an angel when he got himself booked on about 65 minutes for an innocuous challenge on Brian Woodall I believe it was.
As the bloke on the tannoy (sorry I've forgotten your name again!) announced there would be a rather lengthy minimum of five minutes of added on time, the biggest talking point of the game. The substitute Isaac Vassell got ahead of my man of the match Damien McCrory, as they ran into the box and got to the by-line Vassell went down. The referee waved it away, but the linesman raised his flag furiously and put it in that dreaded place, across his chest. Penalty to Plymouth. Add to that the fact when the player made the run he was offside, it was even more gut wrenching.
|Dagenham & Redbridge Badge inside the away end|
|The Tunnel to the Pitch|
If any Daggers or Plymouth supporters wish to follow Gordon Sparks on twitter, his Twitter name is, @SparksyOnRadio. If any of you want to follow me on Twitter, you'll need, @NickDRFCMurphy.