Sunday, 27 November 2011

Accrington Stanley 3-0 Daggers, It's Grim Up North

Dagenham & Redbridge extended their run of league defeats to eight on the bounce after a sodden 3-0 reverse at Accrington Stanley yesterday. The result was only part of the story, with the weather adding to the atrociousness of the day.

Dagenham at 6:45am. Lovely; isn't it?
  The day started with a nice 6am wake up, before taking a couple of buses and arriving at Victoria Road at around 7:20am in the darkness. A Supporters Coach of 40 people left for Accrington at around 7:45am; with our first stop being at Norton Caines Services at around 11am. Whilst here we encountered droves of Manchester United fans, which further enforces the fact that half of their support lives down South. Upon leaving the services, came probably the highlight of the day; going past a Park Ji Sung fan coach full with Koreans on board on it's way to Old Trafford; you simply couldn't script it.

We arrived at the Crown Ground just after 13:00 and first impressions were, horrible. The rain was lashing down upon us as we departed from the coach and headed to the Accrington Stanley owned, Crown Pub which had a very friendly atmosphere. We stayed briefly in there before heading back out and meeting a Northern "chum" by the name of Joseph Gibbons; with that I bought a programme and headed through the ramshackled turnstiles into the fabulous uncovered away end. We were in fact given the choice of either standing in the uncovered terrace or the covered terrace; although I was reliably informed that the part undercover still leaked tremendously.

A brief spree of pictures occurred before we came across the task of fixing flags to the away uncovered terrace in 50mph winds; as you can imagine this didn't go well and took plenty of time. After that was done, Bill & Chas came through the turnstiles amongst a glutton of others to increase our attendance. The biggest let down of the afternoon was the PA System, who played about two songs pre match and then seemingly forgot to work his microphone; leaving us to work out the Daggers Team. (Daggers Flags Right)

Dagenham & Redbridge Team: Lewington, McCrory, Doe, Femi, Spillane, Nurse, Ogogo, Gain, Tomlin, Montano, Woodall, Cunnington. Subs: Shea, Geohaghan, Maher, Scott, Tomlin.
Dominic Green, Gavin Tomlin & Richard Rose were all out from the side who won at Bath City during the week. They were replaced by loanees Mickey Spillane, Cristian Montano & new signing from Kettering Adam Cunnington as John Still looked to be going for a more attacking formation. New signing Exodus Geohaghan was on the bench as Femi retained his central defensive place, meaning there was no place for Phil Walsh.

Accrington Stanley Team: Dunbavin, Winnard, Hessey, Long, Procter, Joyce, McIntyre, Evans, Hughes, Lindfield, Stockley. Subs: Murdoch (no relation to Rupert), Coid, Barnett, Dobie, Amond.
Jayden Stockley was given a start for Stanley after coming on in the 1-1 draw against Macclesfield a week previous as a substitute. This meant that Charlie Barnett who started the game against Macc was reduced to a position on the bench for the game yesterday. Tom Bender was not on the bench, he was replaced on there by Luke Dobie, on loan from Championship side Middlesborough.

The Teams Come Out
 The teams came out roughly on 3:00 with the rain still lashing down, around 30 of us braving it on the open terrace; whilst the more sensible 52 others headed for the cover. Accrington Stanley started the better of the two sides, Craig Lindfield & Micah Evans both getting shots away within the first 10 minutes of the game, the later coming the closest of the two.

Dagenham & Redbridge nearly took the lead with just over ten minutes played. New signing Adam Cunnington was fouled just outside the box by Kevin Long, which gave the Daggers a good opportunity to shoot. An unusual figure stepped over the ball, Brian Woodall, his thunderous strike whistled past the post in the Daggers first shot of the contest. The game was then broken up with a number of free kicks. This was inevitable with the horrendous weather, there was so much water on the pitch that when players began to slide in for a challenge they simply couldn't stop themselves because of their momentum.

 Just over twenty minutes played and Chris Lewington was forced into his first action of the afternoon, Luke Joyce testing the superb shot stopper. The Daggers were than barraged by a succession of Stanley crosses, none of which found their desired man; all were absorbed by the Daggers defence and cleared to subside the pressure. Adam Cunnington then went on a good little run before feeding in Cristian Montano who was tackled just as he was about to pull the trigger. Another case of taking too long to shoot for the Daggers. (Brian Woodall Right)

Dean Winnard then forced another good save from Lewington, his shot skidding off of the surface making it difficult for the stopper. Just after 35 minutes, Dagenham had a very good shout for a penalty in my opinion. Peter Gain put in a ball from the right hand side, as the ball was coming in, Adam Cunnington went over after being pushed in the back; but the referee waved it away. I would have flung my hands about in disgust, but as they were so cold; they stayed firmly rooted in my back pockets trying to get warm.

That was really the end of the first half, a drab, wet, cold & miserable affair; with all signs pointing towards the Daggers first 0-0 in 89 competitive matches. Accrington looked the more likely of the two sides to break the deadlock; testing Lewington on a couple of occasions as well as their ability to stick a ball into the box. The Daggers looked most threatening when chasing down long balls which says a lot, Dunbavin forced to come of his area and boot the ball away as a Daggers attacker is chasing it down. Adam Cunnington impressed me, he looked composed on the ball and willing to chase everything down; something we dearly need. Unfortunately he was working on scraps.

Behind Accringtons Five Star Terrace.
 I decided to try out the Accrington food at half time, a reasonably priced £2.50 hot dog was very good; if somewhat on the small side. I did also have a cup of tea as I was freezing; although I was so cold half of it ended up on the Accrington concrete which had already had enough to drink with the lashing of rain. My Northern friend, was of course in his element, let me tell you this; the weather up there made Dagenham look like California; it was that terrible. We emerged back onto the terrace where a number of others had migrated to the undercover part of the "stadium." I now know what away fans had to put up with at our old Pondfield Road end, although the conditions were never as bad as they were yesterday; I imagine it would have been pretty dire!

Accrington kick off the second half.

The team came back out for the second half; the Daggers would be attacking the "Stanley Ultra's" end, whilst Accrington would be facing us. The Daggers started the half the brighter as it happened. Damien McCrory getting down the left before putting a ball in which found Brian Woodall; he hit it on the half volley and it went high over the bar. Straight up the other end and Craig Lindfield, the former Liverpool striker curled a shot that went just past Lewingtons post. Before you could breath were back up the other end once more, Woodall once again the main man, but once again, he missed the target. A frantic start and one that you wouldn't have expected following the horrid first half showing.

Accrington Stanley, did however strike a fatal blow 56 minutes into the game. Micah Evans went to the bi-line before somehow putting in a low cross which found Lindfield unmarked in the 18 yard box. Lindfields strike deflected off of Mickey Spillane before hitting the underside of the bar and going in past a helpless Chris Lewington. The same old story as I say every game, 1-0 down and where do we go from here?
Tempers then began to flare with Andy Proctor & Abu Ogogo squaring up to eachother after a challenge. I'm sure I saw Proctor kick out at Abu, unfortunately none of the officials did and both of them got away with a talking to by the referee. John Still then made his first substitution of the afternoon with Brian Woodall who had looked good all afternoon, being replaced by Josh Scott on 60 minutes. The Daggers nearly equalised just minutes later. A Damien McCrory corner found the head of an unmarked Scott Doe, who's header glanced straight across the face of goal and just past the post; agonisingly close.

Then came the Daggers best double chance of the game, and about 22 hours on I'm still trying to fathom how it didn't find its way into the net. Peter Gain rounded Dunbavin and fed the ball back to Abu Ogogo who just had to roll it in by the looks of it; he hit it and just as I began to cheer, the ball came back out. Luke Joyce made a superb goal line clearance, it wasn't over though; Jon Nurse tried again and the same player got his body in the way once more. By then, I just knew it wasn't going to be our day; when you have luck like that what can you really hope for? I am assuming it was Nursey & Abu who got the shots away, it was a bit of a blur so forgive me if I'm wrong.

Just minutes later Kevin McIntyre was shown a yellow card, just after that our own Cristian Montano found himself in the book as well. Then came a couple of Accrington substitutions. Bryan Hughes was replaced by Padraig Amond who was on loan from Pacos De Ferreira, a Portuguese side. Jayden Stockley was also replaced by Charlie Barnett as John Coleman looked to sure up the scoreline. John Still then made his second change five minutes later. Adam Cunnington who had a rough introduction to Football League life was replaced by Gavin Tomlin as the Daggers looked for that creative spark that was needed.

It nearly came just minutes later, a ball was put into the box which found Mickey Spillane. Spillane is a defender and it showed; his shot blasted just over the bar for the Daggers final chance of the afternoon. If he scores that it's 1-1 and all to play for in the final 10 to 15 minutes of the game.

Accrington Stanley then doubled their lead on 82 minutes, substitute Padraig Amond heading home past Lewington after a Charlie Barnett cross found the unmarked striker who accepted the invitation and sent Stanley out of sight. You'd have thought that it couldn't get any more depressing, with the cold, the dark and the dingy weather along with the current score; but it did. A long ball forward was brought down by a Accy attacker who laid it off for Amond. Amond ran up to it and slotted it home perfectly into the corner to make it 3-0 and firmly seal the win if it wasn't already assured. This saw the Exodus of a few Dagenham supporters, no pun intended, whilst the rest of us stood out the final 10 minutes; at least the rain had stopped. We just about managed to keep hold of the 3-0 scoreline after some good work by Femi. Lewington & himself got in a mix with an Accrington striker, but Femi calmly dribbled away with superb skill to avert the danger.

That was the end of the "contest" and it consigned us to yet another defeat in the league, our eighth straight and for me the worst one overall. Not only was the performance mediocre, the day as a whole was thoroughly miserable. The worst conditions I have ever watched football in, even my Northern friend admitted it was the worst conditions he can remember at football! So  we got the flags down and headed back to a deflated and miserable coach to return to Dagenham with nothing to show but wet clothes and £30-£40 out of pocket once more.

Fine margins dictate football games and this was the case again today. If Spillane's volley had gone in, if Ogogo/ Nurse would have netted one of those simple chances. Unfortunately though, points don't work in corners. We find ourselves two points adrift of safety and nervously looking over out shoulder at Plymouth who picked up a priceless 4-1 victory yesterday. It's very worrying times to be a Dagenham fan, but unlike some I have full confidence in John Still to turn it around, he is the right man for the job. If he wasn't he would have been sacked by now.

The way I felt yesterday, it would have been fitting if John made the players sit down and let the fans give them a post match talking to. They get paid to lose, we have to pay to watch our beloved team get beat week after week. The one major plus point however, was the performance of Adam Cunnington who had a good debut, I look forward to seeing more of him in the future.

Our Superb Away End Pre Match.
Accrington performed well and deserved all three points, Craig Lindfield is an invaluable player to them and I wish them luck for the rest of the season as they were a club much like ourselves. John Coleman is a superb manager and there fans are also brilliant. Superb effort to the 86 Daggers who went yesterday as well. (Accrington Stanley Away Terrace Right)

We returned to Dagenham, still soggy, wet and damp at around 10:30pm. Our next game is against Walsall in the FA Cup next week, a good home tie and one that we have a decent chance of winning. Our next away game is Burton Albion on the 18th December, our final away game of 2011 as well. Here's hoping the weather is considerably better next time as well.

In a final note, RIP Gary Speed who died earlier this morning. A sad loss to football; he leaves behind his wife and two children.

Thanks for reading and remember to follow me on Twitter, @NickDRFCMurphy.
Also follow Gibbo on Twitter, @JoeBillGibbo is what you'll need!
Read Gibbo's Blog,

Here are some other pictures from the day.

The Crown Ground (Below)
Part of the covered terrace (right side)

The game you could watch from the Accy Away End.
The Crown Ground
The Crown Ground.

The shoddy door which Gibbo broke.

(Dagenham & Redbridge Fans)
The Three Brothers!


  1. I saw this coming nearly a year ago.I maintain that we were not ambitious enough to stay in league 1 this was proved by the pathetic aquisitions of Savage,Tomlin,Scannell,Morgan,Lancaster and injured Akinde instead of having a punt on keeping Benson or replacing him with somebody half decent.I have constantly whined about the hoofball and Gavin Tomlin (who Nick reckons will get 11+ goals this season but wouldnt bet me a tenner despite his faith in the complete waste of space that he is)Arber has had a result getting injured because he would have been dropped by now.What does John Still have to do to get the push ? 4 points out of the last 45 and the forum sycophants all standing by him.Actually quite a few on that forum have done a complete u-turn and now slag the manager more than I ever did.I have no voice on there any more which is what happens if you dare to pass comment on our dismal season.We are a crock of shit at the moment destined for the conference and when that happens Still will resign a broken man with a broken club.That bloke who does the daggers player interviews...any chance you can stop crawling up their backsides and give Still and Harris a hard time about their ineffective management/tactics and ask the question "When will you both please leave?".They've clearly lost the dressing room and bought in another flop in Cunnington.If we dont win the next game v Port Vale I will have 3 season tickets for sale.This is absolute shite we're being fed at the moment.70 applicants for the recent York City job so theres no shortage of managers gagging for this job.Little club mentality,Ive said it all along well your getting what you wanted.And please....stop using the injuries to shite players as an excuse.Other than Josh Scott we aint missing anyone better than what we have playing now.Bag o shite !!

  2. How is Cunnington crap exactly?

  3. When you have been taken off and replaced by Tomlin you probably might read something into that.You went Nick,was he any good?I'll read your blog again,maybe I missed the bit about him.I cant see how bringing in some non league player is going to be our saviour.Its like Woodall innit.The club had money to spend at the start of the season,John Still was asked about squad changes pre-season and he arrogantly said he didnt need to do much as he was happy with how it was going.We need 5 maybe 6 decent league 2 players to come in and replace our wasters...Arber,Scannell,Maher,McCrory,Tomlin,Doe,Danny J Green,Rose,Woodall and sorry to say it Walsh.Has anyone ever seen Daggers win a game when Tomlin is playing? Get real,we need change I been calling for it for over a year.Predictions...we will lose at home in the cup next week and Port Vale will tear us a new arse the following week.You will get the conference football you all wish for and unless Still and Harris do the decent thing and resign we will be relegated out of that league as well.They dont know what they're doing.Question....When do you think its time for them to go? 3 more losses,5,10?? They clearly have no clue.Sack 'em now,bet we dont get more than 1300 gate next week.