Saturday, 12 November 2011

Daggers 1-1 Bath City, Not Quite An Early Bath.

For the first time in quite a few years, we got ourselves a very winnable tie with all due respect to Bath City, but being Dagenham & Redbridge and being in this current rut; it was never going to end happily was it. The answer to that is no as we drew 1-1 against the Romans, not the worst result in the world but by no means the best.

Pre match I was quite confident, we needed to stop our poor run and playing a side bottom of the Conference should really be the way to do that. I'm very sure Bath saw it as a game they could win after looking at our form so it was finely poised. I arrived in the ground just five minutes before kick off and went to join my compatriots in the Sieve before we had the minutes silence and a superb march by several veterans accompanied by a trumpet solo. A truly fitting way to start the game and a well observed minutes silence with no interruptions.

The teams lined up as follows:
Dagenham & Redbridge Team: Lewington, Rose, Femi, Walsh, McCrory, Scannell, Gain, Ogogo, DJ Green, Nurse, Woodall. Subs: Shea, Bingham, Green, Scott, Okus, Scott. The big news for Dagenham that Scott was on the bench, with our current injury crisis we were only able to field a bench of 6 rather than 7.

Bath City Team: Garner, Simpson, Rollo, Jones, Cook, Gallinagh, Connolly, Watkins, Burnell, Russell, Canham. Subs: Matthews, Preece, Clough, Stonehouse, Murray, Phillips, Carvalho-Landell. Bath had Hogg & the other Canham brother both unavailable due to a suspension they picked up in the 2-2 draw against Grimsby a week previous. Replacing the two suspended players were Jamie Cook & Alex Russell.

Phil Walsh received a good round of applause from the 130 odd Bath City supporters housed in the Barking College Stand, Walshy had a spell at Twerton Park where he played 87 games scoring 15 goals in the process. On that note, well done to the Bath supporters, I know we weren't the tie you was looking for, but you made a decent amount of noise and looked like you were enjoying it throughout!

Bath City kicked the game off, attacking the Bury Road Terrace whilst the Daggers would be firing towards the eerily empty Traditional Builders Stand. The first shot of the game was from DJ Green who managed to just drag it wide without really drawing in a Bath City defender. We did actually have a couple of stoppages within the opening ten minutes, both for head injuries. Abu Ogogo went in low and got a boot for his troubles, whilst Alex Russell also ended up getting a knock to the head from a collision.

The first real chance of the game came from a Damien McCrory corner which was swung in towards the back post. Phil Walsh got his head to it and forced a Bath player to partially clear it off the line before Richard Rose hit a tame volley that was just about gathered by Glyn Garner between the sticks.

Sean Canham.
 Then however, came Bath Citys goal. A ball through looked easy enough to deal with for Femi, before he slipped and allowed Canham to race through and slot past Lewington with ease to give the Romans a goal lead on 11 minutes. Of course their support went loopy and rightfully so, whilst the Daggers were left with an all to familiar story of conceding first thanks to a defending mistake, although a slip is just one of those things at the end of the day.

The Daggers then went on the attack once more looking to find an instant response, firstly Nurse fired over from a Woodall cross, before Woodall himself headed just wide of the target. Another corner followed just minutes later, once again the chance created by a head back from Walsh was saved well on the line before being blocked and eventually finding it's way back into Garner's hands.. Bath were under severe pressure, but their defence was managing to hold firm. Damien Scannell then created a fantastic chance; some good work down the right enabled him to beat a defender and put in a superb low ball across the area, which was gambled upon by no one.

Bath City then went forward themselves, looking most threatening down the right, but luckily for the Daggers; no real clear cut opportunity to tell you about. Straight back up the other end and Danny J Green weaved in and out of several players before fashioning himself a chance that was blocked once more by a Bath defender. Then a set up from Ogogo gave Scannell a chance to take a shot, unfortunately he blasted it high into the Traditional Builders Stand when he really should have done better.

 On 40 minutes, the Daggers did find the deserved equaliser. Jon Nurse got down the left and flighted a good ball in which found the head of the somewhat anonymous Woodall who gleefully glanced it home past Garner to net his first Dagenham & Redbridge goal. Cue celebrations in the Sieve, not only had we responded, but it was the first time in about three matches that we had found the back of the net. Well done to the Bath supporters though, they stayed in good voice.

That was the end of the half effectively, the four minutes of injury time had no incident other than a free kick which came to nothing. During the break I had a read of Josh Scotts interview as well as doing the idiotic thing of booking the coach to Accrington Stanley for 2 weeks time. Some of you may call me mad...... you are right! The fog began to descend upon Victoria Road, along with that came the cold; so like a softy I decided it was time to wear my jacket! The teams came out for the second half and the fans looked as though they had a renewed sense of optimism. The Daggers kicked off the second half attacking the Bury Road Terrace, with Bath kicking towards the Traditional Builders Stand. One change before we kicked off though, Jim Rollo was replaced by Charlie Clough for Bath City.

The first real incident of the second half came about 10 minutes in. Marley Watkins was sent racing through by Jamie Cook whilst the Daggers defence were asleep. Chris Lewington who hadn't had anything to do previous to this rushed out and as Watkins was going round him; Lewy's out stretched leg caught him and the referee blew for a free kick. Luckily, there were two defenders covering and it was outside the box, which meant a free kick for Bath rather than a penalty and a yellow card rather than a red for Lewington; much to the Romans' fans dismay. The free kick was blocked well by the Daggers wall, moreover the danger was averted.

A few minutes later and Peter Gain was in the referee's book for a rash challenge. From that free kick that came to nothing, the Daggers managed to form a superb break away. The ball was played between DJ Green & Nurse I believe, eventually going out for a corner. It was whipped in towards the back post where Gain & Walsh both tried to meet it, whoever did meet it sent it just over the top and out for a goal kick. Bath did actually go forward considerably more, but never really threatened Lewington or the Daggers goal. One of their most speculative attempts was by a midfielder who tried to lob Lewington from 60 yards or so, a very valiant attempt that just went over the bar; Lewington was in trouble if it was on target!

Josh Scott comes on.
 The Bath right midfielder (apologies I don't know his name) broke down the right hand side and forced a punch over the bar from Lewington after a good driving run into the box. The corner was eventually cleared away and the pressure was gone from the Daggers goalmouth. Then came the introduction of two subs on about 75 minutes. Damien Scannell was replaced by Dominic Green, but then the big one. Brian Woodall was taken off for Josh Scott, when his name and number was read out, it produced the biggest cheer of the afternoon, hopefully he could salvage the victory for us.

Sean Canham then forced Lewington into another save at his near post which went out for a corner. From the corner, the Daggers broke, Peter Gain down the right hand side, however when he handed the possession over to Danny J Green; he lost the ball; cue groans from the Sieve. Bath City then made a sub of their own, their most influential player in Sean Canham being replaced by Lee Phillips. The Daggers then broke after Bath City were attacking once again. Jon Nurse going on a solo run down the left hand side before winning a corner for his troubles. The corner was once again put in by McCrory, but the header from Josh Scott just found its way onto the roof of the net.

The Romans then came so close to booking their place in the second round of the cup. A corner was punched poorly by Lewington straight to Alex Russell who also had a good game. His shot was going in before Lewington dived back across to keep it out and preserve the 1-1 scoreline going into 3 minutes of injury time. The last action of the game was a free kick to the Daggers which went into the box but came to nothing whatsoever. The referee finally blew up and it was confirmed that we would meet Bath again in a week and a bit at Twerton Park.

I'm not really sure if either club wanted the replay, especially as it's more than likely not going to be a TV game, meaning not much income will be generated. Bath have a fantastic chance of going through now, as our away form has been poor and we may well be there for the taking, however maybe we'll play how we know we can and produce the victory that will be "expected" of us by neutrals. One thing I will say to Bath is this, don't expect an abundance of Daggers supporters, a Tuesday night coupled with our poor form will mean a poor turnout from us.

One thing I will say from today is this, it was the same old wasn't it. The first half we looked quite menacing, whilst in the second half we were very poor. One thing that I do believe John Still should be doing, is making subs with about 20 minutes to go if we want to change the game. I don't think that shouting mindless abuse at him will make him do it though, it only succeeds in you wasting your breath and disheartening the players on the pitch.

Bath City packing out the Barking College Stand.

Bath City, I thought you played admirably for your fans. There may have only been 130 odd of you, but you made good noise and supported your team well. Without doubt Sean Canham was the best player, although I thought your resilient defence was also credible.

Next up for us is Southend United next Saturday, a very tough encounter with a side that sit top of the league. That's followed by Bath City away in the Cup Replay on the 22nd, dependant on TV coverage and then a nice long away trip to The Crown Ground to face Accrington Stanley.

Oh to be a Dagger......

Remember to follow me on Twitter, @NickDRFCMurphy


  1. Another poor show from our lot.Hopeless really wasn't it.Bath only won 1 game all season I hear and none away.I was praising Rose earlier in the season but after Shrewsbury,Bowers and Pitsea in midweek and today I think we've got a dud.Danny J Green whats the point of him ? Too easily knocked off the ball and never successfully completes a tackle.How Lewy never got a red I dont know.How can John Still still keep his job,it was woefull today and the gang that want the return to the good old days will get their wish when we are relegated again at the end of this season(By Christmas a possibility).Any one else think Arbers injury is just an excuse so he can save face at being dropped? How long before DaggertillIdie gets banned from the forum for speaking sense is worth a little wager.I reckon I should be re-instated to give the fella some backup.I thought Andre Gumbs was magnificent Tuesday night by the way.Arnoooooo!!

  2. Shut Up Arnu, we know who you are.

  3. Lewington should have got a straight red. The ref was appalling, and Bath were the better side.

  4. Arnu, get your hair cut and you may start to see things a bit clearer from your little seat at the side of the pitch. Great work checking the goal nets by the way.

  5. Bath City Chairman here, not going to comment on the match as such, but do need to say your board, your stewards, your staff and your fans were brilliant, from the one minutes silence to the round of applause the Bath directors got in the bar at the end, you played the game in the right way, with the right spirit and I look forward to welcoming you to Twerton Park for the replay. manda

  6. HaHa,my hair couldnt be much shorter at the moment.Its a no'1 skinhead although I do still have a full head of hair if I grow it out.Nice post by the way Nick.I know I used to mock your blogs but they are really quite good.Sorry you are my only outlet at the moment but thats internet cops selfish fault.I am actually a poster still on the forum but any mention of Antwi,Tomlin and how crap we are at the moment will give me away.Not looking forward to the Southend game I think we will be killed in our own back yard again.How long can Stilly hold out ? I thought his interview on dageers player was funny today,he said he didnt want to use injuries as an excuse then talked about injuries for nearly 10 minutes LOL! My new mantra....Gumbs is better than Doe.