the daggers voice
Three away games had passed since my last home game and time was progressing ever so slowly. Finally, the day of the inaugral game at the Chigwell Construction Ground began - although it wasn't worth waiting for. I had high optimism for this match. We had recently defeated Northampton & Cambridge away but that was proceeded with a narrow loss at Carlisle last weekend. Even so, I had heard we have been playing well so was desperate to witness one of these rejuvenated performances.
We had come close the last home game. After a great start in which we led at half time, the second half saw Stevenage equalise and deny us victory. The game actually sort of crept up on me. I'd usually be staring endlessly at the clock on matchdays but today I decided to upload some blog posts and update my website. Suddenly, it was quarter to twelve. After closing up on the laptop and preparing for the huge spectacle (sarcasm) me and mum were dropped off by dad and conducted the slow walk into the ground; soaking up the warm and homely environment. I'd successfully negotiated Barnet & Stevenage away and so was absolutely overjoyed to collect my tickets and book the coach.
hat obviously coming after my programme, which I delicately placed into my bag ready to get signed. Which it did, but only after I'd been sought by Ben. Mum was waiting in the clubhouse as we separately received autographs from the likes of Medy Elito and Matt Partridge. I was very early, and would've been significantly earlier had there not been a five-minute queue for Terry Butchers autograph! Upon my entry to the clubhouse a revitalising Pepsi was waiting for me, as was the Chelsea v Arsenal game. I found the programme not as interesting as in previous games meaning I only briefly flicked through it. I was accustomed to reading it cover-to-cover. As I'd mentioned, time was flying by today so, suddenly, it was time to enter the premises of the stadium. Once inside, I got some chips which I quickly devoured well in time for the teams emergence onto the pitch. Come on Daggers! As soon as the referee blew his whistle the game began at a pace you would expect for 21st v 24th. Amazingly, within a minute we were through on goal. And it was Zavon Hines. Zavon Hines, formerly of West Ham who had so much promise. Zavon Hines who was influentual two seasons ago. Zavon Hines who had been sidelined for 18 months on his first start since. I held my breath, I composed myself. He now only had one defender to beat and he'd be through. He immediately first-time lobbed the ball over his man before collecting it at the other side putting him one-on-one. He shaped to shoot. Only twenty seconds had elapsed and we were in front! The perfect sta.......OOH! So unlucky. The ball agonisingly bounced the wrong side of the post. Just. I had high optimism for the game after that but unbelievably what transpired was possibly the worst 44.5 minutes I've ever witnessed at Victoria Road. Playing with a worrying lack of belief, the half-time whistle came to everyone's relief. In fact, conversing with Mum and Ben was probably the highlight of the day. So I can't pretend, aside from a few chances from both teams, the second half was any better. On three occasions Jamie Cureton missed when last season he would've notched a hat-trick. Firstly, from two yards he somehoew blazed the ball over and soon after he fizzed an effort wide from an inviting position. The third came in the final minute. After latching onto a cross his header was tipped over. However, Newport played better than us in the second half and perhaps should've earned their first three points. But undoubtably the desire needs to be addressed as that element is probably why we sit 23rd currently. Enroute home in my dads car, I pondered the game in great detail. I also pondered what will change ahead of a huge game at Barnet.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.