the daggers voice
The morning prior to my 131st game was spent in the company of my uncle, parents, little brother Zac and my little cousin, Holly, to commemorate the aforementioned uncle Spencer's 40th birthday. Our first destination was their local park, situated in Thurrock, which culminated in a great hour of playing and having fun together. However, with my own tight schedule to adhere to, we departed for TGI Fridays for an enjoyable lunch. Knowing I wasn't eating at the football, I opted for a meal of Burger and Chips, which was thoroughly sufficient and delicious. Eventually, time passed and it was time to travel to the ground. Being quarter to two, I was on time knowing I would have to compromise the autographs before the game. The journey was spent joking and having fun before Spencer dropped me off outside Victoria Road. I waited for the familiar companion of Nan to arrive. Within minutes, I spotted her strolling down the road and I waited for her to meet me. Being quite late by my standards, we decided to forgo the clubhouse experience and we entered through the turnstiles and into the familiar surroundings of the LBBD Stadium.
Half-past two. That half-hour flew by and before I knew it the teams dispersed onto the greenery. Dagenham in the 2013-15 home kit and our opponents Southend sporting their new luminous green change strip. Barely a minute had elapsed when veteran Jamie Cureton raced through. After a clever through ball, Barrett miscontrolled and Jamie Cureton had the goal at his mercy. I held my breath, waiting to see the ball nestle into the goal. He arched his foot back, the keeper composed himself. Luckily for the Seasiders, Smith stopped the ball with his foot before stooping and collecting it. Close. The game continued on a similar trajectory, yet appeared to settle down after an opening 20 minutes of non-stop fluent attacks from both sides. All of a sudden, Southend opened the scoring. It was the last thing I expected. Just as we started to play some very impressive football too. Kevan Hurst whipped the corner in and Timlin powered through and unleashed a bullet header which beat Cousins hands down. However, it was Daggers who netted just before half-time. New signing Matt McClure nodded home, also from a corner. I tried to limit my celebrations but my joy got the better of me. 1 all. As the players were still high-fiving, Mr Deadman put an end to first-half proceedings and with a sharp delicate blow to his whistle, indicating half-time in this exciting friendly clash. I was optimistic about our prospects second half. 'It's a friendly', my dad would say, 'the result doesn't matter.' But no matter the competition, I always wanted us to win regardless of the games importance. Finally, the 15 minute wait was over and both teams emerged. Only a few substitutions. To my surprise, Zavon Hines remained on though. He was playing like the old Zav, running at defenders and producing two tactical nutmegs. Such a relief. He had a play to part in our next goal, aswell, exchanging passes before Hemmings was supplied. Once Richards received the ball, he crossed it for McClure, who duly converted. Cue cheering. The finish itself was really composed, he simply rolled it inside the goal. I was delighted, both me and nan were. In celebration, I took a celebratory sip of Coke! Southend then rung the subs. Immediately, one of the introductions, Weston, burst through. My body sank. It was a certain goal. I was just waiting for him to shoot, any time now. But it never came, he tried to turn inside Partridge. Huge relief. The game began to fizz out, the reignition of it had expired. Knowing we had to make a quick exit to intercept the Southend players for autographs, me and nan waited behind the goal until the end of the game. After what seemed like ages, Mr Deadman blew up. It was the best decision he'd made all game. I was still buzzing, infact I still am. After the match, I waited for the players. I took a picture with Zavon Hines and asked him how the rehabilitation progress was going, and remarked on his impressive performance. I also spoke to goalscorer McClure, who seemed like a kind person as well as a clinical finisher. After collecting a fair core of autographs from both teams, me and nan exited the ground, reflecting on a fantastic performance and in a buoyant mood. That night, I stayed at nans and read match reports. I also composed my own. My next game is against Crystal Palace XI on Monday week. Before that though, I'm going on holiday to Great-Yarmouth for a fun week away. One things for sure, my happy mood from Southend will continue throughout the holiday!
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.