the daggers voice
Billy Kee may have scored the goal which all but condemns us to relegation after another late goal led to another late loss against Accrington.
This is becoming all too familiar to Daggers fans who yet again saw their side spurn several chances which they really should've taken.
Unfortunately Accrington, fortunate to remain level at this point, were afforded too much space in the box with just minutes remaining and Kee - who Dad correctly highlighted as their main man prior to the game - struck to send the small contingent of Stanley fans into jubilation.
The result leaves Dagenham two points short of York and seven points from safety but, knowing they are without a game for three weeks, by the time they next play they could already be relegated to the National League.
It is now looking very bleak for the Daggers who showed plenty of spirit and effort, something that has been missing throughout most of the season, but now look dejected and out of ideas.
If only we were more consistent.
After the good start to March it seemed the good form would be carried into the crucial stretch of final games, however a damaging loss to Hartlepool was followed by a 4-0 battering at Oxford and we were back to square one.
And, with time desperately running out, any hopes we can emulate Hartlepool's 'Great Escape' of 2015 are slowly decreasing too.
Although I still refuse to accept we are gone until it is actually confirmed, it's hard to shake or remove the feeling of dread when entering Victoria Road. And that was the exact feeling I carried into Saturday 19th March.
I awoke relatively early, I've never been a fan of lying in. After going to training I quickly returned home before leaving with Dad. We arrived promptly and I bought a programme and went into the clubhouse, where Dad ordered the drinks.
This was when Dad declared what, unbeknownst to me at the time, may have secured our relegation. Seeing the teamsheet attached to the back of the programme, he pointed to number 29 before declaring, ''Number 29 - that's the dangerman''. How right was he.
Billy Kee, a thorn in far too many of our sides over the years, whose goal may have secured or all but secured our relegation.
Then it was time to get the autographs, but I was yet again fooled by Accrington's bizarre coach arrangement. Whereas most (or indeed every other) clubs' players' exit at the front, Accrington have two doors, meaning some players exit at the front and some exit at the back. Although I missed a few players, I sincerely hope I didn't miss Kee's.
Ben, my friend from Tigers' who had been following Daggers as a second club for just over a year, had arrived at this point and so we both strolled back into the clubhouse as my excitement over the signatures spread.
Due to many teams in the National League being part time, signatures have never seemed so precious. A classic case of not truly appreciating what you have until it's in jeopardy of being gone. Then I chatted with Dad for a while until it was time to enter the ground.
One thing I noticed inside the clubhouse was that manager John Coleman hadn't exited the coach, so I dashed outside in the small hope that he would not be off yet. It was my lucky day. Just as I neared the coach, he made his way towards the players entrance and I was fortunately able to obtain his signature.
Shortly after we leisurely exited the clubhouse and went through the turnstiles. Despite our lowly position, in contrast to Accrington's high-placed one, as usual I found myself thinking: Can we do this? Can we beat Accrington Stanley and earn three vital points?
This season I had really cut down on food eaten inside the ground but this week I made what would now be described as an exception, opting for one of the bacon rolls I had heard so much about.
I got my first taste of one after entering through the turnstiles. I was greeted by a nice overcast day but, even as kick-off neared, I noticed that their weren't many fans at all. Nonetheless, I tried to remain upbeat and spent the rest of the time until kick-off chatting with the people around me.
Eventually time passed and the teams spilled onto the pitch urged on by just over 1300 supporters (with around seventy from Accrington). It was the visitors who started the brightest and could have been ahead after just a minute.
After a few more letoffs, Dagenham slowly grew into the game and Matty Cash in particular was causing the promotion-chasers problems. Their first real attempt saw Hyam direct a header into the arms of the keeper.
Daggers continued to attack with intent, Matty Cash seeing a shot whistle past the post following a good ball from Labadie, before Jamie Cureton wasted the biggest opportunity of the game just prior to half time.
Labadie released Cash who took the onrushing keeper out the situation by passing to Cureton for what was a tap in. However, the evergreen striker somehow managed to lash the ball over the bar amidst uproar in the home end.
It was a horrendous miss from the one person you'd want in that situation and from that moment the game changed. In the second half it was Accrington doing most of the running and creating opportunities.
As the home faithful were still in disbelief from that open goal miss, Dagenham were slowly starting to lose the foothold they had on the game and you could see them becoming more desperate. You just knew Accrington would score a late winner.
And sadly, they did. Billy Kee collected the ball from midfield and surged at the Dagenham defence, releasing Shay McCartan out wide. From there McCarten picked out the unmarked Kee who, after seeing his initial shot blocked, fired low into the bottom corner. He was instantly embraced by his teammates.
Kee celebrates his late winner.
So, as I trudged out of the ground and slumped into my bed that night, following another undeserved defeat that probably summed up our season, I feared it was all over. And by the time we entertain Morecambe on April 5, it may well be.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.