the daggers voice
Today Dagenham & Redbridge saw their 100% home record come to a disappointing end as they were beaten by lowly Boreham Wood, slipping to sixth in the process. Here are five things I learned from the match:
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01. Without Guttridge and Boucaud, we struggle
We are really struggling without Luke Guttridge and Andre Boucaud, and it's no surprise that the last two games which they both haven't started, we've lost both of them. No other players can fill this void. In addition to this, the duo have formed a brilliant combination with Okenabirhie, Hawkins, Maguire-Drew and Robinson so, when we lose Guttridge and Boucaud, the whole side falls apart. Boucaud is back this week but Guttridge could be out for a while meaning this blip may be more than just that.
Dagenham are only on top form with Guttridge and Boucaud
02. Dagenham don't react well to going behind
It is no coincidence that all the times Dagenham have fell behind this season we've gone on to lose the game while, everytime we've gone ahead we've gone on to win. It shows that we don't react well to going behind and lack the composure to grab a leveller, as evidenced by our snatching at chances against Sutton and today Boreham Wood. Not only do we go on to lose, but when we concede first we usually start to become desperate and more susceptible to another goal when committing men forward. This could really cost us points. Stealing unlikely points could be crucial come May.
Concede the first goal, and it's hard to come back from
03. The National League is unpredictable, and won't be easy
Beating Wrexham one week then losing to Sutton and Boreham Wood the next just illustrates the topsy-turvyness of this league - it certainly won't be easy. There have been some unpredictable results already with only one month gone in the campaign, you cannot underestimate any team or assume you'll win every match. Against Boreham Wood I certainly didn't expect them to be as good as they were and this is a team who just survived relegation last season! We'll have to be 100% every match to win, but with Boucaud, Guttridge and maybe Howell of course.
The National League is unpredictable
04. Hawkins cannot operate as a lone striker
If you put the ball in the air to Hawkins, there is every chance he could score. However, when the ball is on the floor he isn't so good, miscontrolling and blazing chances over against both Sutton and Boreham Wood when it would have been easier to score. Due to this, it is only logical that he play alongside another forward who is good with his feet, perhaps Assombalonga, so that we can score from both the floor and aerial threats. I hope to see this combination soon as it was very effective in pre-season.
05. Maguire-Drew key to good season
When Daggers earn a free-kick in a dangerous area, a buzz of optimism echoes around the ground. This is because Maguire-Drew has a killer left foot which can deliver a brilliant cross and excellent shot. In the last few games he's been kept out by some astonishing saves but he'll score from a dead-ball situation very soon. He has hinted he wants to stay until they end of the season, and if he does, it could be key.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.