the daggers voice
The Daggers host Guiseley tomorrow in what can only be described as a must-win encounter. Though it would seem too early in the season to be talking about crucial, even defining fixtures, anything other than three points will leave us with a huge gap to make up at the top of the table ahead of a run of fixtures that seems to get tougher with each passing week.
Indeed, there are no easy fixtures in the National League, such is the tightness of the division. Guiseley may sit 20th in the table, but it will take just as much commitment and effort to overcome them as it would any other side. They also managed to defeat Accrington in the FA Cup in midweek, further reiterating that they are no pushovers.
And if Dagenham need any more proof of this, then they should look no further than last season's meeting at Victoria Road. Guiseley, then in a seemingly-perilous position, stunned the home crowd with a dominant performance. Jordan Preston run our defence ragged with a heroic two-goal display in a performance which also saw Whitely sent off and Maguire-Drew missing a penalty.
This year, things are even tighter. Guiseley have picked up form in recent weeks and, following three successive away games without a loss, will arrive with plenty of confidence. Dagenham will be looking to bounce back from Saturday's latest defeat, but if things don't go our way - as fans will be demanding them to - then we could be in for a very frustrating afternoon.
It won't be easy. Already this season we've played a number of struggling sides and haven't enjoyed the best of afternoons. It took last minute goals to scrape a draw at Solihull and to snatch a scarcely-deserved victory against Torquay. Dagenham desperately need to get their campaign back on track and generate some much needed momentum ahead of Tuesday's visit of high-flying Dover.
The ambition for Dagenham is still to gain promotion, although things haven't gone our way much recently. However, as much as we've struggled, our home performances have been generally top class, and with Morgan Ferrier set to return, and Dan Sparkes also in contention, we have a lineup capable of beating any team.
The problem is we really haven't been proving it. Too many times the team have not turned up, and there's no excuse for that. We have a team of players more than capable of fulfilling the goals set by John Still, and tomorrow is our chance to show it. Admittedly it would take a lot more than a win against Guiseley to convince people that we're still capable of winning the league, but it would be a start.
After a great August, our season has somewhat derailed. Well, tomorrow is our chance to get it back on track. Get behind the team, and I'm sure they'll deliver. A big performance is needed.....
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.