the daggers voice
When a full inquest is done after this terrible, gruelling season is over - this is one of the games that will be looked at. This will be a defining game in our season, but unfortunately it was one that was lost. Unfortunately it was just another ''what if'' game that we really should have won.
It had been quite a bad day. I was still devastated from the previous night's loss to Wycombe and, during PE, had badly bruised my finger whilst unconvincingly saving a shot from one of my schoolmates. It had directly hit my fourth finger along my right hand and it immediately began to swell and become extremely painful. Infact, I could not bend it whatsoever which led me to believe I had broken it.
So my day was brought to an abrupt halt with the remainder of midday/afternoon being spent in hospital. Eventually, after four hours, an x-Ray and countless episodes of Four in a Bed and Deal or No Deal, the doctor confirmed I had sustained nasty tissue damage in my finger, although I wasn't entirely convinced it wasn't actually broken because most of the symptoms were reminiscent to the breakage of a bone in my right arm a few months previous.
As we were waiting restlessly to be called in, Mum mentioned a withstanding invitation from Ricky to that night's West Ham u21 match being contested at Rush Green against Swansea City, and I confirmed that I indeed wanted to go following the last one which I thoroughly enjoyed against Blackburn.
Upon my arrival back at my house, I saw Mary sitting on the sofa, and realised that I had completely forgotten it was a Wednesday. After the upheaval of attempting to change into separate clothes with an excruciatingly-painful finger, Ricky was waiting by the door at 6pm and I got into the car excited for the night ahead.
We arrived at Rush Green within little time and took our places in the stands, after I got a burger, programme and saw Ben. The programme had a glaring error on the front as it still displayed the date, fixture and competition of the Blackburn game. However, with it being completely free, I had no complaints.
Like the last match, the first half began at a scintillating pace and West Ham were through on goal in the first ten seconds, but the woeful scuff into the keepers arms perhaps demonstrated why they are called the 'development squad'. Swansea's one supporter was Gracie, Ricky's daughter, who had for some reason taken up an allegiance with the Welsh Swans who had their fair share of chances in the first half but - like the Hammers - were unable to convert.
Eventually the Londoners did take the lead
Three weeks had passed since our last home game and, in the absence of football, I was becoming restless, though I did attend a West Ham u21 match on a Wednesday night to pass the time slightly.
Eventually those three weeks slowly reduced to two, then one, before there were only a few days until the clash with Wycombe Wanderers. A disappointing weekend loss to Cambridge aside, I was very excited ahead of the fixture and couldn't wait for Tuesday to arrive so I could return to my second home.
After a normal day at school, followed by Debate Mate, I was greeted by Mum by reception and quickly got changed before hopping the 364. Immediately we remarked on the blustery weather and both anticipated a freezing night in East London.
By the time we arrived it was still very early, so we debated what to eat. Both quite sick of burgers, the options were the chip shop me and Nan had previously explored or a Chinese branch across the street. Seeing the 'take away or eat in' sign adorning the window, we decided on the latter and ordered some rice, crackers and chicken balls.
We enjoyed a nice chat about various things then had a leisurely stroll down the roads leading to Victoria Road, still clutching my rice which I simultaneously divulged on. Infact, the food was actually incredibly nice and without doubt the best I have had for months. Though I cannot remember the name, I strongly recommend it.
Once inside the stadium, as the rain started to lightly patter, we took a seat in the darkness and resumed eating the rice. I bought a programme which I desperately tried to protect from the weather, before after a long wait the coach finally arrived.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.