the daggers voice
This Saturday sees the already-relegated Dagenham & Redbridge make the long journey south to face Plymouth Argyle, who sit nicely perched in the play-offs ahead of the game at Home Park.
It will be the 44th game of a gruelling season for the Daggers, whose fate was secured last Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road, where tomorrow's opposition Plymouth won 3-1 in midweek to reignite their previously-faltering automatic promotion push.
On 16 November 2010, I made my first ever trip to Leyton Orient for my first ever away game. That night, we lost 3-2, conceded in the first three minutes, an Orient player scored a brace, we scored twice in a minute to make it 2-2, and Orient scored a third soon after to win it.
Five years on, I made what could be my last trip to Leyton Orient, where ironically we lost 3-2, conceded in the first three minutes, an Orient player scored a brace, we scored twice in a minute to make it 2-2, and Orient scored a third soon after to win it.
Today, having witnessed my first relegation, I can honestly say that it is painful. It hurts. You feel like nothing will ever be the same. You feel like your life is going to end.
But what's worse is that, even though we knew it was coming, we suffered our relegation to Leyton Orient, our biggest rivals. This was the worst possible ending to the worst Dagenham season I have ever witnessed.
Three leagues below Leicester City, shock leaders of the Premier League who have just gone TEN points clear after a 2-0 victory at Sunderland, comes another remarkable story. It's the story of Northampton Town, runaway leaders of League 2 who yesterday capped a sensational season by gaining promotion after a 2-2 draw with fellow promotion favourites Bristol Rovers.
But the most unbelievable thing about Northampton Town is that they were in severe danger of going out of existence, until a surprise takeover which has seemingly supplied the Cobblers with enough incentive to prove just what they represent. They realised their club was in jeopardy and it only made them work harder. Their story is truly remarkable because of the off-field issues which they managed to brush aside. It shows how you don't need fantastic players or money to be successful, you just need hard-working players who work for eachother. You need a team who have togetherness, and Northampton (and Leicester) are the epitomy of that.
After an almost-three week wait for this game which felt like a pre-season, players and fans alike were buzzing to be 'back' for the rearranged League Two fixture against Morecambe. It might have been a mere lower-table clash between two teams whose end-of-season fortunes are pretty cemented, but I was certainly excited, as I am for any Daggers game regardless of the circumstances surrounding it.
It would be my second visit to my second home in the space of two days, as I collected my Orient away tickets the day prior. That said, no matter how many times I visit, I can never remove the knot of excitement that greets me every time I venture into Victoria Road.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.