the daggers voice
Finally, it's the eve of another weekend which, as usual, is set to be dominated by football and football only. An action-packed couple of days begins, usually on a Friday, where a Football League fixture kicks things off, before the highlight of the week - Saturday, when I will be following the fortunes of the Daggers, as well as keeping tabs with everything up and down the country. Super Sunday then follows before Monday Night Football marks the end of the traditional weekend, and so begins the tedious countdown once again. So, as I sit here in a hotel room in Milton Keynes, I look forward to fretting over my two teams; Dagenham & Redbridge and, of course, my Premier League Fantasy XI.
Solihull Moors v Dagenham & Redbridge
On paper this should be a straightforward win for Dagenham as we head to second-bottom Solihull Moors, but as all us fans will tell you, things are never that easy. The tightness of the league table proves that there are very few easy games in this division and, though we will head to the Moors as firm favourites, we will have to be at our very best to get something. Form has varied in the last few weeks; we looked unstoppable in August but, once our unbeaten run was cruelly snatched at Hartlepool, things seemed to fall apart and a second loss duly followed. However, we managed to bounce back against Halifax Town last weekend so whether we can build on that hinges on what Dagenham side turns up. On one hand, it could (hopefully) be the side that destroyed Bromley three weeks ago but it it could quite conceivably also be the one that were deflatingly-underwhelming against Sutton recently. The two matchups last year indicate that an entertaining game is in store; the Daggers picked up four points from Moors last campaign with fifteen goals being scored across three hours of football. The last of those was a memorable game last December, we were 3-0 down in twenty minutes but somehow rescued a 4-4 draw, though I'm still trying to figure out how after a truly abject performance. The return meeting, which came two months earlier, was pretty much the opposite, a straightforward 5-2 victory with goals from Oliver Hawkins (x3), Maguire-Drew and Fejiri Okenabirhie, who is the only one still at the club, but will probably be sidelined for Saturday. As top scorers in not only the National League but the top five divisions in England, we will surely be relishing the chance to face a weak defence, but only time will tell whether things work out that way. Having been to all but two of our games so far I will be missing the trip to the Automated Technology Stadium, though not regrettably, and I'm looking forward to an afternoon of Soccer Saturday and anxious checkings of Twitter at every second. I really hope that the team can deliver and to be top by 5pm would be perfect. Come on John, come on the lads, come on Dagenham.
National League Preview
There is a full fixturelist in the Vanarama National League and, if things go our way, the Daggers could end the day top of the league. That honour currently goes to Aldershot Town, but Gary Waddock's team will face a tough challenge to preserve their position as they welcome Leyton Orient to the EBB Stadium. Orient have struggled away this season and with the vocal backing that Aldershot get at home, I'm backing them to register a narrow win although, and I can't believe I'm saying this, I'd much prefer an O's victory. At Meadow Park a local derby will be taking place as Boreham Wood, who have been really impressive this season, welcome Ebbsfleet, who are struggling despite only being beaten once. I've seen us play both these teams already this season so I think they will cancel eachother out perfectly, my prediction is a 2-2 draw. Then, we have Dover Athletic, who travel to an improving Guiseley side. Under Paul Cox's reign the Lions have managed to grind out some impressive results so Dover will have to be at their best to keep up their good form. They could still have enough in their locker to scrape a victory, a 0-0 draw or 1-0 Dover win is what I'm thinking. Over to Victoria Park, where I was just a fortnight ago, and this time Eastleigh travel to Hartlepool. The Pools have been absolutely brilliant recently and, although their victory over us was based purely on fortune, I'm confident they will defeat Eastleigh either 2-0 or 2-1. The Gallagher Stadium is the venue for another clash between two succeeding sides as Maidstone United face Gateshead. Tranmere Rovers will be looking to kick-start their poor season with a mouth-watering clash at home to Wrexham, while nearby Marcus Bignot looks to get his Chester managerial role off to a good start with the visit of Maidenhead. Fylde host Woking, whose away form hasn't quite matched up to their home sequence, Halifax look to bounce back from last week's loss against Bromley, Barrow's new manager Micky Moore faces a tricky first game away at Sutton, Macclesfield head to our next opponents' Torquay United and, of course, the Daggers travel to Solihull Moors. My prediction for all of these games is below:
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.