the daggers voice
Great night in Kent!
For my third league away game of the season, I travelled to Maidstone United with my uncle, Spencer, for what was a fantastic night! The Daggers won 1-0 thanks to a Luke Guttridge goal, with the journey home being both enjoyable and hilariously crazy!
At the start of the day, my focus was on that night's game, but I had to come through a long day at school first which also included a session of Debate Mate, meaning I got home at near enough 5pm. From there, Dad dropped me to Lakeside where I met Spencer, and stage 1 of our journey had begun.
When I switched cars and met Spencer, we went straight to McDonalds and I got a burger happy meal and a Dairy Milk McFlurry. I was having a great time and we weren't even near Maidstone yet! We spent the journey joking around and discussing the match ahead, before we arrived
''This is a killing.''
My Matchday Experience
Winter is upon us. Frost graces the cars, the biting wind makes the walk to school unbearable. It is dark come 4pm, but nothing - nothing - will deter me from going to the Daggers. Not even this.
My Saturday morning reflected most of my Saturday mornings since my birthday. Training was cancelled, so I played a bit of FIFA on PS4. Then I watched the Playoff Final video - reliving Daggers' L2 Wembley triumph. At around midday, I started to liven up, and Dad's timely arrival back from shopping with Zac brought a lovely meal of McDonalds.
We left at just after 1pm with the dull, drab rain dropping down. Upon arrival at my second home, I bought my programme which I placed in its protector to prevent it getting wet (Note: I tried in vain to make this sentence sound less sad but it simply cannot be done). We then went into the clubhouse and I got a Pepsi, all was good.
After a while, we finally venture out of the clubhouse, but I want to retreat as I am greeted by the wet, miserable conditions outside. We do though, and are soon in the stadium. Kick off is less than an hour away. After debating various issues with Dad while devouring 'Sour Snakes' and speaking to my fellow fans, this time goes quickly, and soon the two teams - led by the armed forces in honour of Remembrance Day - step onto the hallowed turf. The Daggers team was announced as follows:
01. Elliot Justham
03. Joe Widdowson
04. Scott Doe (C)
06. Matt Robinson
08. Frankie Raymond
10. Luke Guttridge
12. Oliver Hawkins
15. Jordan Maguire-Drew
19. Sam Ling
25. Corey Whitely
32. Josh Staunton
After a unified silence in tribute to the War victims, the match gets underway, with the travelling so-called 'Heed Army' in decent voice. A few minutes in, I begin to realise something was wrong. It was the same feeling I had at the start of our only home loss prior to that against Boreham Wood - I can't explain it. I turn to Dad and say, ''This is going to be a frustrating game I think''
Frustration turns to desperation as John Still's men fail to get their fluent play going, and this leads to a Gateshead chance. It's an acrobatic effort that just about clips the post - for a minute, I feared it was in. Thankfully, it stays out though, as news filters through of Forest Green and then Lincoln City's early openers, I am somewhat less relieved at this. Again, frustration is the overriding emotion.
Then, frustration turns to dismay, as Gateshead take the lead. It was a simple turn from Sam Jones - simple yet effective - and he spins away from his marker. Three touches later and Justham finally comes out to try and clear the danger, but it is all in vain, as the ball nestles into the corner. They celebrate by the cornerflag. I don't.
To be continued.......
Views From The Sieve (Daggers Forum) - Reaction
Adrian said: ''We have a young inexperienced side. We have quite a few players out injured.
They're actually quite good. Not sure what he level has to do with anything. We are a National League team. It's quite possible that we will occasionally get hammered by other teams at this level.''
NBDag said: ''Course it's possible but it doesn't make it excusable. Been in the top 5 almost, if not all, season so far. No team should be beating us, or any of the other top 5/7 teams by this margin. Understand fatigue and off-days come into play sometimes, but for me I just don't think a scoreline like today's could/should be explained so nonchalantly.''
NickMurphy said: ''We have a whole host of players out, some that aren't playing in their natural position, others have been rushed back when usually they'd get an extra two weeks or so and on top of that due to the injuries we've had no chance to rotate when we've mainly been playing Saturday/Tuesday. Admittedly I didn't think we'd get thumped this afternoon although from what I understand it was that 10 minute spell where I can only assume that we, as a young side, lost concentration which did for us, it's not the end of the world. An exception rather than the norm, but we may have to get used to some difficult games and a couple of poor results in the short term while we cope with the situation we have. And no matter how you disguise it, the number of injuries we have is a huge issue at the moment.''
Dagdale said: ''Can't believe what I've seen today, after such a pretty good few months and a side that showed some decent football and a team working pretty well together, out comes this almighty dire display. Yeah, I know we have some players who are very important to our side out injured and it's taking its toll. Looks like Matty Robinson could be another one gone but looking at our line up, it didn't look that bad a side. Before Gateshead even got their well-deserved first (goal), they must have had at least four really good chances that went awfully close and should've been put away full stop, and after that calamity of a second (goal) what today was our biggest mishap - OUR defence. It was all over the place and Heed players were freely standing in positions so close to Justham that every attack looked like another would rattle in! But fair play to those guys, even at 5-0, they still wanted more.''
This was not just an off day. An off day is losing 1-0 or 2-0 with a shortage of luck. This was an absolute mauling. From the first minute Gateshead looked quicker, hungrier, more determined, and injuries can't just be to blame for that. The defending was absolutely shocking and, while Gateshead were a good team for sure, we gifted them some goals. It was just terrible and I find it hard to see how we will recover from this. John Still has to get a reaction out of his team for Tuesday.
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I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.