the daggers voice
After Saturday's performance, it's hard to express just how proud I am of the Daggers. Coming after two scoreless losses to Gateshead and Maidstone, most people expected us to be thrashed by the team who sat 2nd before kick-off, however the boys dug deep and thoroughly deserved all three points.
Six minutes into Tuesday's clash with Maidstone, I sent this message to Dad: 'Bromley all over again. 1-0 Maidstone' - that may seem like a basic and not particularly insightful message, but little did I know I would be spot on as we put in a lethargic performance that saw us lose another home game against a relegation-threatened side.
THIS is becoming the type of season that you just have to drink up and soak in before it's all over. Another win, another load of goals and another three points in our favour for what seems like the millionth time this season. It might have only been Southport, but I could swear that we're getting better and better with every passing week.
This latest victory is the fifth is a row, the first time we have done that for over five years and also our longest winning run of the season. And, though it might have seemed straight-forward, we had to come from behind away from home to beat a side playing their first game under a new manager who they would be keen to impress, and also overcoming the 'Manager of the Month curse' - it was never going to be an easy task.
But we've been overcoming obstacles all season; our team play with no fear, wear their hearts on their sleeves and have the drive and determination to win games. It would have been easy to drop our heads against the Port, and Chester for that matter, but no. We are Daggers, and we plug away at teams until they cannot take it anymore. It's that commitment that is the key to winning promotion.
The scorers on Saturday were Okenabirhie, Whitely and Maguire-Drew alongside an own goal. I was not there on Saturday but the form of those three, not to mention Ollie Hawkins, has been instrumental to our season and I can picture it in my head.
This of course meant that I had to wait to see the goals n the highlights show but it was worth the wait. The equaliser was an excellent free-kick from JMD that curled into the top-corner before the own goal which wouldn't have gone in had it not been for Okenabirhie's teasing cross and our pressure infront of goal. By the time Whitely had bagged our fourth I had a beaming smile, as I knew it would've been a proper 'Daggers' performance.
And so we are next in action on Saturday with the visit of lowly Guiseley before Bromley visit on Tuesday. Lincoln are in FA Cup action so this means we have two chances to take advantages and potentially be top of the table by the time the Imps next play a league fixture.
Okenabirhie then scored a fantastic goal as he swerved an effort from an improbable angle right into the opposite top corner; an outstanding finish. By the time W
Saturday's clash with Bromley was disappointingly postponed just three hours before kick-off due to a frozen pitch. Most of the surface was considered fine but after an inspection by the referee and both sets of staff it was one section of the pitch near the Carling Stand that was deemed unplayable. A new date will be set for the fixture.
Rather than writing a match report as I expected and hoped having not produced one since our last game, which while only 2 weeks ago seems like an eternity, I had to write this. And, like many others, I was more than ready to leave for Saturday's game, before the dreadful news filtered through my Twitter feed.
That was our biggest away league win in EIGHT YEARS!
And sure, it might have only been against North Ferriby, but it's great that we're scoring goals again - and that wasn't the only positive from the game.
It saw the full return of two injured players whose departures we've been ruing for ages; Craig Robson and Fejiri Okenabirhie. Both players got injured in October and since Robson's injury our defence had fallen to pieces. For one playing in the highest division in his career, he's become such a heavily-dependent and reliable figure.
And Fejiri Okenabirhie, he was a joy to watch earlier in the season. His goal and trickery gave us so many attacking options, on top of the ones we already had of course. He got the opener at Ferriby and his return will no doubt lift the team.
So all of a sudden, we've got back two of our main players and are only a few points off top - not bad all things considered! We have two of the hottest properties in non-league - Whitely and Hawkins - and, with away games at Tranmere and Lincoln to come before the end of February - we could easily end the season as champions!
Actually, anyone up to Dover could realistiically win the league this year, it's so tight at the top and that will make for a pulsating end of the season. Last season it was pretty much a two-horse race from the start but this year it's been anyone's. Most recently Tranmere and Lincoln have been overtaking eachother every week as ourselves and FGR seem to have fallen behind a little bit. However with both the Daggers and Mark Cooper's Rovers' back to winning ways things are wide open again.
Our next match is a home game with Bromley on 21st January, before a HUGE away fixture at Tranmere Rovers.
So on Saturday the Daggers managed to score twice in the last seven minutes to snatch a 4-4 draw against Solihull Moors, despite playing terribly for the most part. I can't figure out whether I'm happy or disappointed with the result. We definitely didn't deserve it and only played well for about ten minutes of each half, but then again the best teams pick up undeserved points. Still, when you think we've conceded 16 goals in just five home games - compared to just three all season before that - it's far from good enough.
Take the first two Solihull goals on Saturday, where our defence backed off and invited both players to shoot. It was obvious for the first he was going to shoot, but again nobody was willing to put their body in the way. For the second goal, as spectacular as it was, there was no closing down and we got what we deserved. And these were just small mistakes compared to the next two.
And yet we still didn't yield the warning. Two became three as Widdowson was bundled off the ball in the corner, the first of a catalogue of errors. Then, failure to close the attacker down presented him with an opportunty to shoot, which he did - right at Justham. What should've been an easy save turned into him spilling the ball right to Byrne, almost stopping it dead for him to tap in. It's not just one error, but multiple avoidable ones that would never have happened earlier in the season.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.