the daggers voice
This is it. 46 games and it all came down to this: the play-offs. On Thursday, the Daggers took on Forest Green Rovers. The atmosphere was electric, and the performance was brilliant. The match ended 1-1 and so will be decided at the New Lawn on Sunday.
With such a young and inexperienced squad, I never expected us to perform so well and to look totally unfazed by the occasion. I thought that we absolutely controlled the game and forced Forest Green into several mistakes. It's just a shame that we ultimately couldn't take advantage of our biggest chance to beat them.
Our start to the match was blistering, just like when we hosted FGR in March. In the first five minutes we had had three shots well saved and really were piling on the pressure. But the goal just wouldn't come. Then, Forest Green earned a penalty, and I thought our chance had gone.
We were incensed by the penalty decision as almost everybody thought that Bugiel had dived. And, when I got home, I instantly looked through the repays and, as it proved, there was no contact whatsoever. Noble smashed the penalty in and Daggers were victim of a huge injustice.
But we have never given up this season and so of course were not going to again. We took a while to recover from the setback, but came back stronger and were eventually level. Maguire-Drew latched onto a flickon and thrashed the ball past the keeper to spark jubilant celebrations.
The second half was comparatively dull and the game stayed 1-1 in a scoreline that probably favours Forest Green now. But the way we played was brilliant and I am so proud of the team.
Maguire-Drew, for somebody who is only a teenager, was unplayable in his last Daggers game at Victoria Road. He was so calm and made everything happen on the ball. He completely deserved the goal, and the plaudits, but there were several other players who deserve credit too. Boucaud covered every blade of grass and battled fiercely, Robson was determined in the middle. On top of this, we had Whitely and Okenabirhie, who unravelled the FGR defence whenever they could.
Overall, I was very proud at full time, although slightly disappointed. We rose to the occasion as we have all campaign, and put in a performance to remember. Forest Green were vastly inferior on the night, which is why I'm so disappointed we couldn't take advantage.
But whatever happens, this season has been fantastic and I am proud of the team whatever transpires. Now we go onto Sunday. Everything rides on Sunday!
COME ON YOU DAGGERS!
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.