the daggers voice
Daggers prepare for midweek Kent trip
The Daggers are back in National League action as they make the relatively short journey to Maidstone United this Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.
The mood of the fans is much more upbeat after the side earned three points at York on Saturday, with Hawkins and Guttridge on target, and with a squad gradually recovering from a big injury crisis that saw us lose against Halifax and Gateshead, most people will be backing the Daggers to gain another three points here.
Maidstone, by the admission of their own fans, have been 'terrible' at home this year - which is what I love to hear. However, against Sutton - my first away game of the season - back in August, we suffered no fewer than three injuries on their artificial pitch, the same surface that the Stones play on, which could present a few problems.
Personally I really dislike 3G/4G pitches. I think that they give teams an advantage/disadvantage, although Maidstone are better away and Sutton are better at home, so it works both ways. However, how is it fair that we play on grass all season yet then have to adapt to a new surface, just three days after our last game? And for Maidstone, maybe the reason they're playing so badly is that their players play one week on astroturf (or whatever they call it) then the next on grass? Just a thought.
Maidstone home record this season is as follows:
I am delighted to say I will be going to this game after my last awayday, not so long ago, saw Hawkins score a late goal at Forest Green to spark euphoria. Hopefully, I will see Daggers win away in the league for the first time this season. I will be accompanied by my uncle Spencer, my companion in the friendly at Thurrock in July, which was a great night. As a belated birthday present, he is taking me as a treat (though I don't think freezing to death in an uncovered stadium in Kent will qualify as a 'treat' for him!) and I can't wait.
I am in good spirits ahead of the game on the back of the victory at York. With Boucaud back from international duty, Guttridge back to full form and Hawkins back in his natural position, I'm hoping Daggers can extend Maidstone's woeful home form.
Hopefully, if we can win, teams around us will slip up and we can move back up the table.
Talking of which, there are some key games happening, with almost a full fixturelist, with only North Ferriby v Wrexham - an unspiring 0-0 draw that was brought forward on FA Cup 1st round weekend - not taking place. After losing in the cruellest ways on Saturday, Forest Green have another tricky game in the shape of Tranmere Rovers at home in 1st v 3rd. Lincoln themselves will be looking to emulate us by beating York away, while Barrow will be heavy favourites to extend their staggering record 15-game unbeaten run against basement boys Guiseley.
In other fixtures, play-off chasers Aldershot and Eastleigh face off at the Recreation ground, Boreham Wood host Sutton, lowly Braintree welcome Bromley, Woking travel to Dover, a local derby sees Chester play Southport, Torquay entertain Solihull and Macclesfield are the visitors to Gateshead.
So hopefully we can get a result. I myself can't wait and, to the large amount of Daggers I expect to be in attendance - I'll see you there to sing about John Still having a dream!
But I'll leave you with this - a completely meaningless highlights reel from a 1-0 friendly loss at Maidstone some four years ago.
Come on you Daggers!
National League Fixtures on Tuesday 22nd November
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.