the daggers voice
When Daggers and Halifax met in the league for the first ever time, back in September, everything seemed good. We had recaptured the form that propelled us to the 2016/17 play-off semi-finals and, even at that early stage, were looking like title challengers. On that sunny afternoon, goals from Craig Robson, Corey Whitely and a Scott Garner own goal saw us win comfortably as we produced another devastating attacking display.
Since then, though, so much has changed. Not only have things declined on the pitch, but we've suffered a similar financial collapse behind the scenes which appears to set up a worrying future for the club. Many rumours have been circulating but with White and Lokko now gone, possibly to reduce the wage bill, it's certainly a concerning time for the club.
Back on that gentle Autumn day, where our only worries were directed towards the on-pitch action, this current situation seemed miles away. When it was revealed that Hartlepool and Chester were in trouble, needing to raise a lot of money, I remember imagining if that was ever us. What would we do? What would happen to our great club? These then-hypothetical thoughts have presumably turned into a devastating reality.
However, this is the time where we need to get behind the club. This all starts in Yorkshire, where it's vital we all stick together as fans and give the players as much encouragement as we can. Our play-off ambitions must take a back seat as the long-term future of the club becomes our priority. That said, to win at the Shay Stadium would be brilliant, and hopefully would take our minds off this predicament.
It won't be easy though. Halifax have had a disappointing season by their expectations but in all fairness they've done well to consolidate their position in the National League after promotion last campaign. In Matty Kosylo they have a fantastic winger, we saw that when his wonder-strike knocked us out of last season's FA Cup.
He is that type of player who can really make something happen from nowhere with his skills and trickery. Our defence, I'm sure, will have a very difficult time, as they always seem to do. In addition to this is powerful forward Tom Denton who one might describe as the typical non-league target man; he's tall, strong but can also finish.
He's one of the main reasons why Halifax are now seen as a very physical team. We'll certainly be in for a battle at The Shay and the Shaymen will be desperate for points. Like the Daggers they are in poor form and Tuesday's narrow defeat to an improving Orient side saw Billy Heath sacked as manager. Personally I see this as quite harsh, they're not in immediate danger of relegation and Heath masterminded their promotion last year, but it shows that they have much larger ambitions than 19th in the National League, which is very respectable.
Should a new manager be appointed by 3pm on Saturday then they'll be out to impress, and will be confident ahead of the fixture given our poor form and various problems. We've had a poor start to 2018 but a win here could really kickstart an upturn in form. Hopefully as many supporters can turn up in Yorkshire, the team need it more than ever right now.
So two out-of form teams meet at the MBI Shay Stadium in a meeting between two weak defences. All is set for an entertaining fixture, but events in the week mean that this game doesn't seem as important as it should. Some fans want John Still out, but right now as I've said, we need to get behind the team as much as we can.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.