the daggers voice
2018 begins with potentially-thrilling home clash against local rivals Leyton Orient in a match that we simply must win. With just one point from our three recent fixtures, we have found ourselves out of the play-off places as the league title is slowly drifting away from our reach.
Though Saturday was a significant improvement as we took a point at Ebbsfleet, a very tricky place to go, the performances haven't been good enough lately and we desperately need to start picking up form again. This is a pivotal part in the season, and any team who formulates a good run has the chance to pull away at the top of the division. At the minute that's looking like Macclesfield, but just a couple of wins could propel us right back in contention.
If that wasn't incentive enough, it's a match against Orient, which are always memorable occasions. Just last Tuesday we suffered the frustration and humiliation of a second defeat away at the O's already this season and the fans are desperate for us to finally avenge some of that pain, and finally earn some East London bragging rights.
But it won't be easy, as we found out last week. Orient have found some form recently under Justin Edinburgh, but were sent crashing back to earth on Saturday with a narrow loss at home to Bromley, which isn't that bad given that they had to play nearly all of the game with ten men, after Bondz N'Gala of all people received his marching orders. To make things funnier, it was all down to a dreadful backpass from Joe Widdowson.
Talking of whom, Widdowson should expect another frosty reception today, and that's another reason why we should be eager to win. He must've taken immense pleasure in beating us (twice) and couldn't celebrate the goals enough. It'd be so sweet if we could not only get one over Orient, but also him.
On Boxing Day the fans were in fine voice but I didn't see the same passion from the players, The occasion bypassed us, and it was so disappointing, especially being relentlessly mocked by the home fans. They're likely to bring 1200 today so it'll be an intimidating atmosphere, but that should be relished. The players should be determined and give 110% - John Still of all people knows how much this game means.
So a new year and hopefully, to a certain extent, a new Dagenham. We've been too inconsistent in 2017, especially on our travels, and a win today could go wonders for us, especially with two more home games fast approaching. A victory would be fantastic for the fans today, if only to have the satisfaction of shutting that lot up.
Orient fans must think we're overrated and poor, but that's not true. We've been underwhelming against them, but we can't bottle it today. This is a potentially-season-defining fixture, which will test our mental strength, something I've found myself questioning recently. Let's prove to Orient that East London belongs to the Daggers, and let's not ruin what will be a bumper atmosphere and bumper attendance.
COME ON YOU DAGGERS!
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.