the daggers voice
With both sides in contrasting form and needing points for very separate reasons, this could well prove to be a thrilling, end-to-end encounter at Victoria Road. Our promotion challenge has crumbled; we're slowly fading away from the play-off picture altogether when we should be going for the league. Solihull Moors though have picked up hugely under Mark Yates and arrive in the best form of their season, meaning that they will arrive with confidence that defies their league position.
It seems like whenever we turn a corner at the moment, it's almost instantly back to square one. John Still often says that the best teams get going around January, but this is a consistency that constantly evades us, and we're seeing the consequences now. On our day we can beat anyone, as the victories over Macclesfield and Dover show, but it's these kinds of games where we struggle, and that has ultimately cost us the league.
In reality, I think we all know the league has gone. Although things can change rapidly in this turbulent division, we've left ourselves too much to do. Infact, such is our decline that even a play-off spot is uncertain, so we're going to need every point we can get. Three on this occasion would certainly do us no harm, but it certainly won't be easy in any way.
Solihull are in the same bracket as Chester, Torquay and Guiseley, etc, who we have struggled against this season. No games are easy in this league, you can't underestimate anybody. In September, only a hugely-fortunate Jake Howells leveller denied Moors a victory over us, although we took the lead early on through Mason Bloomfield.
This was another thrilling encounter, as Daggers-Moors games have proven to be over the recent months. With 19 goals in the three matches we've shared, one thing you can guarantee is entertainment, especially considering the vulnerability of both defences. On this occasion, though, I'd happily take a scrappy 1-0 victory, just to halt the decline.
One player we should be wary of is Oladapo Afelayan, a pacy winger who has represented England C in the past, aswell as striking against us in September. He's impressed massively and is a crucial factor in their recent upturn in form. His team will sense another scalp, and it wouldn't be too surprising if he contributed to one and heaped more misery on the Daggers. After all, it's been a very disappointing few weeks.
Hopefully this year, though, we don't disappoint. Just as it's easy to go on a bad run, it's equally possible to embark on a good run just as quickly - just look at our opponents Solihull. Here's hoping we can gain a morale-boosting victory, which will put us in an ideal position ahead of a defining February run-in.
I am Joel Page, Dagenham & Redbridge FC fan. Here I will share some of my experiences.