This is a game that shouldn't be happening. After such a dominant and controlled display on Saturday, Boreham Wood should have secured safe progression into the first round of the FA Cup, and they would have were it not for a miraculous late comeback which typifies the ethos of the greatest competition in the world: anything can happen. Quite how a side who didn't have a shot on target until the 87th minute managed to score twice deep into stoppage time remains a mystery, but lessons would've been learned as we look to cling on to the lifeline which we have been handed.
As such, we have a replay at Victoria Road which will be played to conclusion, meaning the very nervy prospect of extra time and even penalties. While the Daggers will have a much-needed injection of confidence following the manner in which we ended Saturday's tie, we can't rely on similar dramatics this time out because if we perform as we did mostly against the Wood, they will progress and our comeback at Meadow Park will be merely a good memory, rather than a springboard for the future.
Although they will naturally be dejected, Boreham Wood have a good incentive to secure a trip to Southport at the beginning of November, which is the fixture that awaits the victors. Just yesterday the Daggers announced the signing of Angelo Balanta from Boreham Wood. He can't feature tonight due to being cup-tied from his appearance against us on Saturday but his lack of inclusion within their squad will still help us. Conversely, though, it will galvanise the club and make them more determined to beat the team who've just taken their best player.
As it has been mentioned, a trip to Southport will be the fate of the winners tonight. In a draw which contained the likes of Portsmouth, Charlton and Coventry, going to Haig Avenue is distinctly underwhelming however, with them sitting bottom of the National League North, it does present the opportunity to make the second round. All of a sudden you're one win away from a possible trip to a huge Premier League team - and that's all the incentive you need to carry you through tonight.
More in Saturday's performance, to say we were terrible would be harsh because we did start brightly in the first ten minutes of both halves, without really troubling the keeper. In a weird way it was the seemingly decisive second-half goal that made us better because we had nothing to lose at that point, which is what inspired the scenes that followed. Overall, we weren't great but we also showed glimpses of quality. We just need to see more of them.
The game changed when we brought on Munns, Harfield and Adeloye; in my opinion, they all need to start tonight's game and the subsequent league fixtures too. It gives Taylor somewhat of a headache given that we're gradually getting more depth and quality into the squad. Hopefully we're as brave tonight as we were in the last four minutes at the weekend. It's essentially a free hit for us, a bonus match, so I hope we don't come over all nervous and panicked.
Boreham Wood are a good, organised side with a confident and quality manager, Luke Garrard, at the helm. Naturally following the departures of big names such as Ferrier and Andrade, they are a weaker team this season but still possess talent such as Shakes and Umerah, who demonstrated their abilities against us in the initial clash. It's a testament to the well-run infrastructure of the club that they can continue to sustain their place at this level with the lowest crowds in the division.
They know a lot about FA Cup runs after making the second round last season so the prospect of a good journey will be massively enticing for them. However, I back us to show Angelo Balanta that he made the right decision.
Let's continue the upward curve we're currently on,
Up the Dags.
I am Joel Page, an avid Dagger who travels across the country watching the club. Over the last few years, I've absorbed the turbulent rollercoaster ride that comes with supporting the Daggers and have seen us both at our highest and our lowest. From 'that' day at Wembley to watching us suffer a devastating drop into non-league, it's all a part of the journey.