Daggers blog: The highs and lows of season so far

Dagenham manager Daryl McMahon during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Solihull Moors, Vanarama National League Football at the...

Dagenham manager Daryl McMahon during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Solihull Moors, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 22nd February 2020 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Young Dagenham & Redbridge supporter has been writing a blog during the 2019/20 season

So, the likelihood that the National League could be declared ‘null and void’ has strengthened with leagues from steps three to six seeing their seasons cancelled and all results expunged!

Personally, I’d be okay with this outcome myself, although I’d obviously like to see the fixtures completed – currently it doesn’t look feasible.

I also feel sorry for all those whose hard work has been demolished, but at the end of the day there are more important things than football.

As the end of this season is nigh, I’ve decided to look back at some of the highlights of this campaign – an eventful one for the Daggers to say the least!

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But, you can’t have the highs without the lows, of which there were a few in this campaign – and those lowest of lows will also be touched upon.

The first of my highlights is the arrival of Daryl McMahon to succeed Peter Taylor as manager as the Irishman has been a breath of fresh air at Victoria Road.

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On and off of the pitch Daryl has brought a new, exciting vibe to the club which had been missing for some time.

The second of my highlights is one prior to the arrival of Daryl’s free-flowing football, but it was one of the few great Peter Taylor wins -– Yeovil at home.

After interviewing Peter Freund prior to the game I witnessed the last-gasp Joe Quigley winner as jubilant scenes unfolded!

It was a very close encounter but Quigley secured his brace and the win for the Daggers in which many thought was his turning point – unfortunately it wasn’t.

Now, for the last of the highs of the Taylor era and it’s an obvious one – that 6-1 thrashing of Aldershot!

It seemed the best performances under Taylor came when the owners were here – the victories over Yeovil and Aldershot were both witnessed by the Americans.

Two players really changed the mood at Victoria Road on their debuts as the Daggers ended a run of three straight losses.

An attacking performance inspired by debutants Ben House and Sam Deering was a joy to behold as Daggers recorded their best victory for 10 years!

The next of the ups is one from the new McMahon era, his first league game in charge and the first three points of his tenure against Notts County.

Beaten by the Magpies in the FA Trophy last time out, the Daggers got revenge on home turf as new signing Alex Reid shone on his debut with a brace to sweep the 10 men of County aside.

This gave many Daggers great hope, with the fantastic performance and result, McMahon earned a lot of respect that day.

The last of the ups of this campaign is the last-second equaliser, again at home, against the Hatters. We were undeservedly behind after conceding a soft goal ourselves late on but then – Chike Kandi!

I hadn’t celebrated a goal like that for a while and neither had anyone else I don’t think in the Sieve. The contrast of emotions from one second to the next – wow!

Of course, you can’t have the highs without the lows, the first being perhaps the worst defeat of the season – Carshalton away in the FA Cup.

The Daggers were victims of arguably the biggest upset at that stage as the hosts advanced to the first round proper.

It was a demoralising defeat in which the Daggers dominated for large spells but they, along with the manager, lost their way in the latter stages.

Taylor’s persistence with Quigley in this game in particular was frustrating and, after this defeat, myself and others began to turn on Taylor.

From my first thoughts of ‘Taylor Out’ to away at Bromley where near on every supporter was displeased with the manager. That 3-0 defeat proved to be the final straw to many supporters’ surprise but delight.

The unrest was felt most, by me, during this game in particular as the ‘We Want Taylor Out’ chants were there from games gone by, but there was an added anger as well.

This was another low point of the season as many Daggers were just angry.

Finally, another 3-0 defeat but this time at Victoria Road early on in the season where disappointment was the overriding feeling.

Having our hopes built up for promotion and to suffer that blow so early on – that demolition – was quite disheartening.

Those frustrating days are hopefully behind us, however they will never completely go away because this is Dagenham, as well as football after all.

But, on the whole I feel there are brighter days ahead next season with Daryl McMahon at the helm.

For now, stay home, stay safe and to all those essential staff and NHS workers – thank you.

Come on you Daggers!

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