Daggers v Huddersfield MATCH PREVIEW
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE would have been hard pressed to pick a more difficult opponent than Huddersfield Town when the two side s meet in the FA Cup first round tonight.
by MIKE SIMMONDS
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE would have been hard pressed to pick a more difficult opponent than Huddersfield Town when the two side's meet in the FA Cup first round tonight.
The Terriers are flying on home soil this season, firing in 23 goals in eight matches, including a 7-1 drubbing of Brighton & Hove Albion, while their last two matches have been consecutive 4-0 thrashings of Leyton Orient and Exeter City.
The impressive Galpharm is turning into something of a fortress for the home side, whose manager Lee Clark, the former Newcastle United midfielder, celebrates a year in charge on December 11.
There is a newfound optimism around the club this season, as it has been one of the lower leagues' sleeping giants since they were relegated from the Championship back in 2000/01.
They have threatened to win promotion through the play-offs on more than occasion, but did endure a brief spell in the basement during 2003/04, a travesty for a club of their size and fanbase.
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Clark made a number of attacking acquisitions in pre-season, with Jordan Rhodes and Theo Robinson signing, while Robbie Simpson was snapped up from Coventry City for �300k.
Simpson has yet to really take off since joining Huddersfield with just one goal, but Rhodes and Robinson have hit the ground running, netting a mighty 20 goals between them.
Former Liverpool defender Lee Peltier also joined, while the experienced Peter Clarke (who Daggers fans will remember getting from the FA Cup clash at Southend back in January 2008) and midfielder Antony Kay also agreed terms.
The Terriers began the season on fire, with victories over Stockport and Brighton, while pushing Newcastle United close in the Carling Cup before losing 4-3.
Their home form has been the catalyst for a promotion bid with five wins from seven games, while they go into the cup clash with Daggers on the back of an excellent 1-0 triumph at Oldham Athletic.
Daggers: Daggers should have Abu Ogogo back after he completed his suspension against Port Vale, though midfielder Danny Spiller won't be considered for the match.
Striker Josh Scott could earn a start after his goal against Vale, while Graeme Montgomery is also pushing for a place in the side, and left back Matt Lockwood is eligible for the tie too.
Huddersfield: Striker Lee Novak has shaken off a shoulder injury picked up at Oldham and is expected to feature, while Anthony Pilkington (hip) and Tom Clarke (knee) are both fit again.
Striker Robbie Simpson is the only absentee, as he has failed to recover from a thigh problem.
WE'VE MET BEFORE
This is the first ever meeting between the clubs.
ONE TO WATCH
Jordan Rhodes - after signing from Ipswich in the summer, the 19-year-old has been in stunning for for his new club.
Opening his account at Southend on the opening day, he netted five times in his first three matches and has since managed 12 in 17 matches.
Quite why Ipswich let him go is anyone's as he scored seven in 14 while on loan at Brentford last year and despite his tender age, has an obvious eye for goal.
FROM THE DUGOUT
"Dagenham will come here full of confidence. They have done well in League Two and are a very competitive side," said Town boss Lee Clark.
"They will come here with nothing to lose and will make it very tough for us, so we will have to be ready for that and respect them - which we certainly do.
"We have watched them play on numerous occasions now and have done our homework on them; the players have got to have the right mindset ahead of the game and be prepared for a tough match."
Daggers FA Cup hopes to fade away in a 3-0 defeat.
Can Daggers emerge victorious against Huddersfield? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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