Dagenham & Redbridge blog: Daggers welcome Yeovil Town

Paul McCallum of Dagenham and Redbridge during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Wealdstone, Vanarama National

Paul McCallum of Dagenham and Redbridge during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Wealdstone, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 10th October 2020 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Our Dagenham & Redbridge blogger Keane Handley previews the clash at home to Yeovil Town as they look to find a way to start building some momentum.

A great victory at home; a miserable defeat away. Dagenham & Redbridge haven’t exactly been known for doing it the easy way in recent years.

So, if they are to ‘do it’ and at the very least reach the play-offs – those being the expectations of every Dagenham fan – they have to improve drastically in terms of performance.

That performance in particular at the start of games, which has been in all matches, possibly with the exception of Barnet - slow and lacklustre. With the poor start to the season came two new signings though, unexpected to say the least, as Jaden Brissett and Charlee Adams were unveiled prior to kick off on Saturday.

Both were welcome, a welcome return for the latter perhaps less so, but nonetheless Adams was a player who had a limited chance in a Daggers shirt first time round – though some question his attitude.

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He is another battler in the middle and impressed despite the original animosity towards him just hours earlier – he did his job and he did it well.

Quickly on Brissett, and a google search led me to his highlights reel and he looked decent did the 19-year-old who is a product of Norwich’s esteemed academy – Jaden spent last season at Brentford B.

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The new recruit is another option up top and out wide in attacking areas if ever perhaps Saunders is out, as he is now, or others who occupy the flanks are struck with injury.

So, moving onto Wealdstone, a first win of the season, and as aforementioned, it was a slow start but what mattered was the 3 points and that was what was delivered in front of the BT Sport cameras. Angelo Balanta getting in amongst the goals again in what was possibly the hardest chance of the game for the Daggers – but he scored it!

Up the other end Elliot Justham again saved the day as he so often does in between the sticks at Victoria Road; as he denied the Stones an equaliser at the death. So, with the Daggers off the mark there were high hopes for a Tuesday night trip to Woking or at least hopes of a good showing – neither a win nor a commendable performance was to be seen though.

We mention slow starts, well this was the slowest of the slow so far, as the Daggers found themselves 2 men down (through injury) as well as 2 goals down within 30 minutes.

The poor performance may have been down to misfortune in part on Tuesday with star striker Paul McCallum going down with barely 5 minutes on the clock – only for his replacement, Clifton, to hobble off 5 minutes later.

Though, the goals, they were avoidable to say the least, with a free-kick seemingly floating in prior to a rare mistake from Justham to add to the woes for McMahon’s men.

As I said in a tweet in the aftermath of that goal ‘If you didn’t think it was Dagenham’s night: a Justham mistake confirms your thoughts’. The rest of the game just saw Woking sit back and successfully defend their two-goal cushion as the Daggers slumped to 3 defeats in 4 games.

Then, the news Daggers fans were dreading, McCallum and Clifton were not expected back any time soon said Daryl in his post-match interview. So, an uplifting victory was overshadowed this week by injury nightmares and a disappoint defeat but in truth I’m yet to see a convincing performance from Dagenham so far – convincing enough to get promoted anyway.

We just seem to be unable to find that high intensity, fluid, attacking football we had at the beginning of the Irishman’s reign – the sort that would put points on the board but also excite fans.

I know we have had 11 new faces come in and ‘it takes time to gel’ but as McMahon himself has admitted – performances haven’t been good enough.

Two strikers are injured and another made his inevitable exit, Joe Quigley cancelled his contract with the club after just one season – moving to the team he scored 2 against in a Dagenham shirt (a rarity) and today’s opponents – Yeovil.

Fast becoming a club for ex-Daggers, as McMahon alluded to when speaking to Daggers TV yesterday, with the likes of Murphy, Wilkinson, Lawson and Quigley with the potential to turn out against their old side tomorrow.

Also in this interview he gave reason for inconsistent performances making the direct link to inconsistent team selection – claiming it is nigh on impossible to build relationships as players when not playing together on the pitch. He was, however, confident he can put a side out that will claim victory at Victoria Road.

I believe that though it’ll be a tough game we’ll get something out of it; whether that be a win or draw I won’t cast judgement. I perhaps should be more confident after predicting we’d get 3/6 points last week but with everything but consistency right now at Dagenham things really could go either way.

It is the only game of the week so it’s an ideal situation for the Daggers in that case; injured players having the time to recuperate. But, as for the fans, the only way we’ll be able to recuperate is with a win as the fan base is just as frustrated as Daryl seems right now – if not more so – let’s hope for those again much needed three points and Come On You Daggers!

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