Dagenham & Redbridge blog: Abu Ogogo is back for Daggers FA Cup clash
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Our Dagenham & Redbridge blogger Keane Handley previews the FA Cup clash at home to Hartley Wintney.
Well, it had been a fairly quiet week, but then what would take place on Friday afternoon was something nobody could predict – the return of a club legend. With supporters content with the signing of Scott Wilson; they were about to be sent into ecstasy – ‘Abu Ogogo Returns’ – sent into ecstasy by those three words!
It’s crazy how one afternoon, one loan signing, can turn the mood of a fan base on its head. But, I mean what a signing, this just proves that when Peter Freund told my blog Digger Dagger Matchday, ‘[his] consortium are more committed than ever’, he stayed true to his word.
We’ll get back to Ogogo returning momentarily, but I’d also like to give the signing of Scott Wilson a mention, he’ll probably appear on the team sheet today and everyone will wonder who he is as – let’s be honest – there has only been one name going around town. Wilson is most likely a replacement for McCallum who is ‘out for a while’ as McMahon said in his Thursday press conference; so too is Adrian Clifton.
I must say, he is a first-class replacement and hopefully he makes some noise on the pitch, the 28-year old forward, as little was made about him off it with his announcement somewhat overshadowed. Wilson has 54 appearances in League Two for Macclesfield and Oldham and has played 69 times with in the National League with the Silkmen and Eastleigh. The new number 25 was the top scorer for Macclesfield in both of his seasons with them.
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So, with the permanent signing of Wilson secured the ex-Daggers captain’s arrival was announced and even though it’s a loan until January – that didn’t detract any excitement. Abu has made over 200 appearances for the club over 6 seasons and he played all 90 minutes in THAT play-off final victory over Rotherham. A fans’ favourite, Ogogo is to again add that fight in the red and blue of Dagenham & Redbridge at the heart of the midfield - over five years on from his last appearance at Victoria Road.
I will touch on the game that featured a few of Ogogo’s old Daggers teammates, the game that feels like a while ago now, but only took place last Saturday – at home to Yeovil. Now, from an established club legend to a player who may grow into one and that man is keeper, Elliot Justham, who yet again showed just why he is one of the best in the league between the sticks. It was his save ultimately that denied Murphy a goal against his former club that kept the Daggers in the game.
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However, the hosts went from just staying in the game, to a situation where it felt like they were held to a 0-0 draw by a 10-man Yeovil. McMahon’s side just couldn’t find the net in wat was to be fair to them, an improved performance with injuries a big hindrance.
A well-rested side without a game being played on Tuesday and a refreshed side with Ogogo and Wilson breathing new life into McMahon’s squad - begin their FA Cup journey today.
Now, at this stage in the cup last season we were drawn a tie with lower-league opposition and we were confident of making it to the first-round proper – but, That didn’t happen!
And, after an iffy start to the season this was the real start of a long chain of events that led to the sacking of Peter Taylor. So, I’m not going to disrespect today’s opposition though I am quietly optimistic of a win – it’s the FA Cup and anything can happen.
Although, is this year not going to have the same magic and vibe about it with no fans in attendance – that’s the big worry for a lot of National League supporters.
Nevertheless, I’ll be cheering on the Daggers and perhaps debutant Wilson and returning Ogogo - as every fan will be – from the confines of my own home. Watching via Dagenham’s stream which has improved in recent weeks, let’s hope that the stream and the Daggers players can find a consistent run of form that satisfies supporters.
A run of form that could begin today and hopefully kickstart a good league run as a tough trip to York Road awaits on Tuesday. It’s always a good game there, and the Magpies have only bettered Dagenham’s points tally by two so it’ll be a close encounter.
Now, I back a hopefully rejuvenated Dagenham team who’ll be galvanized by a club great, will secure a victory
It’s FA Cup weekend! Abu’s back, so let’s Ogogo – COYD!