Dagenham & Redbridge blog: A turning point, are we now seeing the real Daggers?
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
A revolution, a turning point, or just a slice of fortune. The Daggers’ past week can be assessed in various ways and I’d express my views on it as - a turning point.
To beat two sides whom, let’s face it, were the favourites to take all three points - Daryl McMahon’s men deserve full praise. Even I predicted defeat in the FA Cup and nothing more than a point at Meadow Park - proving even me wrong!
The impressive week began, as I’ve alluded to, with a hard-fought victory in the FA Cup and progression to the second round! Ian Holloway schooled by a certain Daryl McMahon, whose side pulled ahead midway through the first half and managed to get to the break in the lead.
Despite the Mariners netting an equaliser after another Clark mistake conceded a penalty - the Daggers pulled through. A patient Dagenham who remained resolute at the back under pressure we’re in the game with 10 minutes remaining.
Then, what followed was an execution of the game plan; they went on to win it at the end. Relentless pressing from Sam Deering saw Wilson in the box with a chance to get his second and snatch the win late on - he did just that!
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The team performance, relentlessness and passion as aforementioned - doing that together - it was something I had not seen all season! Though it was what we’d been crying out for, for all too long.
The tenacious nature of the side and the urge to get forward and remain on the front foot was what satiated me - even out of possession - the desire to win it back.
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The particular individual performers that also stood out among the wealth of quality included the likes of Deering, Weston, Ogogo and particularly Scott Wilson. Bagging a brace on what can only be described as a very magical FA Cup day, the new signing in his full debut shone in his clinical nature – resembling the displays of Ben House and Alex Reid on their debuts with the club last campaign.
The former in; Deering, Weston and Ogogo. Their work ethicabove all else, inspiring all those around them in red, contributed to the eventual victory a great deal.
A fantastic performance all round, the only thing it lacked was the 12th man - the supporters whom watched apart in their living rooms - the sieve and TBS deserted. They were left satisfied however; that one thing had returned - the Daggers spirit.
There was pressure on McMahon’s men to replicate this level of performance in the league. This time, they didn’t bow down to pressure, in what was a relatively colossal task – defeating Luke Garrard’s Boreham Wood outfit – at Meadow Park.
The Wood having not lost on home turf in over a year, and what’s more, the Daggers had been unable to defeat them (home or away) since 2017.
Though, a Myles Weston goal coupled with an Elliot Justham penalty save, being the key points from the game – ensured McMahon’s men had a twist of fate.
I say ‘key points’, but that is just on paper, as when we delve into the ball-by-ball, much closer, analysis – there were some crucial individual displays through which the win was secured.
One of which that put in an almighty shift, rightly earning him the MOTM award, on his debut – was Joey Jones.
The new signing, announced just hours before kick off would prove to be a fantastic acquisition. Competent. Composed. Carrying the ball out the back-line to find a way to attack.
That’s what impressed me most about Jones, also capable of playing in a holding midfield role, his ability to win the ball and then always make use of it.
I’m cautious of speaking too soon, but, he could well be that replacement for Manny Onariase the supporters and club as a whole have been crying out for. Joey Jones played in a back three, McMahon claiming that’s precisely the reason he bought his latest recruit – to give that option of formation.
So, this could well be a familiar setup: Jones, Croll and Clark making up a back three. One for those setting off on their next managerial adventure (albeit virtual) on Football Manager with Dagenham & Redbridge. As fans look to return the Daggers to the football league and beyond!
With a week of momentum gathered; it would soon be halted. The monstrosity of coronavirus would soon engulf Stockport’s first team, leading to the postponement of today’s fixture.
So, all eyes turn to Gander Green Lane, where Dagenham enjoyed success last time out, also on a Tuesday nigh
I am going to be more bold in my prediction this week, I am banking on a 3-0 win, confident the Daggers will continue their ascent up the table.
So, a turning point may be the phrase for this week, the week to follow will prove just whether we’ve really made a U-turn in form or we’re just on a winding country lane.
Stay safe, see you again this time next week – Come On You Daggers.