The little men are standing tall

ALTHOUGH they might be two of the smallest players in not only the Dagenham & Redbridge side, but the whole of League Two, there is no doubting the importance of either Matt Ritchie and Sam Saunders, writes MIKE SIMMONDS. When Ritchie swung over a corne

ALTHOUGH they might be two of the smallest players in not only the Dagenham & Redbridge side, but the whole of League Two, there is no doubting the importance of either Matt Ritchie and Sam Saunders, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

When Ritchie swung over a corner in injury time at Saltergate on Saturday, not many would have expected Saunders to be on the end of it.

But he was, and though it was more luck than judgement, he was celebrating his ninth league goal of the season, and first in 12 games.

"I don't normally score tap-ins," he smiled. "That one has hit me on the knee and gone in, I'll take anything that comes my way though as I haven't scored for a while.


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"I was just pleased to get another one on the scoresheet and get a point, but disappointed also as we should have had all three."

Had Daggers come away from Chesterfield with another victory under their belts, there couldn't have been too many complaints from anyone inside the ground.

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They swarmed all over their hosts in the second half, with Ritchie the best player on the park and once again at the hub of the activity.

The youngster has been superb in his loan spell from Portsmouth and is clearly destined for big things in the game, but he was happy to contribute for the Daggers cause.

"I felt lively from the off," he said. "I just got the ball, ran around with it and tried to give the team all I could.

"They (Chesterfield) worked hard and defended for their lives in the last 10 minutes, but we could have won the game with the amount of chances we had."

Ritchie was responsible for the delivery in which Saunders poked home, although he admitted afterwards that goalkeeper Tony Roberts was trying to claim the credit as he had made his way into the opposition's penalty area.

"Tony said he got a nick on it, but I'm not sure, he made a good attacking run though and made the space for everyone else," smiled Ritchie.

"There was pressure when taking the corner, but I just tried to hit good areas."

One thing that was noticeable in the Daggers side was that despite going 1-0 down late on, they never once assumed the look of a beaten side, and if anything, redoubled their efforts to get something from the game.

That theme was taken up by Saunders after the match too.

"We showed good character, we could have thrown the towel in as we have had a few problems over the last few weeks," he said.

"But we've got a good set of players and we were never going to give up, we always give 100 per cent."

n DAGGERS striker Jacob Erskine has joined Dorchester Town on loan and made his debut in the club's 1-0 win over Havant & Waterlooville on Tuesday night.

n VICTORIA ROAD will host the Essex Senior Cup Final between Chelmsford City and Concord Rangers.

The match takes place on Tuesday, March 31 at 7.45pm.

How important are Matt Ritchie and Sam Saunders to the Daggers? Email: sport@ilfordrecorder.co.uk

Daggers are now on Twitter, so if you follow twitter.com/Recorder_DagRed then you will get up to the minute updates on goings on at Victoria Road

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