Crucial stage in Dagenham & Redbridge’s season

Dagenham & Redbridge captain Angelo Balanta on the ball

Dagenham & Redbridge captain Angelo Balanta on the ball - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

It’s a crucial few days in the Daggers’ season, buoyed by returning players and a victory (albeit on penalties) in the FA Trophy. 

It was far from a vintage display in Truro, but the returning Josh Walker was on hand to put the Daggers in front - great to see him back scoring. Then, the ever-reliable Elliot Justham stepped up in the penalty-shootout to see us through - an excellent penalty save. 

The draw was also a treat, home to Southend, a fixture every Dagger will relish. But, more imminent is the match away to Dover today, McMahon’s men very much favourites in a game we’re expected to win. 

However, that last sentence will ring some alarm bells I’m sure, the Daggers rarely doing things the easy way or ‘as expected’. 

Despite that, I have little doubt the Visitors  will win and convincingly, continuing their bounce back from a dip in form, after a lengthy break from league action. 

As aforementioned, the players returning from injury, the likes of Joey Jones, Josh Walker and Junior Morias - whom we’ve seen little of - will be a further boost and reason to be confident for this one. 

Also, I’d like to see Yoan Zouma in action over this busy period of action, the 6ft 4” centre back looks a very exciting signing. I think we will see him as these three games in a week require some rotation to maximise chances of victory.

So, there are three games in a week, the second being Aldershot as we return to Victoria Road - a trickier test but nonetheless a must-win - the Daggers six points off the play-offs.

Ibby Akanbi may be seeking a goal or two against his former club, the striker recently extending his stay at the club until the end of the season. He’s got a fantastic strike, so when he gets it in the box, there’s always that belief the net will bulge soon after.

However that confidence is lacking in the other box, so hopefully the ruthlessness is brought in (particularly in the air) by Yoan Zouma - it is imperative the concession of soft goals is cut out as the table takes shape. 

While everyone is encouraged to get boosted now, the Daggers are boosted by new signings and players retuning from injury as we head into the new year - results needed to stay in contention for the top 7. 

That’s all for now, let’s hope we finish the year on a high - a good one overall, progression visible - and come next Saturday we’ll be six points richer. Happy New Year and Come On You Daggers! 
 

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