Daggers blog: A replay rollercoaster!
PUBLISHED: 10:30 20 December 2019
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Oh Dagenham! Rarely do things the easy way.
What a rollercoaster of a match the FA Trophy replay with Sutton United was, Joan Luque finding that breakthrough out of nowhere! You love to see it.
That was my immediate reaction following Tuesday night's drama, a night that I wasn't anticipating would take place whilst writing last week's fan blog.
However it did take place, so it was double the action and double the drama this week as Dagenham did not do it the easy way by any means.
Despite having 90 minutes of normal time on Saturday and then again on Tuesday, they just couldn't find a winner, but they decided to wait until the 109th minute to do so.
Mitch Brundle secured the tie in extra time for the Daggers (the third goal of extra time and second for Dagenham in that period) and a trip to Notts County in January.
But despite eventually progressing andgetting a good result, the performance, on Tuesday especially, didn't match the result - in normal time anyway.
It became apparent that Sam Deering and Angelo Balanta are vital to this side and without them there is next to no outlet.
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The midfielders on display throughout the tie just weren't getting forward enough as they are not as attack-minded.
Deering and Balanta provide that threat down the middle and that transition from defence to attack is so much swifter when they are there.
Just take Aldershot for example where Deering made his debut - his and Ben House's link-up play was incredible!
We need more days like that Aldershot one, obviously, and they need to come within the next jam-packed 15 or so days over the Christmas period.
I would be delighted with 11 points from a possible 15 as we head into the new year and look for a start to a strong finish to the campaign.
Last season saw us beat Salford in their own back yard and Orient at Victoria Road on that joyous Boxing Day - with both of those teams going on to get promoted.
So I am hopeful we can make that a common occurrence; a strong Christmas period.
However, we must take it one game at a time and that next game on Saturday is away to Hartlepool.
It was a late comeback which saw us take all three points last season and I believe we could take all three points again.
So here's to a Merry Daggers Christmas and a happy new year. Let's hope we are walking in a Peter Taylor wonderland come next Friday!