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Daggers blog: An early turning point for Taylor's men?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 August 2019

Mitch Brundle of Dagenham scores the second goal for his team and celebrates during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019

Mitch Brundle of Dagenham scores the second goal for his team and celebrates during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019

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With the new National League season now underway, young supporter Keane Handley will be sharing his thoughts on all matters at Dagenham & Redbridge in a regular blog.

Chike Kandi of Dagenham scores the first goal for his team during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019Chike Kandi of Dagenham scores the first goal for his team during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019

Here we are, another week of life as a Dagger has gone by - though this past week was special.

It felt like a turning point. Is Peter Taylor changing his style and approach? Do we have a squad capable of promotion after all?

These were the questions raised by the optimists in which there are probably a minority in Dagenham's fan base - though a rising minority at that.

The pessimists, or some might say realists, still roam large amongst supporters however they did give credit to Taylor for Saturday's win over Harrogate Town without getting too excited.

Joan Luque of Dagenham and Warren Burrell of Harrogate during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019Joan Luque of Dagenham and Warren Burrell of Harrogate during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019

They highlighted some weaknesses at the back which led to two goals being conceded. Though both sides of the fan base came together in heaping praise on the squad and Taylor, but the question raised by all was - Can they keep this up?

This all of course alludes to the fine attacking display Taylor's men put on as they defeated Harrogate 4-2 at Victoria Road, securing a first home victory of the campaign.

Goals were plentiful as the sides went in 2-2 at the break with Chike Kandi and Mitch Brundle scoring for Dagenham, levelling the match after Angelo Balanta's own goal and Kiernan's powerful effort had put Harrogate ahead.

The second half was even better from a Dagenham perspective as they mirrored their first 45-minute display, minus the goals conceded.

Angelo Balanta of Dagenham goes close during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019Angelo Balanta of Dagenham goes close during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019

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Balanta was on hand to right his wrong, netting twice in the second half to secure a much-needed victory and solid performance to relieve the pressure on Taylor and his players.

Plaudits and hope came an hour before kick off as Taylor made five changes from the side that started in the disastrous midweek match.

Joe Quigley was dropped - something which pleased many - to be replaced by Kandi while Alexander McQueen and Harry Phipps were also given a chance to prove themselves.

Alexander McQueen of Dagenham and George Smith of Harrogate during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019Alexander McQueen of Dagenham and George Smith of Harrogate during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019

One last word on the six-goal thriller concerns Liam Gordon, who became a fans' favourite last season as he was given a shot off the bench - playing his first game of the season - and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands with some excellent play.

Turning our attention to this weekend's action, and the Daggers have two games in three days.

First up is Eastleigh and Daggers travel with high expectations as supporters hope for more of the same and three points to take back home.

Ben Stevens' men are winless since the opening day and have scored just two goals all campaign, with the loss of Paul McCallum having had a colossal impact.

Dagenham manager Peter Taylor during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019Dagenham manager Peter Taylor during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 17th August 2019

After travelling to The Spitfires, Daggers return home to face Yeovil in a Bank Holiday Monday clash.

Much like Dagenham, they have had some mixed results, however almost every one of their encounters so far have been close, having either secured a narrow victory or been narrowly defeated.

Therefore you should expect another close game at Dagenham - but in football almost anything is possible.

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