Excitement, as eager Daggers fans return to Victoria Road after nine months out

Mitch Brundle of Dagenham and Redbridge scores the third goal for his team and celebrates during Dag

Mitch Brundle of Dagenham and Redbridge scores the third goal for his team and celebrates during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Grimsby Town, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 7th November 2020 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

“We will meet again, we do know where, we just don’t know when.”

Those were the words of Mike Jones, Daggers stadium announcer, at the last Victoria Road fixture to have fans in attendance – back in September against Canvey Island.

As I walked out the ground to that sentence, I thought, like so as so many others, how long will it be until I’m back?

And now, that day is upon us. The first competitive fixture to be played in the presence of fans at the home of the mighty Daggers since March 10 takes place today –  Altrincham the opponents.

This has been a very long time coming for hundreds of supporters who have waited 9 months for this moment.


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Now, not everyone who wishes to attend is able to due to current circumstances, awaiting the vaccine roll-out or doing their bit by isolating. But, rest assured, those who will be in attendance will make noise for you as they cheer on the boys in red and blue – as the 12th man.

A momentous occasion for many off the pitch, and on it it’s a chance for McMahon’s side to not only impress, but build on their Tuesday night victory.

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The Terras, down to ten men, fell to defeat at the hands of Dagenham – the latter making hard work of it but eventually getting over the line.

In all, a pleasing attacking display, what fans had been crying out for, especially following the disappointing defeat 3 days prior – we’ll get into that next.

But first, the key points from the 3 points secured on Tuesday, first thing is first, it was a win on the road – a rarity in recent seasons – what is more we scored 3 goals away. This is something we hadn’t done for a fair while either!

To the game specifics and the second goal, which completed a quick two-minute turnaround for Daryl’s men after momentarily trailing in the first half, was a result of scintillating football – a great move described by the Irishman as ‘fantastic’.

Mitch Brundle of Dagenham and Redbridge scores the third goal for his team and celebrates during Dag

Mitch Brundle of Dagenham and Redbridge scores the third goal for his team and celebrates during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Grimsby Town, Emirates FA Cup Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 7th November 2020 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Among the goals was Mitch Brundle, bagging a brace, answering his critics and moving onto four for the season – impressive for a centre midfielder. Another stand out performers didn’t score, but Myles Weston and Dean Rance delighted with their work rate – the former posing a constant threat.

The game wasn’t without fault though, a mistake from keeper Elliot Justham led to Weymouth’s opener, and complacency at the back from Dagenham saw the Terras pull another back in the final ten minutes.

This left supporters on edge at the end, praying their side could get over the line with six additional minutes to cling on, and they did thankfully.

Though that second Weymouth goal raised concern among some fans, despite all agreeing the three points were what mattered, as they believed the inability to kill games would see their side come unstuck against stronger opposition.

The manager agreeing, saying with certainty, ‘it’s something we will improve’.

Onto last Saturday then, as we work backwards, and this left many angry – as it would losing to the Shots – a rival, and one who we are capable of beating. But, the performance and result being below par, or as Daryl labelled the first half, ‘a disgrace’ – was a double blow.

The 1-2 defeat led to the first #McMahonOut tweets of the season.

Dagenham and Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Dagenham and Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

He was to cause more of a stir on Twitter, as his post-match interview was released, where his passion and frustration shone through in equal measure.

This is where he labelled the first ’45 a ‘disgrace’ and put down a marker – saying some players have had their chance and they continue to disappoint.

It left fans hopeful that the Irishman wants to do well, saying he wants to change the philosophy of the club that have consistently finished in the bottom half – demanding a change in attitude from his players – how it isn’t acceptable to lose like this.

Yet, some supporters put equal blame on the manager himself.

So, all in all, a week of contrast and inconsistency, but we return to the Stones encounter where we look to change that run of results and performances – beginning a consistent, festive winning run.

On the pitch, it seems there will be an entertaining affair, with both sides signalling their intent to play on the front foot.

Let’s hope Daggers enjoy it off it, the experience of returning to watch their side – a special one.

But, we won’t be present at the second game of the season, the playing staff make the trek to Plainmoor on a Tuesday night to face Torquay – the high-flying league leaders.

It’ll be tough, as all games are, but I’m confident we can beat anyone on our day, so out of the six points up for grabs this week – I’ll take 4 – though we’d all love 6!

Let’s hope the return of fans to Victoria Road is greeted with a win today…

Stay Safe and Come On You Daggers.

I’ll leave you with this:

That walk to the ground

That first glimpse of the TBS

That click of the turnstiles

That meeting with old friends

That first view of the pitch

That sense of anticipation

That goal by the Daggers

That roar of the crowd

This first Dagenham match after lockdown will be special.

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