Thursday, 30 December 2010

Final Farewells for 2010

 Football is not always as simple as the game at the weekend, promotion and relegation on the final day, having a laugh with your fellow fans at the match, the banter with away fans – sometimes there are people and events which shouldn’t be forgotten.  The following, should not be forgotten. 

Keith Alexander

14th November 1956 – 3rd March 2010


Dale Roberts

22nd October 1986 – 14th December 2010


Adam Stansfield

10th September 1978 – 10th August 2010


I’m not going to patronise anyone by writing any words about their career’s (that can be found elsewhere), or about how they were good people – likewise I’m not going to copy any articles which state similar.  I didn’t know these people personally – but I knew them as people I’d seen my team face (with the exception of Dale Roberts – at least not knowingly) during my weekend/weeknight visits to the football, and like anyone these were men who had families.  They had children, wives, parents etc like any of the rest of us, all of whom will this year be experiencing their first Christmas and New Year without a loved one. 

Football colours and rivalries don’t always matter.  To the chaps above, thank you for the memories – I am only sorry that as lower league/non league footballers your talents did not get the coverage they deserved, neither in life nor death. 

Rest in peace.

Just a note moving on into 2011; 

Never forget. 


Next - The Daggers Diary Awards!!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

It doesn't get much more "away" than this!

Before I hand you over to Jerkenstien I just want todraw your attention to the changes to the site, you can now select past blogs by the various categories which are on the list to the left. Also there is now a list of links on the right. - FMD

Saturday 11th December  - Carlisle United - Away
words by JerkFromTheCoach

After the mammoth journey to Plymouth I was looking forward to a nice close one in the form of Carlisle.  I took out my map and the tube, and suddenly I noticed the old lady sitting next to me was crying.  “Far, isn’t it?” I said, to which she replied “can you stop elbowing me in the face please?”…

…with that little issue out the way (no, I’m not serious), I set about making plans for the trip.  Tickets had been booked thanks to Herr Hardy, and a crowd of 5 of us were to meet up and board the half past ten train to a place close to the arctic circle.

On arrival at Euston, and briefly having a conversation with the Paparazzi (Simmo), we noticed there was a steam train waiting to leave in another platform, so a few of us went down to have a look at that – you don’t get to see them too often in Dagenham.  Thankfully, all of my bodily functions were working on this particular day.  If they weren’t the train wouldn’t have been able to screw my ability to hear up.  Thanks for that driver, I’m sure it was necessary.

Our train may have left on time, or it may not have done – but for the reports sake, we left 4 minutes late, but 3:59 earlier than I’m going to tell you.  I make this Rum o’clock, but as I had drunk my rum already (I just hate early starts!), I had to settle for coffee for the trip, which was fine by me.  Spectacular journey though, some of the views you are afforded then the train tilts are amazing – especially once you have gone past Willesden.  Of note to football fans, amongst the grounds seen from the railway are Crewe Alexandra, Wigan Athletic, and the mighty Lancaster City (I have to say, for a small club that looked an impressive set up – wouldn’t mind taking a trip up for a game sometime). 

Arrival into Carlisle was on time, but I can confirm that none of the items of furniture from the Homebase adverts were still present, which I found a tad disappointing.  Carlisle station is a strange place, the station seems absolutely huge yet, even taking into account it was a weekend, it seemed far less busy than I imagined it would be.  The town itself wasn’t a bad town.  The locals get 10/10 for friendliness, happy to help with directions, and shared some decent friendly banter with us.  To the lady that said we had ‘come a long way for nothing’, thanks very much for the three points – how I wish we could have seen you on our trek back to the station after the game.

Outside the station, is a nice pub called The….Pub-whose-name-ive-forgotten-due-to-Brandy-consumption.  Nestled amongst the usual fare offered were one or two local ales, which I didn’t try at the time, but one of which I did buy a bottle of to drink at a later date.  Doris’ 90th Birthday Ale.  I cant wait to give that a go.  The pub was happy to allow away fans in (take note Sheffield Wrongsday) and accepted that our supporters are never around to cause trouble, and are amongst the best behaved in the league. Onward to the ground, we jumped into a taxi after consuming the pubs supply of Brandy…..again, and asked the driver to take us to Carlisle Rugby ground where we were told they are happy to serve away supporters alongside home supporters. 

Carlisle Rugby Ground

Some Brandy was consumed, and we headed to Brunton Park for the game.  Brunton Park is a peculiar ground, but not unpleasant.  Actually, I’d far rather visit a ground like Brunton Park than I would a soulless bowl of new build in the middle of an industrial estate.  This is a real football ground, with real football fans, who sadly were about as vocal as an anonymous mute in a hearing aid factory.  The stand we were housed in was built back in the days of the Knighton Empire when it was planned the pitch would be moved, and the entire ground redeveloped.  This wasn’t to be the case.  What Carlisle are left with is a lop sided ground with a stand running a considerable length beyond the end of the pitch.  Our view was decent, but what kind of views are afforded when there is a full crowd of away fans and some have to sit at the end  I do not know.  Strangely the final two seats are taped off so you cant sit there even if by some weird coincidence that you might want to – and lets face it, nobody would. 
A healthy crowd of Dagger’s had made the trip for this one.  A banana had made the journey, and some were waving their nipples at Carlisle fans in the hope they’d run scared.  All credit to these fellows, as Carlisle has an average temperature lower than my refrigerator. 

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-unton Park

It was nice to see Robbo at the top of his game as usual.  Will he ever lose it?  I get the feeling more and more that he has plenty of years left in him yet – as far as I am concerned this is great news, not only he is a club legend, but he is one of a kind, once he goes he cannot be replaced.  A solid Dagger’s performance here, far far from home, theres nobody I can really pick out as having performed badly.  Absolutely delighted to see Kayleden Brown set up both our goals - that should do his confidence a good turn.  Medy Elito was superb, quite why he isn’t knocking on the doors at his parent club I don’t know.


Another well taken goal away from home, and an absolute cracker from Danny Green ensured that from the 80th minute onward, the points were coming back with us.  Though we are still locked firmly in a relegation fight, that’s exactly what we are doing – fighting.  I have the belief after watching a performance like this that we are good enough to stay up, and we’ll have a few more eye opening results like this to come.  On our day, I think it is fair to say we can mix it with anyone in League One, and with a bit of luck and belief in ourselves…we might just stay up.  It’s the frustrating points dropped scenarios earlier on in the campaign which keep us locked in the bottom four, and it is not down to bad performances.  How useful now would those two points lost at home to Tranmere be? 


After the final whistle it was a walk back to the station immediately via the off licence to stock up on beverages for the trip home.  The Paparazzi headed to his first class section to take in Richard Branson’s hospitality, and as far as I am aware all carriages other ours had an eventless trip back.  Aside from a flying pork pie, I think our carriage was well behaved though too.  But then, what’s a pork pie between friends when you just took 3 points from Cumbria? 


Jerk, King of hide and seek!

 Next - with this weather, who knows? Brighton? maybe!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Playing Catchup in More Ways Than One

Ok this is gonna be a double report, Because I have had Gigs (which went rather well) and Bah-Humbug shopping to do, but here it is from the fingers of me and Jerk (oooh err missus).
First to a game I can’t remember a single thing about (this should be fun!) so it will be pretty brief.

Saturday 20th November - Oldham Athletic - Home
Words by FullMetalDagger

I awoke to the sound of a tea being placed next to my bed. While this is way kings are meant to start the day, I knew that my normal pre-match routine (Tea - SoccerAM - Pint) was being cast aside. For this is the month of December and in December men (and women) around the world are bundled into cars by their respective partners and unloaded at the modern temple of commerce that is the shopping centre. Yep, you got it! No pint for me, I had Christmas shopping to do.So with tea drank I dressed, strapped into the car and we made for Romford. After walking around and picking up various things for family and friends it was time to head for Vicky road.


After the excitement of orient the week before it has to be said that the atmosphere for this game was a little flat. Don’t get me wrong, the singing section in the middle was trying to whip up some song but it didn’t seem to carry down the sieve. As for the game, both teams didn’t really take the game by the neck and Oldham looked shaky at the back. Vincelot had a very good chance when Green passed him the ball to him in the box, but as anyone who plays FIFA knows, you gotta let go of L2 to take a decent touch and sadly Romain ran right into the Oldham keeper. Oumare Tounkara tore up some turf as he ran down the right before taking a shot from deep in the box only for Lewington to tip it onto the bar, that boy continues to impress me with every game he plays! Danny Green then whacked a ball from the right to meet Vincelot at the back post, but Romain couldn't knock it down and it sailed wide. Greeny then put in another ball this time from the left which Nurse tried to head into the net but once again a daggers player was left wanting.


As the first half concluded I walked up to Jerk' and commented that "this lot don’t like being attacked do they!" and I knew that if we got on goal it would be 3 points to us. But football may be the beautiful game, but she is a cruel mistress! and the goal that would be our undoing came in the 57th minute as Tounkara after a nice little one-two broke into the box one again and took a shot which deflected off of the foot of Abu Ogogo across goal and into the path of Leeds loanee Aidan White, who deftly tapped it into the goal past the stranded Lewington.1-0 to Oldpork. Shortly after they would have made it 2-0 if it wasn’t for another fine save from Lewo as he tipped a Chris Taylor shot over the bar. Our best chance to equalise was probably a will Antwi header that came from a long ball into the box but Dean Brill was equal to it. The final whistle blew and the Daggers faithful grumbled their way out of the sieve. All in all a pretty poor day, sometimes its hurts more when you feel we could have won.


But would we fare better when The Daggers travelled to Plymouth?


Tuesday 23rd November - Plymouth Argyle - Away
Words By JerkFromTheCoach

Tuesday night games in different time zones are never fun, but this was one which really took the biscuit. Do you remember the first time you were forced to sit down and watch Star Trek by your parents? Not the original series, but one of those later ones where often you see the cast strolling about with other alien species, who are green, or who have rainbow colours on their temples….one of those series’. Well, that’s what Plymouth is like. (FMD - don’t be picking on sci-fi!!)

I endured possibly the world’s longest coach trip (okay, I am exaggerating there) in order to get there too. Being a gentleman of the rather taller, more generously rounded build, I find coach travel usually makes me quite angry, due to the companies who build them seemingly thinking we are all midgets who have no legs.  Six hours was more than enough for me, but as my only option of travelling down there, I had to bite the bullet and go for it. I must say first off, the company on board was exceptional, so if you were on board – thanks. The length of journey was offset by the fact we had more space due to the low numbers of travellers.

We left Dagenham at around 12:30 to begin our mammoth tour of English counties, and were to arrive some time after six – in true professional ‘must-remember-this-for-the-write-up style, I forgot to look at a watch or clock, I’ll blame it on the fact I was astonished by the dental work of the local yokels, or something similar. The coach trip was long but uneventful really, though I am sure by the time we arrived I had evolved into developing stumps where my legs use to be. It turns out, they had simply just died, and with the return of blood my reward was to be the ability to walk into the stadium and watch one of the most disheartening games of the season. Yay!

Now, I am in no way critical of the team for the loss at all. I simply cannot understand why things are not going our way this season. Congratulations are in order for Mr Tomlin on scoring his long overdue first Daggers goal. May it be the first of many. Gavin Tomlin consistently plays out of his skin, and the effort is noticeable – he always puts in a shift and despite his poor form in front of goal, it is the other reasons given that mean I am glad that he is with us. Judging by the way he treated the corner flag when celebrating, the goal meant a lot to him, and I am pleased he got it.

Tommo beats the shit outta a flag, happy days!

Three sides of Home Park are monotonous, every-day run of the mill flat pack style boring one tier jobbies, linked by filled corners. It’s very similar to The Keepmoat at Doncaster in size. On the remaining side, they have a very unique looking old stand, with executive boxes, and a sadly unused area which used to be a terrace. I can imagine in days gone by, the ground would have been a great place to visit, but when that old stand is flattened it’s going to be just another boring bowl of misery, which takes me to my next point.

Home Park

Plymouth fans. I imagine your average Plymouth fans day is as follows;

Wakes up in the morning, and is filled with bitter hate that they have once again awoken. Begrudgingly they get out of bed, and put on a knitted (Green, has to be) jumper and some corduroy trousers to complete the classic brethren look. The day is spent milking horses and beating up dough for the evening meal, which, in common with both lunch and breakfast, consists of a pasty.

Go out and try and sell Cider.

One or two days a week, the boredom is broken up by a Morris Dance with their cousins or some tom foolery with a maypole....whatever a maypole is. If there is football on, the Morris Dancing will be cancelled, so that the family (after all, Plymouth is one big family) can go to Home Park and moan that their team isn’t up to much. They can also moan that their owners don’t like them. While they are at it, they moan at the referee. They also moan at the Assistant Referee when the chance arises. Whenever a player in a green shirt makes a mistake, they moan. When they go a goal behind, they moan. 45 minutes in, the referee (who they are moaning at) blows his whistle to signal half time – Plymouth fans respond by moaning. Throughout half time, they move into the concourse downstairs to moan about the game. Some ten minutes later, they start to make their way back to their seats. When the whistle is blown and the second half begins, they moan. Their team starts off a little brighter, so they moan that it should have been like it in the first half. They get a corner, it’s a bit of relief……but they moan when it is wasted and gets cleared. They equalise so the fans then moan at their owners again. Upon going 2-1 up, almost unbelievably, they continue to moan.

The Grandstand

The game itself was absolutely horrible for me, as a Dagenham supporter. There is no way we should have left there without the points. Reading the above paragraph might give you the impression that Plymouth fans are sour and angry. You’d be right. I dare say that they have reason to feel that way, it’s hardly been a successful season for them - but, it is games like these that make or break your season. Despite having had the best of the game, Plymouth managed to beat us – and still they weren’t happy.

the brave and the few

I have decided to concentrate less on the game than the actual day. I am sorry if that’s unacceptable, but after deserving much and leaving with nothing 4,000 miles from home I didn’t wanna think about it.

Keep your chins up Daggers.


And maybe time for one more

Saturday 4th December - Huddersfield Town - Home (POSTPONED)
Words By FullMetalDagger

The week before this non-game I was in a small northern Derbyshire town called Alfreton visiting FullMetalMother, who I had been trying to help move into a new house around the corner from her old one (before anyone asks, "NO I am not secretly from the midland, my mother moved up there a few years back, I am secretly from Barking and born secretly in the now destroyed Rush Green Hospital, which I believe fell apart after my rather ample frame popped out of my mother and crashed through a nearby load bearing wall”) sorry where was I? Oh yes. The house move hadn't gone to plan because the midlands managed to confuse itself with the north pole and was knee deep in a white powder far less entertaining that anything found in a Romford club (though possibly purer).

Alfreton Station, and you thought the snow in the sarrtth was bad!!

After a week of not doing as much as I planned I was looking forward to getting back to the (relatively) sunnier south. A call had been put out for volunteers to help clear the pitch in time for the game and both me and Jerkington were willing and able (or wobbly and unstable?) to help out. So Friday came and although my mother had heavy furniture to move I know where my bread is buttered!! So I hopped on a train for possibly the 2nd worst train journey I have ever been on to get back. Well it turned out that was a pointless endeavour as the game was called off due to safety fears. In other words they didn’t want us poor Dagenhamites falling over and breaking our pie eating arms.

So instead of watching football I sat about in my red and blue pants (yes I have some!) and played FIFA 11 and drank tea whilst MrsMetalDagger and family went Crimbo shoppin. For those that care (Hi Nikos!) I am now top of the premiership with a Dagenham team with only Abu Ogogo and Romain Vincelot as original daggers, Doe and Greeny are on the bench. I am top scorer in the league. Nice!

well a boy can dream!


Next - The battle of the Bovril and the Clash in Cumbria!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Daggers 4 Orient 3???!

Sorry this report is late, but as many of you know I am also a musician and have been doing a lot of work to get the pre-production for our new cd done. We're looking to get our new songs demo'd before Christmas, so that has kept me quite preoccupied.
But now we have to cast our minds back to the rollercoaster of emotions that was Dagenham & Redbridge away to Leyton Orient in the FA Cup replay.

Tuesday 16th November - Leyton Orient - Fa Cup 1st Round Replay (away)

words by FullMetalDagger

So since waking up I had sat indoors playing FIFA and getting increasingly excited/nervous. Jerk' called sometime during the afternoon and told me that his friend had come to visit the country and had brought some very strong exotic alcohol with him and that I should head to his gaff to join them. So knowing money was tight I decided to start the night early, I put my Daggers shirt on and set off. After a few drinks at Jerk's, MrsMetalDagger phoned and told me she was nearly back from work. I left Jerk' at his after a rum tea and made for home. I met the missus at home and once she had changed and we'd both had a cuppa it was time to head for the tube. We waited for Jerk' at Upney who arrived shortly after on the bus and we jumped on a train which we took to Barking before jumping on the c2c to West Ham. Next it was the Jubilee line to Stratford then just 1 stop on the Central line to Leyton. All in all the journey was unproblematic and passed quite nicely. We walked from the station to meet some friends outside the Coach and Horses pub then made for "the Matchroom Stadium" or Brisbane Road to most people.

From the outside the ground looked fairly standard but it was another club where you find the passage which houses the turnstiles a wee bit claustrophobic. Now inside the smell of hot food was filling my nose and making me hungry so I grabbed an official Orient Cheese burger which I loaded with burger sauce and promptly scoffed. My Nutshell review of said Burger; not bad, more than edible, not as good as ours. I grabbed some napkins which were adorned with the Orient crest and headed for the stands.

"you've got flats on every corner and a shitty balcony, ballllconeeeyyyyyy  ballllconeyyyyyy!"

Today we were located in the southern end of the east stand. Straight away I saw that the Red & Blue Army had come out in force and the blocks we had been assigned were already near full. We climbed to up the stairs of the old stand and parked up with our normal noisy crowd. Brisbane road is quite an odd little stadium, and it certainly has an odd look with the west stand having all the offices and boxes rising way up above the single tier of seats. Not to mention the four high-rise flats that adorn each corner. The three home stands started to slowly fill as we kept ourselves warm by making a nice amount of noise.

Sadly the match didn’t start very well, 2 minutes in when a Charlie Daniels free kick was turned into the net by Scott McGleish. But the dagger pushed on and had some chances of their own. The problem was for every Dagenham chance that went begging, Orient would also come close, it wasn't a good day for either teams defence as both 'keepers were called in to keep their retrospective teams in the game. Despite the score line the atmosphere in the away end was alive and well, despite the much referenced apathy towards cup ties these days me and all around me we're enjoying the night for the FA cup derby day it was. But as the clock ticked over to 23 minutes we were finding it hard to keep spirits up. Alex Revell received a through ball and ended up one on one with Lewington who backed off a little which opened up a gap which revel happily slotted the ball into. 2-0 to Orient. This wasn't looking like our day! The Daggers then started to mount a comeback and Bas Savage nearly scored but the whistle went and the teams went back into the dressing room with the score 2-0.

the Red & Blue Army in the west stand

Now the second half is a little bit of a blur to me. I remember us scoring but it being disallowed for a reason that is still unknown to me. I remember us singing our hearts out as we willed the Daggers on to victory as the Orient crowd sat on their hands despite winning a local derby. the next thing I remember was us scoring again, it was possibly Vincelot with a header, but either way it went in and over the line but the referee or the linesman (the lino who was the subject of much moaning) said it was cleared off of the line (bollocks was it!) then a minute later the ref was blowing his whistle and pointing towards the spot, he had awarded us a penalty for an apparent hand ball (I don’t know if there was one, maybe he was just paying us back for disallowing what seemed to me 2 perfectly good goals)

Danny Green stepped up and put it away nicely, 2-1 at 67 minutes! The singing got louder, the boys on the pitch had given us a goal for our efforts and they looked to get another and Solomon Taiwo delivered with a nice strike into the bottom left. The Red & Blue army went into raptures!! We couldn't believe it, now it looked like we could win this or at least take it to extra time. And for 10 minutes we rocked Brisbane road. But in a way typical of stories of this season the delight was robbed from us and given to the apathetic killjoys in the home stands. McGleish got onto a Dean Cox corner and headed it in to make it 3-2. Bugger! The Daggers did carry on trying to get back into it, but we had already scored 4 goals (albeit 2 not given) and finding number 5 was going to be a big ask.

Full time went and the lads came over and clapped the fans, despite a pretty poor first half we had seen the fight we ask for from the Daggers and at full time there was an air of sympathy for the lads. If anything we felt a little robbed. Once outside our little troop ducked into the Coach and Horses for a pint before heading up to the station for a tube home.


Despite the result it was another night when the fans did the club proud, it was great to sing louder than the home fans for the whole match and I can’t wait to get down to Brisbane Road in February .

And I managed to get myself some new toilet paper!


Up the Daggers!!


FxMxDNext - Oldham and all the things that happened when they came to town.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Cider, Pasties and Points on the Road!!

 Saturday 13th of November – Yeovil Town - Away
Words by JerkFromTheCoach

Another weekend, another game of football to report/retort on. The 13th November saw a bright and early start for a trip to the West Country to see us tackle our former non-league colleagues Yeovil Town. First off, I’d like to say that such a small club similar in stature to our own should be commended for not only holding their own in League One (as we are struggling, we know how hard this is) but for also pushing the boundary a couple of seasons back by reaching the play off final and being a game away from becoming a Championship team.

However, currently things aren’t all pastry-wrapped potato snacks and cider for Yeovil Town at present, as they struggle currently at the wrong end of the table with ourselves. This match was a real 6 pointer, had we have come away with yet another away defeat we’d have been in serious trouble. It’s no longer early days, and time is getting on for both clubs. Yeovil went into the game three points ahead of ourselves and around one million and seventeen points ahead of Walsall, whom we seem to be bouncing up and down on in 23rd like a fat man wearing a rubber ring rolling down a hill.

After a brief whipping by the boys in blue (who were horrified to find out I was legal to drive the vehicle of choice to Yeovil) my journey to meet the fellow travellers for the day (Paul, Dave, and Chelsey…or Chelsea….I don’t actually know the correct spelling) began. Around 9:15 we were all in place and ready for the drive which I for some reason thought was going to take longer than it did. To say the journey didn’t have its strange events would be a lie. By around quarter to ten we had reached the bridge at Dartford, and the traffic was for once free flowing. After paying the usual £1.50 at the toll booth and pressing on just as we were almost approaching the national speed limit section (can anyone give me a good reason why it isn’t immediately 70mph after the crossing?) a dog decided it would play a deadly game of chicken (what game do chickens play in the road?) with us. I swerved to avoid at 60mph, and fortunately I can at least say I didn’t drop the scythe upon its life, and I didn’t see in the rear view mirror anybody else strike it either – so fingers crossed his gamble paid off, and he made it to wherever he was going in good time – obviously it was very important, maybe a dog meeting, or some sort of job interview for a biscuit company. Shook up a little, I ploughed on toward Yeovil.

I don’t recall any further incident en route, no traffic jams, no suicidal dogs – nothing. And we made it there by a very healthy 12pm – even before some of the stewards. I had made a gross miscalculation on the time, so I left the others to drink (responsible driver ahoy) and went to visit a friend I have who lives just behind the ground, and managed to persuade him to come along and boost our numbers for the day (cheers Kato!).

As we were bringing a small number, we were informed that the terrace would not be open to us and that we’d have to sit in the Carrot Cruncher Stand with the rednecks. I suppose this helped with the acoustics a little – not that you’d have known we were there when watching back the highlights, as when the goals went in barely a peep could be heard from us. Open terraces are fine too, providing it isn’t raining, and whilst no rain was predicted, the sky did look a bit threatening.

I have to admit to feeling optimistic all day about getting out first away win under our belts, and in the end it transpired that my optimism was well founded. Thankfully, the ominous ‘Gillingham syndrome’ has now been avoided, though sadly the same can also be said for Leyton Orient who also chalked up a win on their travels for the first time this season at Bristol Rovers. We are still putting in the fight, and it was a superb place to get our first win on the road – just what the doctor ordered. What bothers me is that we look a little shaky at the back this season. After taking the lead through Will Antwi (good to see him back in the picture after a lengthy lay off) we managed to hold on until the very end of the first half when our defence was opened up and they got an equaliser through????????????. Mood around the away section of the Carrot Cruncher Stand was a little deflated in the interval, as can be expected. We’d looked a bit like the proverbial dog in the headlights toward the end of the first half leading up to their goal, and clearly Yeovil were experiencing the upper hand. We’d even managed to lose our drum after the drumstick broke, and was turned into a pink gloved homosexual (am I allowed to say that?) sex toy. So off I trotted in seek of the burger talent. I did not find one. Choice seemed limited to Hot Dogs and Pasties. The pasty, I can say at least, was top class.

(FMD - At this point i was sitting indoors with a beer and with only one hand's worth of fingernails left. Giving away an equaliser so close to half time had left me more than a little worried. So i cracked open another beer and listened on, for the next 20 minutes i had the displeasure of  having the Yeovil onslaught on our goal described to me kick by kick, via the Daggers Player.)

Onward to the second half. A fairly even start lead to a bright twenty minutes or so of Yeovil attacking. Good for the home fans – a little tense for us looking on from the far corner. After loanee Medy Elito was brought on however, business picked up, and Yeovil were made to pay for their strikers missing a number of very good chances – though all credit goes to Chris Lewington, who despite playing out of his skin I hear received a rating in the newspaper of ‘5’ which I consider an insult, when he threaded a neat ball through to Abu Ogogo who kept his composure to strike it past the Yeovil stopper, who bizarrely went the wrong way.

(FMD - As this happened I jumped out of my seat, ripped my headphones out of my ear threw them across the room, screaming "f*cking get in you dirty bastard!" (the ball, not Abu) then punched the armchair. needless to say I was happy. then i took this pic)

Beautiful, ain't it!

The Yeovil head’s dropped, a number of their fans left the ground or were leaving when Medy Elito ran through to make it 3-1 close to the end, striking the hammer blow to any chance they had of coming back. A superb debut performance from the lad, he looks to be a talent wasted on Colchester who cannot even recognise (yeah, I know it is early days in his spell here and he could prove me wrong) his obvious skills and ability to run with the ball, and move into space. A very warm welcome to him based on that performance. When the ref blew up, seemingly most Yeovil fans had already gone. I know how they are feeling this season, it can be soul destroying to see your side sat at the bottom – but I hope that both of us manage to avoid the drop and continue to fly the flag for the smaller traditionally non-league clubs in the dizzy heights of League One. 


So we’d done it, a win on the road. Let’s hope we can push on from this and get a few results together in the league now and maybe climb out of the bottom four.



Next - Orient cup replay, a definite game of two halve!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Orient, Beer and a Damn Good Sandwich!

So the night before the replay, I’ve decided to write up the first match. Sorry for the spoiler there.

Saturday 6th November - Leyton Orient - Fa Cup 1st Round (home)

Now I can’t actually remember what I did between waking up and leaving the front door, which is probably why I should have written this sooner! But I imagine I had a cup of tea as well as the normal early morning bathroom routine that males like myself go through, you know what I mean, a mixture of foul noises, foul smells and bad breath.

So with Daggers shirt on and a nice knew pair of combats (yes, the same combats MrsMetalDagger bought for me when I was watching us play MK dons!) We left to make our way to The Bell, which the landlord had most graciously agreed to open a bit early so we could really get our drinking on before this local derby cup tie. We got on the bus outside ripple cemetery and it whisked us towards Rainham. We got off at Tesco's so I could line my stomach with half of a (very tasty) Tesco own brand Chicken and bacon club sandwich. Which has become my pre pub sandwich of choice. So the Tesco "Chicken & Bacon Club Sandwich" has the FMD seal of approval. And if you are like me and appreciate a good sarnie why not become a fan of it here


So we walked from Tesco to The Bell, munching our T.C.B.C.S, at the pub drinking very much started and we watched spurs getting a bit of a pasting on the telly. The mood in our group was a very tentative one; having beaten the O's last time they came to our gaff the idea of them being able to get a measure of revenge against us wasn't very appealing. Our form had dipped a little since the last meeting and we were coming fresh off of being hammered into the very well kept pitch at St Marys. But on the other hand, if we knocked them out it would be very sweet.

More alcohol was consumed and much merriment was had, but time and team wait for no man so to the bus top we went! The short bus ride from the Bell to Vicky road is just long enough to get ourselves ready with a bit of singing but not so long the driver gets sick of the loud drunks at the back of the bus!

We got off the bus and made our way to the turnstiles, a big turnout was expected and the Bury road turnstiles had been opened to ease getting everyone onto the terraces. Making our way into the ground, I could see already it was pretty packed; we made a beeline for the middle of the sieve and parked up with the familiar smell of fried onions and burgers floating from over my shoulder. A minute later Nikos and Gem showed up and it was time for kickoff. Just as the game started I noticed that there was a group of maybe four Orient fans right next to me in colours and everything. So when a chant of  “ORIENT, WANK WANK WANK, ORIENT, WANK WANK WANK!" went up I was amused by their disapproving faces. If you don’t want to hear our banter, go in your own end, simple!

With the match underway the atmosphere was good, much singing was done and I think the fun attitude from the Southampton game had come back with us. Today the sieve wanted to sing.  Looking at the pitch there had been some changes since we last saw our beloved Daggers Abu Ogogo was back from injury as was "The Biggest Willie in the League" Will Antwi, Johnny Nurse was being given a go up front, Chris Lewington was back inbetween the sticks covering for the Injured Robbo and Liverpool loanee Victor Palsson made his debut.

Lewington was called into action almost immediately when Alex Revell had a shot from the edge of the box which Lewo kept out. Orient came out of the traps looking for a win and Revell had a couple of good shots. Taiwo nearly put us in the brown stuff when his errant back pass had to be cleared out by Lewington, my nerves were starting to shake a little, But slowly Dagenham warmed up, Vincelot had a header saved (Orient are sick of those going in I think) and Danny Green floated in a free kick from the edge of the box that Bas Savage nearly managed to head into goal only for it to flash wide of the far post. A little later a lovely bit of holding plus a well placed high ball from Savage set McCrory free, whose shot skimmed the crossbar as it went over.

Although a scrappy game both sides had had some pretty close chances and bar a couple of hairy moments I was quite happy with 0-0 as it approached half time. So when a deflected ball found Revell in the box, which he deftly put through Lewington's legs to score, 1-0 on 45 minutes! I have to admit my heart sank a little. What didn't help was the Orient fans next to me started cheering and jumping up and down!

Well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that football is a passionate sport and acting like that in the home end might rub people up the wrong way, and it did. I saw some shirt Pulling, incoherent shouting and people stated pointing for them to be (quite rightly) ejected for being in the wrong end. But then something happened, we were given a free kick within seconds of the restart, everyone stopped looking at the interlopers and instead looked at Danny Green who was now standing over the ball in front of the left corner of the Orient box. He ran in and kicked the ball which curled onto the post hit the goal keeper and went in! 1-1 at 45 (+2) minutes!! And the sieve went nuts!! But in the middle a large circle had formed around the misplaced Orient fans as everyone in the vicinity pointed and screamed "who are ya! Who are ya!" right in their faces. Well this didn’t sit well With one or two of the O's scouting party, who started to kick off a little bit and I’m pretty sure I caught a swing from someone, because I had a sore chin for the rest of the game. The police came in and removed 2 people and we sung them our goodbyes. Left in the sieve was one lone young Orient fan dressed head to toe in O's colours and very much sticking out. It's safe to say I didn’t envy him!

Somewhere in all of that action the half time whistle blew and now we were feeling slightly more confident and the small incident in the sieve had fired us up somewhat. It has to be said, I was enjoying myself!
The teams came out and got in position for the second half, with the whistle blown both teams picked up where they had started off. O's keeper Lee Butcher made a fine save when a ball flicked on by Savage was met By Romains toe. Alex Revell carried on leading the Orient charge as he fired just wide and then got passed a slipping Arber to put in a low ball which Dean Cox couldn't convert into the certain goal it looked to be when somehow Lewo saved it with his foot. The atmosphere was still buzzing in the Sieve and songs were flowing freely as we willed the team onto victory and we thought it had worked when Romain Vincelot tried reproduce his awesome goal against Burton last season firing from twenty yards out only for it to fly over the cross bar by about an inch! Revell again had a chance to finish the game off in the 89th minute when a corner flew over the box too his feet for him to shoot it straight at the post for it then to be cleared away. Before we knew it the Ref blew the final whistle and it was official, 90 minutes wasn't enough to decide this epic battle! So another 90 minutes at Brisbane road is the desert of our football feast!


So all in all not too bad a result and although our away form at the time had me worried about the replay, our result against Yeovil last Saturday (sorry more spoilers) has given me (and many in the Red and Blue army) a little injection of confidence. And with an away tie against non-league Droylsden our prize, it would be great to finish the job at the housing estate Orient call home.




Next - Jerk tells us why he and I have to shave off our beards, its Yeovil away!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Random Rant - Jerk Vs Armchair fans and Pundits

Words by JerkFromTheCoach - Stupid Pics by FullMetalDagger

As a supporter of a team unlikely ever to grace the summit of our domestic league system, I often wonder quite what the fair-weather fans (don’t read ‘supporter’, as these leeches do not support and have little knowledge of our game and do little to ‘support’ anything) think happens below Premiership level – or if indeed, they believe anything lesser than 30,000+ all seater, £5 for a burger, £40 a ticket even exists at all.

Watching the TV Highlights of the FA Cup First Round games last weekend on ITV, it struck me that the knowledge about lower league teams and non-league teams, even of former players-turned-pundits (Andy Townsend on this occasion) is astoundingly minute. In fact, their eyes appear to ski down their nose to peer upon the likes of us, and they seem amazed that anyone from the second level down can strike a ball.

Commenting from upon an ivory tower?

There is good reason I watch little domestic English football on TV thesedays. The main part of my reasoning is to do with pundits and commentators. I go to pretty much every game that my team plays, both home and away. What I do not need, is to sit down at home and watch an overweight, overpaid, and over-hyped TV ‘personality’ replaying an incident back five or six times to me, informing me that a tackle was bad, or that a ball should have been played here, there, or anywhere else – simply put – I already know. It removes every shred of enjoyment from watching football on TV. Now, to my mind, the blame for having to suffer eavesdropping a load of idiots talking about last nights game, or how ‘they’ won, can be laid squarely at the feet of these moron pundits. Rather than educate people about the game, leaving people to make their own minds up about incidents, having people learn in their own time how the game is played, they elect to tell people that ‘this is how it is done, do not do it any other way’ and leave it at that. Someone just starting to watch the game then ends up knowing a tackle is bad, a ball should have been played here or there – but lacking the knowledge of why. These same people, most of whom never step foot inside ‘their’ teams ground at any point before they perish, then look down their noses at the likes of me for supporting my team, in the same manner as these pundits look down their noses at our club.

it has two meanings!!!!

Wise cracks on TV about “tickets still being available” for an upcoming minor league fixture followed by sniggering on air does none of us any favours at all. Its likely, there are plenty of spaces available for these games, quite why that is humorous however, I don’t understand. These are the types of games where the Premiership superstars of the future should be born – rather than Africa, South America, Eastern Europe and etc. And yet the average fan wonders why our national team is all about mega hype, mega bucks, and very little by the way of end product.

The entertainment value at these smaller clubs, and local leagues as well as the lowest couple of divisions in the football league is unmatched by football at a higher level, its pretty much a given that on four out of five weekends that the top four or five clubs aren’t playing each other they are going to win – and that’s exciting, is it? Give me a last game of the season defeat to Shrewsbury to drop out of the play offs followed by a season culminating in a Wembley play off final win against Rotherham attended by The Chuckle Brothers any day of the week. Furthermore, I’ll forever be able to say that I was there, rather than that I was sat on a sofa watching my teams greatest achievement.

And I don’t even have to listen to Andy Gray.



FMD - i had a spare stupid pic, soooooo enjoy?


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Football and a Family Reunion

So I finally managed to pull myself away from Football Manager 2011 for a few hours to get this done. I was looking forward to the trip to Southampton not only for one of the biggest away days of the season but also because I was staying with one of my cousins and getting to see some family I hadn't seen since I was about half the size of Matt Ritchie.

I awoke that Sunday with the weight of the disappointment of the Hartlepool game, alcohol and a kebab pizza on my mind and stomach. I had decided to give myself two hours to get to Victoria coach station for the 12:30 coach to Southampton. So I dragged myself up and packed the final bits I needed into my bag and left. Being a Sunday, and Sunday being in a weekend, meant that the tube was playing silly buggers again. So rather than sitting on the District line and taking a nice ride from Upney to Victoria, I had to go a little bit round the houses. First it was 1 stop on the District line from Upney to Barking, Then onto the rather packed c2c from Barking to West Ham then the Jubilee line to Green Park and finally one stop on the Victoria line to Victoria Station. Despite the roundabout route I actually made pretty good time, and once I had walked to Victoria coach station I found myself with just under an hour to kill. After a Spicy Tendercrisp and a little walk around it was time to get on the coach.

Pink eyes of the tired and hungover!

After exhausting my laptop battery using the coaches’ onboard wifi, I put my iPod on, rested my head on my rolled up hoodie and slowly fell asleep to the sounds of Deftones "Around the Fur". I awoke as we pulled into Southampton University and what was quite a packed coach suddenly emptied leaving me and about 10 other people to travel the last 15 minutes to Southampton coach station. I rang everyone back home and rang ahead to my cousins to let them know I was near before I ducked back into the safety of my iPod and watched the scenery go by listening to various loud shouty tunes.


Down at the beach

The coach dropped us off at the surprisingly small coach station, which consisted of a small coach park and a hut with toilets and a ticket office. My uncle picked me up and took me to my Cousin Jessica's flat. Later that night my other cousin James, my uncle and his Girlfriend came over for dinner and we spent the night getting reacquainted and a little bit pissed. The next day we went out to the beach in my uncle’s camper and we walked the dogs and I took in the views of the beach and beyond.

Looking out over the beach from the camper

But you didn't click on any links to read about my family reunion now did ya?

Tuesday 2nd November - Southampton - Away

I woke up on my very comfy double airbed to an empty flat, my cousin being the high-flying executive type had to call me to say she couldn't make our lunch plans. So at a loose end I got down to writing up the diary entry for the Hartlepool game. That done I had time to kill so sat down and watched some of the classic kids TV game show "Knightmare". Later my other Cousin James came over with some beer and we chewed the fat. I had been in contact with Jerk all day and he was headed to where I was staying to park his car. He arrived with a couple of hours to spare before the game. We called a cab and made our way to St Mary's. As soon as we got across the itchin bridge I could see the stadium lit up. We pulled up outside and I have to say it did look like an impressive stadium, the lights outside blinking in the night. After Jerk bought himself a ticket we headed for the turnstiles.



I pulled out my ticket from its home for the past week in my wallet and entered. Inside it wasn't as welcoming inside as out, the concourse was all breezeblock and concrete but that is pretty standard. What was welcoming was the smell of hot food and the thought of beer. Jerk( in his own personal tradition) went for a burger, which was a sorry object, especially when compared to the fine burgers at Vicky road and the three rings of onion squashed into the bun did nothing to help its case. I opted for a hotdog and a lager and then later on the recommendation of Mr Jerk (who like me was counting this culinary treat as dinner) I decided to sample the beef madras pasty and it was very tasty!

a sorry meat biscuit

Fed and watered we headed for the stairs leading up to the away end. Today we had been given a corner in the Northam stand and our mob squeezed into one block quite easily. It started to circulate around the crowd that Robbo had been sidelined with an injury in warm up and Chris Lewington was gonna be between the sticks. Now I am a bit fan of Lewington but I had to feel for him, to get his league debut in an away match to one of the biggest teams in this league must have been nerve wracking!


After a minutes silence the match got underway and it took 11 minutes for the Saints to do what we were all so sure they would, Alex Chamberlain ran down the right wing and crossed in a ball that went straight over Lewington’s head and into the net! 1-0 to the Saints. Despite this our crowd sang our hearts out, it seemed we were never silent. A few minutes after their first goal the young Chamberlain put another ball into the box which was headed only just wide of the mark by Adam Lallana. This bombardment woke up our boys in green somewhat and they knuckled down and tried to push for an attack with Gavin Tomlin coming very close with a shot from the left edge of the box.

For the moment, when we had the ball, it didn't seem there was so much of a gulf between the teams. Sadly whenever Saints had possession they showed they intended to use it to full effect. But after missing a few they certainly could have put in Southampton’s young winger Chamberlain scored with almost a carbon copy of the first goal as he put in a long lob from outside the box and this time I think he meant it. 2-0. Despite the score the Red and Blue (and green and black) army we're singing for all we were worth and showing the relatively quiet saints fans how it was done. Don't get me wrong, when Southampton had a ball in a good position an almighty roar filled the air, but then again it's easy to sing when you're 2-0 to the good! The whistle went for half time and as I headed to get a beer I wasn't as down as I probably should have been, despite the score I was having a good time and really enjoying being part of this small group of loud football fans, who were going down singing!


A beer later we filed back to our seats, which I have to say (with all credit to the stewards) I had not once been told to sit in and had stood happily singing and jumping about all game! The game continued much like it had before, we had little chances and made the most of what we could get, but Saints showed what a big budget team like them in this league can do. Within 10 minutes of the restart Lallana burned down the left skipped past Ifil and passed a low ball for Lee Barnard to tap in. 3-0 to Southampton. But still we sang, good banter was had with the home crowd and a few timed we were applauded, I don’t know if it was genuine respect or sympathy but it was nice to be acknowledged for doing more than sitting there miserably watching us lose.

At some point during all this I had noticed some commotion below me towards the front of the stand as everyone was now pointing at a man in a blue striped top asking "who the fucking hell are you!" very soon it became apparent he was a home fan who had crept into the away end, I don’t know how he was sussed but as soon as he was he crept out again. A minute later he was spotted no more than 20 feet away from where he had been sitting with us, but in the home end, well this didn't sit kindly with us! So after a lengthy chant of "chuck him out!" and some explaining to the nearby stewards we got to cheer and sing our farewells to the double agent as he was lead by stewards from the stand.

 By now I think most of us were keeping only half an eye on the game as the result was now clear the only thing to be decided was the score. The fourth and final goal came at about 70 minutes when once again that man Chamberlain whipped in a ball that was headed into the net by Jose Fonte. 4-0 but we didn't seem to care so much at that point. One thing that we did care about was when Scott Doe went down from a heavy challenge from Lambert and had to be taken off to be replaced by Phil Walsh. But still like the band on the Titanic we were going down playing, well, singing. And as we cheered goals that never happened and kept ourselves amused the game ran its course with the only bright spot being a free kick from Danny Green that came so close we thought we had scored. We left just before the whistle to see if we could get a cab, which turned out to be a useless idea as a bad couldn't get down to St Marys until the police opened the roads again. So outside we chatted with our fellow daggers as they boarded the coaches back home.


With a little time to kill we went and stood by the team coach and chatted with the various staff about and showed our support to the players as they exited the stadium. After we waved the Boys off us ordered our cab home. Once back at my cousins Jerk got back into his car and made for London as I chatted with my cousins and then put myself to bed watching "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" on my laptop.

So overall a pretty shit day? A night to forget? Well that's the weird thing. I actually had a brilliant time! And it's mainly down to my fellow Daggers, the singing, chanting and general good humour honestly made the night one I shall remember. I mean if the Saints chants of "you'll never play here again" are to become true, at least I can say I was part of the crowd that out sung nearly 20,000 Saints fans on the night we went down by four goals. I came away from the Hartlepool game in a much worse mood than this game and we got a point from that! Maybe sometimes going into the unwinnable battle with our heads held high and a song in our heart is the best kind of local pride.

So once again I say "Chin up boys!" and "up the Daggers"

Because we are the Red and Blue army!


P.S - Here's a vid of the Daggers crowd at ST Marys doing us proud. As a bonus Danny Greens near miss is at the end of the vid.

Next - Booze, Goals, the FA Cup, local rivals and a bust up in the sieve!? Orient come to Vicky road!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Well, At Least we ain’t Bottom!

I woke up hung-over from the night before, well I say the night, I mean the morning before. After going for dinner and drinks to celebrate MrsMetalDagger’s grandmothers 90th birthday, I had found myself wanting to continue the festivities or more importantly the drinking! So as anyone who is my friend on FaceBook can testify, I sat up drinking Jagermeister and coke, listening to loads of awesome music on my laptop whilst talking bollocks to anyone who happened to be up as late as me! So when 9am rolled round, I was a little bit... errr ...shaky! I slid out of bed like some kind of spineless sloth and dragged on some clothes.

Saturday 30th October - Hartlepool - Home

Once downstairs I decided having food now was a bad idea and could only lead to the same said food meeting the deep pile carpet in the front room. So a large bucket of tea would be my breakfast. I switched SoccerAM on, Dave Goreman was on (all of his shows have been awesome, the astrology one not so much) Tea drank, highbrow sports reporting watched, I was ready to leave. Me and the Missus walked up the hill and straight past Upney tube station. Today’s plan was to meet Jerk' and a few others in the pub, so to the bus stop we went. At the bus top my stomach felt decidedly gurgley and I knew I was gonna need some food to settle it. I was half way through that thought when head looked over from the other side of the cemetery wall and said something, it sounded like "I like your shirt" but I thought I’d make sure, The Cemetery man repeated himself "I like your blog!" and the penny dropped it was then I noticed the Daggers badge on his chest. I thanked him and he went about his day. A minute later he came back (this time on the same side of the wall) and asked us if we were going to the stadium now and did we want a lift. I explained we were pubward bound but thanked him anyway. So Chris if you read this, Thank you very much for your kind offers!

Just after Jerk' rang my phone and told us that he was 2 stops further up the route on the other side of the roundabout, and also enquired as to what was taking our bus so long. Another 5 minutes passed, in the distance I could see the 287 peeking over the horizon. We got on the bus and 2 stops later so did Jerk, like naughty school children we sat at the back of the bus and discussed the merits of stringing up monkeys.
We alighted outside Rainham's Tesco and my need for some food kicked in, so I dashed inside and grabbed a chicken and bacon club sarnie which I split with the Missus. Stomach now lined, it was pub time! We stepped into The Bell, a nice little pub with friendly staff and Kronenbourg on tap. Inside with other fellow daggers we chatted about everything from today’s football game, to the upcoming Crowbar and Black Label Society tours. With drinks drunk and time moving fast, we left for the bus stop.

The 103 got us to Vicky Road in good time and we went through the turnstile and headed for the already packed Sieve. The match had already started and looking at the pitch I straight away noticed Solly Taiwo in the midfield and he did seem to be working pretty damn hard. The first half was pretty good, considering we had lost both Danny Green and Peter Gain to suspension. We seemed to be moving the ball about quite well and making chances. Sadly none of them went in. Scannell had a near dead on chance but the keeper tipped it away and Taiwo tried from out side the box only to clip the top corner of the bar as it went over. The first half ended with the scores level, 0-0. The air in the Sieve was optamistic, a pretty good showing in the first half had us upbeat.

The Sieve - Pretty full

The second half started with much promise, just 4 minutes in Phil Ifil put a ball into the box which was deflected past  the Pool's 'keeper by Peter Hartley, The sieve went nuts! 1-0 to the Daggers! From the middle of the sieve it seemed we were making a nice amount of noise and everyone around me was in a singing mood. But the tide on the pitch was starting to turn as Hartlepool started looking for an equaliser and we seemed determined to help them get it! Some unsure defending lead to Robbo being the hero more than once as well as Hartlepool missing a couple of shots by only inches. Gavin Tomlin managed to catch their left back in possession and snatch the ball away, he made a nice looking dash into the box only for the resulting shot to be tipped away by Jake Kean who was doing well to keep our few chances out. Shortly After Andy Monkhouse took a shot from the edge of the box which took a nasty looking deflection beat Robbo but luckily hit the post and bounced out, but this match was far from over yet.


McCrory tried to clear a loose ball over our own bar but sliced it and nearly looped it into our own net but it bounced just wide. For the second time so far a chant of "Hands up, if you thought they scored!" went up as did many hands! just after that a long ball follwed by a cross found a 'Pools attacker who headed the ball accross goal and in an attempt to clear the ball for a corner Mark Arber hit our own crossbar!! Despite all this, with the clock counting down the atmosphere in the home terrace was tense but still upbeat, we just had to hang on Substitute Bas Savage nearly gave us something to cheer when we gained the ball near the corner and charged into the box, but his shot flashed wide.

As the last minute of extra time rolled round, it happened. A long ball found a Pools player in the box who passed it to someone else, who when closed down passed it to Gary Liddle who shot, the ball was low and hard and took a deflection off of Mark Arber, this left Robbo (who had already made a dive) to watch helplessly from the floor as the ball trickled over the line. The sieve went dead silent, not even a groan. I swear I couldn't even hear the Hartlepool fans. I could see them jumping happy to have snatched a point we somehow held onto for so long, but I couldn't hear them.

The terrace empties

As the air of disbelief cleared and reality kicked in, people started to leave, I think I was still in too much shock, I just stood there. "10 more fucking seconds" I thought, I probably said it too. I looked round and Saw Jerk' who's face was a mirror of my own. Somewhere in all of this the final whistle blew and the Sieve was half empty. We headed for the exit and clapped the boys as they came round. I queued up to by my ticket for the Southampton game outside, everyone I caught eyes with did the same thing, wry little smile, shake the head and sigh. I bought my ticket and Jerk' insisted we go to the pub again. I have to say I’m glad we did a few drinks later and I was having fun again and looking forward to leaving for Southampton the next day. The Pub was showing the Man-ure vs Spurs game on the telly and seeing the goal that United put past spurs did make me feel a bit better, at least we didn't concede that goal! (Hmm 2nd time this season I’ve said that!) With more alcohol drunk and a need for some food creeping in we headed for the bus stop, and then went our separate ways. Once home Pizzas were ordered and more drink was drunk.

So yes the mood in camp after that match was not what you could describe as positive. Decisions were questioned and blame was laid. The second half was poor and the Gaffers statement of "we need to hold onto these 1-0's" was never more evident than Saturday! But I feel we're in a time of experimentation. Things are being switched around new loan signings are on the horizon!

As I write this I am sprawled on a giant airbed in my cousins front room in Southampton, I am looking forward to the match but I am not confident, but it's matches like this where we can pull a surprise, so yes doom and gloom is starting to creep into the air, remember it could be a lot worse! We could support Grays! And like the title says “Well, at least we ain't bottom!"

Chin Up Daggers!!



Next - Well I’m already in Southampton, where are all you lot?

Saturday, 30 October 2010

It's Like Chelsea v Man U (but in Essex)

I have said this before and I will say it again, I love the Essex Senior Cup! Something about this little county cup gets me all excited and I was genuinely disappointed when we got knocked out in the semi's last season. So when we were handed a home draw to Colchester United (the self same team that had dumped us out last year) I had mixed feelings. See the thing I love about the ESC is those away days to non-league clubs. So while knocking out Colchester would certainly give me a  nice feeling of revenge, getting knocked out would mean no away days to small Essex clubs and with Grays, Harlow, Canvey, Barking, Romford etc still in the competition I would most disappointed.

Tuesday 26th October - Colchester United - Essex Senior Cup (home)

MrsMetalDagger got in from work just as I was preparing our dinner, my Daggers shirt was drying on the radiator and I was walking around in an old t-shirt and my blue Daggers shorts. Excitement was in the air, tonight we dine in Essex!! (or summin'). With two chicken fajitas well and truly eaten and shorts replaced with combats and cheap shirt replaced with home colours we were ready to leave. We waited at Upney station for Jerk' to get home from his days work as a brain surgeon. His train arrived and in an act of supreme athleticism we ran down to the last carriage where he was sitting. Once aboard pleasantries were exchanged as was a sip of rum and coke, nice!

We pulled into Dagenham East and it was fairly obvious we weren't in for a packed house tonight, from what I could see no one else on our train was here for the Essex derby. Straight into the clubhouse I saw nearly all of my match day crowd were there and I finally got to meet Anthony72 in person. With a quick pint quaffed, we headed for the Carling Stand (the only available stand for the night). We found some seats just as the game was kicking off and sat down for what was gonna be a pretty exciting match.


Looking at the team I noticed Phil Walsh was playing as a centre back and it looked like Danny J Green was playing upfront next to Josh Scott. Straight away this looked like it was going to be an attacking game, with both teams looking to load the ball into the box from crosses and long balls as well as some nice runs. it was sometime in the first 10 minutes that WalesDagger mentioned that he thought that Luke Wilkinson’s hair looked a little feminine or some such, which caused the woman and her 2 girls in the row in front to wheel round and introduce themselves as Mrs Wilkinson and her 2 daughters! So now we had 2 forms of entertainment; one was a football game, the second was watching a red faced Welshman back peddle faster than the Bulgarian international reverse-unicycle team going downhill backwards!

The Sieve, empty - spoooooky!

Luckily Luke's mum is a very reasonable woman and laughed at our embarrassed friend.
About half hour had gone when Josh Scott shot from the edge of the box into the net to make it 1-0 to the Daggers and although Colchester were far from lying down and letting us win, we seemed to be in the mood to get through the round. Colchester nearly scored when a freekick hit the bar and the resulting rebound was headed over the goal. With 10 minutes left in the half, me and Jerk' made a beeline for the burgers to avoid the rush. Back to our seats with one of Dagenham's patented "Fookin tasty" burgers and a cuppa in hand we watched the final 5 minutes of the first half. So far it was looking pretty good for this year’s county cup campaign. The second half started and the Daggers came flying out of the traps looking for goal number two and Colchester kept on looking for that elusive equaliser. So far in this game I had been impressed with quite a few of our 2nd string players, Billy Bingham seems to have a good solid shot on him for a midfielder, Danny J Green looks like he will run his nuts off to get to a ball and his work on the ball doesn’t look to shabby either. Darren Currie looked like the veteran player on the pitch, what he may have lost in pace he made up for with good footwork, good decision making and neat passes. it was a joy to watch the younger opposition players stare dumbfounded at the patch of grass where the ball was half a second ago as Darren was 2 feet behind them whipping in a ball. Chris Lewington continues to impress me as a good shot stopper and improves with every game.

the Carling Stand, Packed to the rafters ^_^

Back to the game; at 70 minutes it was looking like we could shut out United and walk out with at least a 1-0. But Colchester were looking to repeat last season and finally found the net on the 78th minute when Medy Elito crossed the ball in for Ian Henderson to tuck in. 1-1.
After what seemed like quite a long 10 minutes the whistle blew and everyone got lined up for extra time. The match was looking very level as both teams battled for the winning goal and just before the end of the first half of extra time DJ Green struck from the left and past the outstretched United 'keeper, 2-1 to the Daggers. At this time Jerk and a couple of the others disappeared for a smoke (they left the gate open for smokers on this occasion). By the time they had sat back down Anthony Wordsworth had scored an equaliser for the visitors. 2-2. With only minutes left Dagenham were awarded a corner which Graeme Montgomery whipped in, out of nowhere came Mrs Wilkinsons baby boy to smack the ball into a goal, Well if WalesDagger hadn't already eaten his words, he was gonna have to now! We congratulated Mrs Wilkinson for giving birth to our latest scorer and the game continued.
The clock counted down and Colchester hoofed the ball forward hoping to find a forward in a good position, on 120 minute a ball flew out to the right side of Lewington's box and as he scrambled to grab the ball caught Joe Martin and brought him down in the box, the referee pointed straight at the spot and it was looking like this game was going to penalties! Liam Henderson stepped up to the spot, He kicked the ball, Lewington dived to the right, the ball hit the crossbar and went over!! Lewington took the goal kick and the referee blew the final whistle. Dagenham and Redbridge had made it to round four and for those that missed that moment here is a video.

I think all in all the 200+ Daggers that attended can be pretty happy with a win in a match between the 2 highest placed teams in this competition.


Glory and many good non-league ties await!!


Next - Hartlepool, and then I’m off to see family and a football game in Southampton!