Annual Pilgrimage


It’s been a few years since we made the long pilgrimage to see the, erm, Pilgrims but it was always a great day out. Fortunately, The Daggers Diary team did the trip for us yesterday.

Having left the clubhouse during the closing stages of the Manchester United v Fulham cup tie, it was hard not to feel a bit down side following our defeat at home to Morecambe last Saturday. There may have been a touch of admiration for the results of both Luton and Bradford (oh for the days when that was us), but although we are in a relatively comfortable league position at the moment, we are all very aware that it can change all too quickly.

100_5751Today is an away game, and we venture to the most southerly and westerly ground in the football league; Plymouth Argyle. During my early formative years watching football, I can remember Plymouth reaching the semi finals of the FA Cup, with the nation’s media eager that the plucky underdogs from Division Three produce an upset against top flight Watford. In the end, a goal from George Reilly sent Watford to their first FA Cup final, while Plymouth had to try and secure their future in the third division, which they did, although nineteenth place doesn’t immediately suggest a team reaching the last four of the cup.

The other memory I have of Plymouth is Daggers related. Since promotion, I haven’t made the trip to Devon, but the one time I have visited was back in January 2003. On that occasion, we had been drawn away to Argyle in the third round of the FA Cup, and although there were two divisions between us at the time, we travelled back to Essex with a fantastic 2-2 draw. The replay at Victoria Road went down in club folklore, as we secured a 2-0 win, with the second goal being a header from Junior McDougald after a cross from Mark Janney which was described as “Beckham-esque” on the highlights that night.

Since our first league meeting in 2010, our league record against Plymouth is fairly awful, with just two goal-less draws to show for five meetings between the two clubs. There have been times in the past few years when we have wondered if we would be playing; with financial problems meaning that Peter Reid had to sell a Cup Final medal, Plymouth have been up against it in a financial sense. Continue reading

Still not yet in the grave


As an author myself I know the pain that you go through when starting on a new project, trying to wrestle with that internal voice that questions whether it is good enough, and will people buy the end product (FYI – Passport to Football is still available to buy here).  Football books are even more of a challenge with few publications actually worth a first read, let alone a second or third.  However, we strive here at the Ball is Round to bring you what we consider to be the best books written on the Beautiful Game.  In our “must read” list is probably the finest book written about what it is like to be a professional footballer on a day by day basis.  Not content with just one book, he followed it up with a second a few years later detailing his transition from player to manager and finally to a life away from the pitch.  Ladies and Gentlemen I give you TWICE nominated author for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, Garry Nelson. Continue reading