Fresh from the beaches of Catalunya, Brian Parish was ready for the Daggers final push to save their Football League status – well for a week at least before he went back out to Spain.
After the glamour and excitement of our European trip a couple of weeks ago, for Dagenham Dan and I, it was back to familiar ground last weekend, for our home game against Bradford. Results after the crushing 0-5 defeat at home to Cheltenham had improved; a goalless draw at Plymouth was followed by an unexpected (but more than welcome) win up at Morecambe. In ten years of visiting Morecambe, I have never seen us win there, as our only victories in that time have come on the two occasions that I haven’t been able to attend. Perhaps I should leave well alone.
Last weekend saw the visit of one of the biggest clubs in the division, Bradford City. Their plummet down through the divisions has been well documented, but in an encounter that sort of threatened to get going but never really did, the one moment of quality settled it. Matt Saunders, a recent free agent signing, scored with a beautiful free kick, to earn us the points, despite the dangerous wing play of the Bradford number 32, Kyle Reid. To sum up our season though, Saunders was injured taking the free kick, and so sat out our midweek trip to Swindon.
With results improving, there was the hope of getting something from the trip to Wiltshire, but instead all we got was another thumping (0-4), and we lost our main striker to a straight red card, which will mean a ban of three games. All in all, those that travelled have probably had better nights out. And to have to pay £25 for the privilege as well, meant that the night out was probably in the region of around £60. Not good.
At least our next couple of away games are a bit closer. In ten days time we travel on the Northern line of the London Underground to High Barnet, for what is becoming an eagerly contested fixture. Today though, we venture to south west London, for a district line derby visit to AFC Wimbledon.
Given that the club was only formed ten years ago from the ashes of the original Wimbledon FC that was shamefully allowed to decamp seventy miles up the road to Milton Keynes, what they have achieved is to be truly admired. I’m not sure if even the most die-hard fan could have predicted the meteoric rise of the club, but here they are, and they are more than coping with the demands of the football league. Their win at our place in August was their first away victory since promotion last May, and so we know that this is going to be a tough day out. However, recent form (3 wins in 22 league games) is not so good, so this is a game that we may, just may be able to take something from. Continue reading