Saturday’s horrific home defeat to Cheltenham was a mortal blow for Dagenham & Redbridge as well as their fans. However, like falling off a bike it is best to get straight back on it, and so our very own Brian Parish focused on the distraction of an Essex Senior Cup game against a team three levels below the Daggers. Surely nothing could go wrong? Could it?
Whilst Saturday will take some time to get over, thankfully, we have another game to play almost straight away. That though is not to lessen the challenge we face tonight. While Canvey Island may be a few divisions below us, we know precisely how difficult it can be to get a result here, having visited on more than one occasion in the conference, and prior to that, in the Isthmian League.
Although it is just the Essex Senior Cup, this is a chance for some who have experienced the non-league days, to re-visit those memorable days gone by. A chance to go to places that we have yet to visit, or even just the chance to “change ends” at half time is generally a good enough reason to turn up for these games. Plus in a season that is going from bad to worse, we’ll take anything that is going our way. And as it’s been ten years since we actually won the county cup, if we can get to the final, we’ll certainly take it.
For the first few years of the twenty-first century, Canvey Island and Grays Athletic were leading the way from Essex, and both looked set fair for a long stay in the top flight of non-league football. Grays even went as far as to reach the conference play offs, but ultimately, both clubs fell from the conference. Grays were relegated a couple of years ago, sold off their ground, and are currently ground sharing with East Thurrock United. Continue reading