Daggers put some perspective back into football


The Daggers Diary team head north to renew their encounters with York City on a day when the fortunes of smaller clubs are put in perspective.

This week has seen the BBC release the results of their survey of clubs in the Premier and Football Leagues, as well as the Conference and Scottish leagues, about the cost of going to a game. It made interesting reading, as we were allowed to compare the cost of season tickets throughout ten leagues in England, Wales and Scotland. If the cost of a pie or a cup of tea is important (and when isn’t it?), then we could find that out as well. Interestingly (and perhaps surprisingly) the most expensive programme is in the Championship at Leeds United, while the most expensive cup (or polystyrene) cup of tea can be found in Manchester.

Not only did we get loads of data about cost, but there were several other articles, all relating to the results. One of them included the MD of the Daggers, Steve Thompson. For those that have been attending Victoria Road for a while, Steve is a familiar figure. Often at home games, he will be seen strolling round the ground, extolling people to make noise as he makes his way along the sieve.

Tommo was featured in an article about how the Daggers survive on a budget. While a fair bit of this was already known, it was nonetheless interesting to read about how the club is basically run by five people, two of which are students from Bournemouth University on work placements. Continue reading

Go East my son…


As I headed East to sample some Non League action at Rush Green, a mile to the south the Daggers Diary team were preparing for a goal fest at Victoria Road.

After witnessing the draw at home to Accrington on September 15th, we were all back at Victoria Road three days later for a game against Northampton Town. Dagenham Dan was enjoying the delights of Marine against someone else, having been required to be in Liverpool for work that week. Honestly, no commitment some people.

However, we did at least have Timbo grace us with his presence for the first time this season. A regular in the centre of defence for the supporters team, he bought along five year old Vinnie for his first game. The game wasn’t the most exciting you will ever see, so precisely what Vinnie thought of it could probably be summed up in what happened at half time. As the players troop off the pitch with the game scoreless, Vinnie takes to running around the crush barriers in the covered terrace. A slightly older Stuart is doing the same thing, keeping the youngster entertained. As we watch this unfold, we all reckon that he will sleep well later that night. And so will Vinnie as well.

The second half started badly for the Daggers, and only five minutes had been played when Akinfenwa scored the only goal of a game that rarely got above the boring rating that it had enjoyed in the first half. Although Bristol Rovers got a point that evening, we somehow managed to stay out of the bottom two again. On the way home, Dan sent a text message to ask how it had gone, and the reply was short; “poor, very poor”, which summed it all up quite nicely really. Continue reading

Bottom of the league, you are having a laugh!


A week is a long time in football, two weeks a lifetime.  But we know that form is only temporary and anything can happen on any given Saturday.  Could Dagenham and Redbridge continue their good form? Well we sent Daggers Diary’s very own Brian Parish up to Port Vale to find out.

Eleven days ago, following our draw at Barnet, the bottom of league 2 got a whole lot tighter with several teams separated by only a few points. Last weekend saw the Daggers take on Accrington Stanley in one of those “must win” games, so beloved by media and fans alike at this stage of the season.

A visit from the Stanley also brings Accrington Pete to Victoria Road. Accrington Pete is Dagenham Dan’s dad, and having been to several encounters at Dagenham, he had yet to see his team lose. He even ventured up to Accrington on our supporters club coach a few years back, and they won that as well, so when he strolled into the bar an hour or so before kick off, my hopes of a result weren’t that high. They were even lower when the visitors were 1-0 up at the break.

The last five minutes of normal time (plus the six added on for stoppages) saw a total change in the game. First, Brian Woodall scored in the eighty-fifth minute to send the smallest crowd at Victoria Road this season into raptures (aside from the away fans, naturally) at the prospect of saving a point. Then after it had all got a bit daft in the penalty area as Accrington prepared to defend a free kick (and losing Toto Nsiala to a red card for an “off the ball” incident into the process), Scott Doe rose salmon like at the back post to record the eventual winner, and put belief back into the Daggers cause that relegation could be avoided.

Starting the day in last place, by the close of the day, we had risen to 21st, which got a huge cheer in the bar after the game when it came up on the various tv screens dotted around.

Today sees our attempt to save our place in the football league take us to Burslem, for a game against Port Vale. Burslem is part of the conurbation known as Stoke on Trent, which is also made up from the towns of Hanley, Tunstall, Longton, Fenton and Stoke.

Our home game against them in December was marked with protests from the visiting fans regarding their clubs board, which has continued to dominate local media coverage. Things have not been helped by the club going into administration, thereby incurring a ten point penalty. It has even got so bad that, according one of the local newspapers, the club was even been sued by their own shirt sponsor over an unpaid loan. Continue reading

Cobblers to them


Brian Parish continues to suffer as Dagenham & Redbridge add away day blues to their home woes away at Northampton Town.

After two disappointing home games, it’s time for the Daggers to hit the road again, and today it’s a trip up to Northampton. Despite my protestations that I wouldn’t be attending an away game until at least November, I gave in late on Thursday afternoon, and managed to secure a lift to the game with Dan. Part of being a fan is hoping that (even when the evidence points to the contrary), you just feel that the corner is about to be turned and that this will be the game that launches your team up the table to the glory that is inevitably waiting.

Not that many of those making the journey north have much in the way of confidence, but hope does spring eternal, even when your team hasn’t won in a month, and can’t seem to score more than one goal a game. Continue reading

Stalemate against the Gulls


The Daggers Diary team bring us an update from the game last weekend against Torquay United.

Today marks the third home game of the campaign, and it’s against the side that lost to Stevenage in last season’s League Two play off final, Torquay United.

Torquay are starting their third year back in the Football League, having spent two years in the Conference. Beaten in the 2008 play off semi finals by Exeter City, they secured their promotion twelve months later via the same play off route, this time against Cambridge United at Wembley. In their first season outside the League, they did manage to reach Wembley, but in the FA Trophy final; the game was just a week after the play off semi defeat, and they lost at the national stadium as well, by1-0 to Ebbsfleet. Continue reading

All hail the Macc Lads


Brian Parish brings us news from Dagenham’s opening day trip to Cheshire.

After the relaxing atmosphere of pre-season, yesterday marked the start of the 2011/12 Football League season. When we got promoted to the league four years ago, we would have been happy to have lasted a year or two before heading back to the Conference. But here we are, still in the Football League for a fifth year. Last season was good fun, and although we were relegated, we could at least sit back and bask in the fact that, for one year at least, we were in the same division as some big names of the not too recent past.

Of course, now that we have had that year in League One, there is for the first time in quite a few years, a level of expectation that is not normal for our little club. After all, if we can get promotion from this division once, then why can’t we do it again?

A quick look through the division shows a few teams that have missed out on promotion in the last few years (Torquay and Rotherham having lost the last two play off finals), plus arguably the biggest club in the division, Bradford City, who surely can’t be as bad again as they have been the last few years. Continue reading