Tuesday, 31 August 2010

There's No Place like home / Digger for a day

Well this was an odd little day, and it started the Thursday with this message on the Daggers forum.


Well I couldn't let an opportunity like this pass me by so I called up Russell and put my name forward for the job. The next day I got a call telling me that for the first home match of the 2010/2011 season I was going to be Digger the Dog!

Saturday 28th August - Tranmere Rovers - Home

It was nice to have a lie-in before the football on Saturday after the 2 away days. I came downstairs and watched the first hour of Soccer AM with a cuppa before heading out to Upney station to meet Nikos. The tube was messed up (as per usual) today, so rail replacement buses were the order of the day.  After picking up some cash from the newsagent across the road, we headed down Victoria Road for the first time since the start of the season and while I have enjoyed the away trips this season, it has to be said, "There is no place like home!"
First order of business for the day was; head into the clubhouse and watch the Arsenal Blackburn game. Chatting with the other Daggers in the bar the main topic of discussion was  whether or not we were gonna lose star striker and all round Daggers legend, Paul Benson, to Charlton. Mick (or "Digger the Dog" to me and you) found me and we went through my duties as mascot for the day. A couple of pints on an empty stomach had given me a distinct beer buzz so with half hour before I had to get the suit on I popped to the chippy and scoffed a pie (YUM!). Back at the clubhouse Mick had the big furry suit in 2 bags for me, so I sank a quick half and followed Mick. We walked past the turnstiles and into the gate beside them, then we walked pitch side in front of the carling stand (I took the opportunity to pat the roof of the home dugout as we walked past) then into the old players tunnel and through into the old home dressing room. I was pretty damn cool to sit in the room that was once the changing rooms to so many Daggers legends.


I put the suit on, picked up my bucket of sweets and headed back down the tunnel and onto the pitch to hand out sweets to the kids that were gathering at the edge of the pitch. After walking around the pitch and posing for a couple of photo's (including one with 2 Tranmere kids) I walked down the new players’ tunnel in the Marcus James stand and took my head off. It was mad seeing all the buzz of the teams getting ready for the match and even the Gaffer himself John Still shook my hand and wished me luck for the day!

As the teams lined up in front of the tunnel I put my head back on and waited to take my place at the back of the line of players. As the last players headed for the tunnel Mick told me to "Just follow Josh" so looking through the mesh eyes of digger I kept the name "Scott" on the back of Josh's shirt in view and headed out onto the pitch. We all lined up and then I shook hands with all of the Tranmere players then headed back into the old changing rooms, Got back into my street clothes and Mick Lead me back into the ground and I went and found my mates in the sieve.


I had only missed a couple of minutes and we were on the attack and it was looking good for the Daggers, We had some good shots, including a couple of lovely tries from Benson. The sieve was quite noisy today and most were up for a song, including a few started by myself. The sun was shining and I could smell the burgers being cooked behind me. it felt like a good early season game. I had been keeping an eye in the time as I had to get back to the dressing rooms with enough time to get back in the suit and onto the pitch for the half time break. So as the clock struck 30 minutes I headed round the terrace and back into the changing rooms. Now one thing I’d been told about the Digger suit is that it was very warm in there, and even though I hadn't really noticed being warm, I must have been because the sleeveless shirt I had worn underneath was pretty damp when  I pulled it out of my bag!! With the suit on (but not the head) I waited at the end of the tunnel for the half to end. While I was there a woman in a daggers staff uniform said "I read your blog, you're the FullMetalDagger" so it's always nice to know that people read my scrawlings.


The whistle went and I headed out onto the pitch again, without my bucket I was free to play up to the crowd a bit more also there were a lot more people than when I first went out. So I did my little bit to try and entertain the crowd, shaking hands and getting hugged by half of the Daggers kids team who were on the pitch at the time. A few people either knew or had hear there was a different digger today and you could hear "hey there Digger junior!" and "Digger you lost any weight?!" from inside the head. As I got round to the area where my friends were I played it up to them and posed for photographs but disappointingly MrsMetalDagger wouldn't give me a hug!! after a few photo's and being fed a burger by one of the kids in the stand as I headed back across the pitch my mates were chanting "DIGGER DIGGER!" so I jumped round  and cheered at them then one last time before heading back into the tunnel, my job for the day done.



Once out of the suit I thanked Mick for what I found a very fun experience and headed back to the sieve.

I got back onto the terrace in time for the players coming back onto the pitch. I didn't have to wait too long for our first goal of the season, and it was the scorer of (in my opinion) the best goal of last season, Romain Vincelot who headed home a Gain cross at 52 minutes and for the first  time this season I had something to cheer. The sieve was once again in good voice and with the sun on my face I was relishing being in the winning crowd! If the first goal felt sweet the second was sweeter, and it was the Captain, Mr Mark Arber, who latched onto a Danny green cross to put it in and he celebrated with the classic Rick Flair walk (stylin' profilin' woooooooooooooo!)
So we're onto our first 3 points!!!!
Me and my big mouth again! It just wasn't meant to be and on 78 minutes Enoch Showunmi put it in the far corner past Robbo, 2-1! But if I’m honest I was still sure we had the three points sewn up as Tranmere had been second best all day. This didn't stop the Tranmere fans waking up and having a little sing-song and sadly they had more to sing about 1o minutes later when one of their players was brought down for a free kick on the edge of the box (I thought it was going to be given as a penalty!) Aaron Cresswell put in a very good strike that flew into the far side of the net for the equaliser! The Tranmere fans exploded into cheers knowing they'd rescued a point and people started to walk past me and towards the exits. Daggers continued to battle on but it was to no avail 2-2 full time and think it’s fair to say the Tranmere fans went home the happiest.
But I am looking on the bright side, we have 1 point and we are no longer rock bottom of the table. If we continue to play like we did we will pick up points!
After a quick couple of pints in the clubhouse I headed home. Glad to have the point


As I am writing this Daggers everywhere are still letting the fact that we no longer have Paul Benson in the red and blue sink in. This could make things very interesting and I will give my full views on this in my next blog
Till next time

FxMxDigger  ^_^

NEXT - Away to Charlton in the JPT and a farewell to Benno

Monday, 23 August 2010

Not(ts) the best day

Saturday 21st  August  - Notts County - Away

I was lucky to wake up in time, somehow our alarm clocks time had been set to PM and the alarm was set to AM! So I was thankful that MrsMetalDagger always wakes up so early! I dragged myself up and made the Missus a cup of tea. I would have had one myself but the past 2 weeks (as I had mentioned before) have been a wee bit alcohol fuelled, so my stomach couldn't face anything at that hour!
After the morning ablutions I slipped into my freshly washed green away shirt and we set off for St Pancras. As anyone who took the train to the game that day can testify; the tube was for want of a better word "buggered!" and travel out of East London was a little restricted. But even a buggered London transport system is negotiable.
The journey went thus; Walked to Upney station, District to Barking, C2C to Limehouse, DLR to Bank and finally Northern line to Kings Cross / St Pancras. All in all not to bad and we arrived with an hour till the 11:15 train to Nottingham. So what does any red blooded male named Ben do when faced with an hour at a major rail terminal? That's right "TO THE PASTY SHOP!" Loaded with pasties and tea we headed for our train. I was looking forward to this trip because I could have a beer (or two)!


After a pleasant journey on a relatively empty train we pulled in at about 1pm and the first thing I noticed was it was starting to piss down with rain and neither of us had a coat or brolly so first thing on our agenda was head into town and pick up an umbrella. Thanks to Poundstretcher we didn't get completely soaked through! So damp (but still warm) we headed to The Vat and Fiddle where I continued to be a disappointment to my mother by ordering a lager in a pub with about ten very fine local ales! (from the brewery attached to the pub). After topping up my beer buzz we headed out into the rain for Meadow Lane. The ground is pretty easy to find (especially as I had printed a map ^_^). Photobucket

One thing to note for any people planning to go to County, the roads around Meadow Lane are in desperate need of a pedestrian crossing! Be prepared to run! Up until this point I had not seen another Dagger and I felt pretty conspicuous in my green shirt, but as soon as we got to the away end I was relieved to be greeted by a little group of red, yellow and green shirts. I picked up a programme and headed into the Stadium, where I bought and downed a plastic bottle of Carlsberg (why doesn't it taste as good in plastic?).
Stepping out into the stands I was quite impressed with the ground, it looked modern enough but still had some character to it and while it wasn't full Notts bring a decent home crowd and the Kop end is a source of a decent amount of noise.

The teams came out and the match started. Straight away the Daggers went on the attack and we managed to keep them in their own half for the majority of the first half and we had some really good chances. Josh Scott twice made me jump out of my seat once when he went one on one with the keeper for it to be saved with legs and again when he hit the post. We looked a lot stronger than we had against Wednesday and County did not look like the same squad that took 6 points off of us last season. As the half time whistle blew I was quietly confident and in a phone call to a friend I even said "if County win this they haven't deserved it!"
Sometimes I should just shut my big mouth!
As the second half started County looked more up for it but far from dominant so you can imagine me and my fellows travelling fans dismay when Craig Westcarr broke free to slot one past Robbo and into the net. Now my mood matched the pouring rain and being told to sit down didn't help! As time wore on I found myself praying for a draw and the point that would come from it. Danny Green nearly provided with a driven free kick that was just saved by Stuart Nelson. Despite more constant attacking from the "never say die" Daggers the final whistle blew with Notts County sneaking away with a very flattering 1-0 win.  The Boys came over and clapped us and we clapped them back, despite the result they played very well and more than deserved a win. If we play this way away all season I think we can expect more points on the road than last season. With a yell of "CHIN UP BOYS!!" I departed the stadium.
Getting back across the roads was easier this time due to the torrent of county fans I was surrounded by and we headed back to the Vat to meet my Mum (who moved to nearby Alfreton a few years back) had a drink with a couple of fellow Daggers. After catching up with my Mum and her commenting that my green shirt didn't "flatter the larger gentleman" we said our goodbyes and headed to the station for the last train back to London, stopping at Subway on the way (thanks to the dude serving us who sorted us out a gargantuan handful of jalapeƱos on our nacho's, top bloke!). A little chat with a Forest fan on the platform about our mutual dislike of county lifted my spirits (and when I saw the equaliser against Reading he told us about I didn't feel so bad about our loss, at least we didn't concede to THAT goal!).
The journey home was uneventful and despite the tube works managed to get home about 1am, watched the Football League Show and crashed out quicker than us in a league cup. Overall, though I was disappointed to not come back with the points after the strong performance I can still hold my chin high and so should the team because I still have this quote ringing in my ears

"Just a small club in Essex, well they're just a small club in league 1 now!" *goosebumps*


Chin up boys! COME ON YOU DAGGERS!!!


Next Week - Tranmere, we're finally at home!!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Welcome to League 1!

Before I continue I would like to give my sympathies to the friends, family and fans of Adam Stansfield, Who passed away Last week. RIP.

That said the only good thing that came out of the Exeter Game being postponed was that I don’t have to feel so guilty for letting partying and alcohol get in the way of me finally writing this blog.
So let’s look at my first away day of the season.

Saturday 7th August - Sheffield Wednesday - Away

It was one of those times when the Alarm Clock is both the sound that you most and least want to hear, waking me with a feeling of "ugggghhh it's early and I don’t wanna get up" and "but I’m off to Hillsborough, get in!". So I dragged myself up and after a quick wash put on my brand new away shirt for the first away day of the season. Myself and the missus met up with Nikos at Upney Station and jumped on the tube to Daggy East. We got to Vicky road at about half past eight and jumped on a coach. 

(early morning tired red eyes!)

The Coach was fairly quiet due to the early start time and after we had run out of conversation I disappeared into my headphones and managed to listen to the whole of Pig Destroyers "prowler in the yard" before we pulled into the services. Leicester Forest service’s was fairly busy but I managed to get my KFC pretty quickly, with that stuffed down my gullet I boarded the coach. We had a bit of a delay as it looked like one of our coached needed the AA to come out. Once moving I settled back into my iPod and started listening to some Hatebreed to get myself all hyped up for the match.
We Stopped outside of Sheffield and joined with the other 3 coaches. We were then escorted by the police to Hillsborough.
As we pulled up outside the Leppins Lane end the first thing I noticed was quite how old it looked, It had the feel of the football grounds I saw as a kid before having a bowl became ala mode! Because of the delays on the way up we didn’t have time to find a pub, so I queued up for a programme and we went to find the memorial of the Hillsborough Disaster.


The Memorial was actually smaller than I expected, but it had a lot of room around it for flowers, scarves and the like. We went back across the bridge and moat that surrounds the front entrance and down the steps back towards the away end; we had been allocated the middle two blocks of the lower tier.

After walking through the turnstile we found ourselves behind the massive Leppins Lane end staring down the tunnel into the stands. Me and Nikos both commented about how eerie it was to walk through the tunnel that led to the pens where the Crush had happened and once actually in my seat I thought about how many people where crammed into this relatively small space on that fateful day, it was a scary thought.


Looking around, Hillsborough is huge, and sitting on the lower tier it really did feel like it was us vs the world, especially as the home stands started to fill! It is definitely has the look of an old ground, but it feels like a place that has real football heritage and has seen more football games than any fan could dream of.


We had packed out the two blocks we were given quite well (with some spill over) and it the atmosphere was more than a little tense. The teams came out and the match started. I seem to have a really bad memory for football matches because all I can seem to remember is their goals and some of Robbo's saves. We seemed to start pretty well and showed all the spirit of a club on the up. Sadly they scored twice in as many minutes. From watching the replays it seems that the ball was deflected into the net by Scotty Doe from a Giles Coke ball. Then straight after Gary Teale whipped over a ball that Chris Sedgewick nodded down to Clinton Morrison who took a touch and turned it past Robbo. Around about this point I thought we were about to get nailed into the ground like green tent pegs, my fear showed me a score of 5/6 or even 7 – nil, but it didn't happen, The Daggers knuckled down and stopped fearing the size of Wednesday and their crowd and nearly scored a couple of times. I was having an awesome time, the banter with the home fans was cool, the best for me was "you're in the same league as Dagenham!! Saaaaaaame league as Daaaaaaagenham!" And it's always heart warming when the other fans clap you after the game.
All in all the opening game of the season gave me a lot of hope but at the same time gave me a fair idea of the challenge and possible heartbreaks myself and anyone who calls themselves a Dagger may have to face this season. I think that if we learn not to treat the bigger teams with too much respect and snatch some points off of them, we could stay up in this league!

Tuesday 10th August - MK Dons - Carling Cup (Away)

I chose not to go to this one as I am keeping the pennies for my trip to Nott’s but as usual I tuned in on the internet. We seemed to boss the game in the first half and I thought we were actually gonna get to the second  round of the league cup for the first time when McCrory put in a free kick at 12 minutes. But it was not to be, ten minutes into the second half Ibehre put one past Robbo. We never seemed to get going in the second half and MK punished us when Scott Doe put a weak back pass to
Tony Roberts, Ibehre beat Robbo to the ball and put it in the net, final Score 2-1. Better luck next year lads!


Next - Notts County (if I have the cash)

Friday, 6 August 2010

09/10 seasons end - The Playoffs, Wembley and Monty's last gasp winners

Tommorow is the start of the 2010/2011 season, and before every Dagger everywhere goes to bed for a sleepless night thinking about a huge opening day away match to Sheffield Wednesday, I thought I’d take a moment to relive the end of last season. Not just the playoff final mind, because we all know that's only half the story.

Saturday 17th April - Burton Albion - Home

I was especially pumped up for this game, even more so considering that (due to uncontrollable circumstances) I had not been able to attend our 4-1 win over our local rivals for that season, Barnet. For this game we needed a win, any less than three points would surly mean the end to our playoff dream. Now my memory of matches can be quite sketchy and as of now I can only remember the main points and have used video highlights to refresh certain details, so please bear with me. The first thing I remember is Burton scoring (22 mins - Harrad), this was not the start I was looking forward to, the mood in the sieve was still one of hope, but a very tense hope, knowing this could be the end of our season, right here before our eyes. Then something amazing happened. Romain Vincelot (filling in, in midfield) managed to bundle the ball from the centre spot get past the Burton Midfield, he was in a good position and had Benson waiting in line with the back four, but to my horror his body shape changed, he was going to try for one from about 40 yards out! If you we're standing next to me this is what you would have (roughly) heard; "Oh no, don't try and shoot from....YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH GET IN!!!" the ball flew over the keeper straight into the net, 1-1. But the minutes passed and at the 89th minute with it looking like Burton had held on for a point that meant nothing to them and denied two that meant the world to us, people started to head towards the exits. Injury time was announced, I can't remember how much. As always when injury time is announced everybody made some noise hoping to encourage the boys through the last minutes. I didn't see our winner go in, I saw the ball flying around the Burton area then I saw the net ripple, then I was cheering with all my heart hugging five complete strangers. Graeme Montgomery had latched onto a loose ball and sent it into the net, 2-1.

I came out of that match with one of the best feelings I’ve ever had from a football match. I think because I was so sure we were done, that there was nothing else anyone could do to snatch those points. To win like that is the most stressful but satisfying I feel.
It's just a shame that the next game wasn't so good.

Saturday 24th April - Morecambe - Away

I didn't get to this game and in hindsight I think that wasn't too bad of a decision. I listened to the game with the online commentary and it didn't sound like we were having the best time of it and watching the highlights seemed to reinforce that belief. A superb 86th minute strike from Darren Moss it 1-0 to Morecambe and we were left in the same situation as before the Burton game.

Saturday 1st May - Hereford - Home

Today was to be a special day, once again Dagenham needed a win to stay in the playoff spots and after the game me and my little posse would be heading into town for my birthday drinks. But I knew those drinks would taste a lot sweeter if we sent Hereford home without any points! First thing I remember about this game was Paul Benson wearing a mask to protect his broken nose and he was the man to put the Daggers ahead at 35 minutes. Once again I am in the embrace of 5 complete strangers jumping around the terrace when I slipped a little and felt my ankle twist with an audible crunch! "No matter" I thought, "I’ll happily shake the pain off with three points and a beer! We looked a lot stronger this match and I thought Vincelot was gonna get his second in two home games when his low driven shot flashes past the post. The game wasn't over yet and Marc Pugh slid one in at the far post from a cross to make it 1-1. It was at this point my ankle really started to ache and as the minutes passed I started thinking "I hope I ain't busted my ankle for nothing!" The game went back and forth and my heart nearly came out of my throat when Phil Walsh's header was saved (by the way does anyone else think Phil looks a little shark-like?) and I nearly filled my trousers when a Hereford free kick was cleared off of the line! Amazingly though miracles can happen twice at the same ground, in the same goal, by the same player; Hereford keeper Adam Bartlett punched the ball away for it to fall to the feet of Graeme Montgomery who volleyed it straight back at the goal and into the net, Monty scores another last gasp goal at 91 minutes to keep us in a playoff spot. Again I had a great feeling leaving Vicky Road that day; once again we'd been taken to the edge of getting so close but not close enough to being back in the thick of it!! And to top it off I was going out to get pissed!

Saturday 8th May - Darlington - Home
Once again I didn't go to this game (as I explained before I only really had enough money for the home games) but once again listened at home. I was convinced we could win this one but I must admit I was a little nervous. One thing I noticed listening to the game was that it sounded like a home match, all you could hear was daggers singing and cheering on the boys in yellow on, I instantly wished I was there. John Nurse was the first to score with a header at 31 Minutes. From watching the highlights I saw the Quakers had a good headed chance denied by a very good save from Tony Roberts. Dagenham sealed up the game in the 75th minute when Benno held up the ball and passed it across goal for Josh Scott to put it into the net, I jumped out of my seat scared everyone else in the front room and spilled my beer, and yelled "WE'RE IN THE PLAYOFFS!" now we just had to play Morecambe again and it had to be better than our last game against them!
By this time I had already bought my season ticket but now there was a chance that ticket would be for a league 1 Dagenham and Redbridge FC!

Sunday 16th May - Morecambe - L2 Playoff Semi - Home (1st leg)

This weekend I was visiting my little sisters in Kent but I had a plan. I was going to wake up at the crack of dawn and head back to Dagenham. Which is exactly what I did and I can tell you now on the trains home I was nervous, very nervous, I didn't want to talk and I didn't want to think about the game. With Morecambe being a very similar club to our own I knew we could easily be chasing a deficit in the second leg. My missus took this picture with my phone Photobucket I think I look pretty nervous. Well as we know I need not have worried, what ensued was the most one sided game of football I have ever seen; four minutes in Benson slotted in a goal from a parried header. We waited half hour in the four thousand plus crowd for our next goal, when Barry Roche failed to kick the ball past Josh Scott who ran it forward and slotted it in at the far post. I have to say I felt a bit sorry for Roche when I watched the game back; he looked like he wanted the pitch to open and swallow him up. Three minutes into the second half Danny green was brought down in the box and the penalty was given and after a brief discussion between Green and Captain Mark Arber about who was going to take it Arbs stepped up and....it was saved, but Scott whacked the rebound... against the post, the ball rebounded back to Scotts feet who this time put it in the onion bag, 3-0 to the Dagenham! I felt pretty safe now and the packed house was singing away, it was a great atmosphere and I was having a great time. Surly nothing could make this better, well Mr Scott had something to say about that when he headed a Danny Green corner straight into the goal, 4-0. Well now I was numb with the joy of it all, I had been so nervous, I had bitten away all my nails on the (longer than normal) train ride but here I was in the crowd watching Dagenham leading a playoff semi-final 4-0! So imagine how I and my fellow Daggers felt when a Morecambe defender headed the ball in Benno's path who launched it into the goal and my heart was warmed to see Benson run straight to club captain Anwar Uddin, 5-0. "QUE SERA SERA, WHAT EVER WILL BE WILL BE, WE'RE GOING TO WEM-BER-LEY, QUE SERA SERA!!" and I seemed almost impossible to disagree when Josh gained the ball at the corner flag ran towards goal and put it in for six, my friend Nikos looked at me and said something to the effect of "fucking hell six nil!!" and he was right! So that was the end of an amazing leg, I was planning on buying a ticket for the second leg at Morecambe but with money tight and the almost certain fact I had a Wembley ticket to save up for, I decided to take the rare opportunity to watch the Daggers on Sky in HD with a beer in hand. But there was still a chance it could all go wrong...

Thursday 20th May - Morecambe - L2 Playoff Semi - Away (2nd leg)

So with dreams of Wembley in our heads, Beer in our hands and the slightest fear we might lose 7-0, me and MrsMetalDagger went round to Nikos's house to watch the second leg on sky. This was to be Morecambe’s last ever game at Christie Park and as soon as I saw our fans on the terrace both Nikos and I wished we were there! The first half saw some good shots from us, some from them and Barry Roche redeeming himself with some nice saves but the first half ended 0-0, job halfway done now. Second half underway and our crowd once again made me regret not being there by congaing around the away end. Morecambe were turning up the heat a bit, really trying to save face in this tie. Nursey broke away down the flank, cut inside and passed it to the waiting Vincelot on the wing, who fired it across the box for Benson to slot home 1-0!!! (7-0 agg)
"No, wait, it's been given offside, oh well!" I think any other game in the season that fans would be spitting teeth about what was a perfectly good goal being disallowed but as it stood it remained 0-0 (6-0 agg). Mark Duffy finally got a goal for the home side to make it 1-0 (6-1 agg) the home end went nuts and I didn't mind. On the 85th minute Green put a ball across the box that Benson put in off of his head to make it 1-1 (7-1 agg). A lovely ball into the box was met by David Artell's head to put the home side ahead 2-1 (but 7-2 down) as the final whistle blew Home and away fans met on the pitch and celebrated the end of the season together, Dagenham and Redbridge on their way to the playoff final and Morecambe said goodbye to Christie park with a win. Can't argue with that really can you? ;-)

Sunday 30th May - Rotherham - L2 Playoff Final - Wembley

This day is a bit of a blur to me, but I remember leaving my front door and heading to Upney station where I had to catch a rail replacement to Barking. Barking station was quite a sight, I’d never seen so many people going to a Dagenham match before, the c2c arrived and I squeezed on and took the train to West Ham. After picking up the last people of our group we sat on the Jubilee line on our way to the home of English football. I had tickets for the second row behind the goal but before we could go find our seats we had to find a pub. We had been told that the Green Man was set up as a Dagenham pub, so we headed there. After walking up a hill we found ourselves in the beer garden of the green man with more Daggers than I’ve seen in one place at once, we queued up for beers and sat in the hot sun and proceeded to get a little tanked. There was a good atmosphere and I could feel my excitement building as the KO approached. We headed back towards the stadium found our seats and took it all in. I was very impressed by the large floating flags with the team crests on, I don't know why but I just didn't expect this kind of effort to have been put into the final. All in all I was very impressed with the New Wembley and it was even better because I went as a Dagger! I don’t think I need to comment too much on the game but I’ll give a quick summary of my feelings throughout. It was great to see our boys out on that pitch, they all worked so hard to get there and all deserved to be there. At 38 minutes Paul Benson took a brilliant touch in the box, turned and whacked it in, 1-0 to the Daggers. I was ecstatic jumping and hugging everyone in sight but before we'd even finished celebrating Ryan Taylor scored with a header. I remember thinking to myself "well we lead at Wembley for a minute, guess that’s our lot". It's amazing how wrong I can be. Half time came and I was feeling good, 1-1 in a final ain’t bad and it had been exciting and a great day out. 10 minutes into the second half Danny Green picked up the ball outside the Millers box took a couple of touches to get it to the edge of the box and fired it low and hard underneath Andy Warrington and into the net, 2-1!! Once again the Dagenham end went mental and once again we were in the lead. Five minutes later Taylor received the ball in the Dagenham box and blasted it past Robbo, 2-2!! "Well that's definitely it now!!" my brain told me, I’m so glad I was wrong more than once that day. 70 minutes gone we have a corner Danny green launches it into the box and it bounces about a bit before dropping to John Nurse who tapped it with the side of his foot into the goal! It took a slight deflection and Warrington never saw it but we didn't care 3-2!! what followed was 20 minutes of nerve shredding football and in the last couple of minutes the Millers threw everything at the Daggers defence, twice Robbo punched the ball clear just to keep it away from his goal mouth, then finally the whistle blew.
In the minutes that followed I don’t think it really sank in, I mean I celebrated, I watched the players celebrate and get their medals, I watched the whole match back on Sky+, I bought the DVD and watched it many timed but it's only as I write this tonight it's really sunk in. Tomorrow I will be going to my first game of the new season, Sheffield Wednesday, at Hillsborough. That is an amazing fact and no matter what happens this season I hope that everyone can recognise the achievement of a pub team from Essex.

until next time

(The next one I write will not be as long, I promise.)



Thursday, 5 August 2010

Let Me Introduce Myself...

So I have decided to piss in the ocean of internet bloggers...
...and get my rambling nonsense out there.

First to the reason for me starting this blog; this season is going to be my first season as a Dagenham & Redbridge FC season ticket holder I have guaranteed place on the terrace at every Daggers game. This means that I now have money to spend on going to more away games. Sooooo this means I am now going to be at more Dagenham games this season than any other season previous and I will have opinions on them and I wanted to write these down in a journal for prosperity, So if I’m gonna write this down I might as well put it up for others to read. "Will I still be doing this at the end of the season?" Who knows? But sod it!

Now if I could introduce myself, my name is Ben, known on forums as "FullMetalDagger" ("FxMxD" for short) or "immoraldagger" (on the Daggers forum). Since I rediscovered the beautiful game through a friend of mine I have been a terrace regular at Dagenham and Redbridge FC. Despite drifting away from football during my teens my first Daggers game was the FA Trophy final in 1997 when I was 13, where we lost to Woking. Even though we lost I was amazed by this little club that I never knew existed.

Other than the mighty Daggers my other passion in life is music, especially heavy metal and hardcore punk (hence "fullmetaldagger"). I am in a gigging metal band and we're currently writing our first full length CD.

Gonna say 'Bye for now.


UP NEXT... "09/10 seasons end - The Playoffs, Wembley and Monty's last gasp winners"