Thursday, 30 December 2010

Final Farewells for 2010

 Football is not always as simple as the game at the weekend, promotion and relegation on the final day, having a laugh with your fellow fans at the match, the banter with away fans – sometimes there are people and events which shouldn’t be forgotten.  The following, should not be forgotten. 

Keith Alexander

14th November 1956 – 3rd March 2010


Dale Roberts

22nd October 1986 – 14th December 2010


Adam Stansfield

10th September 1978 – 10th August 2010


I’m not going to patronise anyone by writing any words about their career’s (that can be found elsewhere), or about how they were good people – likewise I’m not going to copy any articles which state similar.  I didn’t know these people personally – but I knew them as people I’d seen my team face (with the exception of Dale Roberts – at least not knowingly) during my weekend/weeknight visits to the football, and like anyone these were men who had families.  They had children, wives, parents etc like any of the rest of us, all of whom will this year be experiencing their first Christmas and New Year without a loved one. 

Football colours and rivalries don’t always matter.  To the chaps above, thank you for the memories – I am only sorry that as lower league/non league footballers your talents did not get the coverage they deserved, neither in life nor death. 

Rest in peace.

Just a note moving on into 2011; 

Never forget. 


Next - The Daggers Diary Awards!!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

It doesn't get much more "away" than this!

Before I hand you over to Jerkenstien I just want todraw your attention to the changes to the site, you can now select past blogs by the various categories which are on the list to the left. Also there is now a list of links on the right. - FMD

Saturday 11th December  - Carlisle United - Away
words by JerkFromTheCoach

After the mammoth journey to Plymouth I was looking forward to a nice close one in the form of Carlisle.  I took out my map and the tube, and suddenly I noticed the old lady sitting next to me was crying.  “Far, isn’t it?” I said, to which she replied “can you stop elbowing me in the face please?”…

…with that little issue out the way (no, I’m not serious), I set about making plans for the trip.  Tickets had been booked thanks to Herr Hardy, and a crowd of 5 of us were to meet up and board the half past ten train to a place close to the arctic circle.

On arrival at Euston, and briefly having a conversation with the Paparazzi (Simmo), we noticed there was a steam train waiting to leave in another platform, so a few of us went down to have a look at that – you don’t get to see them too often in Dagenham.  Thankfully, all of my bodily functions were working on this particular day.  If they weren’t the train wouldn’t have been able to screw my ability to hear up.  Thanks for that driver, I’m sure it was necessary.

Our train may have left on time, or it may not have done – but for the reports sake, we left 4 minutes late, but 3:59 earlier than I’m going to tell you.  I make this Rum o’clock, but as I had drunk my rum already (I just hate early starts!), I had to settle for coffee for the trip, which was fine by me.  Spectacular journey though, some of the views you are afforded then the train tilts are amazing – especially once you have gone past Willesden.  Of note to football fans, amongst the grounds seen from the railway are Crewe Alexandra, Wigan Athletic, and the mighty Lancaster City (I have to say, for a small club that looked an impressive set up – wouldn’t mind taking a trip up for a game sometime). 

Arrival into Carlisle was on time, but I can confirm that none of the items of furniture from the Homebase adverts were still present, which I found a tad disappointing.  Carlisle station is a strange place, the station seems absolutely huge yet, even taking into account it was a weekend, it seemed far less busy than I imagined it would be.  The town itself wasn’t a bad town.  The locals get 10/10 for friendliness, happy to help with directions, and shared some decent friendly banter with us.  To the lady that said we had ‘come a long way for nothing’, thanks very much for the three points – how I wish we could have seen you on our trek back to the station after the game.

Outside the station, is a nice pub called The….Pub-whose-name-ive-forgotten-due-to-Brandy-consumption.  Nestled amongst the usual fare offered were one or two local ales, which I didn’t try at the time, but one of which I did buy a bottle of to drink at a later date.  Doris’ 90th Birthday Ale.  I cant wait to give that a go.  The pub was happy to allow away fans in (take note Sheffield Wrongsday) and accepted that our supporters are never around to cause trouble, and are amongst the best behaved in the league. Onward to the ground, we jumped into a taxi after consuming the pubs supply of Brandy…..again, and asked the driver to take us to Carlisle Rugby ground where we were told they are happy to serve away supporters alongside home supporters. 

Carlisle Rugby Ground

Some Brandy was consumed, and we headed to Brunton Park for the game.  Brunton Park is a peculiar ground, but not unpleasant.  Actually, I’d far rather visit a ground like Brunton Park than I would a soulless bowl of new build in the middle of an industrial estate.  This is a real football ground, with real football fans, who sadly were about as vocal as an anonymous mute in a hearing aid factory.  The stand we were housed in was built back in the days of the Knighton Empire when it was planned the pitch would be moved, and the entire ground redeveloped.  This wasn’t to be the case.  What Carlisle are left with is a lop sided ground with a stand running a considerable length beyond the end of the pitch.  Our view was decent, but what kind of views are afforded when there is a full crowd of away fans and some have to sit at the end  I do not know.  Strangely the final two seats are taped off so you cant sit there even if by some weird coincidence that you might want to – and lets face it, nobody would. 
A healthy crowd of Dagger’s had made the trip for this one.  A banana had made the journey, and some were waving their nipples at Carlisle fans in the hope they’d run scared.  All credit to these fellows, as Carlisle has an average temperature lower than my refrigerator. 

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-unton Park

It was nice to see Robbo at the top of his game as usual.  Will he ever lose it?  I get the feeling more and more that he has plenty of years left in him yet – as far as I am concerned this is great news, not only he is a club legend, but he is one of a kind, once he goes he cannot be replaced.  A solid Dagger’s performance here, far far from home, theres nobody I can really pick out as having performed badly.  Absolutely delighted to see Kayleden Brown set up both our goals - that should do his confidence a good turn.  Medy Elito was superb, quite why he isn’t knocking on the doors at his parent club I don’t know.


Another well taken goal away from home, and an absolute cracker from Danny Green ensured that from the 80th minute onward, the points were coming back with us.  Though we are still locked firmly in a relegation fight, that’s exactly what we are doing – fighting.  I have the belief after watching a performance like this that we are good enough to stay up, and we’ll have a few more eye opening results like this to come.  On our day, I think it is fair to say we can mix it with anyone in League One, and with a bit of luck and belief in ourselves…we might just stay up.  It’s the frustrating points dropped scenarios earlier on in the campaign which keep us locked in the bottom four, and it is not down to bad performances.  How useful now would those two points lost at home to Tranmere be? 


After the final whistle it was a walk back to the station immediately via the off licence to stock up on beverages for the trip home.  The Paparazzi headed to his first class section to take in Richard Branson’s hospitality, and as far as I am aware all carriages other ours had an eventless trip back.  Aside from a flying pork pie, I think our carriage was well behaved though too.  But then, what’s a pork pie between friends when you just took 3 points from Cumbria? 


Jerk, King of hide and seek!

 Next - with this weather, who knows? Brighton? maybe!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Playing Catchup in More Ways Than One

Ok this is gonna be a double report, Because I have had Gigs (which went rather well) and Bah-Humbug shopping to do, but here it is from the fingers of me and Jerk (oooh err missus).
First to a game I can’t remember a single thing about (this should be fun!) so it will be pretty brief.

Saturday 20th November - Oldham Athletic - Home
Words by FullMetalDagger

I awoke to the sound of a tea being placed next to my bed. While this is way kings are meant to start the day, I knew that my normal pre-match routine (Tea - SoccerAM - Pint) was being cast aside. For this is the month of December and in December men (and women) around the world are bundled into cars by their respective partners and unloaded at the modern temple of commerce that is the shopping centre. Yep, you got it! No pint for me, I had Christmas shopping to do.So with tea drank I dressed, strapped into the car and we made for Romford. After walking around and picking up various things for family and friends it was time to head for Vicky road.


After the excitement of orient the week before it has to be said that the atmosphere for this game was a little flat. Don’t get me wrong, the singing section in the middle was trying to whip up some song but it didn’t seem to carry down the sieve. As for the game, both teams didn’t really take the game by the neck and Oldham looked shaky at the back. Vincelot had a very good chance when Green passed him the ball to him in the box, but as anyone who plays FIFA knows, you gotta let go of L2 to take a decent touch and sadly Romain ran right into the Oldham keeper. Oumare Tounkara tore up some turf as he ran down the right before taking a shot from deep in the box only for Lewington to tip it onto the bar, that boy continues to impress me with every game he plays! Danny Green then whacked a ball from the right to meet Vincelot at the back post, but Romain couldn't knock it down and it sailed wide. Greeny then put in another ball this time from the left which Nurse tried to head into the net but once again a daggers player was left wanting.


As the first half concluded I walked up to Jerk' and commented that "this lot don’t like being attacked do they!" and I knew that if we got on goal it would be 3 points to us. But football may be the beautiful game, but she is a cruel mistress! and the goal that would be our undoing came in the 57th minute as Tounkara after a nice little one-two broke into the box one again and took a shot which deflected off of the foot of Abu Ogogo across goal and into the path of Leeds loanee Aidan White, who deftly tapped it into the goal past the stranded Lewington.1-0 to Oldpork. Shortly after they would have made it 2-0 if it wasn’t for another fine save from Lewo as he tipped a Chris Taylor shot over the bar. Our best chance to equalise was probably a will Antwi header that came from a long ball into the box but Dean Brill was equal to it. The final whistle blew and the Daggers faithful grumbled their way out of the sieve. All in all a pretty poor day, sometimes its hurts more when you feel we could have won.


But would we fare better when The Daggers travelled to Plymouth?


Tuesday 23rd November - Plymouth Argyle - Away
Words By JerkFromTheCoach

Tuesday night games in different time zones are never fun, but this was one which really took the biscuit. Do you remember the first time you were forced to sit down and watch Star Trek by your parents? Not the original series, but one of those later ones where often you see the cast strolling about with other alien species, who are green, or who have rainbow colours on their temples….one of those series’. Well, that’s what Plymouth is like. (FMD - don’t be picking on sci-fi!!)

I endured possibly the world’s longest coach trip (okay, I am exaggerating there) in order to get there too. Being a gentleman of the rather taller, more generously rounded build, I find coach travel usually makes me quite angry, due to the companies who build them seemingly thinking we are all midgets who have no legs.  Six hours was more than enough for me, but as my only option of travelling down there, I had to bite the bullet and go for it. I must say first off, the company on board was exceptional, so if you were on board – thanks. The length of journey was offset by the fact we had more space due to the low numbers of travellers.

We left Dagenham at around 12:30 to begin our mammoth tour of English counties, and were to arrive some time after six – in true professional ‘must-remember-this-for-the-write-up style, I forgot to look at a watch or clock, I’ll blame it on the fact I was astonished by the dental work of the local yokels, or something similar. The coach trip was long but uneventful really, though I am sure by the time we arrived I had evolved into developing stumps where my legs use to be. It turns out, they had simply just died, and with the return of blood my reward was to be the ability to walk into the stadium and watch one of the most disheartening games of the season. Yay!

Now, I am in no way critical of the team for the loss at all. I simply cannot understand why things are not going our way this season. Congratulations are in order for Mr Tomlin on scoring his long overdue first Daggers goal. May it be the first of many. Gavin Tomlin consistently plays out of his skin, and the effort is noticeable – he always puts in a shift and despite his poor form in front of goal, it is the other reasons given that mean I am glad that he is with us. Judging by the way he treated the corner flag when celebrating, the goal meant a lot to him, and I am pleased he got it.

Tommo beats the shit outta a flag, happy days!

Three sides of Home Park are monotonous, every-day run of the mill flat pack style boring one tier jobbies, linked by filled corners. It’s very similar to The Keepmoat at Doncaster in size. On the remaining side, they have a very unique looking old stand, with executive boxes, and a sadly unused area which used to be a terrace. I can imagine in days gone by, the ground would have been a great place to visit, but when that old stand is flattened it’s going to be just another boring bowl of misery, which takes me to my next point.

Home Park

Plymouth fans. I imagine your average Plymouth fans day is as follows;

Wakes up in the morning, and is filled with bitter hate that they have once again awoken. Begrudgingly they get out of bed, and put on a knitted (Green, has to be) jumper and some corduroy trousers to complete the classic brethren look. The day is spent milking horses and beating up dough for the evening meal, which, in common with both lunch and breakfast, consists of a pasty.

Go out and try and sell Cider.

One or two days a week, the boredom is broken up by a Morris Dance with their cousins or some tom foolery with a maypole....whatever a maypole is. If there is football on, the Morris Dancing will be cancelled, so that the family (after all, Plymouth is one big family) can go to Home Park and moan that their team isn’t up to much. They can also moan that their owners don’t like them. While they are at it, they moan at the referee. They also moan at the Assistant Referee when the chance arises. Whenever a player in a green shirt makes a mistake, they moan. When they go a goal behind, they moan. 45 minutes in, the referee (who they are moaning at) blows his whistle to signal half time – Plymouth fans respond by moaning. Throughout half time, they move into the concourse downstairs to moan about the game. Some ten minutes later, they start to make their way back to their seats. When the whistle is blown and the second half begins, they moan. Their team starts off a little brighter, so they moan that it should have been like it in the first half. They get a corner, it’s a bit of relief……but they moan when it is wasted and gets cleared. They equalise so the fans then moan at their owners again. Upon going 2-1 up, almost unbelievably, they continue to moan.

The Grandstand

The game itself was absolutely horrible for me, as a Dagenham supporter. There is no way we should have left there without the points. Reading the above paragraph might give you the impression that Plymouth fans are sour and angry. You’d be right. I dare say that they have reason to feel that way, it’s hardly been a successful season for them - but, it is games like these that make or break your season. Despite having had the best of the game, Plymouth managed to beat us – and still they weren’t happy.

the brave and the few

I have decided to concentrate less on the game than the actual day. I am sorry if that’s unacceptable, but after deserving much and leaving with nothing 4,000 miles from home I didn’t wanna think about it.

Keep your chins up Daggers.


And maybe time for one more

Saturday 4th December - Huddersfield Town - Home (POSTPONED)
Words By FullMetalDagger

The week before this non-game I was in a small northern Derbyshire town called Alfreton visiting FullMetalMother, who I had been trying to help move into a new house around the corner from her old one (before anyone asks, "NO I am not secretly from the midland, my mother moved up there a few years back, I am secretly from Barking and born secretly in the now destroyed Rush Green Hospital, which I believe fell apart after my rather ample frame popped out of my mother and crashed through a nearby load bearing wall”) sorry where was I? Oh yes. The house move hadn't gone to plan because the midlands managed to confuse itself with the north pole and was knee deep in a white powder far less entertaining that anything found in a Romford club (though possibly purer).

Alfreton Station, and you thought the snow in the sarrtth was bad!!

After a week of not doing as much as I planned I was looking forward to getting back to the (relatively) sunnier south. A call had been put out for volunteers to help clear the pitch in time for the game and both me and Jerkington were willing and able (or wobbly and unstable?) to help out. So Friday came and although my mother had heavy furniture to move I know where my bread is buttered!! So I hopped on a train for possibly the 2nd worst train journey I have ever been on to get back. Well it turned out that was a pointless endeavour as the game was called off due to safety fears. In other words they didn’t want us poor Dagenhamites falling over and breaking our pie eating arms.

So instead of watching football I sat about in my red and blue pants (yes I have some!) and played FIFA 11 and drank tea whilst MrsMetalDagger and family went Crimbo shoppin. For those that care (Hi Nikos!) I am now top of the premiership with a Dagenham team with only Abu Ogogo and Romain Vincelot as original daggers, Doe and Greeny are on the bench. I am top scorer in the league. Nice!

well a boy can dream!


Next - The battle of the Bovril and the Clash in Cumbria!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Daggers 4 Orient 3???!

Sorry this report is late, but as many of you know I am also a musician and have been doing a lot of work to get the pre-production for our new cd done. We're looking to get our new songs demo'd before Christmas, so that has kept me quite preoccupied.
But now we have to cast our minds back to the rollercoaster of emotions that was Dagenham & Redbridge away to Leyton Orient in the FA Cup replay.

Tuesday 16th November - Leyton Orient - Fa Cup 1st Round Replay (away)

words by FullMetalDagger

So since waking up I had sat indoors playing FIFA and getting increasingly excited/nervous. Jerk' called sometime during the afternoon and told me that his friend had come to visit the country and had brought some very strong exotic alcohol with him and that I should head to his gaff to join them. So knowing money was tight I decided to start the night early, I put my Daggers shirt on and set off. After a few drinks at Jerk's, MrsMetalDagger phoned and told me she was nearly back from work. I left Jerk' at his after a rum tea and made for home. I met the missus at home and once she had changed and we'd both had a cuppa it was time to head for the tube. We waited for Jerk' at Upney who arrived shortly after on the bus and we jumped on a train which we took to Barking before jumping on the c2c to West Ham. Next it was the Jubilee line to Stratford then just 1 stop on the Central line to Leyton. All in all the journey was unproblematic and passed quite nicely. We walked from the station to meet some friends outside the Coach and Horses pub then made for "the Matchroom Stadium" or Brisbane Road to most people.

From the outside the ground looked fairly standard but it was another club where you find the passage which houses the turnstiles a wee bit claustrophobic. Now inside the smell of hot food was filling my nose and making me hungry so I grabbed an official Orient Cheese burger which I loaded with burger sauce and promptly scoffed. My Nutshell review of said Burger; not bad, more than edible, not as good as ours. I grabbed some napkins which were adorned with the Orient crest and headed for the stands.

"you've got flats on every corner and a shitty balcony, ballllconeeeyyyyyy  ballllconeyyyyyy!"

Today we were located in the southern end of the east stand. Straight away I saw that the Red & Blue Army had come out in force and the blocks we had been assigned were already near full. We climbed to up the stairs of the old stand and parked up with our normal noisy crowd. Brisbane road is quite an odd little stadium, and it certainly has an odd look with the west stand having all the offices and boxes rising way up above the single tier of seats. Not to mention the four high-rise flats that adorn each corner. The three home stands started to slowly fill as we kept ourselves warm by making a nice amount of noise.

Sadly the match didn’t start very well, 2 minutes in when a Charlie Daniels free kick was turned into the net by Scott McGleish. But the dagger pushed on and had some chances of their own. The problem was for every Dagenham chance that went begging, Orient would also come close, it wasn't a good day for either teams defence as both 'keepers were called in to keep their retrospective teams in the game. Despite the score line the atmosphere in the away end was alive and well, despite the much referenced apathy towards cup ties these days me and all around me we're enjoying the night for the FA cup derby day it was. But as the clock ticked over to 23 minutes we were finding it hard to keep spirits up. Alex Revell received a through ball and ended up one on one with Lewington who backed off a little which opened up a gap which revel happily slotted the ball into. 2-0 to Orient. This wasn't looking like our day! The Daggers then started to mount a comeback and Bas Savage nearly scored but the whistle went and the teams went back into the dressing room with the score 2-0.

the Red & Blue Army in the west stand

Now the second half is a little bit of a blur to me. I remember us scoring but it being disallowed for a reason that is still unknown to me. I remember us singing our hearts out as we willed the Daggers on to victory as the Orient crowd sat on their hands despite winning a local derby. the next thing I remember was us scoring again, it was possibly Vincelot with a header, but either way it went in and over the line but the referee or the linesman (the lino who was the subject of much moaning) said it was cleared off of the line (bollocks was it!) then a minute later the ref was blowing his whistle and pointing towards the spot, he had awarded us a penalty for an apparent hand ball (I don’t know if there was one, maybe he was just paying us back for disallowing what seemed to me 2 perfectly good goals)

Danny Green stepped up and put it away nicely, 2-1 at 67 minutes! The singing got louder, the boys on the pitch had given us a goal for our efforts and they looked to get another and Solomon Taiwo delivered with a nice strike into the bottom left. The Red & Blue army went into raptures!! We couldn't believe it, now it looked like we could win this or at least take it to extra time. And for 10 minutes we rocked Brisbane road. But in a way typical of stories of this season the delight was robbed from us and given to the apathetic killjoys in the home stands. McGleish got onto a Dean Cox corner and headed it in to make it 3-2. Bugger! The Daggers did carry on trying to get back into it, but we had already scored 4 goals (albeit 2 not given) and finding number 5 was going to be a big ask.

Full time went and the lads came over and clapped the fans, despite a pretty poor first half we had seen the fight we ask for from the Daggers and at full time there was an air of sympathy for the lads. If anything we felt a little robbed. Once outside our little troop ducked into the Coach and Horses for a pint before heading up to the station for a tube home.


Despite the result it was another night when the fans did the club proud, it was great to sing louder than the home fans for the whole match and I can’t wait to get down to Brisbane Road in February .

And I managed to get myself some new toilet paper!


Up the Daggers!!


FxMxDNext - Oldham and all the things that happened when they came to town.