Monday, 31 January 2011

Interview - Sammy Saunders

It's Interview time once again here at Daggers Diary, and today it's Mr Sammy Saunders (doo doo, doo-doo).

thanks to Sammy for this pic

Name - Sam Saunders 

DoB -

Teams -
welling, Ashford (Kent), Carshalton, daggers, Brentford

How are you? How are things going with Brentford?

Just recovering from a hamstring injury, it took a while for me 2 break into the team finally got a run of games and was really enjoying it. So hopefully be back fit and playing soon.

What is the thing you will miss the most about Dagenham?

Easy the boys! Every player would give u everything every week the conference winning year was one I will never forget, the boys were so tight that's what won us the league. Miss them all

What were your best three Matches?
Game 3 York away we turned up at 3.15! Went 1-0 could of crumbled but we dug in grafted and won 3-2 remember finishing the game running straight into the showers and then straight to the train station so we never missed the train home, remember sitting on the train on the way home thinking only at Dagenham this would happen, loved every second of it!

Game 2 Darlington away 2-0 down at half time we looked doomed to get relegated somehow won 3-2 remember waiting on the pitch with all the boys and staff by the travelling fans waiting for Mansfield result to come in. The buzz when we found out they lost and we had stayed up was unreal that was a good journey home!

Game 1 Aldershot at home to gain promotion never wanted to win a game so badly the build up was unreal all the hard work was down to that game are dreams of becoming league footballers become reality


What are the Best Three Goals you've scored?
Goal 3 Free kick home to Yeovil for Brentford it was my 1st goal for the club was a frustrating season and my celebration showed it. I hadn't scored all season so it was a relief

Goal 2
Notts county got in on the right wing remember hearing Gainy say 'go on go at him' so I run inside taking him on and curled it in the top right hand corner with the left from 25 yards

Goal 1 Away to Southend overhead kick with my left foot it got me on soccer am Christmas Special showboat so I was buzzing with that!

Which keeper did you find hardest to beat?

Schzhney (don't know how 2 spell it) when he was on loan to us from arsenal unreal goalkeeper in training unbeatable

Best player you've played with?

very tough to pick one player would say CMS (Macca) would just nick it unreal energy strength and now has added goals season in season out great attitude to the game works hard doing he's extras deserves everything he gets out the game.

Best player you've played against?

Nicky Bailey, 1st come up against him when I was at Carshalton and he was at Sutton. Mutual respect for each other he has done really well

Worst match you've played in?

Carshalton away to maidenhead lost 4-0 massive hill trains going past every 5 mins cold wet horrible horrible day never wanna go back!

Least favourite away ground to play at?

Accrington pitch stadium atmosphere and the changing rooms never had a warm shower there!!!!


Any before/after game rituals?


Why did you sign for the Daggers, was there anything in particular that sealed the deal for you?

Well it wasn't the money that's for sure! Haha just john still giving me a opportunity to train every day and improve that sold it for me.

What do you enjoy the most about being a pro-footballer?

Saturday at 3.00 the buzz and day in day out doing what u would do for free with all your mates.

What do you consider your biggest achievements?

Easy the promotion, we was just a pub team from Essex after all

Best roommate on away days?

Danny Foster; my best mate in football

Funniest team mate?

Gainy one word for him 'legend'

Best XI from all the players you have played with, and a brief reason why you chose each player


GK  - Robbo ever reliable good character
RB  - Danny Foster Mr 7 out of 10 underrated but not from the boys and the management good pro loved playing in front of him
CB - Anwar Uddin was the leader skipper driving force in the conference winning season great lad
LB - Scotty G great ability when he's not away with the fairies got a lot of time for Scotty
RW - Myself just so I could play with the lads again!
Centre Mid - Dave Rains' great driving force good in the dressing room big reason why we won the league (penalty taker)
Centre mid - Glen Southam great ability left or right foot technically best in the team just edges out peter gain who deserves a mention
LW - Matty Ritchie hammer of a left foot scores and creates goals
In the hole - Ben Strevens great football brain links play well good awareness enjoy playing with him works he's socks off too
Striker - Mr rags to riches Paul Benson cracking goal scorer right place right time, work rate and gets on with all the lads, funny guy, did u know he was 3 years into a 5 year accountancy course? Haha
Striker - CMS pleasure 2 play with infectious work rate nightmare for defenders!

When you hang up your boots will you take another role in football?

Yes would love to be a manager. Love watching attacking football

Favourite Film?


Favourite Band?
Kings of Leon

Team you support?


What’s next for you in football or life?

Hopefully have a good few more years in football and do my coaching badges

Any final words for the Daggers fans?

Don’t boo me when I come back! Haha

thank you very much to Sammy for his time and good luck in whatever he does in life


once again thanks to Simmo and eveyone at Digger Dagger for the photos

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Interview - Mark Janney

It's Interview time again, and in the metaphorical chair is former Daggers winger Mark Janney.


Name -    Mark Janney

DoB -    2 December 1977, I’m 33.           

Teams - Tottenham, Brentford (loan), Dagenham & Redbridge, Braintree (loan), Heybridge Swifts, Thurrock, AFC Hornchurch

Hello Mark, How are you?
I’m good thanks. And how are things going for you at the moment? On a personal note things are going well, on the football front things are not so good.  I haven’t played since February last year because of a ruptured hamstring.

What is the thing you miss the most about being a Dagenham & Redbridge player? 
I don’t really miss being a Dagenham & Redbridge player to be honest, I just really appreciate the time I had there, it was a very special time with many great memories.

What do you consider the best three games of your career?
Exeter at home in the FA Cup, Hednesford at home in my first season in the conference (both Dagenham) and Borehamwood away in the FA Cup for Hornchurch a couple of years back.

What are the Best Three Goals you've scored?
A chip in the above mentioned game at Borehamwood, a 25 yard left footer away to Barnet with Dagenham and a header for Brentford at Gillingham with my first ever touch in league football!


Who do you consider the best player you have played with?
I’d have to pick Robbo for pure consistency, still performing week in week out as he has done for the last twenty years!

And against?
Easy, Dennis Bergkamp in a reserve game against Arsenal when I was at Spurs

Worst match you've played in?
 Not worst actual matches but the worst feeling after a game is a tossup between Chester at home for Dagenham in the ‘Boston’ season and the Play Off Final against Doncaster, don’t think I need to explain why!

What is your least favourite away day? 
I always hated Leigh RMI, awful pitch and no atmosphere.

Do you have any before/after game rituals?
 At Dagenham I always used to go onto the pitch third, at Hornchurch this changed to last for
some reason!?

Why did you sign for the Daggers? Was there anything in particular that sealed the deal for you?
 I had been released by Tottenham the previous season and after unsuccessful trials at Colchester and Southend received a phone call from then manager Ted Hardy asking me to come training, the rest as they say is history! The ground was was round the corner from my house which helped as well!

What do you enjoy the most about being a footballer?
 It’s a bit clich├ęd but being paid to do something that you absolutely love and the dressing room banter which is something special.

What do you consider your biggest achievements?
My England semi pro cap was a very proud moment.  The cup runs at Dagenham and also finishing third in our first conference season when no one fancied us at all.

When you hang up your boots will you take another role in football?

Am looking to start my coaching badges very soon, I definitely want to become a manager in the future.

Best room mate on away days? 
Paul Terry, he used to get up far too early though!

Funniest team mate?
Tolo Mas, Tim Cole, Tony Roberts……all as mad as they come!

Funniest moment in football?
Telford away with the daggers in the first match at their new stadium.  Dickie the physio arranged a secret sweepstake on the way up about how many times Garry Hill would say ‘spoil the party’, we sit down for the team talk and the first words out of his mouth were ‘we are here to spoil the party’  All the lads were burying our heads in our tracksuits!  Ash (Vickers), Coley and I had a great time at Stevenage once as well, not that we remember much of it!

Best XI from all the players you have played with, and a brief reason why you chose each player


GK Tony Roberts  -Class act who was far too good to be non league.
RB Lee Goodwin    -Hard as nails and so reliable.
CB Lee Matthews  -Inspirational captain
CB Tim Cole            -Great timing in the air and could play as well
LB Ashley Vickers  -Such a nice bloke but once he crossed the line steer clear of him,                 this included training!
RW Tarkan Mustafa  - Great engine and pace getting up and down the right side
CM Steve Heffer    - A real dog in the middle of the park.
CM Paul Terry       - Great energy covering every blade of grass, great passer.
LW Jason Broom   - A living non league legend, didn’t mind an injury though…..
CF Mark Stein       - Give him the ball in the box and he would score, simple.  Loved a moan if  my crosses didn’t land within an inch of him though!
CF Paul Cobb        -  Another unbelievable goal scorer, created a few as well though,

Favourite Film?    

Recently I’d go for The Hangover or Kickass

Favourite Band?     

Kasabian, The Killers, U2

Shuffle your iPod, what are the first 5 tracks? (No cheating!)
1 Slide Away by Oasis
2 Stay Young by Oasis
3 Girl With One Eye by Florence and the Machine
4 It‘s Not Fair by Lily Allen
5 There Goes The Fear by Doves

Team you support?
West Ham unfortunately!

What's next for you in football or life?
Hopefully back playing for next season and I’m moving to my girlfriends in Cambridge next month so a bit of a new life!

Thanks for sparing us this invasion into your private life! All the best!
My pleasure, thanks and good luck to The Daggers for the rest of the season.

More interviews to come! one is in my inbox as you read this! - FMD
thanks to all at for the photo's

Monday, 24 January 2011

Stelling, What's the score?

A match report, by JerkFromTheCoach, for the grand occasion of a contest of football played out between the two sides from Hartlepool (represented by Hartlepool United Football club) and from Dagenham (represented by Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club), the spectacle having taken place on the 15th January of the year 2011 at The
Victoria Ground, located in Hartlepool.

(which is Jerk's way of saying;)

Saturday 15th January 2011 - Hartlepool United - Away
words by JerkFromTheCoach

As a football supporter, I love away fixtures.  Its hard to say I love them in the same way as I love home games, but nevertheless I love them – and certainly not to a lesser degree.  But, one might be excused for saying that the effort required to haul yourself to various unattractive parts of the country is far greater than jumping on a bus to the pub and then onto the ground and returning home on a Saturday in time for tea. These games are where the feeling of being the twelfth man really spring to life.

I set my alarm on the morning for a mind bogglingly early 6am, and finally awoke at 7am (whoever invented alarm clocks really needs a ticking off) just in time to throw on some hastily prepared clothes, and get out and on the road for what was to prove to be an epic, yet
fruitful slog.

By 7:30 I was out of my door and in need of fuelling for the journey up.  As I was preparing to leave the petrol station I noticed the coach travelling over the A13 flyover toward Barking, and the hunt for them hastily began…and may as well have ended.  Whoever was driving
that thing must have been doing some speed, because even at a ‘snippet’ over 70mph (read 70mph exact if you are a law enforcement officer….if you cannot be so kind as to do that, then my name is John Stimson, and Barnet FC can pass on my details) I was unable to catch
them.  Our journeys must have parted, as I decided that I was bored of the M11 as soon as I got on it, and elected therefore to make my way along the M25, and onto the A1 after a cheeky stop off at South Mimms. Anyone who has travelled with me will know by now, that I have a bizarre magnet pull from Motorway Service Stations.  This day was to
prove no different.

I decided that Peterborough was a fine place to have a short stop for breakfast, so my journey was broken there too.  With Sausage & Egg McMuffin enthusiastically consumed, I decided against further stops at least until I had reached Gods own Country.  To be perfectly honest, the service stops at both Cambridge & Peterborough aren’t really up to
much for one main reason – lack of Rainbow Riches machines.  ‘Extra’ Service Stations, take note – get this issue rectified!

It was shortly after setting off from Peterborough that I noticed the one major foreboding aspect of the day.  The wind.  Now, I have to admit, I love driving.  I like to be in control of something I can travel in at speeds I was never before able to reach.   I like the
nervous twitch that your belly does when you are passing a lorry that cant seem to stay in its own lane.  I like seeing the other motorists and wondering where they are going, and I like to look out for odd cars – old ones, American ones, whatever isn’t the standard norm. This wind though, was something else.  My car was literally being pushed sideways by extremely strong gusts.  Brief respite was afforded to me when passing lorries, but as soon as my vehicle was again exposed it was the same story.

However, I managed to travel as far as Wetherby before stopping again. This was to be my longest of stops, as I knew that beyond this was only around an hours drive further. Disappointingly this season, when driving to away games, I have noticed a lack of away supporters in Service stations – Wetherby was to be the exception though, as it was literally teeming with Altrincham supporters on their way to Blyth Spartans for their FA Trophy fixture, a game the BSP strugglers lost 2-1.  Potentially a league fixture next season?  I have fond memories of Altrincham in our non league days – if im honest, I don’t like to see them struggling, but its becoming an increasingly often occurrence these days and in previous seasons they have hung onto BSP status only at the loss of other clubs for financial reasons and so on, and with the current crop of ‘bigger’ teams now plying their trade at that level, it looks likely they wont be able to hang on forever. Regardless, best wishes to them for their season, they struck me as a decent group of committed fans…reminded me of us.

The rest of the journey was uneventful, and after leaving the A1 for the A-somethingorother which was to lead me pretty much to the stadium thankfully the wind was behind me, so I was almost pushed straight into Hartlepool.  Sadly though, it wasn’t possible to avoid
Middlesbrough entirely.  Some places are good, some places are bad – and then, there is Middlesbrough, the dirty spoon amongst the cutlery drawer, the grubby face of the impoverished child in a school photo where his classmates have all been cleaned up by a parents spittle on the corner of a handkerchief.  Really, I cannot say enough about Middlesbrough.  Its like a modern day polio colony – I say modern day, theres not a lot modern about Middlesbrough seemingly.  I was pleased that the road took us up a height and over the city.  What a dive.

I arrived into Hartlepool some twenty minutes after the coach (I did briefly overtake them as they stopped at Ferrybridge and I ploughed onward to Wetherby) and the site that awaited me was a little alarming, if not somewhat humorous.  As the coach had parked up, the
driver had reversed it into a lamp post with an advertising board attached.  Glass being glass, the window has shattered, and the driver was busy knocking the rest of the shards out.  All credit to Swallow, and to those involved (Russell Elmes, Russell Powis…) for hastily
arranging a replacement coaches for the trip home.  The Daggers away contingent were to be handed over relay-style at Ferrybridge Services to a new Swallow coach, after help from a Hartlepool based company. God only knows how they’d have all fit into my car…


So, to the actual point of the report – the game.  Not too much to shout about really.  The burgers were abysmal first off, but they were made more bearable when washed down with what was quite possibly the largest hot god to grace the planet.  Not only was this huge, but it
was also a real steal at £2.50.  Well done Hartlepool.  As usual, there was a vegetarian option available from the taps in the gents free of charge.  Those lucky vegetarians NEVER have to pay, its winding me right up…


The previous mentioned wind was playing havoc with the game, any long passes seemed to drift endlessly off of the field and into the Cyril Knowles Stand.  Numerous times their keeper attempted a long clearance only to see it disappear into the seats.  It seemed he was never going to learn.  The Daggers fans were in full voice, making an impressive racket in the Rink End.  It has to be said that the warnings we had received about the stewarding being OTT were thankfully not an issue. What we received were a couple of high spirited, decent, and sensible stewards who lets us stand up to watch the game without draconian seating policies coming into play.  I think they enjoyed the renditions of ‘Oops Upside Your Head’, ‘YMCA’, and ‘Lets Pretend We’ve Got Tourettes’.  Half time came after not too much action, Hartlepool did have a couple of decent efforts, one coming crashing back off of the upright after about ten minutes.  Much of the same it has to be said in the second half, plenty of banter for us to enjoy with Robbo, but the wind generally spoiling things (our usual sleek passing game should have been employed methinks…).  The pivotal introduction of the
game has to have been Jon Nurse, whose ball on 86 mins found Gavin Tomlin, whose usual high work rate was today rewarded with his second Daggers goal.  Particular mentions have to go to Scott Doe, whose defending was terrific throughout, and to Femi who could easily have been sent off early on had it not have been for a moment when the referee played advantage – he calmed down suitably and didn’t receive further inspection from the short ugly bloke in black.  Finally, a mention to Mr Monkhouse of Hartlepool – when in future you lunge out at goalkeepers feet first do not accuse them of doing the same, clean up your play young man, and stop crying when your reward is a foot in your own face (nearly!).  After a bizarre decision was given to pay 4 mins stoppage time (my biased cap tells me that it was closer to 11 seconds) it was of great relief when the whistle was blown and it was certain that the three points would be coming back to Essex with us, for our third away win of the season.


After shaking hands with my comrades and being wished a safe journey home, I made my way back to Dagenham in high spirits, my mood only dashed by finding out that Yeovil had also managed to win.

More of the same at home please now Dagenham – should it come to May and we go down, nobody can say the effort isn’t being applied on the park, and indeed, on the terrace.  We are fighting like we always do.


No surrender.  Time to believe again!


Next - there's nothing quite like a MKdonalds

Friday, 21 January 2011

I Should Have gone for Scissors!

Me, Jerk', MrsMetalDagger and the rest of our little mob are sitting in The Bell in Rainham after losing in a drab game to Rochdale (sorry for the spoiler there). I looked up from my pint "so who's writing this one up then?" Jerk' looked at me with a face that said "do we have to?" I held out my fist in the international sign that this would be decided in a game of "paper, scissors, stone"

1.2.3 Both played paper
1.2.3 Both played scissors
1.2.3 I played rock, Jerk' played paper, paper beats rock.

...bugger it!

Saturday 8th January 2011 - Rochdale – Home

I was tempted to just post this picture as a report

my text to Jerk summarising that Saturday
But I like to think I am a tad (and I do mean a tad) more professional than that...maybe.

This story begins where it ended, at the pub. I was running a little late but got to the bell with about an hour to get some drinking done. I was handed a pint and watched the arsenal game on the big screen. A lot of the talk turned to our new signing Marvin Morgan who had endeared himself to a lot of Daggers before even setting a foot onto the pitch by wishing death on Aldershot fans. There was definitely a feeling of this being a "must-win" game, but we knew it wouldn’t be easy. Rochdale have acted like the champions of league 2 they should have been and have held their own well in league 1. Arsenal drew 1-1 with Leeds to take the tie to a replay at Elland Road, this was our cue to down our drinks and head for the bus stop. We waited for the bus and sang songs at the council contractors that were taking down the Christmas tree, the 103 arrived and it was off to Vicky road.

Rochdale fans in the MJ

After a short bus ride we were walking through the gates, I grabbed a programme and walked to the back of the Sieve. Looking around it seemed there was a little drop in attendance though this could have been down to a relatively small away crowd. The match itself was a little frustrating, Gavin Tomlin had a really good chance in the opening minute when Danny Green put a lofted through ball to his feet but Josh Lillis came out well to smother the ball. Rochdale’s resident predator look-a-like Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro received the ball on the edge of the Daggers box but put his shot wide but Robbo was forced into making a very good save when he tipped Nicky Adams dangerous long range effort over the bar. Overall the first half was looking like a bit of a bust, until the last 10 minutes when we could have scored about 5 times. Gavin Tomlin nodded the ball past the 'keeper and Savage just got a toe to it, for it to bounce just wide. When the Whistle blew to end the half there was an air of confidence in the crowd, maybe we could come out of this with some points.


Conceding late goals has been our weakness this season and sadly it would prove to be the downfall of the Daggers once more. The goal that would deny us any spoils came in the 74th minute and it was delivered by Chris O'Grady who dashed into the box and shot from an angle that I’d swear always produces a goal. I think we all knew, we don’t tend to comeback after conceding that late. We had a couple more goes but nothing came of it. Special mention has to go to Robbo who came up for a late corner and managed to get his head to the ball, but sadly it looped over and a little wide but still closer than some had come that day! The final whistle came with numbing inevitability and we moaned and groaned our way out of the Sieve. I think everyone felt like they were starting the long walk back to league 2 (even just for a moment). On a good note Morgan looked like he puts himself about well and hopefully we'll be seeing him hit the net soon.


We trudged out and jumped onto the bus back to the pub, where we sank pints and ate chips.

And now our story has come full circle


Keep the faith people!


Next -
Jeff Stellings face is a picture!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Interview - Paul Benson

Today we have a special treat, the first in a series of interviews on this little site.

So we present to you ...Paul Benson.


Name - Paul Benson

DoB - 12/10/1979

Teams you've played for - White Ensign, Dagenham & Redbridge, Charlton Athletic

First of all, thank you for your time. It’s great to have the opportunity to fire some questions at you. How are you? And how are things going at Charlton? 
Very good, enjoying my time at new club and so far, apart from recent ban, I feel I've acquitted myself well

How did you feel when Phil Parkinson was sacked? Were you worried for your place in the team? 
Was shocked when I found out about his departure as we were 4th in the league! Yes I think everyone who's been playing regularly worries when a new manager comes in

What is the thing you will miss the most about Dagenham?
The family feel of the club, it felt like I knew everyone by the time I left, supporters included!

What were your best three Matches? 
Rotherham play off final, nothing will beat the sense of achievement I felt at the final whistle
Oxford away conference winning year, a crucial point gained which effectively won us our place in the football league
Darlington away first year in league 2, to win and stay up coming from 2 goals down summed up everything about that daggers side

What are the Best Three Goals you've scored?
Chesterfield at home last season, took it on the chest swivelled and volleyed it into far corner.
Kidderminster away, volley from the corner flag!
Colchester away (for charlton!) overhead kick into top corner.

Which keeper did you find hardest to beat?
Kasper Schmeichel - any shot I struck he seemed to read where it was going a couple of seconds before I'd even hit it!

Best player you've played with?
Been lucky to play with alot of great players but for me Ben Strevens is the best of the bunch.

Best player you've played against?
Lee Hughes always causes problems whenever I play against him, although a highly unpopular player for fans, as a player there's not many better in the lower leagues.

Worst match you've played in?
Barnet away on boxing day a few years back, we lost 3-1 I smashed my face and ended up cracking my front teeth and I reckon the gaffer touched the ball more than me that day.

Least favourite away ground to play at?
Barnet! Never had a good game there never scored and never won there!

Any before/after game rituals?


Why did you sign for the Daggers, was there anything in particular that sealed the deal for you?
John Still and Terry Harris! Terry was unbelievably friendly and welcoming to me and my family in the first trial game I played for daggers, that meant alot to me. John still made me feel as though the club really wanted me. After just one trial game I knew I wanted to sign for them.

What do you enjoy the most about being a pro-footballer?
The chance to be involved in the best sport in the country, if I wasn't a player I'd be watching it every week.


What do you consider your biggest achievements?
Two promotions with daggers, 2nd one in particular. On a personal level my conference player of the year award and conference top scorer award are special.

When you hang up your boots will you take another role in football?

I hope so, it would be a shame not to be involved in some capacity, I'd like to be involved in scouting looking for players in the lower leagues.

Best room mate on away days?
Peter Gain

Funniest team mate?
Peter Gain - 24/7 banter! had the ability to change my mood within minutes of turning up to of my best mates in football.

Best XI from all the players you have played with, and brief reason why you chose each player


1)Tony Roberts - great pro, pulls of vital saves at vital times
2) Danny Foster - steady eddie right back underrated defender but loved by the players
3) Scott Griffiths - weird kid but great skill and loved his trademark marauding runs
4) Anwar Uddin - a leader who you'd want in the trenches with you
5) Mark Arber - on his day as good as I've seen in the league
6) Peter Gain - Every side needs a gainy will fight till the final whistle no matter what the score
7) Sam Saunders - the reason I scored so many goals at daggers
8) Glen Southam - technically one of the best I've played with
9) Craig Mackail-Smith - A player who has so much ability but still works harder than anyone else
10) Ben Strevens - Just had an unbelievable partnership with strevs, a great foil for me
11) John Nurse - Nursey will play anywhere and give his all while always having a smile on his face, a true dagger!

Favourite Film?
Scarface - love Pacino

Favourite Band?
Red hot chilli peppers

Shuffle your iPod, what are the first 5 tracks? (No cheating!)
1)Florence and the machine - dog days are over
2)Jordan sparks - battlefield
3)Michael Jackson - the lady in my life
4)Labi Siffre - Something inside so strong
5)Luther Vandross - Dance with my father

Team you support?
Southend United...but after my time at daggers I have two teams now!

What’s next for you in football or life?
Hopefully a promotion with Charlton, I'm also looking into a partnership with a mate that sorts out tax returns for footballers

Any final words for the Daggers fans?
Keep believing! Daggers success has been built on being a team so everyone needs to keep positive and fight together and the dream will keep on going...oh and please don't boo me when I return with Charlton!


Once again a big Thank You to Benno for his time, and we wish him luck (apart from at Vicky road!)


Monday, 17 January 2011

The New Years Hangover Continues

Monday 3rd January 2011 - Southampton - Home
words by JerkFromTheCoach

Back into action almost straight after the final whistle was blown at Peter Griffin Park, we were jotted down to play who I consider are by far and away the best team ever to play at this level – a view furthered since the 4-0 destruction of us back in one of those other months that come before January (well, really it’s after January, but in a football seasons terms…..yeah).  I cannot say I was full of optimism for this one, but knowing how hard it can be for teams to come and get a win at Victoria Road (also known as The Artist Formerly Known As Victoria Road But Now Known As The London Borough Of Barking And Dagenham Stadium) I was edging cautiously on the side of hoping we’d take a point against them.
Immediately after kick off it became apparent we were to face the uphill struggle we’d anticipated.  Southampton fans were vocal in the Michael Jackson Stand (owwwwwww) yet barely trotted to a gallop when it came to being able to outsing our usual flat home atmosphere – why can’t we emulate our loud vocal support away from home when playing at home?  It’s a Mystery!  An almost 100% full away end and a few stragglers in an unofficial away section in the sieve leaves me believing that we may well have been outnumbered in our own place. For a big team like Southampton I guess this is to be expected when you are a club our size.  Certainly this season has felt imbalanced in that we took under 50 to Plymouth on a Tuesday night, but have seen some of the biggest away attendances we have experienced coming to ours.  Makes you take notice the fact that we are really a tiny club up here.  Minnows in a pool full of Carp (I’d have used Pike if Grays or Gillingham were involved).


To be fair to Southampton, the stats don’t lie – and whilst we could have stolen a point (potentially more if the penalty calls were given and the goal that never was happened to be allowed – more about these in a moment) you can’t in your right mind say that we matched them on the park.  The players they have at this level are phenomenal, and they will be going up this season as Champions – I say that having yet to see Brighton (for the record I also see them going up), but I just cannot see Brighton impressing me as much as Southampton.
Getting to the actual nitty gritty of the game itself, as mentioned we were outplayed and outclassed by the bigger team – there really is no shame in that.  However, a cheeky mention goes to the steaming pile of monkey crap the FA decided to give us to masquerade as a ref (I take it I am allowed to say that, as a fan, unofficially linked to the club?).  A referee can get decisions wrong, we all get things wrong –but to consistently do so is unforgivable.  If I made as many errors in my job, I would be publicly flogged whilst stripped naked, as seagulls circled above me making that laughing sound and crapping on my face.  We had, from what I could see, two cast iron shouts for penalties and a free kick which looked to me, to the home support, and to the Dagger’s on the field as though it went in – the free kick taker (Gavin Tomlin) even started celebrating what would have been his long awaited first home league goal.  Further, the third and final Southampton goal smelt a little of offside, though I may be wrong with that (I have yet to see the goals played back).

The opening goal from Adam the Llama was well taken.  The second goal came 28 minutes later, and was scored by Southampton’s on loan Brazilian ace Guly Do Prado.  When a club can afford to take off a bright young star like Alex Oxocube Chamberlain (controversially I believe he is the lovechild of Helen & Alec Chamberlain – who we all know are secretly married) and replace him with Lee Barnard, you know you aren’t in for an easy day.  Lee Barnard is a player I’d love to see at Dagenham, yet Southampton have the luxury of sitting him on the bench alongside one of my all time favourite players David Connolly – another player easily capable of hitting 20 a year at this level, despite his now advancing age.  Strength in depth is what is needed, and anyone that denies that Southampton have got that for this level must live in a box, encased by concrete.  I’d go so far as to say that next season they’ll be pushing at the top of The Championship.


A big congratulations goes to Josh Scott for grabbing his first of the season for us, and also for re-shaping the game, along with Peter Gain following their introduction.  I miss Peter Gain’s presence in the team, I count him as an extremely underrated member of our side – whether he is in the twilight of his career or not.  Surely Josh and Peter must now be knocking on the door for a return to action.  I try not to be overly critical of our players, but I just don’t think Solomon Taiwo has had the desired effect since returning on loan from Cardiff.
A bad day at the office for us then score wise, not a lack of effort on the pitch by any means. 


Fair play to Southampton here today – a deserved away win.

Jerkus Maximus Fromus the Coachus

NEXT - Rochdale in a game that at its best could be described as "frustrating", on the bright side we have a report about a win after that!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Fear and Loathing in Brentford

 +++WARNING - if you have not seen the film "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" some of this report may not make sense to you - +++

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things


We were 2 miles outside of Basildon when the night kicked in, I was buried up to my neck in leather couch, all around me children of all ages (some as old as 50) we're playing with laser pointers, the beams of light cutting through the smoke. Dancing on ceiling. My lawyer lent out from a cloud of smoke and said "What the fuck are we doing man, we must me fucking mad!” I realised we must be, here we were on a new-years cocktail that only but the few truly experienced warriors of the mind could handle, and we were already past the point of control. Despite our obvious chemical handicap we had a mission, an absolutely stupid idea, the kind of idea a sober person makes!

It was way back at the beginning of the football season, as I perused the recently published fixture list I was hit but inspiration. "Now that's a fucking idea!" I turned to my lawyer, "we have Brentford away on new year’s day! We’re going to that game!"  my lawyer looked up from his list looked at me and looked back at the paper in front of him  "you're fucking crazy man" he was right, or maybe he was wrong, because here we were I looked at the clock on the wall, it said 4am "Sunglasses!!" "We need sunglasses, and Acapulco shirts!" My lawyer burst out laughing, but I was adamant couldn't he see my point, if we were going to be Hunter S Dagger and his lawyer we were gonna have to do it properly but I knew finding an Acapulco shirt between Pitsea and Brentford on new year’s day could be a hard task. I sipped from my beer and felt my neck start to give way. In everyone when partying there is a little voice or a little nugget of consciousness that witnesses all the imbalanced and ludicrous things done when under the influence. This tiny watchman of the soul can only take so much, at this point it has to relinquish all control. I had reached that point!


I closed my eyes and let the darkness swirl around me.

I opened my eyes some time later, I hadn’t slept but I hadn’t been awake. I needed tea, going to the kitchen the host of the party offered me a giant mug, I put 3 teabags into it and made the strongest tea I could. Walking back to the front room My Lawyer reiterated "dude, we must be fucking crazy". Yes my friend we must be! Time moved much like it does in these kinds of nights, in fits and starts. I looked up at the clock, "7am!" I thought, "I must organise" I drank the rest of the barrel of tea and rallied my group, MrsMetalDagger was now awake after a short sleep and my lawyer was leaning over  the sink, expelling some foul demons.
We ordered a cab, cleaned ourselves up and put our team colours on. and what a fine state we looked, apart from the missus, who seemed largely unaffected by the night, mainly by using her powers of restraint, something Me and the man giant I call my lawyer know nothing about. The Cab arrived and we said our goodbyes, I was feeling more awake now. As I sat in the front seat I turned round to my lawyer whose name was Nikos, "I think, we might actually be able to pull this off"! With a short ride to Pitsea station we were on the platform waiting for our train. All around me pale faced corpses stumbled about shivering wearing the satisfied smile of a human being that has partied itself into the ground. Dr Gonzo "the doctor of journalism" Hunter S. Thompson wrote about trying to find the American dream at a cross country motorbike race in Las Vegas. I was on a similar mission I was travelling to Brentford to find the Dagenham dream, 3 elusive points to start the year off, all the while resisting the urge to chew my own shoulder off.

looking about 100x more composed than we actually were!

The train snaked its way into the station and we got on, it was the slower service but that suited us fine we didn’t have to be at the match for another 5 hours and apart from the fact we would need to eat at some point, we were in no rush. Nikos rang our contact in Dagenham, she was to meet us at barking station and bring bottled water and chewing gum, something to rehydrate and something to channel the gnawing instinct into! The next half hour or so were spent staring out of the train window. We met Gemma at Barking, we sipped gratefully at the water and each put 2 chewing gums into our mouths, much to the delight of our rubber teeth. We changed onto the Jubilee line at West Ham the deeper we got into London the more awake everyone else seemed!



We rolled into waterloo and stumbled into the main forecourt. We needed food, I wasn’t hungry but I was convinced I would need to fill my stomach to make it through the day. We came across an eatery/bar called "sloe" it was very clean, full of people and played terrible music but they served what looked in the menu to be a good English fry-up. It was quite tasty, but my stomach was delicate and couldn’t handle the portion that my eyes demanded. Looking around there were other casualties of the night before trying to catch some sleep in the relative security of this overpriced yuppie bar. Then another group of daggers walked in, "what the fuck are we doing?" said one whose name was Daniel, I shrugged and laughed, football does strange things to otherwise normal people, "where's Jerk?" he inquired. This was a good point, last time I had checked he was still in barking waiting for someone or something that I had forgotten, but he was nevertheless on the way.


after food and a few pots of tea we headed towards the giant wall of information that would tell us which train to get and what platform it would be on, still in need of hydration I bought 2 bottles of coke, I would have got a sprite, but it wasn’t in the 2 for one deal when I inquired as to why I couldn’t have one of each the cashier said "you just can’t" arbitrary rules that only exist for the sake of themselves are stupid!            But I digress

We boarded our train in a carriage full of Daggers, but no singing was done, it seemed we had all had heavy nights and a quiet train journey was in order. I closed my eyes and half listened to the conversation of the people in the ties who I often see at away days and I assume are in someway associated with the club. Once again the night before had left me tired but unable to sleep so I meditated behind my eyelids until the train rumbled into Brentford. We dragged ourselves onto the platform, I followed the crowd of daggers and my little mob followed me. I was sure if I just followed the crowd they would lead me to the ground or a pub, either would do!

The first bar we found was packed out and I was relieved when the snake of people we were a part of moved onto a different one, I don’t think I could have taken that claustrophobic atmosphere. It is well known that Brentford’s ground has a pub on each corner; I hoped all of them wouldn't be as cramped as the one we had just passed! The second pub we found was much more penetrable and as Nikos ordered drinks I found a table out the back. Light beer was the order of the day now; Corona would sit on the stomach nicely enough. We sat at the table watching the Man U game as more people filed into the small building making the air thick. Lee Wilson and Anthony arrived and we chewed the gristle till it was time to leave.


By now I was feeling as close to normal as I was ever going to, We walked back round the houses that hide Griffin park till we reached the away end, after turning out the contents of my backpack to appease the security we headed into the lower tier of the away end that the Brentford fans called the wendyhouse. There was already a nice amount of Daggers in the terrace as we weaved our way to a good vantage point. The noise was swelling well, despite the lack of sleep and partying done the night before, the Red & Blue army were well and truly up for it. Looking around from our vantage point in the Brook Road end, Griffin Park looked a decent ground, it reminded me of a bigger Vicky Road and like Vicky Road it seems the away end is the best for making the noise!

The teams came out and the away end filled with the noise of fans starved of football for nearly a month! The team had a few changes with our Gaffer Arbs suffering the flu and Kaydlen injured Doe and Billy Bingham were filling in the gaps. The match itself was a very back and forward affair and Danny Green forced a save from Richard Lee early on but when Scott Doe slipped on the rather wet pitch leaving Charlie MacDonald unmarked for a Sam Wood ball, with Robbo drawn towards him MacDonald passed the ball to Robbie Simpson who tucked away and easy goal. 1-0 to the Bees. As Dagenham were trying to organise, Sam Wood came in late on Solomon Taiwo, clattering straight through the midfielder and into the advertising boards, the away end snarled in righteous indignation because while no one likes to see someone hurt the feeling was he could have seriously injured Solly. After a while lying on the floor Wood was stretchered off the pitch. When I got home Sam's cousin (a good friend of mine) told me he had broken his arm. Medy Elito continues to look like a whizz kid and a ball from him was headered over the bar by Savage, another close call.


After some more back and forth Taiwo thwacked the ball out to Greeny who smacked the ball first time across the face of goal and into the path of our top scorer Romain Vincelot who tapped it into the net. 1-1!! The home team nearly got another when Toumani Diagouraga took a shot from outside the box which whistled goal wards only to hit the top corner and out for a goal kick, a cheer of "hands up if you thought they scored" was followed by a terrace of raised hands, Robbo turned to face us with a wry smile on his face and raised his hand, he knew how close that shot was! The whistle blew for half time and I went in search of a toilet. Things we're looking positive.

The second half was very even with both teams rushing the other teams’ goals and coming very close to scoring, our best chance came when Vincelot nodded the ball to Elito with a run at goal, he only had Lee to beat but his shot swung out wide, so very close! Billy Bingham (who himself had had a pretty good game) nearly got his debut of the net for Daggers with a fine shot but Lee just got over to save it. And then Bingham again put one just over the bar from a corner. The Bee's had their own chances, MacDonald ran at the box, tipped it over Doe and shot forcing another good save from Robbo. As time ticked on it looked like we were going to leave with a well earned point but when we failed to get the ball out of our box Nicky Forster crossed the ball for Gary Alexander who headed it past Robbo into the goal.
2-1 in the 87th minute, the writing was on the wall and the cheers that rang up from the three stands we didn’t occupy left a bitter taste in the air. But even at the very last the Daggers went down fighting, Elito tapped the ball to Femi who danced into the box only to put his shot agonisingly close and the wrong side of the post. The ref blew his whistle for full time and brought an end to what was actually a very good local derby. Despite the result we took a good noisy crowd and the team played some good football. On another day if the ball had fallen differently we could have walked out with 3 points. I would welcome another trip to Griffin Park any season.

We filed out of the ground and the accumulated tiredness of an all-nighter party and a day at the football hit me like Robbo clearing a ball, sideways! (Sorry couldn’t resist!) That combined with empty pockets lead to the decision to head straight to the station. After 40 minutes waiting we boarded the train and I fell asleep in my chair until we got back to waterloo. We got home, had dinner and then I had one of the earliest nights I’d had in a long time!


So close yet so far


NEXT - Disallowed Goals, Penalties not given, not that they needed the help! Yep it’s Southampton!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Remeber Me? - The Curious Case of David Button

While you wait for our Brentford and Soton reports, time to debut a new feature here on DD,


A look back at some of those lucky loanees who have worn the famous red and blue.

"The Curious Case of David Button"


Toward the end of the 2008/2009 season, as we pushed toward the final play off place in only the clubs second season as a league team, an injury to our evergreen goalkeeper Tony Roberts forced the club to apply for emergency goalkeeper loan coverage. It seemed a very quick process, and for our first game of Robbo's injured spell (Bradford City, home - a 3-0 victory) a hastily arranged squad numbered and little heard of David Button (signed from Tottenham Hotspur) was suddenly welcomed as a member of our history.

In the short time he spent on loan at Victoria Road the (now) 21 year old Stevenage-born player proved to be a very promising young goalkeeper, a decent shot stopper - the only part of his game which ever worried me was his ability at claiming a cross. Of the games he featured in for The Daggers, the team managed to score nine goals, conceding a solitary goal in the rearranged fixture against Brentford, a 2-1 victory against a side who eventually were promoted. His other game came in the superb 3-0 victory at Meadow Lane (Notts County) in our penultimate league fixture of the campaign.

Since leaving The Daggers, David Button has appeared between the sticks on loan for Crewe Alexandra, Shrewsbury Town (where he has found his football most frequent thus far in his short career appearing 26 times), and can currently be found plying his trade at Home Park with Plymouth Argyle.


On a side note I heard through various people that Mr Button actually wrote to the club after his loan spell to thank everyone at Dagenham for his time there, if true, I think it's quite a nice story. Also strangely for a Goalie we had him wear 6 as his squad number!- FMD

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Daggers Diary Awards 2010

So here we are at the beginning of 2011. But what of 2010? - A year which will be remembered by Daggers fans till the day they are 6 feet underground in red and blue caskets.
So what is everyone and their dog doing at the moment? Be it on TV, the interwebs or anywhere for that fact? Yep that's right! Making opinionated lists about various things and then demanding people pay attention to them. Well who are we to cast ourselves above such things?!
So we present to you...


So let’s get started

On an away day the home team’s crowd can really make or break a day. A good crowd can make a poor match great and a crap crowd can make a good match boring. So on our travels at the past year who has been the best fans to visit?

Best Home Crowd

And the winner is...

Southampton - Tuesday 2nd November 2010

(words by JerkFromTheCoach)

The Southampton fans were far better than I expected them to be. There is still an element of big club attitude there, but the way they responded to having a small group of supporters from a team usually much further down the pyramid was commendable.  They shared some great banter with us throughout, and one of them liked us so much he somehow joined us, before being moved to the home section, and the turfed out altogether.

But what about the fans who are our guests at Vicky road? Who are the...

Best Away Crowd

And the winner is...

Morecambe - Sunday 16th May - League 2 P/O semi - First leg

(Words by FullMetalDagger)

This one's pretty simple, in what was possibly their biggest ever match (being a semi final, not necessarily playing away to the Daggers!) they fell apart and conceded 6 goals. Which meant before the second leg could even be played it was pretty certain there would be no Wembley trip for the Shrimps. So what did they do? They sang! They sang the whole game until the final whistle and showed true support for their team. Top fans.

But what of the places that hold the fans? Other than "the London borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium" (of course) Which venue gets the accolade of...

Best Ground

And the winner is...


(words by FMD)

While it might not be the most picturesque or modern looking grounds. It cannot be denied that the home of Sheffield Wednesday is a proper football ground with buckets of character and history (and probably a few buckets of gravy destined for trays of chips). The roar of the crowd that accompanied any forward movement from the owls was deafening and a little intimidating. Although it has to be said that standing in the Leppings Lane end was more than a little eerie, I would happily go back there again and I would love to get a win there.


But where do we not want to visit again anytime soon? Where is the...

Worst Ground

And the Winners are...

Stadium MK & Darlington Arena

(words by Jerk')

I am afraid this is shared between Darlington and MK Dons. MK Dons stewards outnumber their fans by 2:1, and are heavy handed. They are very enthusiastic that you sit down, despite there really being no need.  They also don’t like foul language being used – even when the home fans (all 36 of them) are placed in a different time zone at various other areas in the ground.  MK Dons also have a primary school aged manager.  This doesn’t make a different to the ground per se, but I assume that sometimes there are toys left in the player’s tunnel which could be a potential trip hazard. Darlington, bless them, find themselves in a difficult situation.  A crazy owner some years ago decided to move the team to a brand spanking new arena.  This showed immense enthusiasm on his part, but also hid the fact that he was crazier than a crotchless tiger skin underpants.  I believe he went to jail and then was killed by death sometime after.  His warped enthusiasm (which saw an audacious bid for Faustino Asprilla) has burdened them with a ground they cannot afford to run.  The bar is immense (a special mention to that later), the supporters are some of the friendliest I have come across, but the ground is clearly too big for them and is staffed by one of the Chuckle Brothers.  After a hugely successful spell spent under the magical hands of Steve Staunton (I jest) the club now find themselves in the Blue Square Premier.  The away section is now visited from such sides as Hayes & Yeading, and Altrincham (due respect to these teams, their away following won’t be the highest seen).  It is difficult to see the situation improving.  It scored lowly due to its vast emptiness – a shame because it could be superb.  A beautiful abomination sculpted by the mind of a maniac.

When stepping off of the Coach/Train/Car/Donkey that has taken you to an away game the first thing on most fans mind will be where a beverage of the alcoholic variety could be attained. So where is the...

Best Away Watering hole

And the winner is...

The Church - Rochdale

(words by Jerk')

Great days out are there to be had in Rochdale.  That’s what we Southerners have always been told.  The California of the north.  Palm tree laden streets, scorched grass banks, people walking about in shorts and sandals.  Okay, that’s a load of bollocks, it’s a gritty northern town – but it’s a ground I really enjoy going to.  Part of the reason is the local pub (The Church) and the Rochdale supporters.  I think we share a good relationship with Rochdale fans, I’d never wish their side ill – I was really rooting them to finish top so those jewellery thieving magpies wouldn’t get a trophy, but alas it wasn’t to be.  The Church is a pub located right next to Spotland, and welcomes both home and away supports.  Staff and fans alike are welcoming and friendly. It does get a bit busy, but I like to think that that is a sign of a good pub.  The drinks are decently priced as you’d expect from anywhere outside of London, and they lay on a cracking evening of Karaoke to anyone who finds themselves still in Rochdale at 9pm on a Saturday night.


Special Mention - A quick mention has got to go to the absolutely brilliant Sports Bar at Darlington.  It’s a real shame that more isn’t made of the venue and that the locals don’t go out in force to support their club. Presumably they are too busy following Newcastle and Sunderland to put in an appearance.  These are top level facilities available to…well, I suppose top level non league now, but a crying shame.  I hope we meet again someday.

Once pints, halves, singles and doubles have been drunk, chances are the pangs of peckishness will start to kick in. So where is the best munch to be found? What are the...

Top 7 Football Foods

Beef madras pasty - Southampton
Beef! Curry! in a pasty!!  need we say more!!

Pasty - Yeovil

"What can I say? It was a pasty!" - Jerk' 2010

Burger - Billericay
See above just replace "pasty" with "Burger"

Burger - Torquay

See above

Footlong - MK Dons

A filling footlong, oooh err missus

Everything - Dartford

Seriously, everything they had to eat or drink was well tasty at Dartford and free roast potatoes and sausage rolls are NEVER to be sniffed at!

Burger - MK dons

When Jerk first had one he said it was the garlic mayo that made it on the return visit when I had one it was the garlic mayo that saved it!

So drinks drunk and food eaten, let's take a look at the actual matches starting with..

Worst Away Game

And the winner is...

MK Dons (twice)

(words by Jerk')

Both games away at MK Dons were absolute nightmares.  I hate Milton Keynes.  I hate driving there, I hate the team, I hate the ground – everything about Milton Keynes I hate.  Apart from Paul Ince, watching him struggle last time round was pretty cool (no, I am not aligning myself with West Ham saying that; I just can’t stand the man).

The first trip in 2010 was in the Carling Cup.  I wasn’t hopeful we’d beat our personal best of going out in the first round, but I went anyway.  What I wasn’t expecting was the be stuck in a traffic jam, causing me to arrive 20 minutes into the game, and having missed our goal.  I wasn’t blown away by the atmosphere in Stadium:SHITE, but then again whoever is?  I am told it’s great when…..actually that’s a lie, I’ve never heard it called great.  Even the MK staff hate it, and themselves are bussed in from far flung villages like Derby, Leicester, and China.
Our second game there was a league fixture.  The attendance sprung up suitably (can't help think that the official figure of 7083 is however, a lie) for the game clearly attaches more prestige than a cup game. It was another defeat on the road for us.  A 2-0 scoreline meant that all 12 of the MK fans went home in their usual utter silence.  You can’t lie that the set up isn’t good there, there is an overpriced hotel well suited to third tier football, something I assume we’ll be building at Dagenham post-haste?  Tragically terrible games though, both of them.  We didn’t seem to turn up for the league fixture, our fans were quiet simply because it’s like a Gulag in there and you have no option but to sit there and contemplate the joys of death.  I hope I never go there again – but I know I’m not that fortunate.

Best Away Game

And the Winner is...

Yeovil - Saturday 13th November

(words by Jerk')

To me this is the stand out away game.  Sure there were other candidates, Darlington and Morecambe (though, I didn’t go) to name two, but I’ve gone for this because it was our first league win away from home in League One.  The game wasn’t the prettiest of spectacles, but with hard work in the last ten minutes we dealt the sucker punch and ensured we left CiderPastyVil with all three points, probably a game that toward the end of the season will become a real six-pointer.  You can of course read about the game elsewhere on this page, so I won’t bore you with details.

What about the best and worst from our own hallowed turf.

Worst Home Game

And the winner is...

Hartlepool - Saturday 30th October

(words by Jerk')

Gutting.  Simply put.  I think my chin is still grazed from scraping along the floor on my way out of The Sieve that day.  This draw felt way more like a defeat than some of the losses we suffered in 2010.  A few games really stuck out, and I guess they culminate in my head with the feeling of this one.  The points dropped against the likes of Hartlepool, Walsall, Exeter, Tranmere, whether we like to admit it or not, would see us sitting with a reasonable gap between ourselves and the bottom four.  But sometimes it isn’t meant to be.  I won’t go too much into the actual events, as they can be read elsewhere on the page (perhaps FMD will work his wizardry and link?).  The late goal was absolutely devastating.  I’ve still not recovered.  In fact I’m going for a Brandy… is wrong that I’ve stolen all of the offices Chocolate Courvoisier Liqueurs and hidden them in my drawer right?

If you really want to read about that "gutting" game again, click on Hartlepool in the menu to the left - FMD

Best Home Game

And the winner is...

Morecambe - Sunday 16th May - League 2 P/O semi - First leg

(Words by Jerk)

By far and away the best home game of 2010 was in my opinion the 6-0 drubbing of Morecambe in the playoff semi final.  Having been to Christie Park weeks before to watch us suffer an agonising 1-0 defeat which meant hard work was needed to even reach the top seven, it made for very welcome revenge indeed.  Morecambe fans were in buoyant mood and impressed me by their never say die attitude, even at 6-0 down. Facing Morecambe in this game, and the return when they were all but defeated before we even kicked off was something very special.  I am glad we were the last team to face them at Christie Park – and I’d have loved to have been there again, but as I fell from the terrace step in a drunken state celebrating our second goal with enthusiasm only a drunk person can muster, and suffered a case of the old giant blue foot, I was unable to drive there or spend that long sitting on a coach.  I have massive respect for Morecambe and their fans, and I cannot wait to see us at their new ground (though, if it means relegation, perhaps we can hold it off for a while yet!).  Josh Scott was in perhaps the finest form he has ever been in over the course of the game, and between himself and Benno the Shrimpers were wiped out. Gutting for them, but as any Aspergers-suffering football fan will tell you, one man’s pain is another man’s mumble mumble.

As this list has shown; Life as a Dagger isn't all roses and sunshine, but what was the moment we saw no sun at all? What was the...

Most Disappointing moment of 2010

And the winner is...

Losing Paul Benson to Charlton

(words by FMD)

After the giddy ecstasy of beating all the odds to reach league 1 came this blow. Within a month of our first game in the league, after all of the rejected bids and all the speculation, Charlton "you came on a bus from Kent" Athletic prised our star striker from our grasp and then fielded him against us in the Paint Pot Cup.  After a period of mourning and some new signings we still haven’t quite replaced him. This is a disappointment that will hang over the club 'till someone starts banging away 20 in the onion bag per season! We all know the way it happened was the only way it could have happened and no one begrudges Benno a nice fat wage after all the service he gave us. Just a shame we're not the ones paying it.

Now as you all know, we are regulars on the Daggers forum (chances are you followed a link from there to read this) and while we love a good bit of banter and a heated debate about the issues of the now, there are some topics that need to be put to bed once and for all! So we present...

The Top 3 Things we don’t want to hear Moaned about anymore.

(words by FMD)

1 - Losing Benno

Now this might seem odd considering the last paragraph I spent moaning about us losing our former star striker. But!!!! This subject has been done to death; should we have sold him? Would he have done the job in this league anyway? Why did we leave it so late to finalise the decision etc etc. all valid questions! But it's done now. Let’s leave that behind and continue with the very fruitful "when will we get a decent striker?" debate. Oh wait they might be the same debate. Oh well.

2 - The Green Kit
I couldn’t make it to the Carlisle game, so after listening to it on Daggers Player I was really looking forward to seeing our goals on The Football League show. After the League 1 highlights they cut to Lizzy who reads out the e-mails and she read one out from a Dagenham fan. Was this e-mail to congratulate the boys on what was only our second away win in a ground on the other end of the country?   Was it her asking Jerk’ to stop sending her inappropriate text messages?    No, it was someone moaning that we still play away in green, need I say more?


3 - "why doesn't [insert 2nd string player] ever get a go?"

I don’t mean to sound preachy but I am of the opinion that While our Gaffer is not an infallible god-like man who will always be right, I am sure that he has a better idea of what these player we hardly ever see are like than us. A good example is Graeme Montgomery who when he would get a go looked promising but never seemed to actually break through. When questioned about this Mr Still explained that he didn’t feel that Monty was pulling up enough turf in training and reserve matches to be given more of a chance and while I often wax philosophical about how without Monty we would have never got to Wembley (a valid point), I believe that if john says he's not ready he's not ready. And this extends to allot of players who haven’t found a place in the squad yet. all of the above have almost created a mini religion amongst Daggers fans where Monty will descend from heaven wearing yellow (probably brining Benno with him) and lead us to the promised land (or at least out of the drop zone)


Of course the above is our own opinions and you are welcome to debate what you like, you are also free to point out our hypocrisy when either me or Jerk' writes "why isn't Ian Gayle getting a go?! He’s the best Ogogo look-a-like since the man himself!"
Sorry I got a bit lost in my thoughts there, let's move on. What's next?


What are the other moments in the past year of football that have stayed in our memories but havent really fitted in any other category

Top 5 other moments

1. The first time we heard "same league as Dagenham"

(by FMD)

Sheffield Wednesday away was as said before a big day for Dagenham. And Wednesday are a big club full of history, so when the chant of "same league as Dagenham, you're in the same league as Dagenham!" rose up, we had our song of a level playing field. Both teams in any of our matches were there for a reason and weather it was because the giants had fallen or the minnows were rising didn’t matter. - FMD

2. Vincelot stands up at Colchester

(by Jerk')

It’s never a good sight to see any player collapse (unless he is wearing an MK Dons kit….only kidding….it’s not their fault they’re stupid is it?) but when it is one of your own it hits home a little harder.  Especially when it is your top scorer and your player in best form thus far collapsing immediately after scoring.  I cannot remember how long the injury time was, but I’m seeing the figures 9 and 14, so it may have been 9 mins, it may have been 14 mins, it may have been neither.  When a player is down that long you know it is potentially very serious.  To see medics lying on the floor around him trying to provoke response from him is even more worrying.  That he got to his feet and walked away from a serious incident is not unheard of for a Frenchman, but to have done so with what could potentially have been a life threatening clash of heads was a very welcome sight.

3. The Giant Flag at Wednesday

(By Jerk')

Our first game in League One was a baptism of fire at Hillsborough. Despite the scoreline, what a day it turned out to be.  I’ll certainly never forget it. A ground more used to staging the country’s biggest teams, and in the past FA Cup semi finals, International matches and so on, was playing host to Dagenham & Redbridge.  Before the game we were treated to the sight of the massive flag travelling its way up The Kop, quite a foreboding sight when you are outnumbered by around 23,500 people – its gives a bit of an impression about how well supported the club is.  In true Dagenham style, someone in the Lepping’s Lane end mimicked this by putting a small St George Cross above their head and passing it back a few rows.  I expected that to be the end of it, but when I returned home the next day and took a look on the Sheffield Wednesday forums it seemed that they had somehow seen it from the other side of the ground – I think they appreciated the humour.

4. The Giant Flags at Wembley

(by FMD)

This was a great moment. Being at Wembley was a big enough thing, but I didn't really expect the great footballing powers that be to really make a big deal about the League 2 Playoff final (in truth I half expected them to tell us to just play the game at Upton Park and be grateful!). So when the giant flags floated up from the ground on their big balloon sausages I was pleasantly surprised. Combined with the confetti and the mini festival out in Wembley way it made the whole day feel like the biggest day in the clubs history. Which it was.


5."'ere for the Bovril"

(by FMD)

So it's the ESC, a reasonably strong Dagenham & Redbridge team has just not only thrown away a healthy 2-0 lead at Home to Canvey Island but also gone behind 3-2 in what must have been record time (about 3.1 seconds). While scratching our heads at the pure absurdity of it all when the crowd of pretty vocal "islanders" in front of us started singing "Here for the Canvey, you're only here for the Canvey!". well lads, as good as your "flash-bang" comment  was at the time we would have felt it remiss if we didn't let you actually know that we were "Here for the Bovril, We're only here for the Bovril!"

So after all these moments; some good, some downright shite. We get to honour the players themselves

So in no particular order we give you...

Top 5 Players of 2010

Danny Green

(by FMD)

When the mass exodus of players occurred after the 08/09 season, daggers fans feared the worst. Enter Danny Green a nippy little cheeky faced kid we grabbed from Bishop Stortford. He was exactly the tonic we needed with his nippy runs and the ability to whack in a good ball. He could score a little too and in his first season netted 14 goals add that to the 13 assists he made and you realise quite how much of an impact he made. All of this culminated in a superb goal at Wembley. While it has taken him a little while to find his scoring feet in league 1 on his best day he can make himself look the best player on the pitch.

Romain Vincelot
(by FMD)

Now this is the story of a player who took a chance and ran with it. Originally signed as a right back, Romain got his first appearance at the 2-1 defeat to Shrewsbury and was brought on when Scott Doe got himself sent off. Early impressions of the lad where good, with many noting how well he could jump for a ball. But it was when he was called in to fill a hole in central we really saw what the man could do, which included a superb goal against Burton Albion from what seemed like the other end of Bury Road. Half a season later he is our top scorer with some awesome headers and also a very approachable bloke! I just hope we can hang onto him!

Paul Benson

(by Jerk')

A club legend.  Influential.  Paul is a real rags to riches story.  Signed f…..wait one moment.  I am sure I’ve read that before.  If Paul was a rags to riches story by signing for Dagenham, now he must be lounging around all day being fanned by virgins and eating olives handed to him by neatly groomed spaniels in tuxedos whilst Johan Sebastian Mozartkovsky plays in the background.  A terrific year from Paul, pretty much winding up with (an admittedly biased view upcoming) one of the best goals I’ve seen scored at Wembley and a fantastic personal move to Charlton.  Obviously, after such loyal service we all miss him – I think we always will, but the final thought I have on him is his part played in the achievement of promotion at Wembley.  Even having had at times an up and down season Paul was one of the stars.  Sorely missed, never forgotten, and welcome home anytime.  Just wipe that South London muck off your feet before coming in, please.

Tony Roberts

(by FMD)

Shortly after our 2-0 victory over Carlisle last month a friend of mine (not a dagger himself, but keeps an eye on the scores) commented on his FaceBook status that he had just seen the highlights from the game, and along with commenting on well taken goals he praised Robbo for his saves saying "a 41 year old has no right making saves like that!". Well this is just one of the things that makes our Welsh shot stopper so awesome, no wait, so fucking awesome! Apart from being a very good keeper, the way he carries himself, the banter with fans both home and away, the dancing and the voice that can be heard in Becontree, all go into making a genuine club legend. If you don’t believe me, go watch his interview on the Wembley dvd, it is the stuff of legend! The day that man retires is a day that football loses one of its true characters and in a world of whiney overpaid kids and boring po-faced analysis it will be a sad day indeed!


Mark Arber
(by Jerk')

An absolutely superb year from the captain.  He has had his critics since promotion (then again, pretty much everyone has) but as with Benno, a shining light in the clubs achievement in promotion to League One.  Superb performance after superb performance at the back, and an awesome partnership formed with either Scott Doe or Will Antwi sees him as one of our stand out players for the years 2010.  I don’t think there is anyone at the club who’d make a better captain.

So there we have it.

These are just our views, but feel free to throw burgers at us if you disagree, after all, all this writing is hungry work!


Next - New years day at Griffin Park whilst still a little "merry"