Friday, 23 March 2012

Two minutes with… Dagenham + Redbridge

Tuesday night saw a relegation six-pointer, as the Bees played host to the Daggers. Whilst you can read my match report here, this instalment of ‘two minutes with…’ comes from the point of view of Dagenham fan, Nick.

Barnet 2–2 Dagenham + Redbridge
(McLeod ’30, May ’79 – Spillane ’25, Doe ’72)
Attendance: 1,725 (away: 351)

 How did you get to the game?
As the game was just across London, we opted to go by train. This meant getting the Overground service from Chadwell Heath to Stratford, where we then changed to the tube which would take us to Bank. From there we changed once more to get the Northern Line to High Barnet where we arrived amongst a crowded train at about 6:30pm.
What did you do pre-match?
One of the more appealing choices was the pub that most people go to when playing Barnet, The Red Lion. When coming out of the station we encountered someone with a McDonald’s bag and as we were relatively hungry we headed up Barnet high road in search of the McDonald’s to get something to eat. Not knowing what the food inside Underhill was like it seemed a better idea to stick with something we knew. The majority of Daggers did go in the pub pre-match though.
 Where did you sit/stand in the ground?
 We were located in the East Terrace North and the majority of us had chosen to go on the terrace as it would create a better atmosphere. We ended up standing towards the centre of the whole stand which meant we were close to the more vocal of the Barnet support where there was good banter between both sets of fans. This also meant we were right next to our supporters' drum so it was the more lively section of our support.
 What did you make of the game?
 It was a bit scrappy in all honesty, you could tell that these were two teams towards the wrong end of the table. Both defences made several mistakes which highlighted why we both are where we are. In the first half however, we dominated and should have been two or three up before Barnet got their equaliser.
Just before the Barnet equaliser we had the chance to perhaps seal the game, but Baudry & Akinde both hit the bar from headers from inside the box. An individual error lead to the Barnet goal, but fair play to McLeod, he finished the chance off which is why he's top scorer – he gets the chances and finishes them, something our strikers haven't done enough this season.
In the second half though, Barnet were out of the traps first and Ricky Holmes caused all kinds of problems cutting in down the right side. Poor marking from Barnet gave us the lead once more as the infamous Scott Doe front post header paid dividends. Just as I thought we may be able to close the game out, our ‘keeper makes a howler as Ben May wheels away in celebration, leaving us all shell-shocked and in some awe.
After that it was pretty scrappy with neither side really making inroads into taking the lead.
Was the scoreline a fair reflection?
There’s an argument for either case. Personally I thought we were worthy of all three points, especially after the first half performance, however our lack of potency in front of goal has cost us again. You can see why Barnet are above the drop zone when your star striker gets one opportunity and he makes the most of it. We were punished, although the Lewington error is just a freak goal really. I think we were worthy of all three, but there is definitely an argument for the draw as in all honestly, you could tell both sides were languishing at the bottom end of the table.
Who, in your opinion was man of the match?
For Dagenham it would almost certainly be Mickey Spillane. He was playing in a somewhat unnatural centre midfield role, but excelled there. He was able to go on a couple of runs and get himself out of tight situations with some very neat footwork, not only that but his eye for a pass on Tuesday night was second to none. My final point about Mickey was his eagerness to get to the ball, he was always going in for the challenges which is what you want from a player.
From a Barnet viewpoint, one player that stands out as someone that caused the Daggers back line persistent problems was Ricky Holmes. His trickery and pace down the wing had the full backs in a fluster; it’s just a pity that his final ball was really lacking when it was needed most.
Who do you play next and how do you think you'll get on?
Next up for us is Accrington Stanley at home on Saturday. In the reverse fixture in November which I attended at The Crown Ground, we went down 3-0, so hopefully it won’t end up like that this time around. We have only beaten Accrington once at home since we formed in 1992, so that’s something that will need to change for us to get ourselves out of the bottom two come 17:00 Saturday evening. Personally, if we can play with the same tempo and urgency on Saturday, I’d take a draw.

Thanks Nick

You can follow Nick on Twitter: @NickDRFCMurphy and also check out his blog, for all things D+R: ‘The Daggers Scale’.

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