Dagenham & Redbridge: Daggers hope to avoid repeat of National League play-off heartbreak in 2018
PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 January 2018
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In an article from out ‘Year in Sport’ pullout, we preview the year ahead for Dagenham & Redbridge
Dagenham & Redbridge will want to avoid play-off heartbreak again in 2018 when the National League season reaches its climax in spring.
Last year, Daggers were beaten in the play-off semi-finals by Forest Green Rovers, who then defeated Tranmere Rovers in the final to win promotion to League Two.
The Essex club are currently close to the play-off places this term, even if their form has been a little patchy.
John Still’s men have won just 12 of 29 matches in the league so far, and only have three away victories.
The Victoria Road outfit have amassed 45 points, a total which seems them sit seventh; after 29 games last year, Daggers were third with 55 points.
That total would be enough to see the Essex club sit joint top with leaders Macclesfield Town this term, but as it is, they are 10 points adrift of the Silkmen.
All is not lost, however, and should Still’s side get on a good run of form, like they did just before Christmas, they could fire themselves back into the title race. It will be tough, though, with the Victoria Road outfit still having to visit Sutton United, Dover Athletic, Bromley, Wrexham and Macclesfield — all currently in the top 10 — before the campaign is out.
Daggers’ trip to the Silkmen’s Moss Rose home just so happens to be the final regular game of the campaign and it looks likely at this stage to be a pivotal game at the top.
With no cup competitions to distract them, the Essex club can give the league campaign their full focus.
However, their chances of promotion may rest on whether some of their key players leave during the January transfer window.
Though he has yet to hit the heights of the previous campaign, Corey Whitely has plenty of suitors in the Football League and still has those moments of magic that can win games.
Morgan Ferrier has been impressive since his summer move from Boreham Wood, when Daggers fended off clubs from the Football League to win his signature.
Arguably the club’s player of the season so far, Sam Ling has been outstanding at full back and looks set for a bright future.
It would be of little surprise if bids are made for any one of that trio, but if Daggers want to go up, they will need to keep them.