Dagenham & Redbridge defender Joe Widdowson ready to face ‘friend’ and Forest Green Rovers striker Christian Doidge

PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 March 2017

Christian Doidge of Forest Green Rovers and Joe Widdowson of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Christian Doidge of Forest Green Rovers and Joe Widdowson of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Defender and forward spent 18 months as team-mates at Daggers

Dagenham & Redbridge left-back Joe Widdowson says it is no surprise to see former team-mate Christian Doidge smashing in the goals for Forest Green Rovers in the National League this season.

Widdowson played alongside the Welshman for a year-and-a-half before Doidge left last summer to join Rovers.

Any friendship will be put on hold on Saturday, though, when Doidge makes his return to Victoria Road with Forest Green, and Widdowson is fully aware how dangerous the forward is.

“‘Doidgey’ is a good player and the last six months he was with Dagenham, he really showed that,” said the Daggers defender.

“I’m happy and pleased to see him doing well; he’s a good guy and a really good friend of mine. I’m not surprised he’s doing well at Forest Green because he’s a striker who if you give him good supply, he’ll score you goals.”

When Daggers faced Forest Green earlier in the season, it ended in a 1-1 draw at the New Lawn in October.

The Essex club showed good character that day to battle back from a goal down against a team who arguably look among the best on the ball in the division.

And Widdowson fully expects Forest Green to try and keep it on the ground again at Victoria Road tomorrow (Saturday).

“When we played them earlier in the season away from home, it was probably one of the best

footballing games I can remember this season,” added the 28-year-old.

“Forest Green have a lot of talented players in their squad and they’ve probably invested a lot more than us.

“They expect to be challenging near the top, as we do, so it should be two good teams having a game of football on Saturday.”

Though Daggers have lost three of their last four in the league, hopes will be high for success against second-placed Rovers as John Still’s team have not lost to any of the top six this season.

Conversely, though, the Essex club have dropped points against Sutton United, Guiseley, Braintree Town, Maidstone United and Torquay United, all of whom are currently in the bottom eight.

And though that suggests Daggers will avoid defeat this weekend, Widdowson admits it is a struggle to put a finger on why the team fare better against sides near the top than at the bottom.

“Maybe we raise our game a bit more for the bigger teams, but that shouldn’t be the case,” he said.

“We’re as focused playing a Guiseley or a Maidstone United as we are facing a Forest Green or a Tranmere Rovers.”

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