Daggers character tested at Torquay, but now it's FA Trophy time

Angelo Balanta in action for Dagenham & Redbridge against Southend United in the National League in October

Angelo Balanta in action for Dagenham & Redbridge against Southend United in the National League in October - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

In pursuit of a fifth straight league win the Daggers’ character was once again tested and met with great resolve in Torquay - coming back from two goals down to salvage a point.

The concern came from the return of the concession of early goals, our pitfall for much of the earlier stages of the McMahon era. However, unlike seasons gone by, the Daggers didn’t let the opening 20 minutes define the game and dictate the result, with Angelo Balanta having other ideas.

The Colombian attacker proved once again how vital he is to this team and though he may not dictate the game as he once did, he certainly hasn’t lost his magic.

That said, we mustn’t slip into the old habit of conceding early goals and relying on individual brilliance to get us out of trouble. What could’ve easily been a defeat on Saturday could also have seen a stunning 3-2 comeback and all three points the way the game was going at the end.

So, it’s a good point on the road and maintains a solid unbeaten run, but if we can cut out the likes of that first minute Torquay goal, that’s another three points on the board in pursuit of the play-offs.

That play-off push is going to be a tough old battle, like every year, with few teams letting up in the race for the top seven. Dagenham’s hopes boosted with a near-fully-fit squad going into the second half of the season; equally though, tough challenges with those teams in play-off contention lie ahead.

In the meantime, we’ve now got a break from league action as attention turns to the FA Trophy, a highly-anticipated encounter as Southend come to town - looking to progress to round five. 

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The Seasiders have seen a slight uptick in form of late, but still sit in 18th in the league 17 points adrift of their local rivals, however in a one-off cup tie anything can happen.

Hence the need for the Daggers to be on top of their game today, as they were the last time Maher’s men visited Victoria Road, a resounding 3-0 victory. The consequences of this game not only being a question of progression to the next round or not, but a confidence boost for the tough tests ahead in the league.

A ‘far more organised’ outfit are this Southend side than before, to use the words of Daryl McMahon who watched today’s opponents in the week, but we should have enough to overcome the visitors today.

Let’s hope that’s the case and we return to league action next week full of confidence, ready to cement our play-off status.

Until then, Come On You Daggers!

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