Fans column: Dagenham carry on after another Covid-19 investigation


Dagenham & Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon - Credit: GRIFFITHS PHOTOGRAPHERS

Something out of nothing. When a COVID investigation was announced on Friday at the Daggers; I didn’t expect any action on the pitch for at least a week – but a pleasant surprise came on Monday.

It was confirmed the Daggers will play on Tuesday at home to Weymouth! The team selection did see three changes due to isolation and injuries, nonetheless, the hosts fielded a solid outfit capable of defeating the Terras.

But the victory just couldn’t be secured after a good performance, yet again they had thrown away the three points in the last minute. Injustice? Well, only that Liam (Lionel) Gordon’s solo goal wasn’t to be the one that won it!

Gordon’s run from his own half into the opposition box, then curling it into the top corner on his weak foot – cancelled out by a late, late Weymouth goal. Now, as I say, it was a good performance but we didn’t get the result – a result we needed.

This looked to be the start of something, a good run, two wins in the last three – however, we just fell short and I worry that we will also now full short of the play-off places. Our inability to get a consistent, winning run needed to climb the table will inevitably see us fall short.

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We haven’t won two games in a row now since our three-game winning streak which included an FA Trophy clash back in December; the only time we’ve recorded back to back victories all season.

We were without Paul McCallum for Tuesday’s encounter, he remains in isolation for today’s game too. But, up top on Tuesday did see the long-awaited return of Adrian Clifton from injury which was great to see.

Paul McCallum of Dagenham & Redbridge

Paul McCallum of Dagenham & Redbridge - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

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While on the topic of personnel, there was a change in personnel at the club this week, Charlee Adams departing after playing 11 games this season. He started on Tuesday, therefore this came as a surprise to some, but I always saw Charlee’s return as a temporary arrangement.

Also, I feel that Matt Robinson has cemented his place in centre midfield and it is Robinson who has been the real revelation in the middle of the park this campaign.

But, despite the size of McMahon’s squad, it was one in one out as John Still’s recruitment from lower leagues continues – this time it was a loan deal struck with Maidstone for midfielder Saidou Khan.

He looks an exciting player, but aren’t we oversubscribed in that position? My theory is Daryl is testing the likes of Sagaf, Smith and Khan to see out of them who he will keep for next season.

McMahon spoke in response to the signing, again re-iterating his desire to move to a younger, energetic squad – namedropping the likes of Saunders and Gordon. This is something that excites and pleases me and I’m sure other supporters.

What is also pleasing, on the flip-side of being unable to record a sufficient amount of victories – we are unbeaten this month and we hope for that to continue this week. Although, it won’t be easy as we face Altrincham and Hartlepool, the latter sitting in second place as it stands.

It was revealed by manager, McMahon, that we will have just 16 travelling to Altrincham today due to COVID and injuries – so there is limited choice in terms of team selection. However, I believe that the fans are right to still expect a win against a side with just one win in their last five.

As for Tuesday, it is a tough ask against Hartlepool, whom the Daggers will also play in the reverse fixture on April 2nd. The Pools are going strong, but if we put in a good performance under the lights at Victoria Road, we could nick something from the game.

Hopefully, we’ll have the likes of Paul McCallum return from isolation by Tuesday and the squad will be in a better position as far as availability is concerned. So too, we hope, will the Daggers in terms of league position by the time next Saturday comes round.

Until then, Stay Safe and Come On You Daggers!

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