Fans column: This cannot be yet another false dawn for Dagenham & Redbridge

Dagenham and Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Altrincham, Vanarama Nat

Dagenham and Redbridge manager Daryl McMahon during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Altrincham, Vanarama National League Football at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on 12th December 2020 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Relief and delight were the feelings for the Daggers by the end of the week, but that’s not how the footballing week started for Dagenham – it began with a defeat to Yeovil on Saturday.

A defeat which again saw Daryl McMahon’s team rue their hatful of missed chances and suffer a painful loss right at the very death. This, following a challenge on the edge of the area, debatable to say the least, led to a second yellow for Callum Reynolds and a goal direct from the free-kick.

As I say though, there wasn’t exactly the same level of frustration towards the referee and sense of injustice there was after the Sutton defeat – this due to the feeling we brought it upon ourselves and had plenty of shots to seal the victory.

This led me into some analysis in the aftermath of the defeat at our woeful scoring record which was only worsened by Dover and Barnet!

This issue was clear, as it had been over the course of the season, but clear as day in the game at Huish Park.

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On countless occasions we had players inside the box firing wide of the mark and even from less than six yards out unable to hit the target! The worry was that these were mainly midfielders and the lack of action for the strikers was concerning.

We were then to travel to Solihull to put things right and stop a two-game losing streak becoming anything of greater concern and a real rut.

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There had now been three performances of equally good standard and the consistency was a sign of hope – yet we had just one win over that period.  

Ultimately, as I’ve said many times, it comes down to results and putting the ball in the back of the net that propels you up the table.

After two games where we had been unable to beat the ‘keeper; the Daggers got the edge of the Moors in that finally they took their chances! And, there was extra elation in that the goals-scorer was Paul McCallum who has struggled to reach the heights he is capable of this season.

That goal ended a goal-drought stretching back to the FA Trophy clash against Ebbsfleet on 19th December; the hope now after that huge relief for all at the club – he can now go on a run of form.

As is often the case with strikers, once they get one - they then can’t stop scoring – fingers crossed that’s the case with Dagenham’s number 9!

A last word on the victory in the West Midlands, and it was refreshing to see a performance where we were dominant and ruthless in both boxes which is often a criticism I had of this team.

Moreover, to match the levels of performance all over the pitch that we’d seen in recent weeks was delightful.

Now, we are back into the swing of things with Saturday, Tuesday games for the foreseeable future and the fixtures come thick and fast as we approach the business end of the season.

I feel it imperative that this latest win isn’t yet another false dawn; as has so often been the case this campaign. To ensure that this really is a turning point we have to see more good performances at Victoria Road this week – beginning with Boreham Wood today.

In order to get this run going and do the double over the Wood this season, we must be clinical in the final third, and also keep Tshimanga quiet up the other end of the pitch! This is easier said than done, but it must be done, to close the nine-point gap on the play-offs and also close the gap to just three points on Luke Garrard’s men.

Then, there is to be some revenge sought on Tuesday night as the Magpies come to town to get their second victory of the season over the Daggers. Maidenhead have a fair few games in hand, but sit mid-table and winless in four going into this weekend so have a point to prove this week.

Alan Devonshire’s side have been a stumbling block for Dagenham, so we need to be on our game to take three points and firing on all cylinders up front!

I just want McCallum to keep scoring this week and hit some form as this will undoubtedly boost the team as a whole and hopefully the league position.

Let’s hope that begins today and we can start to climb the table in a bid for the play-offs and we pray that this is the real making of something.

I am now full of hope: next week let’s hope it remains that way! Until then, stay safe and Come On You Daggers.

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