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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dagenham and Redbridge Preview

A disappointing result at Tranmere, where our first half dominance didn't see us get the goals we deserved, leaves us languishing in 10th and now 3 points away from Huddersfield in top spot. But its early days and we can only regret having been relegated a year too soon because if we had last seasons form we would be five points clear at the top.
Anyway, two home games coming up to see out September, a month whose results sees us currently 15th best, and we begin with the second to bottom club Dagenham and Redbridge.
And what an awful bees knees mess is this Tier Three league. Two weeks after playing the oldest team in the world John Still brings his young 18 year old team to the Valley. Although maybe that's a bit unfair as Dagenham and Redbridge are in reality four teams rolled in one, being an amalgamation of Ilford, Walthamstow, Leytonstone and Dagenham, and who can blame them if it gets them into League football. This they achieved in just 15 years when, after winning the Conference, they played their first League game in August 2007 just as we dipped out of the top flight.

Second bottom of the league and with the worst away record as well, where they have played three, lost three and all without scoring at Wednesday, Notts County and Bournemouth by 0-2, 0-1 and 0-3 respectively. And in their cup exploits they have fared no better with a 2-1 away League Cup defeat at MK Dons as well as that forgetable 0-1 exit at the Valley in the Painting jobbie which all makes it look rather easy for Addicks come the weekend.

As for their home games, they drew 2-2 with 4th from bottom Tranmere and had a amazing 2-0 win over the hapless Orient while coming unstuck again last weekend against Bristol Rovers 0-3.
But they did manage a draw against Exeter this week to lift them off the bottom so its a total of seven league games, 4 without scoring, and only 5 points to show for their total of 5 goals scored; come back Paul Benson.

The Opposition
Number nine for the Daggers is Jon Nurse from Bridgetown, Barbados who in 2008 became the Daggers first ever full international when he played 55 minutes of Barbados' World Cup qualifying match in Dominica on the 16 February 2008. The forward then played 69 minutes in the 2nd leg against Dominica on 26 March 2008.
Alongside Nurse we may see the 6' 3" Basir "Bas" Mohammed Savage, just signed from Tranmere. He's big, black, with an extravagant style of play and is famous for his moonwalk celebrations whenever he scores. Lets hope we remain as ignorant of their style as we are now.

But the man to watch is surely the number 20 Frenchman Romain Vincelot (left). He's a midfielder but that doesn't stop him being the Daggers leading scorer with 4 goals including the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at home on Tuesday against Exeter.

And one aspect that Manager Still will be pleased about is the number of shoots last weekend, for while the Addicks managed 10 shots in total at Tranmere with only 3 on target, the Daggers had 22 shots in all with eleven on target. This may be a result of their being more adventous playing at home where they have managed to score all of their 5 goals. Looking back to their Painting efforts at the Valley it was the Daggers who hardly excelled with only three shots on target against the Addicks 6.


Just about the shortest history lession this season ( no, MK Dons will be shorter) with only three previous games. A Third Round FA cup tie in January 2001 with John Salako equalising in the dying moments saved our blushes and a Shawn Newton goal at Victoria Road got us through to the 4th round.

And then there was the nondescript Painting contest evening on August 31st when a 57th minute Therry Racon goal put an end to our embarrassment.

What Are They Saying?

After the Painting game at the Valley, Daggers boss John Still: "I didn't think we deserved to lose. I was pleased with the performance. I think we've got some very good players and I expect us to start winning games soon.”

While Gary Doherty adds, "We've got two massive home games coming up and our last two results have given us a boost. We're feeling confident."

The Team

After our staggering 3 goals at Orient, we have inconceivably dropped back into our goal-a-game mode. Not surprisingly our customary one goal proved not to be enough at Trenton Park and our 4 goals in our last 5 League games places us in 14th spot in the table for most dangerous attack in Tier Three. Even Orient and Rochdale have scored goals than we have and Parky must be rather embarrassed by the lack of exercise that we are giving the opposing goalkeeper. In fact, since that crazy 4-4 draw with the spanners back in December last year, although we've only failed to score 5 times in the 33 League and Play-off games since then, we've only scored more than once on 10 occasions. So, like the Arse of old, our favorite chant is clearly becoming its 1-0 to the Addicks with no less than seven 1-0 games in the last 19 fixtures.

And Parky won't be too happy either to learn that - after our impressive 23 fouls at Tranmere - our appalling tackling is setting new heights as we now have a clear lead in the table on fouls committed - now a huge 109 from our 7 games, one every 6 minutes - and only Bristol Rovers can beat our 16 yellow cards received. Won't be long before suspensions start hitting us hard, although it must be said that the cards are evenly spread with eleven players having been carded.

So while Parky emphasizes the need to stay on ones feet at the training ground, at home he'll be going over his endorsing the horses-for-courses approach, as he seeks to remedy our goals-for column and push it into double figures at least. Two goals needed, boys.

Last time out against the Daggers we played: Worner; Francis, Fry, Dailly, Llera; Martin (Reid 85), Semedo (McCormack 86), Racon, Wagstaff; Sodje (Abbott 67), Benson. So we can expect at least three changes from that team with new boy West Bromwichs' 22 year old Luke Daniels likely to start in place of 20 year old Russ Worner in goal. Christian Dailly will still be missing with his cracked eye socket (I hope they didn't make him watch the operation) and with the Daggers playing similar to Tranmere it looks like Miguel will retain his place.

Up front Paul Benson is still looking for his first Addicks goal after 4 games and this would be a good time to start Paul because despite all our efforts at signing a striker to end our distressing attacking problems, top goalscorer is none other than Scottie Wagstaff with three as many as anybody else, in league games anyway. He's one of five players that have now played more than 600 minutes but then again so have Lee Martin and Pawel Abbott.

Which strikers will Parky choose this week? After a total of nine games, with admittedly new additions coming in, we've tried five different combinations of starting strikers and none of the strikers who started the game have scored for the last seven games!

Looks like its becoming a bit of a problem then or do we put the blame on the support they are getting? Maybe its time to look back to our early success last season with a 5 man midfield and a single striker and play Racon and Martin together in midfield with Wagstaff and Reid on the wings and Benson on his own up front.

Anyway, probably supporting two of Anyinsah, Sodje and Benson, Parky must again decide who to play out wide with Scottie, Martin and Reid all available. Reid has still to score this year although Akpo will argue that it doesn't do you any good as he scored in his only League start of the season against Bournemouth and has been the perennial League sub ever since. Although he'll had to pay attention to more of what promoted-last-season Gary Doherty has to say "We've got competition for places and you need that if you want to go up. You need people fighting to keep their place and to get into the team."

Daniels; Francis, Doherty, Llera, Jackson; Wagstaff, Semedo, Racon, Reid; Anyinsah, Benson.

With our recent goal a game run matching exactly what we have managed in our three previous games against the Daggers, you'd think a 1-0 win was on the cards. But after snatching three points from the jaws of defeat in the last home game against County, Parky's gonna be really embarrassed if we don't do the same and more against a team stuck at the bottom. A 2-0 home win then with Benson getting his first goal, although you may not see any celebrating.

Meanwhile over at cafcpicks, of the 38 players there a massive 26 see a home win, 11 eternal pessimistics suffer a draw, while the one nigger in the woodpile is our dear old Frankie Valley who is really thinking outside the box once again and forecasts a defeat.......

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