Dagenham (‘Redbridge’ is silent amongst hard core fans) have had a torrid 2018. The principal sponsor and benefactor withdrew support and with very poor crowds (a home crowd of about 1000 + away support) and mounting debts it looked like curtains. Over the Summer there was an exodus of players and the manager all of whom were replaced. Unsurprisingly the totally new team- players and manager- were strangers and didn’t immediately jell. The first seven matches garnered a single point out of a possible 21.
Over the last four matches we’ve achieved eight points and have begun to look like a team. After today’s match I watched Watford vs Manchester United. The glitzy ManU. with Pogba and Lukaku (£85M each) and £58M sub Martial scraped a 1-2 win. They played some wonderful stuff but it felt jaded- you expect wonderful stuff when there is half a billion pounds of talent available to the manager.
When Daggers do wonderful moves it’s a richly rewarding event because it’s unexpected. Today we saw a goal of beauty and charm. A defensive error left our centre-forward (Kandi) one-on-one with the goalie. He had composure, guile and skill when he chipped the on-rushing goalie and the ball floated delightfully into the net. That moment summed up why a National League game creates passion amongst the fans. The game ended 1-1, which is a bit of a travesty as Chesterfield missed two golden opportunities.
By the way Daggers have something in common with ManU. Daggers have acquired American owners. But they didn’t need to loot the club to pay like the Galzer family. Our American owner’s paid £1 for the share capital. They couldn’t loot Daggers because we don’t own anything. Obviously they’re fans just like me, which is a nice feeling.
The game itself reminded me of the Emlyn Hughes quip: I felt sorry for the ball.