McMahon: Dagenham & Redbridge relishing ‘tough’ FA Cup tie

Dagenham & Redbridge know their FA Cup second-round tie with Gillingham is going to be tough, but they’re ‘confident and looking forward to it’ says boss Daryl McMahon.

Daggers welcome the Gills to Victoria Road on Saturday (5pm) on the back of a late National League win over lowly Scunthorpe United last weekend.

McMahon’s men are unbeaten in their last five outings in all competitions, with only one defeat in 10 matches, while Gills dropped into the League Two relegation zone after a 2-0 defeat at Newport County.


The Kent club have taken just three points from seven matches since beating Sutton at the start of October, but saw off Fylde in a first-round replay, having also shocked Premier League side Brentford on penalties in the EFL Cup.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game, playing against a side from the division above,” McMahon told the club website. 

“Me and ‘Gritty’ [Steve Gritt] went to watch them Tuesday night against Fylde and we will go and watch them again against Crawley. We know it’s going to be tough.

“We’re confident, we’re looking forward to it. Our home form is really good. I said this when the draw was made, that we were looking forward and happy that we were at home.”

Harry Phipps headed Daggers in front against Scunthorpe, who hit back to level soon after, and debutant Jay Bird struck an 85th minute after coming off the bench, a day after joining the club on non-contract terms.

And McMahon admitted he was delighted for Bird, adding: “He literally come and trained yesterday [Friday]. He hasn’t been anywhere. He scored against us last year for Wealdstone so we knew about him there. 

“He has been at MK Dons and been a good player in their academy system and 23s. He has played in the EFL Cups and scored goals against Stevenages and stuff like that so we’d seen him play and knew he was a goal threat.

“He held the ball up really well when he came on. His first touch was excellent. When they went into him, he secured the ball, he got hold of it, brought people into play straight away as well so he gave us a different dimension to what we had with Josh [Walker] and Junior [Morias].

“Delighted for him to score. He’s a kid that’s not had a club all season, so to come into us, one day training, then have his debut against Scunthorpe and come on and score the winner, I think he’s very happy.”

The late win certainly sent fans home happier than might have been the case had it ended all square, with Daggers left just one point off the play-off places in ninth.

And McMahon wants them to maintain their momentum as they switch focus to trying to get into the hat for the FA Cup third-round draw.

“We’re good at the moment. We’ve been good for a little while, we’ve said it for a few weeks now. We’ve just got to stay there,” he added.

“You’re only as good as your next game, not your last one. We have to go and do it again and again and again.

“If you want to be a good team and successful in this division, or any division, you’ve got to perform week in week out.

“At this moment in time I think we’re performing really well. In and out of possession we look a better team, a stronger team, a more together team.”

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