Positive signs for Daggers despite FA Cup deflation

Just minutes away from the third round of the FA Cup, then utter deflation.

As the ball was turned in by Gillingham in the 92nd minute I just thought only Dagenham, after a great display to finally get our reward through a calm Josh Walker finish, would concede at the very last. 

Despite the frustrating end, as I say, it was a solid display with a patience going forward that was ultimately rewarded in the 80th minute, the introduction of George Saunders helping in giving that extra dimension in attack.

It was great to see Saunders make an impact like that and hopefully he can become a key part of this Dagenham side going forward, providing a much-needed balance in attack, on either wing. 

Another promising performance, in which we were for the most part the better side, extends the unbeaten run to six with just four goals conceded in that period – evidencing the foundation of our success being in our defence.

Hopefully, we can continue that run and defensive record today at home to a struggling Torquay side who are on a comparatively torrid run of form, especially on the road where they haven’t scored in their last four matches. 

However, it is important not to be complacent and allow ourselves to be the turning point in their campaign, therefore I am expecting a ruthless performance today that controls the game from the first to last.

In doing so, we can continue to mount the pressure on the top seven and perhaps even break into the play-offs, putting ourselves in a strong position going into the festive period. 

It is a busy festive season for the Daggers on the pitch, as ever, and the FA Cup replay adds to the chaos of the schedule on Thursday night.

The pressure to ensure that last-minute equaliser isn’t an extremely expensive one is only heightened by the draw on Monday night and the prospect of hosting 2021 FA Cup winners Leicester City. 

For captain Matt Robinson, who is himself a Leicester City fan, there is that extra incentive (if any was needed) to get over the line at the Priestfield Stadium on Thursday. But the stakes are high enough with the prospect of being the first Daggers side in six years to reach the third round. 

I expect that if we play as well as we did in the home fixture, perhaps being a little more clinical early on, we can see off Gillingham as we looked much the better side at Victoria Road. Hopefully, with good away support travelling across the Thames we can help get the team over the line and into the third round where that enticing encounter against the Foxes awaits. 

We’ll see if that comes to pass come next week, but until then let’s hope for a victory today to keep up the momentum and get behind the boys. Come On You Daggers!


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