McMahon: I’m really pleased at Dagenham & Redbridge display

Dagenham & Redbridge boss Daryl McMahon admitted he was ‘really pleased’ to start 2023 with a National League win at Maidstone United.

Daggers had beaten Stones 1-0 at Victoria Road on Boxing Day, thanks to a Myles Weston goal.

And they completed a quickfire double in the return at the Gallgher Stadium thanks to Josh Walker’s 83rd-minute header.

Victory left Daggers just outside the play-off places on goal difference, but with three games in hand on seventh-placed Eastleigh.

And McMahon told the club website: “The performance means more to me. I know I say this all the time and it might sound boring but I genuinely feel that if you perform well you’ve got a better chance of winning a game of football.

“I think we probably should’ve won by more than the one goal. Our performance today was really good and when it was only 1-0 and we had to defend properly, we defended properly. We didn’t panic, we did things right.

“You can see how the team has learnt from recent experiences, like against Gillingham where we stayed calm, we defended the box properly.

“I thought Macca [Paul McCallum] coming on for the set-pieces helped us at the end of the game. But overall I’m really pleased with the performance.”

Daggers had the better chances throughout, but had to stay patient before finally breaking the deadlock with Walker heading home Weston’s cross for his ninth goal of the campaign.

“We’d spoken about Maidstone defend really narrow and looked at having our wing-backs really high and wide and trying to hit diagonal balls from our outside centre-backs to our wing-backs,” added McMahon.

“It was a great ball from Josh Hare first and foremost, who hit a couple of fantastic balls today I thought across the pitch.

“Westy has done well one-v-one like he always does and Josh Walker’s movement probably goes a little bit unnoticed. It’s what he’s great at, for me. 

“In the box he’s always moving, he’s never standing still. He gets across really well and it’s a fantastic header.”

Walker had seen a first-half effort ruled out for offside, although TV replays suggested Jerome Binnon-Williams had played him onside.

And Daggers also had penalty claims turned down when Kodi Lyons-Foster appeared to trip Junior Morias in the box.

McMahon had some sympathy for referee Matthew Russell, but felt his side were hard done by on both occasions.

“I think he’s a good referee. Every time we’ve had him, I’ve always thought he’s good,” he said.

“And I’ll be surprised if he’s not a Football League referee in the next year or so. I do think he’s a very good referee. I want to say that first and foremost.

“The first goal Josh Walker scored, I can see why it’s given as offside, even though I don’t think it is offside, I can see why if they’re not 100 per cent certain, why they’ve erred on the side of the defending team, it’s what everyone does.

“But to not give the penalty is incredible. It’s absolutely incredible how you’ve not given that as a penalty.

“There is no way you can tell me that Junior played for it or whatever. If Junior stays on his feet he’s past the defender, there’s nobody coming after Junior, he’s got a clear shot at goal.

“There’s no way Junior needs to go down, no reason why Junior would go down, and if you think he has gone down, book him for diving.

“It’s a penalty to us or a yellow card and free-kick to Maidstone. I think he got that really, really wrong. But we all make mistakes.”

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