Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Dagenham Beat

Unlike my last visit to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium - or plain old Victoria Road to you and me - when there was no tube service due to weekend engineering, Transport for London have taken the wise decision not to mess with the Darlo massive and run trains all the way through to Dagenham East.

There is no time for a burger and chips today - I've got all my camera gear and I don't want to cover it all in greasy fingerprints.

I have a quick - and typically surreal chat - with "Mad" Steve before kick-off - he's suggesting that if he falls foul of the credit crunch, he's going to take us all down with him. Er....yes, Steve.

(left) Rude boys Steve and Andy

I decide to position myself in front of the small away stand, more or less in the disabled section where Jamie and Paul - with helpers Margaret and Paul - are sitting. Handily placed it turns out to help Paul finish off his chips - thanks!

In the first half, we kick towards the away end which is full of Darlo faithful - the usual good turn-out that we see in London - and Abbot gets us excited with an early shot but it hits the side netting and doesn't unduly worry D&R keeper Roberts - but then nothing usually does.

Meanwhile the Daggers go close and later in the half they get the ball in the net on a couple of occasions only for them to be both ruled out, once for offside and once for a push in the back, much to the glee of the 321 Darlo fans (322 including me).

The ref seems to be continuing the theme of previous games and players are being booked for relatively minor infringements, perhaps it's the roar of the home crowd influencing him - then again perhaps not!

In the second-half the game continues to be evenly balanced - the danger man seems to be the Daggers' MotM Ritchie (who was announced as being on-loan from Portsmouth City by the D & R tannoy announcer earlier in the season).

Thankfully Ryan Valentine and Rob Purdie keep him under control for most of the game.

In addition, our on-loan keeper Gerken is having a decent game and has stopped everything coming his way. His kicking is a bit wayward though and he did have one rush of blood when he ran out to the edge of the box - on that occasion he was ably protected by Foster and White as he was throughout the second half (as the balls that went clear over the North stand would testify).

And it was from a Foster clearance into the Dagenham half - it would be a bit cheeky to call it a cunning through ball - that Abbot appeared to beat the off-side trap and put the ball neatly past the advancing Roberts.

(right) Pav celebrates - one Daggers fan is not impressed

Dagenham pressed hard for an equaliser in the last 15 mins but Darlo survived a couple of late scares to come out with our fourth victory in January.

For our past match celebration, a few of us went to the Palm Tree at Mile End. We were a little disappointed to see that they only had Fullers London Pride available when we got there but they soon put on another beer - Maldon Gold - so we more or less carried on from where we left our lunchtime session and completed what was a very pleasant day.

1 comment:

Jeffrey said...

Ted - well, you've kept this blog quiet (from me, at least)!