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Essex Senior Cup
Daggers 4 Harlow 1
An entertaining evening treat for the 270 supporters who decided to attend the last match before Christmas. And they were not disappointed when the reserve Dagenham goalkeeper Nicky Rust bizarrely scored from a clearance in the 14 minute. In watching football for over 20 years this is the first time that I have seen this happen. The ball was long and Julian Roberts in the Harlow goal completely mis-judged the bounce as he watched the ball go over his head.
It was good to see the home side take the game seriously and it was a bit of a surprise when Harlow took control of the match around the 25 minute mark and had a couple of attacks thwarted by our defence. But Coley powered in a tremendous shot from 15 yards that cracked against the post and rebounded at pace across the goal line, Mark Keen was unable to get out of the way and was unfortunately credited with the goal.
Before half time Haworth became supplier for Paul Cobb, Haworth had made a darting run into the box and produced a short cross to Paul who poked in from 2 yards.
Early in the second half Haworth should have made the match more comfortable but dragged his shot across the goal. He was to redeem himself later after a half dominated by the Daggers scoring two goals in the last 10 minutes. The first was a well taken shot from 16 yards but the second was more fortuitous when he followed up on a powerful drive from Matt Jones that the keeper was unable to gather after the initial good save.
Overall it was a performance that was well above my expectations and therefore have to say that I was very impressed.
Bring on Dover!
FACup 2nd Round
Lincoln City 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 1
The first half was a mediocre affair with the Daggers showing just a little too much respect for their 3rd Division opponents, marking was tight and the game played for the most part in no-mans land. Paul Terry did have a cracking dipping shot saved from 30 yards in the 25th minute when the Daggers were beginning to feel their feet and were on top. This was followed by a volley from Steve Heffer from a similar position just one minute later, this too was saved by Matthew Ghent in the Lincoln goal.
The second half was a different affair and I feel sure that Lincoln didn't even get into our half for at least 10 minutes as the visitors showed that any respect they had had had now been erased. (Note the use of three hads in a row which must be gramatically wrong, but I don't care!) For most of the second half we were on top with most of our problems revolvimg around Lincoln's throw ins and the ability, or lack, our defenders to get the ball out of the danger area. My heart in my mouth on 2 or 3 occasions. There was a great chance for us on 55 minutes when fine overlapping between Goodwin & McDougald on the right wing culminating in an incisive cross that just require a tiny, delicate toe punt from 3 yards. Heart in mouth, again.
In the 90th minute just as the 4th official was indicating that there would be 3 more minutes added on, Mark Janney noticed that there was a fairly innocuous ball hanging around the opponents penalty area waiting to be pounced on. And this he did, he took it toward the goalkeeper (whom had just been announced as the Imps Man of the Match) and placed the ball between his legs and to the mighty pleasure of the visiting 500 fans it trickled over the line.
Did the supporters celebrate....it looked like it from where I was almost seated.
And the draw away to Charlton, well you have to be happy with that.