After the 1-1 draw on Saturday, Dagenham fan Nick Murphy from http://thedaggersscale.blogspot.com/ gives us his viewpoint on the FA Cup 2nd Round tie which will be replayed for the right to face Millwall in January.
Sadlad – 1. From a Walsall perspective,that first half performance seed a dire performance from the not so super Saddlers. Were we as bad as anything you have seen in League Two this season, or even worse?
Nick -Walsall were very poor in the first half and it showed, Dagenham dominated but couldn’t find that all important break through. League Two is quite an average league this season, if I was to compare you to anyone; it would probably be us in certain games. A very poor opening thirty where you’re constantly under pressure; before edging back into the game with a shot just before the referee blows for half time. Make no mistake though, for a higher league side, it was quite a poor first half display.
2. It seemed Damien Scannell was quite effective for Daggers, especially in that first half and not afraid to shoot. What was your assessment of him in this game and what’s he like in general?
Scannell is a strange one; yesterday was probably one of his best performances in a Daggers shirt, this is usually because he doesn’t normally last the 80 minutes or so that he did! Damien is one that seems constantly unfit, he can have a big impact in the first half and then completely fade in the second due to his lack of fitness. He knows that’s something he needs to work on and yesterday was a lot more impressive. As you say his first half performance he was probably one of our best players and unlike his usual self, not afraid to shoot, he faded slightly in the second 45 but was still a threat. I’ve personally said that he should play one half of a game, then be replaced at half time by a younger winger to give another dimension, I doubt this will happen but that’s my view. Whether he plays next week or is dropped to the bench is anyones guess.
3. The goals certainly livened things up a bit. So many times this season Walsall have failed to hold onto the lead and I guess so many times Dagenham and Redbridge have had to play catch-up. Did you think either side was likely to go on and score a second?
That’s a very good question. Before the Walsall goal, Dagenham looked the more likely to go and collect the win. After the Walsall goal you could have argued Walsall were now favourites to build on the lead as we haven’t been very impressive when coming from behind. When Jon Nurses goal went in however, it was all change. The momentum was firmly with us and if anyone looked likely to score then it probably would have been us. I say all of this and then you can reflect before the goals, if anyone was going to score it would have been us, but Walsall shocked us all by registering probably only their fourth shot of the day and it went in. That’s football I suppose.
4. Just how poor were Walsall over the 95 or so minutes? Local radio here painted a black picture.
With all due respect, I didn’t think this game would be one of immense quality judging by the two sides’ league positions; but I thought Walsall would have been a bit better than what they were. They seemed to spring into life just before and just after the half time whistle, but by this time the momentum goes and they ended up on the back foot once more. Adam Chambers threatened to spark some quality, but was usually fizzled out by our defenders. For all I know it may have just been an off day, but I wasn’t particularly impressed.
5.You made Brian Woodall man of the match in your blog.I understand he has been left out of the side at times. What can you tell us about him and is he one for the future?
Ahh yes, Brian ‘Hayley’ Woodall due to his very high pitched voice. The confidence from his two goals against Bath City in the previous round is quite obvious to us all. He’s attempting shots from outside the box and looks like he’s got a new lease of life about him. He’s very much one for the future; if we had all of our strikers fit he wouldn’t be in the side at the moment, he’d probably be out on loan to a Conference side gaining valuable experience and adjusting to a higher level. He was brought in from Gresley, a league about five steps down from League Two so you can see what a massive step up it was and he’s really been thrown in at the deep end, and he’s doing superbly well for a man of his experience and ability. I hope he does get a chance to go out on loan to a Conference club as I feel it will benefit him, but his partnership with Josh Scott yesterday was probably one of the best we’ve had all season so far. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
6. Walsall had 259 fans present. What was your impression of these hardy souls from the home section you were in? Were they in good voice? Did they attempt to lift their side or were they on the players backs?
First off, credit to the 259 that came down to represent there team. I realise that Dagenham & Redbridge away is hardly the most appealing draw in a cup competition, especially away from home and they deserve to be credited for their efforts. Noise wise, they weren’t very impressive in all honesty, the two times they really rose to prominance was when Walsall scored, somewhat obviously and when Ryan Jarvis was sent off. They weren’t best pleased!
7. Some of your fans on various forums said after the game indicated it was the best Daggers played all season. Would you go along with that?
That’s a very good question, considering we’ve only had about four or five performances this season to really write home about this season, it’s definitely up there. At a push maybe it was, we appeared to play it along the deck a lot more which was refreshing to see and it actually came off, creating various opportunities, usually down the left hand side in the first half. We have to also remember that Walsall are a League One club, although you are near the bottom of your division, it’s still a league difference and I thought we performed admirably. The big question is, will it be yet another false dawn following on from good performances away at Crawley and at home to Southend most recently.
8. Walsall manager Dean Smith said after the game, “Dagenham is always a a tough game to go to.” Would you say that is fair comment on what you have seen at the LB Barking and Dagenham stadium this season?
I think that’s part and parcel of what managers always say about most clubs. We usually get that because on most occaisions we bombard the defence with long balls and offer a strong physical challenge for the ball, add to that the pitch isn’t always the best and you have the recipe for a tough game. We “historically” never give up on a lost cause and usually ply a lot of our trade down the wings which causes a lot of problems for the left & right backs. This season however, we’ve only won twice I believe in front of our own fans; which suggests that it’s been slightly easier than previous seasons as our home form has usually been our rock, because our form is usually very poor.
9. Did you have a clear view of what led up to Ryan Jarvis’s sending off? I guess there was not much point in any Walsall players protests?
I didn’t have a clear view I’m afraid, but I’m assuming that it was a deserved red going by Spillanes reactions after the challenge. If he led with an elbow then it’s a deserved sending off, however if he went to jump and his elbow caught Mickey it’s just one of those things I suppose. I don’t understand how players are supposed to jump without use of elbows, but that’s the rules!
10. And finally, do you think this result will help restore some confidence within the side for next Saturday’s League Two game against Port Vale? Would you keep the same side for that important game?
I certainly hope so! As I’ve spoken about, we’ve had various false dawns this season and I’m hoping this isn’t another. Vale are seemingly better away from home than at Vale Park and we don’t generally do to well against them so it will prove to be a stern test. As for the line up, it’s a very good question. We have players such as Montano who is on loan from West Ham who will be available next week and I expect him to come back into the side, maybe for Scannell. We also have Adam Cunnington who looked lively at Accrington last week and I’d expect him to feature at some point, furthermore Exodus Geohaghan will probably get a place on the bench meaning Phil Walsh will miss out. As for our line up when we play you in the replay; I expect it will be fairly similar to the one that took you on yesterday!
Thanks for letting me take part in this and remember to follow me on Twitter, @NickDRFCMurphy.
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