The old cliché, "the league championship is a marathon not a sprint"
became more like a comfortable jog for Dagenham & Redbridge as they won the
Ryman league title by an incredible 24 points from nearest challengers Aldershot
Town. After the Daggers claimed the top spot, on September 25th with a 4-0
victory over then leaders Enfield, the Ryman League championship became a
one-horse race with only brief challenges from St Albans City and Aldershot
During the Close season, the Daggers installed former Heybridge Swifts and St
Albans City manager, Garry Hill into the hot seat. His brief was straight
forward, to take the Daggers back to the Conference and build a solid platform
for the future. Named as pre-season favourites by bookmakers, William Hill,
their first game away to Harrow Borough saw them hiccup as they could only draw
1-1 but with only one defeat in their first twenty league games, they began to
pull away from the other sides in the league.
Cup results suffered though and they went out of both the FA Cup and FA Umbro
Trophy competitions early on to Burton Albion and Purfleet respectively.
The first crunch game came at the end of January with a visit to Clarence
Park, home of St Albans City who were eight points behind them. A 3-1 victory
for the visitors stretched their lead at the top and blew away the Hertfordshire
sides challenge. February proved to be the Daggers poorest month of results as
they picked up only one point from three games but any hopes the chasing pack
may have had of catching the Daggers were dismissed as the Essex side then went
on a tremendous run of results, dropping only 4 points from their remaining 14
The title was won on April 22nd when they came from behind to win 3-2 at
Hampton & Richmond Borough despite having been reduced to nine men whilst
nearest challengers, Aldershot Town lost at home to Enfield.
By the end of the season they had made Victoria Road a fortress with only
Chesham United departing with a point as they recorded 20 victories and a draw
from their 21 home league games. The average crowd rose over 40% compared to the
previous season and topped the thousand mark for only the third time in the
clubs history with their following outnumbering the home side at a number of
away fixtures during the season.
The 101 points recorded was the joint second highest ever in the Ryman
Premier Division and they only fell three short of achieving a century of goals.
They were presented with the League Championship on the final day of the season
as they defeated Slough 2-1 to record their tenth consecutive league victory.
The Ryman League title together with the required ground grading meant that
the Daggers returned to the Conference after a four-year absence.