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 The Poll

Daggers change of ownership: should we...

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DAGGERS DICTIONARY

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Showing an absurd level of optimism.

 

 

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Next Match


24 October 2017
7:45pm
Macclesfield Town
Home
Vanarama National League 
 

Last Match


21 October 2017
Wrexham
Home
Vanarama National League 
Lost 0-1


     On This Day


In 1993,The Daggers drew 2-2 with Cambridge City Away in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round


In 1999,The Daggers beat Walton & Hersham 2-0 at Home in the Ryman League Premier 


In 2004,The Daggers lost 1-2 to Farnborough Town Away in the Nationwide Conference 
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In 2010,The Daggers lost 2-3 to Rochdale Away in the NPower League One 


In 2012,The Daggers drew 1-1 with Exeter City at Home in the NPower League Two 


 

 


The toss of a coin
by Hardy on 11/02/2002

Every football match is preceded by the toss of a coin and it is mostly viewed as an irrelevance to what follows. Hardy wonders if the choice of ends is important and looks at the facts.

The toss of a coin

With all the controversy flying around football right now about the throwing of coins and other objects at players, it is sometimes easy to forget that there is a toss of a coin that takes place at every match at every level and sets the scene for all that follows. This is of course the referee's toss up with the team captains for choice of ends.

This age old ritual before the start of the game is, for most observers, a complete irrelevance. On some days the weather can obviously have an effect on the choice with a strong wind blowing down the pitch or, like at Victoria Road on sunny winter Saturdays, a low sun to contend with. Most times though, the teams seem to just play the way they are facing and off we go.

So is this really how it works?

It seems that most clubs have a preference for which way they will play at home in the second half of games. For Spurs it is towards the Paxton Lane End (right, unfortunately not an artists impression of the "new" Victoria Road) and for Liverpool it is towards the Kop for instance. For these clubs this can be easily explained as these areas are where the hard core support tend to be and when things get down to the wire in the second half of tight matches it helps to have the crowd baying at the away keeper and defence.

Dagenham & Redbridge have a marked preference for playing towards our own clock end (left), the Bury Road End of the ground, in the second half. This is so much so that they have played that way in 20 of 24 matches at Victoria Road this season so far. In segregated games the same argument could hold sway, although at Victoria Road most of the baying that goes on comes from the Seive, but in other games this cannot be a significant factor as the crowd tends to change ends with the team.

So does the direction of play figure in Garry Hill's instructions before the game?

It would seem that it does given the comments of the man who has worn the armband most often recently, Steve Heffer (right). "If we do win it, which hasn't happened that much lately (I'm getting a bit like Nasser Hussain) I normally decide which end to attack" said Steve. Of course cricket is one game where the toss is vital to the outcome and luckily football is not nearly so reliant on lady luck.

Against Farnborough Town things turned around for Steve. "We did win the toss and decided to kick towards the clock end as that was the way the wind was blowing and we wanted to try and take advantage of it first." That game ended in a win, although the team found itself 1-0 down within 93 seconds of the start.

But should the team think about this a little more deeply?

Is there a difference?

Looking at the statistics for the current season so far makes some interesting reading particularly if you are a sad statto like me. If you aren't, now is a good time to surf elsewhere.

The four games played toward the Bury Road End in the first half have all been wins for the Daggers. These were the Conference games against Hereford United, Scarborough and Farnborough Town, and the FA Cup replay against Exeter City. Compare this to the preferred direction and this gives a significantly different story of eleven wins, five draws and four defeats. Reduce this to league games only and actually, playing towards Bury Road second, we fail to win more than we win, with a record of played 11, won 4, drawn 5 and lost 2.

Memo to Mr Hill: Maybe we should choose to play the other way?

In putting the statistics together a couple of other "interesting" patterns emerged. Firstly, we have scored more league goals at the Pondfield Road End than at the Bury Road End (12 against 11) and the opposite in cup games (9 against 18). Our opponents prefer the Bury Road End both in the league (9 to 7) and in cup games (8 to 5).

A game of two halves?

Becoming sadder by the minute I then started looking at the statistics in a cut based on comparing first half to second half. In league games the halves come out frighteningly even. The Daggers lead first half scoring at Victoria Road by 13 for to 9 against compared to a second half of 10 for to 7 against. One oddity that jumped out of this was that the Daggers have only scored in both halves of a league game at Victoria Road twice so far this season, against Woking and Scarborough.

In cup games the Daggers prefer the second half for their goals (a number slightly skewed by including the two LDV extra time golden goals in the figures). They lead scoring in both halves though significantly by 12 for to 7 against in the first half, and by 15 for to 6 against in the second half. Once again though, in nine high scoring cup games at Victoria Road, the Daggers have only netted in both halves three times, two of those being the Essex Senior Cup games.

Memo to Mr Hill: Maybe if we are 1-0 up at half time it is worth packing the defence?

So what does all this mean?

Frankly, I have no idea and I am pretty sure if I looked at the same statistics at this time last season, or at the same time next season I could come up with another half dozen "interesting" but different patterns.

Football being packed with superstitions as it is though I might suggest to whoever is wearing the captain's armband that we try playing toward the Bury Road End first in games we have to win, which is unfortunately all of them from here on in. Who knows, it may make all the difference.

Scoring in both halves of more matches would be easier on the nerves too guys.


 

 

 

 

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