The Daggers on Sunday went into their match against Chester City knowing that
unless Hayes could achieve some sort of result against Boston United, the Title
would be heading to York Street.
A noisy and anticipatory reception from the 3,939 crowd, the record home
league crowd for the Daggers, awaited the teams. The match kicked off in a
bizarrely subdued fashion with the strong blustery wind blowing into the
Daggers' faces and intermittent downpours making the playing conditions very
The noise in the crowd tailed off after five minutes when news of Boston's
opening goal at Hayes filtered through the crowd.
of an equaliser for Hayes filtered through the Daggers support midway through
the half and a period of very vocal support followed. This seemed to spur
the Daggers on a little and Steve West fired in a wonderful 30 yard free kick
only to see keeper, Wayne Brown somehow tip it round the post.
News filtered through that the rumours of the Hayes equaliser were false and the
crowd fell silent again.
Shortly before half time, a corner from Steve McGavin was met by the head of
Lee Goodwin (above) but it crashed off the post with Brown beaten.
Roberts (right) did well to save shots from Chester's David Brown on two
occasions, one a brave dive at Brown's feet and the other a fantastic save at
The second half started with the Daggers playing into the wind and news of
Costello's dismissal for Boston at Hayes was quickly followed by Boston's second
goal. From this point, the team and support seemed to realise that the
title was unlikely to be heading to Victoria Road and some of the nervousness
that had been evident in the first half disappeared.
collision between Tim Cole (left) and Stuart Whittaker looked as though it might
result in a penalty for the visitors but the referee waved away Chester's
With an hour on the clock, the Daggers finally got the breakthrough. A
strong shot from Paul Terry was parried to Mark Stein who side footed the ball
into the empty net. The goal celebrations were strangely muted though and
it was clear that the players were resigned to a second place finish.
minutes later, the Daggers doubled their lead when Junior McDougald did well to
hold off a strong challenge from Mark Williams before laying on a lovely pass
for Stein with Brown committed. Stein (right) repeated his finish from the
first goal to put the Daggers 2-0 up.
The third goal came with four minutes remaining. Another corner from
the ever-impressive Steve McGavin was headed powerfully home by Tim Cole,
bringing to the end a wretched season for the injury stricken player.
At the final whistle, with news that Boston had, indeed, beaten Hayes 2-0 to
take the title, a well deserved lap of honour from the team was given a standing
ovation from the obviously disappointed crowd.
DiggerDagger.com would like to congratulate Boston United on their
Championship and to send its commiserations to the Dagenham & Redbridge
players and officials on coming so close.