With the other Conference matches being well into the second half, the Daggers
finally kicked-off their 2002/03 Conference season at 4:20pm. The Leigh
team arrived at Victoria Road just before 4pm following a nightmare journey and
were obviously not well prepared for the match and the game was effectively over
as a contest within the first 6 minutes.
The strange sight of the players wearing squad numbers and their names on
their back (right) made it somewhat easier to recognise the new signings and, indeed,
former Woking man, Steve Perkins, was involved in the build-up to the first
goal. He headed the ball down well for Paul Terry who chipped the ball
across the area into the path of Mark Stein who blasted the ball into the back
of the net with only four minutes on the clock.
two minutes later and the Daggers capitalised on their opponents obvious
frailties further. Some wonderful passing around the area saw the ball
come to McGavin who volleyed the ball powerfully over the keeper and into the
At this point, the Daggers seemed to take their foot off the gas a little and
allowed Leigh to settle and gain more possession. Despite this, the
visitors created few chances and it was the home side that came closest to
scoring when a speculative long-range shot from the impressive Steve Perkins
(right) went narrowly wide.
A free kick from Steve McGavin went close for the Daggers but it was Leigh
who scored next when Tony Black took advantage of a rare mistake by Tony Roberts
to stab home the rebound after Roberts was only able to parry a long range
Another chance for the Railwaymen was squandered soon afterwards. Some
sloppy defending allowed a Leigh forward space to run at goal but when he got
one-on-one with Roberts, he fired a very tame shot much to the relief of the
After half time, the Daggers seemed to have regained some of their composure
and following the introduction of Junior McDougald (wearing only the name
"Junior" on his number 13 shirt), it looked likely that there would
only be one winner.
On 58 minutes, McDougald (left) burst into the Leigh penalty area and was clearly
having his shirt pulled by a defender. Despite this, the managed to lay
the ball back to Paul Terry who floated the ball beautifully into the area where
Stein lashed the ball home from close range.
The visitors made two more openings in the game with a Maamria header
bringing out an incredible fingertip save from Roberts and it was Maamria again
who almost reduced the deficit, hitting the bar with the goal at his mercy.
The Daggers too had their chances - a tantalising cross from Paul Bruce
(right) evaded everyone when the slightest of touches would have meant a goal.
With less than a quarter of an hour to go, Junior McDougald was set clear
through on goal but a clumsy challenge from Neil Fitzhenry left referee, Mr
Singh, no option but to show the Leigh player the red card and dash the
Railwaymen's chances of a comeback.
Another chance came for Stein (left) in the dying minutes of the game when he lashed
a rebound just wide of the post.