It is said that you never notice the referee when he has a good game. If this is
true then Conference refereeing slipped to a new all time low on Saturday as Daggers fans watched in astonishment
and a man called Martin Yerby scuppered
the team's chances against Southport. More of that later.
The Daggers started, as predicted, with the eleven that beat Margate in
midweek, the only change to the sixteen being Mark Janney in on the bench
to replace John Keeling. Southport lined up, most unusually in these days of
squad numbers, wearing 1 to 11 which implied this was their first choice side.
first half was a great contest, the Daggers having a couple of good chances
early on, Junior McDougald (left) putting a header wide in the 7th minute being the
first. Three minutes later the Daggers should have gone in front when Junior's
shot was blocked but he managed to toe end it across the six yard line to Mark
Stein. Steino unfortunately rather scuffed the shot and Chris Lane was able to
clear off the line.
were playing good football too, looking sharp and passing the ball around
nicely, but the Daggers central three, Paul Terry, Danny Hill (right) and Steve
Perkins gave as good as they got. The visitors first serious effort on goal came
from Steve Jones after 26 minutes but his shot was well held by Tony
Martin Clark also had a shot saved on 37 minutes as the visitors started to
press forward, but the Daggers were still a threat too with Paul Bruce getting
in several telling left wing crosses.
Just on 40 minutes though, referee Yerby decided it was time to start to take
his place in Victoria Road folklore when he booked Steve Perkins for what was an
innocuous looking tackle on Steve Jones. With time running out in the first half
though Mr Yerby completely turned the match.
A corner was swung in to the Daggers box from the left and Barry Jones headed
towards goal. The ball clearly struck Steve Potts (left) on the thigh and was cleared
but several seconds later Mr Yerby blew for a penalty. As incensed Daggers
surrounded the referee he compounded his error by giving Potts a straight red
card for deliberate handball.
Steve Soley then stepped up to take the penalty and found the top left of
Tony Roberts' goal to put Southport in front. With 2 minutes added to the first
45 it looked like that was it but there was more to come.
Stein jumped for a ball with Barry Jones in midfield and Jones dropped to the
floor like he had been shot. As a melee ensued (right) Mr Yerby pulled Stein
aside and showed him a straight red card, presumably for what he saw as a
deliberate elbow. As Stein left the field Jones seemed mysteriously to recover very quickly.
A tense half time saw some unsavoury scenes as the Southport fans were
barracked changing ends by a minority in the very upset Victoria Road crowd, and
then the Southport substitutes, keeping warm during the half time break, were
asked to move away from the front of the sieve for "chatting" to some
of the Daggers fans.
The Daggers reorganised for the second half replacing Danny Hill with Mark
Janney. With Junior ploughing a lone furrow up front they took the game to
Southport for the next 30 minutes hemming the visitors back despite being
outnumbered without really creating any clear cut chances to grab the equaliser
with Southport's Barry Jones booed at every touch of the ball.
Junior running his socks off the referee had a chance to make the game more even
when Southport's Mark Winstanley took Junior out in front of the Carling Stand
on 70 minutes. The referee decided that yellow was enough on this occasion
It was almost inevitable that the numerical advantage was going to tell in
the end though and in the 79th minute, with the Daggers tiring Southport broke
and Steve Soley ended a brave struggle with his second, a neat finish from a
With the stuffing finally knocked out of the home side, Peter Thomson added a
third in the 85th minute, injuring himself in the process to complete the
Daggers misery. The game ended in boo's, not for the Daggers, but for the
referee that ruined what was a fine contest for 45 minutes.
During the second half Southport's Barry Jones (right) was again involved in another incident near the Sieve when a coin appeared to be thrown. Once more he fell poleaxed and no doubt six foot Conference defenders everywhere would when struck by a coin, but the incident was another in an increasingly long line where Dagenham & Redbridge's stewarding has left something to be desired. Jones had a further "discussion" with a fan behind the Bury Road goal during a Daggers corner which revealed that he is not too high on the evolutionary scale, but again no steward was on-hand. It is hoped the the actions of the minority do not have severe ramifications for the club.
The result moves Southport to 3rd and drops the Daggers to 12th. More
importantly, the Daggers will lose Steve Potts and Mark Stein for upcoming
matches, with Ashley Vickers and Paul Gothard also facing bans for red cards at
Elsewhere the big game of the day ended in a goalless draw between Doncaster
and Chester at Belle Vue allowing Yeovil to go top with a 4-2 win at Leigh RMI.
Woking were stuffed again losing 5-1 to Stevenage Borough to prove to the
Daggers fans that there is someone worse off than them. Woking have now leaked
19 goals in 4 games and scored just once and drop into the relegation zone
having headed the table after four games.