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"Justice"
The complete annihilation of Boston United Football Club

 

 

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     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 


 

 


Review of 2002
by Hardy on 02/01/2003

So 2002 is over and DiggerDagger.com wishes you a Happy New Year for 2003 with a review of an eventful 12 months for Dagenham & Redbridge FC.

A Review of 2002

The last year was another great one to be a Dagger, even if in the end the big prizes have eluded us. It started with me walking up a deserted Victoria Road on New Years Day to find that the Hayes game had been called off due to frost. That day only one game started in the Conference, the game at York Street, Boston. This was subsequently abandoned just before half time with rumours of the Pilgrims being desperate for the gate money, a theme that will be repeated later.

Winter months

The first Saturday of the year saw the visit of Ipswich Town in the FA Cup, John Motson (right) and Match of the Day in attendance. With a near full house Junior scored his customary goal on these occasions to take the lead, but unlike a year before Ipswich proved too strong in the end, running out 4-1 winners. Reality struck a week later when Dr Martens Eastern Division side Eastbourne Borough came and nearly escaped with a draw, Danny Shipp's late, late winner securing a spot in round 4 of the FA Trophy.

The game in January that really mattered, the visit of Forest Green Rovers, was a disappointing draw before February opened with the Daggers tamely going out of the Trophy at home to Telford United, much to the relief of many fans who saw it as a distraction to the clubs Football League ambitions.

The rest of February saw three good results and one bad one in the Conference. Farnborough Town were beaten 2-1 after taking the lead early at Victoria Road, then Hayes arrived for the rearranged game from New Years Day. The Daggers could only gain a point from that game despite their keeper Bertrand Bossu (left) being sent off. In the end, dropped points like the two that night would be very costly.

The frustrations of being a Dagger surfaced the following Saturday when the team came up against a good Yeovil side at Huish Park and gained a great 3-3 draw and could easily have won. Dover Athletic came and went with a win courtesy of Steve McGavin before February ended. The game that was billed as the title decider loomed, Dagenham & Redbridge v Boston United, live on Sky TV.

Springtime blues

The game was moved to Monday night for the cameras and 3,805 turned up to see the clash of the two title favourites. It was a less than spectacular game, very cagey and tight but the Daggers won due to a rare Ashley Vickers goal after 38 minutes. The Daggers and the fans celebrated after the game with mutual applause during the players warm down, the same as every other game at Victoria Road. Boston manager, Steve Evans, turned that into the "premature lap of honour" controversy though, and the Daggers moved seven points clear of the Pilgrims and into pole position for the Conference title.

The bad blood between the Daggers as Boston intensified the next day with claims in a number of the nationals that the Daggers had "disrespected" the beaten Boston team with the "lap of honour", banging on the Boston dressing room and singing "We are the Champions. The claims have since turned into folklore and are accepted as true by many, but have been denied over and over by the Dagenham & Redbridge team and management. Evans upped the temperature with statements in his program notes the following week about the Daggers being a "Sunday league team" but with the Daggers 7 points clear with 13 games to play it seemed like it was just sour grapes.

The championship continued with a 3-1 win at Stevenage, Mark Stein (left) hitting a hat trick in the first of a five game run of away games. After this though the wheels came off the title challenge with one point from the next four games. The Daggers were thrashed 4-0 by Barnet at Underhill then lost at Leigh RMI before a 1-1 draw at Morecambe, Peter Thomson grabbing a late, spectacular equaliser for the Shrimps. At Nuneaton the team rolled over 2-0 and Mark Stein was sent off. The destiny of the title was back in Boston's hands just three and a half weeks after the Pilgrims had lost at Victoria Road.

The Daggers came back hard with four wins on the trot over Morecambe, Northwich, Stalybridge and finally Doncaster on a stormy Friday night, on the pitch at least, again live on Sky TV. During all this the club had reached the Essex Senior Cup Final courtesy of Purfleet being chucked out of the competition. The Essex FA insisted the game took place on the Monday before the Daggers had a league game at Hereford and as a result a team mostly made up of the PASE side, plus Neville Southall (right) and Mark Brennan, lost the final 6-1 to Canvey Island.

The following night another nail was driven into the Daggers title hopes when, with Boston losing at Scarborough, a late goal won the game for Hereford when a draw would have put the Daggers back in charge. A draw at Scarborough with a cast iron penalty turned down wasn't enough to make the two wins at Woking and home to Chester City meaningful and the Pilgrims took the title on goal difference. The season ended with "what if's" in abundance but a best ever second spot in the Conference.

Summer madness

The close season started with three players released in May including record appearance holder Jason Broom (left) who joined Grays as Garry Hill started to build for another tilt at the title. Ken Charlery was to follow shortly afterwards but only after reports of an FA investigation into Boston United started to appear. On June 26th the FA charged Boston United and individuals in the club with 16 cases of registering false contracts and hampering the investigation into the club. Suddenly there was hope that the FA would dock Boston points for the season just over and the Daggers may still go up.

On July 19th the FA announced that the Pilgrims would be docked points and fined as a result of the charges, but the points came from the coming season. The Daggers were obviously disappointed but accepted the decision and got on with building the team for the new season.

Back to kicking a football

After the usual "what team will they bring" friendly with West Ham the Conference season kicked off with three straight wins and the Daggers top.

From there though a draw at home to Telford was followed by a record equalling four defeats on the trot, including the 5-1 Sky TV thrashing by Doncaster, and the Daggers dropped to mid-table. The ups and downs continued with a win over Kettering, then a defeat by Chester with five more goals shipped, then a win over Margate and a defeat to Southport with two sent off (right) and another at Hereford from 1-0 up and cruising.

Since then though there has been steady progress. Two draws at home were followed by a great win against Northwich Victoria at their adopted home in Witton. Kidderminster Harriers beat a second string Daggers in the LDV for what before the FA Cup 2002/03 kicked in with a great 4-0 win at Aldershot (left) in what had looked a tricky game beforehand.

Since then the Daggers have had a long unbeaten run, having come from behind for draws at Huish Park and the Shay, finally ended by Barnet's late, late winner on Boxing Day and closed the year with a great 4-0 win over Gravesend. We are in the FA Cup 3rd round again for the third time in succession, having got past Havant & Waterlooville and Crawley Town in the 1st and 2nd rounds. This is a feat not achieved by a non-league side for 20 years. In the Conference we are 4 points of a play off spot and in decent shape for a challenge at the play-off in the second half of the season.

It is never dull being a Dagger and lets hope that 2003 brings as many thrills and spills as 2002.

Happy New Year.

The Daggers in 2002
P W D L F A
Home 27 15 6 6 48 34
Away* 28 12 6 10 42 46
Total 55 27 12 16 90 80

*Includes the Essex Senior Cup Final at Roots Hall


 

 

 

 

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