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     On This Day

In 1995,The Daggers beat Bath City 1-0 at Home in the GM Vauxhall Conference 

In 1997,The Daggers beat Dulwich Hamlet 2-0  Away in the ICIS League Premier 

In 2000,The Daggers beat Hampton & Richmond Borough 3-2  Away in the Ryman League Premier 

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In 2011,The Daggers lost 0-1 to Plymouth Argyle at Home in the NPower League One 

In 2017,The Daggers beat Wrexham 1-0  Away in the Vanarama National League 

In 2019,The Daggers lost 0-2 to Braintree Town Away in the Vanarama National League 



by Hardy on 31/01/2003

Something strange has been going on at Cherrywood Road and Broadhall Way. Hardy offers a summary of the weeks events and wonders what next.

Farnborough Town v Stevenage Borough
As the sun finally sets on Bostongate, appeals apart with Steve Evans and Pat Malkinson getting lengthy bans and heavy fines from the FA, a new Conference debacle has hit the headlines this week.
Biggest Day

Last weekend, at the same time as the Daggers ran out at Carrow Road in the FA Cup 4th round, Farnborough Town were at home to Arsenal in the tie that had gripped the public imagination since the draw was made. Except of course they weren't at home, the game was at Highbury.

A lot was written about the switch before the game saying it was a sell out of the old trophy and destroying the magic of the cup. I was very against the switch and felt that selling the slim chance that Boro had of a result for the benefit of the added gate receipts from Highbury was wrong, but at least I could see the logic of taking over half a million pounds to make the club secure.

After the game Farnborough manager and chairman Graham Westley, the man who had been instrumental in moving the game said when asked where the money was going that it would "go to pay off the club's creditors." Given that the club's major creditor was Westley's own company AIMITA and the the supposed reason for the switch was the crumbling state of Boro's Cherrywood Road ground, this raised a few eyebrows.

His further comments about Farnborough not sharing his ambitions raised them even further. Westley famously predicted Boro would be in the Premiership within ten years of him taking over, a standing joke in non-league football.

What has happened since the weekend has, though, been pure Machiavelli.

On the Move

On the Monday after the cup game rumours surfaced that Westley would be taking over at managerless Stevenage Borough. Given his ownership of Farnborough he was unable under FA rules to do this, yet on the Tuesday this was confirmed.

Westley issued the following statement to explain his departure: 'I've enjoyed my time at Farnborough but I feel that I need to move on now and that I need to concentrate on football management which is where my ambitions lie. Doing two jobs is unrealistic at this level and above. Especially when you run another business too. I've invested much of my life into my dual role at the club in the last three and a half years and I hope that the successes which have come about have made the fans happy and have earned me some respect. When I arrived in 1999, the club was on its knees."

"As I depart, I believe that the club is in fantastic condition relative to the starting point. It has won things, enjoyed the highs of the Cup 4th round, should finally be close to being debt and liability free and has a great chance of pushing for the play offs. With a strong local leader, it may even be able to convert the current board's spadework into a new ground in the next few years."

"As soon as it is practicable, unless a better solution emerges for the club, it is currently my intention to gift the shares that I own to the other existing shareholders (the club's fans) and leave the club to build on the foundations which have been laid."

"I hope that everybody will be able to recognise the footballing goodwill in this." he added.

Help yourself

Control of Farnborough Town FC was confirmed as being transferred to Company Secretary Richard Robinson while Westley's company AIMITA remained the main sponsor.

Several other directors of FTFC resigned their positions and on Thursday Robinson cancelled the contracts of five players, Steve Watson, Micky Warner, Barry Laker, Garry Holloway and Justin Gregory, all of whom featured in the FA Cup tie just days before saying that they were no longer required by the club and they could not demand a transfer fee for them.

Then today, surprise surprise. it appears that at least four of the five have now signed for Stevenage Borough.

There is a lot more to come from this story, which is developing day by day, but it seems clear Graham Westley has ensured that Farnborough's game at Arsenal on Saturday is indeed the biggest in their history by dismantling the club in the week after. He seems to have pocketed the money from the tie to pay off "creditors" i.e AIMITA and picked up free of charge the players he wants from the Farnborough squad.

Is there not some kind of rule against this? Where are the FA?

If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat...

As a postscript to the story so far, Stevenage Borough, currently languishing in the Conference drop zone, have won just 6 games this season, two of which have been wins over Farnborough. One of those wins stands out like a beacon, Stevenage 5 Farnborough 0 on the 28th December 2002, a day after previous Stevenage manager Wayne Turner was fired and a week before Farnborough won through to the FA Cup 4th round by beating Darlington.

Anyone smell a rat?

Follow the story as it develops at the clubs various websites, links to which can be found at the Farnborough Town factfile and the Stevenage Borough factfile.

And be very grateful that Dagenham & Redbridge FC is a members club run by people that care about it, not their own ambitions.

 is an independent website and the views expressed are not necessarily those of Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club