It says something about the Daggers season that a decent strength team travelled
the short distance to Hornchuch's Bridge Avenue Stadium last night for an Essex
Senior Cup game, a competition that has been very much a distraction in recent
Daggers gave games to Lee Goodwin and Lee Matthews, both coming back from
injury, and played Alex Meechan and Lenny Piper (right) both transfer listed.
Mark Janney and Leon Braithwaite got a start for a change too with the biggest
surprise being Tony Roberts in goal. Hornchurch meanwhile rested most of their
first eleven with two huge games on the horizon, against Ryman leaders Canvey Island
on Saturday and Tranmere in the FA Cup 2nd round a week later.
With a huge crowd for an Essex Senior Cup game of over a thousand, the
Hornchurch off field resources were stretched almost to breaking point.
Programmes sold out well before kick off and the last person got into the ground
nearly 15 minutes into the game due to congestion at the turnstiles.
Despite the strong Daggers line up it was the Urchins could have taken the
lead early on when Andy Douglas found himself with only Tony Roberts to beat. A
rather dramatic dying swan act failed to impress the referee though.
At the other end Lenny Piper had a shot from distance which smacked back off
the post and moments later, Alex Meechan found himself put through with only the
keeper to beat only to hesitate and be caught by a defender who tackled well.
the Daggers well on top it was no real surprise when they finally took the lead
after 40 minutes. Lenny Piper supplied the killer pass which Alex Meechan (left)
took in his stride and finished with some style.
The Daggers quickly killed the game off in the second half. It was soon 2-0 when an Alan Kimble corner was not cleared properly and Lee Matthews found enough space to stab the ball home on 47 minutes.
Martin nearly reduced the deficit shortly after but Matthews got back to clear
off the line before Leon Braithwaite (right) settled any remaining doubts on the
hour, lobbing the Urchins keeper with style after being put away by Tim Cole.
Just a minute later Martin pulled a goal back for Hornchurch with the
best goal of the game a curling shot which found the top right hand corner of
the net with Robbo well beaten.
The Daggers had chances after that to extend the lead with chances missed by
Braithwaite, Cole and Matthews who all headed over when well placed to score.
The Daggers are now away to East Thurrock United in the fourth round with the tie to be played on or before the 13th December 2003. The full fourth round draw is:
Halstead Town v Romford
Harlow Town v Witham Town
Billericay Town v Wivenhoe Town
East Thurrock Utd v Dagenham & Redbridge
Chelmsford City v Braintree Town
Clacton Town v Southend Utd
Maldon Town v Aveley
Thurrock v Heybridge Swifts