Daggers were beaten 3-2 by a combination of Aldershot Town and some staggeringly
inept officiating on Boxing Day in front of a disappointingly low crowd.
The first indication that it wasn't to be the Daggers' game came within the
first few minutes when the impressive Chris Moore (left copyright Simmo) forced
Nicky Bull into a fine save.
afterwards came the first of a number of dreadful decisions by the idiots
masquerading as referees.
Paul Bruce (right) crossed the ball, only for Ray Warburton to handle the
ball in the area in a manner that would earn him a place in the Harlem
Seemingly, the only two people who failed to spot this flagrant breach of the
laws of the game were the referee and his assistant. This is despite the
fact that the assistant referee had a perfect view of the incident. Had
this been handled properly, there can be no doubt that Warburton would have been
dismissed and the Daggers awarded a penalty. Instead, they had to be
content with a throw-in.
a quarter of an hour of the match gone, Ashley Vickers (left) cam agonisingly
close to opening the scoring, seeing his point blank header parried by Bull and
his followup header somehow cleared off the line and to safety.
Then with the Daggers playing some of their best football of the season and
working together as a unit, disaster struck. Totally against the run of
play, the visitors notched up two goals in quick succession. First, Aaron
Mclean miskicked his shot which fell kindly for Adam Miller and, with Naisbitt
wrongfooted, he fired home a good right-footed shot from the edge of the area.
Spurred on by this, the visitors again went on the attack and were awarded a
dubious free-kick on the left touchline. Miller attempted a floated cross
but the wind turned it into a shot and it sailed over the hapless Naisbitt to
leave the Daggers chasing the game.
The Daggers did what they could and forced their way back into the game on 35
minuted when Mark Bentley's (right copyright Simmo) throw found Chris Moore and
he turned well to volley the ball into the roof of the net.
Daggers thought they had pulled level with time in the first half rapidly
running out when a far post cross found Leon Braithwaite (left) but somehow Bull
pulled off an incredible save when a goal looked certain.
The first half also saw a number of bookings, including the Shots' Mclean for
diving in the area. On at least two other occasions, the
"referee" spoke to Mclean for repeating his Greg Luganis impressions
but failed to follow this up with a deserved second yellow card.
With 21 minutes gone, Ashley Vickers was shown a yellow card for a foul.
was also a significant incident towards the end of the half when Danny Shipp
(right) mistimed a tackle and accidentally slid into Andrew Mumford.
Mumford's reaction was to punch Shipp and push him over in a clearly violent
reaction to an innocuous and accidental foul that should have seen Mumford
sent-off. This all happened about 5 yards in front of the referee and yet
he failed to penalise either Shipp's foul or Mumford's violent conduct.
second half saw both keepers in action, with Naisbitt saving well with his feet
from Mclean and Bull tipping substitute, Steve Watts (left) powerful volley onto
With around an hour on the clock, the first signs of the other side of the
impressive Bull came to the fore when he started his timewasting tactics.
After 65 minutes, a seemingly 50/50 collision between Vickers and Jon
Challinor saw Ashley Vickers shown his second yellow card for an elbow and the
Daggers now found themselves a man as well as a goal down.
Chasing the game, the Daggers came close to levelling when Chris Moore
crossed for Steve Watts but his shot drifted just wide of the post.
With 80 minutes on the clock, Mumford (who, by this time should not have been
on the field) put the result beyond doubt. His well-placed shot found the
very corner of the goal, beyond Naisbitt's reach.
With Bull having been taking an age about every goal-kick, it was no surprise
that there was a significant amount of time to add on, but the 5 minutes that
were added should really have been 15. A quality referee would have warned
Bull about his antics much earlier in the game to stamp it out.
With time rapidly disappearing, the Daggers pulled it back to 3-2 when Watts
fired home from close range and there was still time for Mark Bentley to attempt
a last gasp equaliser but his header was wide and the visitors undeservedly took
all three points.
The result certainly sets up an interesting encounter on New Years'
Day. One can only hope that the referee is capable of handling the match
somewhat better than Mr Woolmer.