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DAGGERS DICTIONARY

"FA Cup"
A faint buzzing tension in the head and chest caused by excitement and anticipation (see also "Cup Fever").

 

 

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Macclesfield Town
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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 


 

 


Har Har

The Sincerest Form of Flattery?
by Hardy on 12/10/2004

In an article written for the fanzine, "Daggers To My Heart" Hardy looks at the rise of Hornchurch FC and parallels with Ru$hden & Diamonds.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery?
Hornchurch FC have become a pain in the arse over the last couple of seasons as they have made the rise from the Isthmian Division 3 in 2001/02 to Conference South this season. How should we Daggers view the upstart neighbours though? Hardy looks at the parallels with Rushden & Diamonds and Kettering Town.

In seeking to usurp the Daggers as South West Essex’s premier non-league club, Hornchurch seem to have decided that we have got it very right by signing many of our players and then, a little controversially, our ex-Manager Garry Hill too, in a double-glazing powered haze of spending to reach where they are today. There are strong rumours they even offered inducements to other backroom staff at the Glyn Hopkin Stadium to move down the road too.

A threat to the Daggers ambitions?
The Urchins have a history which begins in 1923, which is long eclipsed by all but the Dagenham FC part of the current Daggers heritage. In the next 78 years nothing much happened of note, indeed the official Hornchurch website history page manages to pack 1923 to 2001 into seven short paragraphs up to the point the man from Bryco and more importantly, his cheque book, arrived on the scene at Bridge Avenue. Since that time the club have become “the non-league Chelsea”, following where Rushden and Diamonds most recently led. 

Incidentally, as at publication of this story this history page was still trumpeting the appointment of “ex-Daggers boss Gary Hill”. No doubt Garry will be impressed!

Can they repeat the Rushden success story?
Diamonds were famously funded by Max Griggs, the man behind the Doc Martens brand name who smashed two United Counties sides in Irthlingborough Diamonds and Rushden Town together to form the new club, built them a modern new ground at Nene Park and took them all the way up to the Second Division of the Football League. Near neighbours of the new club, the famous non-league name of Kettering Town, were at first amused by the upstarts, then annoyed and finally eclipsed as they slid into, ironically, the Doc Martens league, while Rushden headed into the Football League.

Could the same happen with the Daggers?

Well Rushden kept moving forward, winning promotion to the Football League Second Division at the second attempt, right up to the point that Max Griggs withdrew his money injection and began to insist on the club running as a going concern on its own. The immediate effect of this was the loss of manager Brian Talbot to bigger and better things at Oldham and a relegation to the Third Division (now renamed the Coca-Cola League Two just to keep you confused.)

Whether a club with no real history and historic support base can continue to prosper without its sugar daddy will be seen over the coming seasons. With a number of near basket cases in the lower reaches of the Football League it seems likely that Diamonds will hang on in there for the near future but the star seems to have stopped its unstoppable rise through the leagues and the future looks a lot less rosy for them.

Hornchurch on the other hand are not funded by a multi-millionaire owner of a worldwide household brand name, they are funded by a double glazing company most often seen in households on BBC’s Watchdog! They have no shiny new ground to play in, they have a council Athletics Stadium complete with running track and little room to develop. Surely to push the club much further Hornchurch will have to emulate the Diamonds and find a new ground. More expenditure for Mr Bryco, in the expensive and crowded South East too, not the wide open fields of Northamptonshire.

One thing in common...

One thing the Urchins do share with Diamonds is the lack of a historic fan base. Despite the cash injection, with a wage bill of £1.2million being quoted for the club in a recent Sunday Newspaper article (see The Press Take An Interest In Urchins Finances), the one man and dog crowds of Isthmian Division Three days are joined by just a few hundred new glory seekers on match days at Bridge Avenue. Their season opening defeat by another manufactured local club PurfleetThurrock, attracted just 791 and the second game at Bridge Avenue against Havant & Waterlooville saw just 568 turn up. 

As the Daggers know, getting regularly increasing crowds through the turnstiles in this crowded footballing part of the world is a hard trick to achieve. The Urchins have tried all sorts to attract people to games, from free away travel, through dancing girls to subsidised replica kits, yet so far the crowds remain what must be annoyingly low.

Following the Kettering Town/Rushden pattern I’d say Hornchurch moved during last season from the amusing to the annoying stage for the Daggers. Whether they can carry on to reach the level of bitterness that exists between Kettering and Rushden where the club with all the history is usurped by the upstart remains to be seen. It is likely to be a factor of when the money and patience of Mr Bryco runs out though. Even Max Griggs had to say enough in the end.

Just how much money is there in double glazing?

Familiar faces

In the meantime Hornchurch are one of the favourites to win promotion in the first season of the Conference South with a team including familiar faces like Matthews, West, Shipp, Jackson and Mustafa, yelled on by a very familiar ugly bald manager and tended to by the largest physio in the world.

              

            

Very sincere flattery Hornchurch, glad you are so impressed by Dagenham & Redbridge FC.


 

 

 

 

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