What a difference three months can make. In September the Daggers were thrashed
4-0 by the Shots and it could have been much worse. On Saturday the boot was on
the other foot, the Daggers could have easily doubled their winning margin
against a team obviously struggling.
John Still brought back Ashley Vickers
(right) for this game, the unlucky man
dropping to the bench being Anwar Uddin, but otherwise kept faith with the team
that narrowly lost to Exeter City in midweek.
Ash's return was a short one though as he was forced to go off after just 16 minutes when he badly damaged his hand, a opponents bladed boot shattering a
finger and damaging tendons. He has had surgery on the injury which it is
understood went well. Good luck Ash, come back soon.
The opening period of the game was pretty even, the Shots getting space up
the Daggers right, Lee Goodwin seeming to be pulled inside too often, while the
front pair of Moore and Mackail-Smith again looked lively.
The opening goal came from the penalty spot after 28 minutes. Chris
Moore found himself one on one with Nikki Bull and slipped the ball past the
keeper before being brought down. While it was a clear penalty, the ball was
pushed wide and this saved Bull from the red card.
After two misses this season from Moore the responsibility was given to Lee
Flynn (left) who scored convincingly to put the Daggers underway. Shortly after
this Moore created two more good chances for the Daggers, his cross shot almost
falling to Mark Janney, then a cross reaching Mackail-Smith who put it into the
second goal seemed inevitable and sure enough before half time it was 2-0, the goal coming from the unlikeliest of
sources in Anwar Uddin (right), on for Vickers. The ball fell to him 30 yards out in
space and he thrashed it into the top corner of the goal in what is one of the
best goals seen at the Glyn Hopkin Stadium for years, rivalled maybe by the one
against Stalybridge by Danny Hill in 2001/02.
At 2-0 the Daggers were suddenly cruising and had full control of the game.
The Shots were rattled though and it showed in a very unsavoury incident late in
the half. A shot over the Aldershot goal looked out of the ground and the fourth
official threw on a new ball only for the original ball then to be returned too.
Barnard was the nearest player to the extra ball about ten yards from the
Daggers dugout but instead of rolling the ball back off he thrashed it just over
the top of the dugout into the Carling Stand where it knocked a pensioner cold.
The incident left a very bad taste and it is hoped that it was caught on the
cameras and can be reported to the FA.
Back to the football, the Daggers had clearly the better of the second half.
They should have increased the lead when Paul Bruce (left) was put through on Bull by a
quick free kick but the Shots keeper saved with his legs.
Craig Mackail-Smith did not have such a great game by recent standards and
was a couple of times guilty of shooting from difficult angles when the square
ball was a better option, but his pace as ever rattled the Shots back four time
and time again.
The inevitable third came in the 69th minute when Chris Moore gained reward
for his efforts throughout the game, a cross from the left tempting Bull to come
off his line and Chrissy looping the header into the corner of the net. While
the Daggers did not quite declare at this point, the game was won and they eased
back to see it to a conclusion.
A great result then and ample revenge for the thrashing at the Rec, even
though Aldershot are a shadow of themselves from earlier in the season.
The points see the Daggers back up to 11th again and keep them firmly in
range of the play off race.