The Daggers made the worst possible start to 2005 when they lost at a dreary
Park Lane, bereft of atmosphere even with a decent crowd for a local derby.
welcomed back captain Tim Cole from suspension for this one, Ashley Vickers
(right) moving out to left back in place of Lee Flynn, presumably injured having
gone off at half time at Halifax. Otherwise John Still persisted with Harrold
and Moore up front and Craig Mackail-Smith up the right in place of Mark Janney
who watched from the bench. Canvey lined up with ex-Daggers Ollie Berquez and
Jon Keeling and with Junior McDougald on the bench alongside he returning Lee
The Daggers started reasonably well and had the first chance when Chris Moore saw
his shot cleared off the line by David Theobald but it quickly became clear that
defensively they were out of sorts. As early as the sixth minute a mix up in the
defence saw several chances to clear the ball wasted and the ball eventually
fell to Neil Gregory who mishit his shot but it trickled past a wrong footed
Roberts into the corner.
Almost immediately it was 2-0, another catalogue of errors allowing a cross
to be met by Gregory Pearson unmarked on the six yard line. Incredibly not
only did Pearson not score but he even managed to not get his head on the ball,
pushing it goalwards with an arm. Tony Roberts could only parry the ball
straight to Ollie Berquez who slammed it home and then rather disappointingly
taunted the Daggers fans behind the goal.
such an appalling start it could only get better and the Daggers pressed foward
looking for a way back in to the game. With Matt Harrold as a target they
resorted to long balls too often though and it all became very predictable.
Despite this the Gulls found it difficult to cope with the Daggers forwards
pace, Chris Moore's low cross finding Craig Mackail-Smith (left) stretching and only
able to find the side-netting.
Mackail-Smith had another effort deflected wide while Tim Cole shot over the
bar but even so the Daggers looked a little fortunate when an offside flag ruled
out Neil Gregory's header late in the first half.
towards a large away following in the second half it would have been hoped that
the Daggers would do a little more but eleven minutes after the break they found
themselves 3-0 down. The goal was a good one, neat passing freeing Chris Duffy
and his low cross met by Neil Midgeley who side-footed home past Roberts. Almost
immediately after this Tim Cole (right) was stretchered off after falling
awkwardly when blocking a Keeling shot, replaced by Shane Blackett.
John Still shuffled his pack further pulling off Harrold and Paul Bruce and
throwing on wide men with Mark Janney and Steve Clark, making a debut. The move
worked as the width stretched the Canvey defence and the Daggers looked a real
They got back into the game with two goals in two minutes, the first a huge
deflection that left Danny Potter stranded, Mark Janney's shot pinging off
Dominic Stirling on 77 minutes. Almost immediately it was 3-2 when Glen
Southam's corner from the right was headed on to Jake Leberl who nodded home
from close range. Game on!
was not to be though. With Junior McDougald (left) on for Neil Gregory though
there was almost an inevitability that he would hurt his old club and sure
enough it was the Daggers old favourite that got on the end of some defensive
pinball three minutes later to end the brief revival and make it 4-2.
A very disappointing start to 2005.