The Daggers crashed out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle when they lost to a
Bishops Stortford side that thoroughly deserved their win on Saturday.
Glen Southam unavailable under the terms of his summer transfer from the Blues
and Tim Cole, Lee Flynn and Mark Janney all injured it was an unfamiliar line up
for the Daggers. Scott Griffiths retained his place at left back with Shane
Blackett in front of him and Paul Bruce pushed inside. Up front Matt Harrold
started alongside Chris Moore despite the news he was heading back to Brentford
on Sunday, and Craig Mackail-Smith (right) was out on the right of
For the second week running the visitors were ahead in eight minutes. The
Daggers defence parted easily allowing a ball to be rolled across the area from
the left to give Steve Morison time and space to strike home into the bottom corner of the
net, Tony Roberts well beaten.
once again it was catch up almost from the off and with Matt Harrold (left) as a
target the Daggers again settled in to a predictable game of hoof it up and hope
he gets a flick on. This nearly worked when just that move saw Harrold get a
touch on a Goodwin long throw the ball dropping to Paul Bruce who shot just
The rally was short lived though and the Blues looked a threat every time
they got the ball down and passed it around. Sure enough on 22 minutes it was
2-0 when Gareth Gwillim crossed for Morison to head his second of the game past
a static and stranded Tony Roberts.
Daggers really should have pulled one back first when a good move saw the ball
slipped to Jake Leberl arriving late in the area but his touch was poor and what
may have been a shot was well wide. Then the ball fell to Ashley Vickers (right)
in space around the penalty spot but he applied a centre halves finish to it,
rushing his shot and putting the ball into Pondfield Park.
Despite the odd chance or two it could have been worse for the Daggers as Alex Martin
hit a shot from the edge of the area straight at Tony Roberts when sent clear by
the dangerous Morison.
Daggers obviously got a roasting in the break and came out unchanged, but with
Griffiths now playing ahead of Blackett (left). The home side started to apply
more consistent pressure on the visitors and came close when a Chris Moore’s overhead kick was blocked by Rob
Gillman, shouts for a penalty that would have been extremely harsh waived away.
Chaos reigned in the area as the ball pinged around in the aftermath and as the
ball dropped from the heavens Vickers knocked the ball into the back of the net only for it to be ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper.
With the initial crisis averted the Blues grew in confidence again and
started to pass the ball around with confidence once more. Morison's shot flew
just over and then Roberts saved well from Jackman. They thought they had closed
the game out when Martin scored from Morison's cross but the flag was up to
Still threw on Tony Boot (right) late in the game and the last ten minutes saw
the Daggers on top and doing all they could to get back into the game. Craig
Mackail-Smith saw his shot go just wide and Chris Moore had a shot that flew
across the goal but no-one could apply a touch.
time ran out Anwatr Uddin (left) did grab a consolation for the Daggers when the
scraps from a Tony Boot corner fell to him ten yards out and he slammed the ball
into the corner but it was all too little too late.
As the Bishops Stortford fans celebrated noisily a very disgruntled home
crowd headed for the exits muttering that the Daggers season is effectively over
with three months left in 2004/05.
They must now try to find a run of wins to get them back up to the pace for
the Conference play offs very quickly or the Daggers next meaningful game will
be in August. Realistically though John Still must now do what he can to build
for next season and try to bring on the younger players over the next three