The Daggers gave Conference champions Barnet an honour guard onto the pitch at
the Glyn Hopkin Stadium on Saturday then proceeded to give them an uncomfortable
send off to the Football League. Rather disrespectfully the visitors made their
hosts wait for a good three minutes for them to take the field which was a
The pitch itself was awful too, having been deteriorating for several weeks
and looking in places like a ploughed field. One wonders whether cost cutting
has led to problems there as the pitch has looked too dry for a couple of
Daggers lined up much as expected with Scott Griffiths restored to left back and
Lee Flynn on the bench. This all changed just three minutes into the game though
when a clash of heads saw Lee Goodwin whisked off to hospital for seven stitches
in a head wound following a clash of heads. On came ex-Bee Lee Flynn (right)
with Scott Griffiths moving up to left midfield and Paul Bruce into the centre.
Barnet had the first chances of the game. Tony Roberts just kept out a decent
shot from Nicky Bailey and them Ismail Yakubu should have hit the target from a
Graham corner but headed wide.
Daggers slowly heaved themselves back into contention and had a good chance when
Paul Bruce's free kick found Jake Leberl (left) unmarked but the header was
straight at Shane Gore in the Barnet goal.
three minutes added for the Goodwin injury the Daggers took the lead in the
first of them. Again Paul Bruce was the provider of the chance, his corner from
the Daggers right missed by everyone and falling to Craig Mackail-Smith (right)
on the far post who had a simple tap in.
Daggers will have enjoyed the half time cuppa better and made the most of a slow
start by Barnet by doubling the lead six minutes into the second half. Scott Griffiths
burst clear down the left with defenders flailing. His cross looked to be
destined for Chris Moore so Gore charged out to meet the Daggers top scorer only
for the ball to run through to Glen Southam (left) who again had a tap in.
Barnet looked frustrated and the game started to turn nasty, predictably Ian
Hendon getting involved in most of the unpleasantness, either verbally or
physically. They rarely looked like getting back into the game though with
Guiliano Grazioli getting not a sniff of a goal that would have been his 30th of
the season before going off with twenty minutes left in the game after a
farewell to Conference football from Ashley Vickers. The closest they came was
when Richard Graham eluded the otherwise impeccable Anwar Uddin and saw his shot
saved by Roberts legs.
theatened to get a third, coming closest through Scott Griffiths (right) who's
well struck shot was saved by Gore.
In the end John Still had the luxury of
giving a brief Conference debut to 17 year old Liam Francis (below) who later was to
pick up the Supporters Club Young Player of the Season.
The win sees the Daggers finish 11th after other results did not go their
way, but firmly top half, closer to the play offs than the team behind them, who
are Crawley Town. An encouraging run of seven games unbeaten will see Daggers
fans looking at next season with some optimism.
The play offs will be Stevenage Borough v Hereford United and Aldershot Town v
Carlisle United after
Tamworth held Morecambe to 0-0 at the Lamb to break the Shrimps hearts. Exeter
City also won at Carlisle only to miss out as Stevenage grabbed the last slot in
5th with a home win over relegated Leigh RMI who go down with a record low of 18