So after all the waiting and all the expectations, it ended in defeat. However, the players of Dagenham
and Redbridge were by no means outclassed by Stockport County as the League Two season began at
John Still kept faith with most of the squad which had done so well last season, with only John Nurse of
the summer signings making the starting line up. He partnered Paul Benson upfront while John Boardman
returned to the Daggers starting line up. For Stockport, ex Cheats and Stevenage loser Anthony Elding started upfront,
while under achieving ex Premiership player Adam Proudlock had to be content with a place warming the
already sweltering bench!!!
After the formalities, including a presentation from Stockport to the Daggers to mark the occasion, it was
County who began the better. The Daggers failed to keep possession for any length of time and began to be
Robbo was at full stretch after 9 minutes to keep out a daisy cutter from Adam Griffin. The
home side continued to look like opening up the new boys, but Boardman was having an immense game
at the heart of the Daggers defence to ensure they stayed in the game.
Stockport continued to create half chances but the longer it went on, the more Daggers looked comfortable. In fact County keeper Logan
had to make a smart stop to keep put Benson after he had been set up by Nurse, and then Nurse himself
had two headers which cleared the bar, the first of which he really should have done better with.
After 45 minutes in the heat players and fans were glad when the referee, who had a decent game, called
for half time.
After the break County really began to push the Daggers back. We seemed to lose control of the midfield
and were being pushed deeper and deeper. Griffin had the ball in the net for the home side but the linesman ad long since indicated the ball had gone out of play, before Roberts made two more smart saves. However,
on the break there still looked to be hope for the Daggers and from one move Nurse should have done better
when he had Benson and Sloma to pick out but could not beat the first defender with his cross.
John Still introduced Strevens, Huke and Moore for Sloma, Saunders and Benson and Huke appeared to give
us more bite in midfield. Gannon also made changes for County. Roberts chopper down a County player on he edge of the area to earn himself a yellow, but just when it looked like we would leave with a point, County
opened us up one last time. Substitute Proudlock beat Griffiths on the left and crossed for fellow sub Dickinson
to volley home at the near post. It was a neat goal but choking to come on 85 minutes.
There was not really anytime for the visitors to hit back, although they did force a series of corners which led to
nothing. The referee only managed to find 2 minutes injury time (his only blemish in our opinion) and at the final
whistle everyone felt a little deflated.
26. Conrad Logan
4. Jason Taylor
5. Gareth Owen
6. Ashley Williams
7. David Poole ,
8. Gary Dicker (off 88 mins)
9. Anthony Elding
10. Matt McNeil
11. Adam Griffin (off 67 mins)
19. Paul Tierney
32. James Smith.
1. Chris Adamson
18. Greg Tansey.
20. Liam Dickonson (on 67 mins)
31. Adam Proudlock (on 62 mins)
Dominic Blizzard (on 88 mins)
1. Tony Roberts
19. Danny Foster
15. Anwar Uddin
5. Jon Boardman
12. Scott Griffiths
7. Sam Saunders (off 73 mins)
8. Glen Southam
11. Dave Rainford
3. Sam Sloma (off 60 mins)
14. Paul Benson (off 79 mins)
9. Jon Nurse.
30. Ed Thompson
2. Magnus Okuonghae
6. Shane Huke (on 60 mins)
18. Ben Strevens (on 73 mins)
23. Chris Moore (on 79 mins)