Dagenham & Redbridge v Boreham Wood
Tuesday 25th October 2022, 7:45pm
Victoria Road, National League
The Wood are back on the road for the first of two successive away games following their draw with Wrexham last time out, starting with a trip to Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.
IN FOCUS: DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE
Although the Daggers have spent the majority of their history in the non-league they did enjoy a nine-year stint in the Football League between 2007 and 2016, but relegation back to the National League prevented them from making it a decade in the top four divisions of English football. They have since remained in the fifth tier with consistent mid-table finishes seeing them struggle to put together a real promotion challenge, but the Daggers have started to improve under manager Daryl McMahon and were just a point away from their first play-off campaign since their first season back in the National League. The Daggers strengthened in the summer with the arrivals of Omar Mussa and Nikola Tavares from fellow National League sides Weymouth and Wealdstone respectively along with David Longe-King from newly promoted League Two side Grimsby Town, and have been a real entertaining outfit for the neutral with the eighth most goals scored and second most goals conceded, including a run of 40 goals in seven games that saw four high-scoring wins and three high-scoring defeats. Former Wood man Junior Morias is their current top scorer with six goals to his name in just nine starts, and the Daggers currently sit 14th in the National League table with five wins, four draws and six defeats.
LAST TIME OUT
FC Halifax Town 2-0 Dagenham & Redbridge
Saturday 22nd October 2022
Vanarama National League
Dagenham & Redbridge fell to defeat on the road after four games unbeaten, thanks to two headed efforts in the second half.
It was a scrappy affair early on with many long balls being sent in from both sides, although it was the hosts who won the majority of these duels as Jordan Slew and Jack Senior threatened during the opening stages. There was little in the way of action throughout as the first half was tarnished by injuries to Paul McCallum and Sam Ling, although Kian Spence had a flurry of chances late on as some heroic defending from Manny Onaraise ensured it remained level going into the break.
The Daggers enjoyed an improved opening to the second half as Mo Sagaf and Myles Weston provided a real threat, although the final ball evaded the visitors. Halifax will have been disappointed to not take the lead when Onaraise denied Jamie Cooke with a heroic clearance off the line after the 20-year old had rounded Elliot Justham. They soon did make the breakthrough though as a wicked cross met the head of Emmanuel Dieseruvwe who powered his effort past Justham. The Daggers responded by producing a chance for Sagaf which went amiss, and Tyreke Johnson looked bright after coming on for his debut. His efforts would prove to be in vain though, as Senior drove forward in stoppage time before sending a cross towards Jesse Debrah who nodded home once again to double their lead and seal the three points.
FC Halifax Town (A) L2-0
Beckenham Town (A) W0-7
York City (A) D1-1
Southend United (H) D1-1
Chesterfield (A) W2-3
Dorking Wanderers (A) L5-1
The Daggers have had a mixed start to the season and have been plagued by inconsistency early on. They were shocked by a 5-1 defeat away at newly promoted Dorking Wanderers in which the hosts took a five-goal lead and gifted their opponents a consolation goal with a late own goal, but this was followed by a narrow win at promotion hopefuls Chesterfield with the Daggers taking a three-goal lead this time. Some stability would come in the form of successive draws with Southend United and York City, before they turned their attention to the FA Cup; a 7-0 demolition of Isthmian League South East Division side Beckenham Town which saw them continue their run of goal-fests with the Daggers seeing 39 goals in their previous eight games since the start of September. They were unable to build momentum after this result though, with a 2-0 defeat away at FC Halifax Town last time out leaving them 14th in the National League table.
IN THE DUGOUT: DARYL MCMAHON
A playing career lasting for 13 years came to a close at Meadow Park, with Daryl McMahon playing 11 times for the Wood during 2014/15. He would soon take up management, coaching at Tottenham Hotspur before taking charge of Ebbsfleet United. A second place finish in 2016/17 saw the club win promotion back to the Conference, making amends for their play-off disappointment a year prior. After leaving the Fleet by mutual consent in 2018, McMahon took over at Macclesfield Town, but this only lasted for a few months due to the club’s financial difficulties. He would join Dagenham & Redbridge within 24 hours and led the club to 18th and 12th place finishes in his first two seasons, before an improved 2021/22 campaign saw him win two separate Manager of the Month awards as the Daggers missed out on the play-offs by just one point.
ONE TO WATCH: JUNIOR MORIAS
Former Wood striker Junior Morias spent time in the Fulham academy before breaking through at Wycombe Wanderers, going on to make 32 appearances for the Chairboys prior to two separate loan spells at Hendon and then at Boreham Wood, eventually joining the latter on a permanent basis following his release at Adams Park. His return would prove hugely successful, building on the eight goals he scored on loan by netting 12 during the 2014/15 season, including the promotion-winning goal in the play-off final against Whitehawk as the Wood joined the Conference Premier Division. He would join the Hawks the following January where he featured just twice, before signing for rivals St Albans City in the summer where his form attracted interest from the Football League, and he enjoyed spells at Peterborough United and Northampton Town. A move to Scottish Premiership side St Mirren preceded a return to the National League when he re-joined Boreham Wood on a short-term loan, before leaving Scotland permanently. The Jamaican-born forward briefly turned out for King’s Lynn Town before moving to Dagenham & Redbridge in November 2021.
LAST TIME WE MET
Dagenham & Redbridge 0-0 Boreham Wood
Tuesday 5th April 2022
Vanarama National League
The Wood had to settle for a draw after a hard-fought performance against Dagenham & Redbridge saw them come out of the evening goalless.
A quiet opening to the match saw the hosts dominate possession with Mauro Vilhete and Junior Morias looking to probe a stubborn Wood defence. It was the Wood who had the first meaningful chance as Tyrone Marsh fired over the crossbar after some good play from Josh Rees and Scott Boden, before Paul McCallum later went close for the Daggers when he shot wide. The visitors began to grow into it and enjoyed an improved close to the first half with Gus Mafuta and Marsh missing the target before Boden was denied by Elliot Justham on the stoke of the interval.
Similarly to the first half, the second began with little action despite the hosts seeing plenty of the ball, before the Wood produced the first opportunity once again as Rees forced Justham into a good save. The Wood were in the ascendancy as they looked to grab a foothold of the game, although Morias tested Taye Ashby-Hammond as the Daggers looked to nick the opener. There were plenty of chances on show for the visitors though during the final half-an-hour, as Rees headed over moments before Boden was denied by an outstanding block from Manny Onariase who prevented a certain goal. Further chances for Boden and Marsh saw the Wood go close late on, and despite Morias going down in the box in stoppage time the referee opted not to award a penalty with the game ending in a stalemate.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? ANGELO BALANTA
Dagenham & Redbridge skipper Angelo Balanta arrived at Victoria Road in October 2018, following a successful two-year stint in Hertfordshire. The former Queens Park Rangers man had made 18 and ten appearances at Bristol Rovers and Carlisle United respectively after spending three years on loan at MK Dons in between temporary spells at Wycombe Wanderers and Yeovil Town, but finally found a chance at consistent football when he joined Boreham Wood. His debut season saw him feature 44 times in all competitions as the Wood recorded an impressive 11th place finish, before an even better 2017/18 campaign saw them reach the play-off final along with record-breaking exploits in the FA Cup with victory over Blackpool setting up an away trip to Coventry City. Balanta contributed ten goals and six assists as he played 37 times in all competitions, including an appearance at Wembley Stadium in the play-off final defeat to Tranmere Rovers. The Colombian-born forward continued to feature for the Wood with starts in all of their opening ten games of the 2018/19 season, but departed for Dagenham & Redbridge just two months into the campaign.
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