The Wood are back on the road this Saturday, January 5 (3pm), when we head to Dagenham & Redbridge, in the National League. Here’s our preview…
This will be the fourth time so far this season, that the Wood have taken on the Daggers, having also faced the side in the Emirates FA Cup.
Away fans are housed in the new A13 Steel Stand at one end of the stadium. Up to 1,200 fans can be accommodated in this area.
Luke Garrard has no fresh injuries to contend with, having seen his side come away unscathed from the draw with Barnet.
New signings Idris Kanu and Sean Shields will both be available for the trip to Dagenham & Redbridge.
The Wood drew 1-1 with Barnet last time out, on New Year’s Day. Bradley Ash scored a late penalty, to help his side come back from a goal down.
Prior to that, the Wood enjoyed a mainly productive festive period, which included a win over Barnet at home, with Bradley Ash the hero.
The side also saw a draw away to Braintree Town and a loss at home to Maidstone United, during that period.
Prior to the loss to Maidstone United, Garrard’s side were unbeaten in December, with four wins and two draws in all competitions.
The Wood are currently sitting 12th in the National League, on 37-points.
Managed by the experienced Peter Taylor, Dagenham have lost their last two matches, against Barnet and Leyton Orient.
Prior to those losses, the Daggers had seen an upturn in form, winning four of their last five National League matches.
That run included impressive victories against promotion chasing Salford City and Leyton Orient.
One to Watch – Connor Wilkinson
The forward has been a revelation since joining on-loan from Gillingham in November 2018.
Standing tall at 6ft 3in, Wilkinson came through the academy ranks at Millwall, before being snapped up by Bolton Wanderers.
A Republic of Ireland international at U17, U19 and U21 level, Wilkinson has netted five times in just nine appearances since joining the Daggers.
It will be the job of the Wood’s backline to prevent the imposing 23-year-old from adding to that tally on Saturday.
From the Dugout – Luke Garrard
“Take the last two games they played – against Leyton Orient and Barnet – out of the equation, and I think that they were on a run of eight/nine undefeated and I think that they won a large amount of those.
“Harrogate at home, Fylde at home, Orient at home, Salford on the road. You look at them as a different entity now, as opposed to when we played them earlier on in the season.
“They have brought in the likes of (Kenny) Clarke, (Manny) Onariase, Angelo Balanta, and (Connor) Wilkinson, so they have got four or five new personnel in their team, who we haven’t come up against before.
“We are relishing the opportunity and I feel that after the performance against Barnet, especially the latter stages, we want to continue that and kick on in the game against Dagenham on Saturday.
“We are going there full of confidence, and we have had a good Christmas period. We have a good defensive unit and we have got a very solid base, where we try and build from, and it is for us to try and nullify their threat.
“It is about getting on the front foot and about starting bright and if we can do that, we are hopeful that we can have a positive result come Saturday.”