Boreham Wood v Dagenham & Redbridge
Saturday 9th October 2021, 3.00pm
LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park, Vanarama National League
Match Preview written by Aaron Bennis (BWFC Media Assistant)
This Saturday, Wood face a brilliant opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the other promotion-chasing sides as they host rivals Dagenham & Redbridge.
The Daggers have enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, winning six of their opening ten games to sit fourth in the table and are just two points below the Wood, as well as being the joint-top scorers in the division.
Wood’s comfortable 2-0 win over Torquay United last time out saw them move up to second in the table, with a win this weekend being enough to leapfrog Grimsby Town and go top providing other results go their way.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
30-year old central defender Callum Reynolds has amassed 177 National League appearances, proving himself as one of the most reliable defenders in the division. He signed for Luton Town and Portsmouth during the early days of his career, before dropping to the non-league with the Wood and helping the club win promotion to the Conference, where he would play 31 times. His good form at the heart of the defence earnt him a move to Aldershot Town, featuring 87 times and being a part of two failed play-off attempts. Two seasons at Barnet was then succeeded by a move to Dagenham & Redbridge, where he has been a mainstay.
A Colombia-born attacking midfielder, Angelo Balanta came through the ranks at QPR where he spent seven years, making 29 appearances for the club’s first team. A brief loan move to Wycombe Wanderers was agreed midway through 2008/09 before a further loan to MK Dons the following summer, where he spent two-and-a-half seasons. He then signed for Yeovil Town on loan during the second half of 2012/13, helping the Glovers win promotion to the Championship via the play-offs. Upon returning to QPR he would be released, and spent brief spells with Bristol Rovers and Carlisle United prior to a move to Meadow Park. 92 appearances over three seasons for the Wood brought 21 goals and 12 assists, with Balanta striking up an impressive partnership with Bruno Andrade that won many plaudits and he helped the club achieve their highest ever league finish and a route into the play-offs in 2017/18. After defeat in the final to Tranmere Rovers, Balanta moved to Dagenham & Redbridge in October 2018, top scoring in his first full season with eight before an improved 12 in 2020/21, this time only Paul McCallum scoring more.
An impressive 15 goals in seven games with Dulwich Hamlet’s youth team saw Paul McCallum attract interest from multiple Premier League clubs, eventually joining West Ham United. He spent four years in East London, going on numerous loan spells during this period with Rochdale, AFC Wimbledon, Aldershot Town, Torquay United, Hearts and Portsmouth, but was released by the Hammers at the end of 2014/15. A two-year stint at Leyton Orient brought 15 goals in 43 appearances before signing for Eastleigh. His 27-goal haul in 2018/19 helped the Spitfires qualify for the play-offs, and he would sign for Solihull Moors after they failed to win promotion. A brief loan spell at Barnet was followed by a move to Dagenham & Redbridge in the summer of 2020.
LAST TIME WE MET
Dagenham & Redbridge 2-2 Boreham Wood
Saturday 6th March 2021
Victoria Road, National League
A late double from ex-Boreham Wood man Junior Balanta was enough to steal a point away from the visitors, who had led since the end of the first half.
The hosts controlled much of the early stages and had the ball in the net after just five minutes, when Myles Weston’s free kick met the head of Matt Robinson who crashed it against the crossbar, before Paul McCallum put in the rebound only to see it ruled out for a push. This was a theme in the opening 20 minutes, with Nathan Ashmore’s goal being littered with efforts from Balanta, Dean Rance and McCallum again. Wood would grow into it around the half-hour mark, with Shaq Coulthirst creating an opening for Mark Ricketts who was unable to keep his shot on target. However, with injury time at the end of the first period approaching, the Daggers would be made to pay for not taking advantage of their dominance. Some excellent work from Kane Smith and Gus Mafuta saw the latter put in a fine cross, where Corey Whitley was alert enough to tap home on the goal-line, capitalising on a lack of concentration by the hosts’ defence to open the scoring on the brink of half time. Shaq Coulthirst’s first goal of the season doubled Wood’s lead shortly after the restart with ex-Dagger Whitley putting in a cross that Elliot Justham could only parry as far as the former Barnet man, who was composed enough to net his first league club for the Wood. Despite the control seemingly being in possession of the away side, Dagenham were able to pull one back with 17 minutes remaining through former Wood star Balanta who got in front of a static defence to halve the deficit. Although the visitors looked to be holding out well, they were clearly on the backfoot with the Daggers once again having all of the possession and chances. They were able to reach the 89th minute before heartbreak fell, and Balanta struck again with a fantastic shot from the edge of the box that gave Ashmore no chance, finding a deserved equalizer. Although the Wood were able to react well in stoppage time, they were unable to restore their lead, sharing the points apiece.
PRE MATCH WORDS
HOW TO WATCH
All spectators are encouraged to pre-purchase their match tickets to avoid queuing and congestion upon entry into the ground. Tickets are also available to be purchased on the day via cash and debit/credit card.
Home supporters purchasing match tickets on the day should go to the club’s ticket office located in the main club car park, whereas visiting supporters can purchase match tickets on the day from their designated turnstiles.
You can keep up with the action via our Twitter and Instagram pages, where there will be regular updates throughout the course of the match.
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