Yeovil Town became the last National League side to pick up a win away from home as they saw off ten-man Dagenham on Saturday.
The win keeps the Glovers five points clear of the relegation zone with many of the division’s struggling sides picking up wins, but also means there are ‘just’ nine points between them and the play-off places.
Here’s what Coatesie thought of his most recent visit to the Chigwell Construction Stadium……
An away win, and what an away win. It would be easy to point to the fact Dagenham played for an hour with ten men, but let’s not forget they were in the play-offs at the start of the game and we had not won an away match all season. Far from the rusty display we saw after a period of not playing last time out against Bromley, we were at it from the off. We stepped off the gas after half-time which allowed Dagenham to create some good chances, but we were more than worth the win – plus two goals and a clean sheet.
The new boys made a difference. In the first half, the combination of Jordan Young’s hard work, the quality of Jack Clarke, Jordan Maguire-Drew and Andrew Oluwabori caused Dagenham all kinds of problems. We pressed them and, for players who are presumably still getting to know each other, there was enough to think we could have a way to improve our goals scored rally. Further back, I did not really notice Charlie Cooper much and that is to his credit. In a defensive midfield position, he was neat and tidy and seemed to do what he needed to do.
We finished enough chances, but still plenty to do. We scored goals – two of them! A coolly taken penalty from Maguire-Drew and then an absolute beauty from outside the box from Matt Worthington. But, if I am being greedy (and I am), it really could and should have been more. As he did at Bromley two weeks prior, Oluwabori had a great chance to add another. His pace causes problems and he gets in a lot of the right positions, if he could add finishing to his game he’d be almost complete. Then, right at the death, Alex Fisher will have been disappointed not to have added another to his tally.
Stay where you are, Josh. Josh Staunton back in defence alongside Owen Bevan brought that solid feel back to us which was sadly lacking at Bromley. It is early days, but if Cooper proves a good anchorman in midfield, I would be quite happy to see Staunton stay back for the foreseeable. Equally, Morgan Williams on the right and Jamie Reckord on the left coped well against a lively Dagenham forward line. I’d be quite happy to keep that defence…….what’s that about Reckord being banned?!
Now we need to follow it up. An away win on the board, three points, two goals – mission accomplished. But we need to follow this up with a win at home to Wealdstone on Tuesday night. Looking at our games throughout February it feels like we should be going in to next weekend’s home game with bottom club Maidstone United and the trips to Maidenhead, York to get three points. If we can do that, the taller tasks of a trip to Wrexham and a visit from Notts County can be free hits.
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