Angelo Balanta in his loan spell at Yeovil Town in 2013. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Former Yeovil Town man Angelo Balanta is hoping success in the FA Trophy can spur his Dagenham & Redbridge team-mates on this weekend.

The Colombian seems likely to be missing this weekend as he makes his way back from a calf injury, but did tune in for their 2-0 win over Spennymoor United to book a quarter-final place last weekend.

The result was overshadow by a horrific injury to young winger George Saunders who suffered a double leg break, but Balanta hopes the result will pick up the Daggers who had lost their previous two league fixtures.

He said: “I watched the game on a stream and it was pleasing to get through to the next round, but devastating for George (Saunders) getting injured.

“Any team coming to our turf is a very good draw for us. We fancy our chances at home but York will pose a different challenge.

“Yeovil will be tough. They’re below us in the table but they gave us a good contest and made it tough for us.
“They’re very resilient the way they go about their business and defend their goal really well.

“I think it will be similar but we’ve got to do what we’ve been doing, performing well and hopefully get the result.

In the League, our visitors have lost three and won one of their last four albeit the defeats came at home to leaders $tockport County and promotion-chasing FC Halifax Town and then on the road at Chesterfield in their last outing on February 5.

The victory came with a 2-1 win at W*ymouth after goals from strikers Josh Walker and Paul McCallum saw them come back from trailing at half-time.

Walker missed the reverse fixture in Essex in November through injury having had a prolific start to the season.

Ominously, he has got five in his last seven with both he and McCallum on the scoresheet last weekend.


Daggers’ boss Daryl McMahon admitted the serious injury to winger George Saunders in last weekend’s FA Trophy win over Spennymoor United did affect his players.

But, having reported that the youngster had a successful injury on a double leg break, the squad has been able to focus on the weekend’s National League fixture.

The boss said: “It has obviously difficult after what happened Saturday with Georgie, but since we’ve had the good news in terms of his operation, the lads have been great in training.”

The manager has a lot of respect for his opposite number, Yeovil Town boss Darren Sarll, and is expecting a tough game in the anticipated difficult conditions of a wind-lashed Huish Park.

He added: “Darren has done a terrific job down there. We know it’ll be difficult when we play against Yeovil. They’re well organised, competitive.

The weather looks like it might be a challenge, looking at the forecast, but it’s one we’re looking forward to.

We feel that we’re in decent form, we had a bit of good luck last weekend, getting bodies back as well, we feel like we’re looking forward to the run-in now.”



Former Yeovil Town loanee Angelo Balanta is expected to be missing for the trip to face his old club.

The Dagenham winger, who had a six-game loan spell at Huish Park during the League One play-off-winning season in 2012-13, has not featured since a win at W*ymouth at the end of last month with a calf injury.

Boss Daryl McMahon said the Colombian is still expected to be out this weekend, but he is expecting experienced heads Matt Robinson and Dean Rance to be available despite carrying injuries.

Mauro Vilhete has returned to training this week alongside winger Myles Weston, who caused Yeovil’s defence all kinds of issues in the match at Victoria Road in November, is back after a spell with COVID.

Alongside winger George Saunders, who is out for the season having suffered a double leg break last weekend, the Daggers’ most high-profile absentee is defender Yoan Zouma.

The Frenchman has been suspended from playing whilst the RSPCA conducts an investigation in to an attack on a pet cat by his brother, West Ham United defender, Kurt, which was filmed by Yoan and posted on social media.

The Premier League player was seen kicking and slapping two pet cats in the video posted by Yoan at the start of this month and the Daggers responded quickly by suspending their player.



Yeovil Town captain Luke Wilkinson and midfielder Josh Staunton seems likely to be the only players with experience of playing for both sides starting this weekend.

The central defender played 65 times for Dagenham following his release by Portsmouth in 2010.

He had a couple of spells on loan at Boreham Wood and one at Dartford during his time at Victoria Road before departing for Luton Town in 2014.

Staunton arrived in Essex following his release by Gillingham in the summer of 2016 and made 37 appearances as they reached the Conference play-offs missing out to eventual winners Forest Green Rovers.

Despite playing in most positions in defence, Staunton was allowed to leave and joined Woking for the following season and then moved to FC Halifax Town from whom he joined Yeovil in summer 2020.

Another possibility in the green-and-white corner is Lawson D’Ath, the playmaker working his way back to fitness after nine months out through injury.

He had a 21-game spell on loan in Essex in the 2013-14 season.

Likely to be missing through injury is the visitors’ talismanic forward Angelo Balanta who was an unused substitute in Yeovil’s 2-1 League One play-off final win over Brentford which secured promotion to the Championship in 2013.

If you’ve not heard it, check out our podcast with former Yeovil Town press officer Jimmy Healey for a great story about Balanta’s celebration – here.

The Colombian had a spell at Bristol Rovers, helping them out of the Football Conference in 2015, before moving to Carlisle United, Boreham Wood and eventually arriving at Dagenham in October 2018.

There is a possibility of seeing ex-Glovers’ midfielder Joey Jones who played the first half against Spennymoor last weekend before being replaced at half-time.

He spent his youth career at Arsenal and Leicester but having signed for Yeovil in 2013 after playing in a behind-closed-doors friendly he failed to make an appearance.

In January 2014, he was loaned out to Woking who he eventually joined permanently at the end of the season and when on to play 162 times for the Cards.

He arrived at Victoria Road, via Eastleigh and Salford City, in November 2020.

Other familiar faces to both sets of supporters include….

  • Rhys Murphy – Dagenham (2013-15), Yeovil Town (2019-21)
  • Mitch Brundle – Yeovil Town (2012-13), Dagenham (2019-21)
  • Jake Howells – Yeovil Town – loan (2015), Dagenham (2017-18)
  • Gavin Tomlin – Yeovil Town (2008-10), Dagenham (2010-12)
  • Matt Harrold – Dagenham – loan (2004-05), Yeovil Town (2005-06)
  • Kirk Jackson – Yeovil Town (2002-04), Dagenham – loan (2004)
  • Paul Terry – Dagenham (1999-2003), Yeovil Town (2003-07)


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