Dire doings in Dagenham

Grimsby Town were playing at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday, and as we’d missed the other London-based games against Barnet and Brentford, we made a conscious effort to go to this one.

The Jubilee Line was out of action which didn’t help make the journey any simpler, but we got the DLR to Bow Church and the District Line from Bow Road to Dagenham East. For some reason which we’ve not yet worked out, the journey from Zone 2 to Zone 5 only cost us £1.

As the weather was looking a bit grim, we paid £18 each for seats in the covered part of the ground rather than £15 for the uncovered terraces. As it drizzled quite a bit during the game, I’m glad we did.

The stadium is pretty small, with a single seated stand and the rest being a combination of covered and uncovered terracing. It came across as a pretty friendly club though and there was no sign of any trouble.

The Mariners fans on the terrace at Dagenham & Redbridge

It was the first time the two teams have met, as this is The Daggers first season in the Football League. They’re down in 22nd place, which is pretty much where Town were a month or so ago, before their streak of 4 League wins in a row.

The game started well with the Mariners showing some classy touches and doing the whole pass-and-move thing that they’ve been practising recently. Then it all went a bit “hoofy”. Wallop the ball up front, bounce it off a few heads, boot it back the other way, more of the same… for pretty much the rest of the first half.

Very dull to watch neither side really had any chances worth mentioning. Half time and a chance to investigate the culinary delights round the back of the Barking Stand.

The usual football ground fare, burgers, hot drinks and hot-dogs. The burgers were actually pretty tasty with proper onions unlike the nasty dried onion bits that they served on the hot-dogs at Blundell Park.

The second half kicked off much like the first, with Town having a few good chances and applying loads of pressure…. then it all went a bit “hoofy” again, despite Alan Buckley doing some sterling vocal work on the side-line to try and get the Town players to control the ball and pass it.

Things brightened in the last 5 minutes with quite a few chances at both ends and some pretty good saves from both keepers. Town were saved by the woodwork on one occasion but frankly neither side deserved a win.

So a goal-less draw in the end, which is better than losing, but Town were lucky that they weren’t playing a better side.