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Review - Game Eight: Dagenham & Redbridge 3-0 Lincoln City
A long tube journey followed by a rail replacement bus journey on a lovely sunny Saturday wasn`t quite as bad as it sounds. I was off to watch a team who had scored ten goals in their first two home matches and I was desperately hoping for more of the same. Also I had learnt that QPR would be taking on Chelsea in the Carling Cup third round at Stamford Bridge. A game I am definitely not going to miss! The ground is very nice for a sunny day but with large areas open to the elements and with one stand referred to as "the sieve" I wouldn`t necessarily have the same view on a cold wet November evening. A new stand is currently being built which, when complete, will dwarf the other two but at the moment there is still much work to be done to complete it.
The game started fairly poorly, both teams creating little and the football was of a poor standard, just as I was thinking that it was my luck to sit through the dourest 0-0 draw Dagenham scored with their first sustained attack. Number 9 Jon Nurse was proving to be a nuisance in a position that in the Fifties would have been an outside left. He collected a throw and powered and weaved his way past three Lincoln defenders before sliding the ball past the keeper. It was a great run and finish and the goal brought to life both the team and their support. Soon the Daggers were piling forward and were unlucky not to be two up as crosses flashed across Lincoln`s goal mouth and darting runs from midfield were only just nullified.
Then a Heidar Helguson moment, a well worked move by Dagger`s number 10 saw him beat two men and pass across a sprawling Lincoln keeper to find his strike partner Paul Benson who promptly managed to get the ball over the bar from about four yards! A truly shocking miss! The Daggers were left to rue yet more chances after a cross from Benson was met by a salmonesque rise from Nurse, he was hanging in the air for what seemed like a minute before his head contacted with the ball which then looped in a lackadaisical fashion over Rob Burch the Lincoln keeper only to meet the top of the crossbar rather than the back of the net. Only a few minutes later midfielder Stuart Thurgood, who had been acting as the engine room in the Dagger`s midfield, cleaning up errant passes and breaking up the sporadic Lincoln breaks with ease before seamlessly passing to an attacking player, hit the bar. In a rare venture towards the right touchline he attempted a cross, but as with Peter Ramage in the first game we saw, he miss-hit it and it screwed goalwards. Unlike Ramage`s effort however Thurgood`s clipped the top of the bar and many fans around me were wondering whether that elusive second goal would come at all.
The second half picked up where the first had finished, with Dagenham & Redbridge pinning Lincoln City back and launching wave after wave of penetrating attack. A seemingly bad ball was chased down the left wing by left back Scott Griffiths who somehow managed to whip the ball in despite battling with a City player, the poor City defence were again nowhere to be seen and midfielder Danny Green had time for a spot of lunch before beating Rob Burch for the Dagger`s second. Despite their lead Dagenham continued to push forward and a number of chances were spurned before yet more sloppy defending from Lincoln City allowed Jon Nurse to bag a brace by gently prodding an uncleared ball past a defender and keeper after a nod down from a corner. It was an extremely poor goal to concede and Lincoln`s defence will need to look at themselves in the mirror and improve or else they will be in trouble come the end of the season, the only thing that may save them is just how bad some of the other teams in the league are.
A great result for Dagenham & Redbridge, who could have had a hat-full more. The defence was hardly called upon but looked more than competent, the midfield and strikers linked up well and they played some great attacking football, a real joy to watch. The ground and all the people were great also, making for a very enjoyable game. A special mention has to go to the food being served in 'the sieve`, the smells were mouth-watering, the only thing stopping me from partaking was that everyone had the same idea and the queue was vast!
Build Up - Game Nine: Bromley v Braintree Town
Bromley Football Club were formed in 1892 and are known as the Lilywhites and are currently managed by ex-Crystal Palace Chairman Mark Goldberg. There are no big rivalries although Crystal Palace and Cray Wanderers aren`t too far away.
The club has been fairly successful considering that it`s entire history has been as a non-league club. Especially in the early decades of the 20th century, however up until the 70`s there were many league and cup triumphs for the club. In recent years the club has managed to battle it`s way back up the footballing pyramid after slipping down due to both football reasons and the re-classification of the league system which saw them drop down a tier but stay in the same league.
So far this season has been split with the club managing only three points from their first four league matches. This was rectified however with four wins on the trot including a 5-1 thrashing of Weymouth on Saturday. Braintree are currently fourth in the table and with both teams scoring heavily so far this season and Bromley suffering from a leaky defence this promises to be a very high scoring match.
Kent Senior Cup-1949/50, 1976/77, 1991/92, 1996/97, 2005/06, 2006/07
London Challenge Cup-1995/96
London Senior Cup-1909/10, 1945/46, 1950/51, 2002/03
South London League-1985/86
South Thames Cup-1955/56
For Clubs using M25 Motorway; Leaving the M25 at Junction 4, follow the A21 to Bromley and London, for approximately 4 miles and then fork left onto the A232 signposted Croydon/Sutton. At the 2nd set of traffic lights turn right into Baston Road (B265), following it for about 2 miles as it becomes Hayes Street and then Hayes Lane. Bromley FC is on right hand side of road just after a mini roundabout. There is ample room for coaches to drive down the driveway, turn round and park.
For Clubs not using M25 Motorway; Hayes Lane is situated between the A21 London to Hastings Road and the A232 Croydon to Orpington Road. You are advised to avoid heavy congestion in Bromley Town Centre. However, there is a 7ft width barrier from the A21 road in Hayes Lane so coaches should not approach from this direction. Clubs arriving from the Croydon/Surrey areas should use the A232, turn left into Baston Road (B265), following it for about 2 miles as it becomes Hayes Street and then Hayes Lane. Bromley FC is on right hand side of road just after a mini roundabout. Clubs arriving from West London should use the South Circular Road as far as West Dulwich and then via Crystal Palace, Penge, Beckenham and Bromley South areas. Clubs arriving from North and East London should use the Blackwall Tunnel and then the A20 road as far as Sidcup. Then use the A232 to Keston Common, turn right into Baston Road (B265), following it for about 2 miles as it becomes Hayes Street and then Hayes Lane. Bromley FC is on right hand side of road just after a mini roundabout. These routes may not be the most direct, but will cut out congestion in places such as Lewisham, Catford, Bromley and keep you away from traffic jams, particularly if you are travelling by coach.
By Train; The nearest station to the ground is Bromley South which is serviced by trains from London Victoria. Trains run regularly up until 23:56 midweek and later at weekends. There are also about two services an hour from London Blackfriars. If your train into London goes via East Croydon it may be easier to get off there and catch the 119 bus to the ground (approximate journey time: 40 minutes).
On Foot (from Bromley South); Turn left out of the station and then right shortly afterwards into Westmoreland Road, at the traffic lights by the T-junction near the Police Station and the Churchill building. Turn left just after the church into Hayes Road. Take care to follow the road when it bears round to the left rather than ending up in Cameron Road.
At the end of Hayes Road turn right into Hayes Lane having first crossed Hayes Lane using the traffic island near the mini-roundabout. The drive to the ground is about 200m on your left.
By Bus; The 119 (Bromley to Croydon), 146 (Bromley to Downe) and the 314 (Eltham to New Addington) all go past the ground.