Dagenham & Redbridge U18 (1) – QPR U18 (2)

Team: Bulmer, Cox, Ilesanmi, Smith, Harris, Olley, Perring, Davenport, Parker, German, Nanetti
Subs: Wright, Bailey, Brittain, Ehmer, Fernandez.

We eventually found the entrance to the May and Baker Sports ground and as Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett, Roger Stokes and myself shuffled into position, Clive Kingham walked over and joined us. Part of the pitch perimeter was inaccessible so we stayed in the same spot for the duration of the game. The Daggers had lost 2-5 to Peterborough on Thursday despite being 2-0 up at one stage and with Steve Brown’s departure last week, Keith Ryan stepped up to take the reins.

The match kicked off 3 minutes late in bright sunshine and it has to be said that the state of the pitch was poor. The R’s first real effort in a scrappy opening fell to Josh Parker when he got his head to the ball but didn’t get enough on it. As Rangers got more into the game, Nanetti was brought down in the box but the referee wasn’t interested. After a good run down the right, Elliott Cox found Josh Parker who then put over a long, deep cross into the box. We all thought that it was Christian Nanetti that rose to head the ball into the net ? However, I note that the club has credited the goal to ‘Reggie’ Perring. Another effort hit the post and a lovely, low cross found Nanetti in plenty of space but he hit the ball straight at the keeper. Half Time: 1-0

Within minutes of the 2nd half resuming, Antonio German scrambled in number two at his second attempt. The R’s could of gone further ahead when Nanetti sent over a wonderful cross but with the wind curling it slightly, Parker’s header found the post. Dagenham and Redbridge pulled a goal back from the penalty spot which certainly inspired them to raise their game in the latter stages. Max Ehmer came on for Christian Nanetti and after this period of pressure from the home side, Antonio German did well to hold off his marker as he bombed into the box but shot just wide with a minute of normal time remaining.

With so many domestic games postponed recently and with the departure of Steve Brown, it was good to secure the 3 points, so well done to Keith Ryan and the team. Lee Goodwin, the Daggers Coach, said after the match: “It was a fair result but I’m pleased with the performance late in the game.” Good facilities at the ground, decent toilets and hot drinks and snacks were available at half time, very cheap too. We made our way back to Dagenham East Station down an alley that we had missed earlier which Alan Barnes described as: “Somewhere where even the muggers get mugged.”

Steve Russell