My god, a win? And a clean sheet to boot? Looks like it, although typically your editor was elsewhere (Watford, not Crawley thankfully). Still, I got to
press gang persuade a couple of SW19 readers to fill in the gaps. First up, Bubble:
So after a close game last week, the Dons bounced back in style by dispatching a physical Dagenham side 2-0 recording their first points of the season.
With Minshull and Ademeno coming in for Wellard and Jolley as the only two changes the Dons were ready to fight fire with fire and in Lee Minshull’s case, the fires that were seen to rage around Croydon could fit into a mere ashtray with the effort and intensity of his performance in the middle of the park.
With the Daggers coming at us early the Dons could be called subdued as the Daggers looked solid and dominant in the very early going. With the Dons getting the ball forward Charles Ademeno worked hard getting into some fantastic positions chasing the ball down well and helping to get the Dons into the game.
The Dons opened the scoring from the penalty spot seven minutes before half time following a blatant handball, this really was the turning point for the Dons as they seemed to realise that they were good enough to not only compete but to outplay Dagenham and in the second half that’s just what they did.
Jack Midson who put in one hell of a shift yesterday can feel himself unlucky not to have been awarded at least one penalty as three times there were credible shouts.
As the Dons really got in to the second half the out of sorts Rashid Yusseff hit a 20 yard screamer which flew into the top left hand corner, early contender for goal of the season. And from here Wimbledon proved to be the dominant side as Dagenham began to look tired as they could not take forward the physical game that they laid from the start.
The one period of fightback that Daggers produced saw them pressure the Dons with five consecutive corners which were all dealt with by the Dons defence, albeit in a traditional lower league style and other than that and a close range header which was poorly directed Dagenham could not threaten the Wimbledon goal as the game closed out seeing the Dons off the mark.
My MOTM: Lee Minshull
To nick a couple of Rob’s things:
The Referee’s a: inconsistent tosspot, seemed happy to give dainty little fouls but ignore bigger aerial challenges and after a while it became laughable, he forgot that football is not a test of strength and he let himself down with such decisions, also not giving at least one of Midson’s penalty claims. Also should have at least booked Sam Hatton for a tackle on the edge of the area, still I’m not going to argue with that one.
Truth is stranger than fiction: being in Dagenham i didn’t actually get to meet Stacey Soloman, but i did get to meet the Police Borough Commander for the Dagenham and Barking area who apparently led by example and joined his colleagues on the front line through the riots.
And a short and sweet one from Tudor:
(What goes around comes around).
Bam! Tooks, top corner.
If only all match reports could be written in three lines…
So, what? Well, let’s not look at any gift horses in the mouth. Despite only being two League games in we needed this win big time, and we also needed the clean sheet. As far as confidence goes, this result is not insignificant.
All of a sudden, you’re thinking we could go down to Home Park on Tuesday and get a result. And if you’re thinking that, you can bet the players have more of a spring in their step this morning. In the space of 24 hours, the long trip down to Devon doesn’t seem nearly so daunting…
Plymouth lost 4-1 yesterday after all, and you’ve now got to think we stand a good chance of getting three points ourselves. Amazing what just one win does. OK, our defence needs even more tightening up if some of the reports from the game are to be believed – though if Daggers show as much sharpness as an unmasked looter who gets caught on camera with a new plasma, that’s not our fault – but it does prove we still need to improve.
It’s occasionally said that teams in this division are typically shit in defence but even shittier in attack, which makes that bid for a new striker even more of an issue. And that possibly explains why teams who come up from the Conference tend to do well. Had it been a 3-2 loss yesterday, we would have started to wonder if we would ever learn how to win a game, and as SW19 pointed out on Friday, a losing habit can start to cause problems much earlier in the season than you think…
Reading various snippets and after finally watching the highlights on SSN/BBC, it does seem our fitness (physically and mentally) won us this game. That and Tok’s screamer, that is. Your editor saw Daggers v Tranmere last season, and despite being 2-0 with twenty minutes left they ended up drawing it. So it seems that nothing much has changed for them.
Perhaps this was the right game at the right time? No media circus analysing everything we do, no reams of column inches beforehand, a decent opponent who were beatable, and a week off to lick our wounds. Not to say there wasn’t any pressure on us – there was, and a fair amount of it too – but nobody has been saying that we didn’t cope with it yesterday.
If you look at the next couple fixtures, most if not all are winnable (they’re also all loseable but I won’t point that out right now…). Plymouth is the big one who people were looking out for when the fixtures came out, and it’s a shame it’s ended up in midweek, but again, the fear factor of that contest is now gone with just one victory.
Hereford were shit yesterday, by all accounts, although you can’t really take much from Macclesfield’s result outside Gatwick.Â Win all three of them (or not lose any of them) and we’ve already built a nice little cushion between us and the bottom 6/7. And I think that will help us relax a bit more, and not be quite so panicky/dozy : deep down, you sense that being down the bottom acts as a little bit of a distraction, even just two games in.
It’s that strange psychological thing at this stage of the season, when you look at a mostly irrelevant league table and see the positions. Are Oxford and Bradford really going to be down there for most of the season? Bet it’s not fun for fans of those two sides though, considering their resources and stature, but I bet if it was us, you’dÂ be looking at it with a bit of a “hmm” to it.
Still, we’re 10th in the irrelevant part of the campaign, and we’d happily settle for that come May. Hell, we’d have it come March too…