The time has come for one of the biggest matches of the season with a month’s delay for the fixture only adding to the anticipation for a trip that won’t make or break the season but will have plenty of implications for the coming weeks and the relegation battle. Had we played the game at the scheduled time, we would have been looking up at the Daggers, and indeed the rest of League Two, but thanks to a resurgence of form the clubs have instead swapped places over the past month and it’s the hosts who prop up the rest and the Cobblers needing the win to put ground between us.
All’s set for a tense night with the conclusion sure to have major impact at the bottom of the Football League.
Dagenham have fallen to a couple of away defeats in the last week, falling 4-0 at league leaders Swindon before Saturday’s 2-1 reverse at AFC Wimbledon. Before that though, they were in decent form and had picked up seven points from a possible nine.
The Cobblers have collected thirteen points from the last eighteen available including back to back home wins this week. Aidy Boothroyd’s men have lost only one of their four away games in 2012, that being the 1-0 defeat at Torquay.
The Daggers snapped up Bournemouth’s Mathieu Baudry on loan this week and the Frenchman could make his debut. John Still is meanwhile waiting on the fitness of defensive duo Scott Doe and Mark Arber with both doubts for the game. Matthew Saunders will definitely miss out as he waits on the results of an ankle scan while Sam Williams, Kevin Maher and Peter Gain are also out.
Aidy Boothroyd will be pondering the inclusion of Toni Silva after the enigmatic winger put in a solid performance on his recall to the side on Saturday afternoon. Michael Jacobs and Bayo Akinfenwa were the only concerns for that one but both came through ok and should start again. Anthony Charles might be included in the squad after completing his short term move to Sixfields on Tuesday.
Dagenham signed former Cobblers loanee Josh Parker on a loan deal last week. Parker, now signed up by Oldham Athletic, played three times for Town in 2010.
Injured Cobblers defender Nana has previously spent time on loan at Dagenham and scored twice in an eight game spell at Victoria Park in the 2009-10 season.
24/09/11: Cobblers 2-1 Dagenham and Redbridge
Arron Davies returned from injury to smash the Cobblers in front in the reverse fixture at Sixfields from earlier this season before Bayo headed in for 2-0 the other side of half-time. Dagenham pulled one back through Oliver Lee but we held on for a first home win of the season.
06/02/10: Dagenham and Redbridge 0-1 Cobblers
John Johnson’s goal turned out to be the winner in February 2010 in the Cobblers’ first competitive game at Victoria Road.
26/12/09: Cobblers 1-0 Dagenham and Redbridge
The first ever meeting between the two sides took place at Sixfields on Boxing Day 2009 with the Cobblers coming out on top by a single goal, scored by Billy McKay with just two minutes to go.
The Man In The Middle…
The man in charge on Tuesday night will be Paul Tierney, who has been officiating Championship and League One games in the past couple of weeks. You might remember him for sending John Johnson off at Oxford last season or for showing red to two Stevenage players on the day that we secured our Football League status at the end of last season.
It’s a massive contest and one that I’d like to see us go all out and attack but I can see it being quite cagey and based on the last couple of results wouldn’t be completely disappointed with a point. I’ll go for 1-1.