Soccer AM/MW - the home of lively and humorous discussion from the Football and Non Leagues

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Big Match Preview

League Two
Morecambe vs. Dagenham & Redbridge
Saturday April 25, 15:00, Christie Park

Two overachievers challenging for the play-offs meet on the Lancashire coast this weekend as 7th placed Dagenham make the trip to Morecambe - who sit 10th.

Just a couple of points separate the two sides - who were promoted together from the Conference in 2007. They're now two of nine teams competing for a place in the top seven.

The Daggers are one of the form sides in the division of late, having secured 15 points from their last eight games. That includes home wins in their last two games against Burton and Barnet.

John Still's team have built their play-off assault on an imperious record at Victoria Road - collecting 44 points from their 22 home matches.

Their away form has been their achilles heel though. Only once in 13 away trips have they return to East London with maximum spoils. A record they will need to improve upon if they're to seal a spot in the top seven.

Striker Paul Benson has again been key to Dagenham's fortunes - scoring 17 goals in all competitions. Midfielder Danny Green, a summer signing from Bishop's Stortford, has also found the back of the net on 13 occasions.

It's a typical story of a club who, despite low crowds and a small budget, have utilised the Non League market to great effect in making themselves competitive in League Two.

After missing out on the play-offs to Shrewsbury by just a point on the final day of last season, Still will be hoping his wheeling and dealing takes them one step further this term.

Dagenham manager John Still has once again got his team punching above their weight

However, in their way stands a Morecambe team who many pundits predicted as the dark horses for this season's top seven.

A couple of months ago, their experienced manager Sammy McIlroy had ruled his side out of the play-off running. However, a run of five wins in six propelled the Shrimps into the top seven.

Since then, they've lost back-to-back games at Bradford and Notts County, so will be hoping to get back to winning ways on home soil against the Daggers.

Saturday's game could also be their penultimate game at their Christie Park home. The Lancashire outfit are moving to the new Globe Arena from next season.

Their record at home has, like their opponents, also been very impressive this term. Just three of their 22 home fixtures have been lost - and they're unbeaten in seven on their own turf.

Key performers in the Morecambe side this season include striking pair Phil Jevons and Paul Mullin - who've scored a combined 30 league goals between them.

In many ways, this fixture should be one that both sides should enjoy. After all, the chance to finish in the top seven would be a bonus for these two, rather than what expectation.

Both have enjoyed good seasons, but it's hard to ignore both sides are stronger at home than they are away. For that reason, Morecambe may well edge a close encounter.

Nobes' Prediction: Morecambe 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

No comments:

Post a Comment