Harriers 3 Dagenham 1
away fans: 53
Christie double gets a Harriers win
After weeks of waiting for the long suffering Harriers fans their team finally turned it on and crushed a shockingly poor Dagenham side by a 3-1 scoreline. Two goals from Iyseden Christie and a first goal for the on loan Marc Pugh put us into an un-assailable lead before Southam pulled one back near the end for the Daggers.
For our injury and suspension ravaged side there were a number of changes with Gavin Hurren making his first start and Patrick Flynn making his debut at full back. He replaced Wayne Hatswell who, in turn, replaced the suspended Mark Jackson at centre half. Lee Thompson also came in for his first game in a long time to play alongside Christie with Taiwo Atieno sitting out the game on the bench.
For the first forty minutes this game was mind numbingly boring with the only excitement coming from watching the rain come down and the steam from the passing trains on the Valley but it all suddenly burst to life on forty one minutes when Marc Pugh executed a neat back heel flick over his head and turned to place a gentle cross into a crowded goal area. After a bit of a scramble the ball finally ended up in the net with Christie getting the all important foot to it.
Minutes later and we were two goals to the good when Pughie headed home powerfully into the net following a pinpoint cross from Terry Fleming.
HT: 2 - 0
The second half started with Dagenham coming out of the starting blocks the quickest but it was only a temporary blip as the Harriers took control of the game until the final whistle.
Wayne Hatswell was the first to try to increase our lead when he took a swipe at the ball from outside the area but it went well over the bar, as did a similar effort from Gavin Hurren a few minutes later. Daggers did get one shot on goal just after but the ever reliable Danny Lewis pulled off a cracking save to deny Paul Benson.
We had a bad spell for a ten minute period just afterwards when it looked likely that Iyseden Christie would either be sent off or taken off. He got booked for a clash with a Dagenham defender that ended up with a lengthy treatment to his foot but, for the life of me and those around, we just couldn't see what could have caused it because Christie was actually kicking the ball at the time and if he did catch his foot then how could he be penalised for that.
After that he was a marked man by the Dagenham centre half and took quite a bit of strife from him. The London referee - Berkshire is near enough to London and Dagenham for me - was giving Christie no protection at all and was just waiting for him to retaliate so he could send him off.
Issey gave his answer in the best possible way by grabbing a glorious third goal for us when another cross from the much maligned Hatswell was met perfectly by Christie on the edge of the area. His header flew into the back of the net with such force that Roberts, in goal for Dagenham, was rooted to the spot. Again the pathetic referee tried to stir up trouble as he stopped Christie celebrating by blocking his way towards the fans.
We turned it on then with spaces developing all over the park to give us more room to play. The main beneficiary of this was Marc Pugh who ripped the Daggers defence to pieces with some fast breaking and equally as fast crosses into the box. From one of these Christie could have had a hat trick if only the ball hadn't been just that bit too far away for him to reach.
Dagenham gained a consolation goal ten minutes from the end and it was one to be proud of. Glen Southam must have surprised even his own team mates when he saw his chance from the edge of the area to send a superb volley past an equally surprised Danny Lewis.
It was a great result for us but it has to be said that it was against inferior opposition and we can't seem to do the same against other teams.
Was this a one off?