Dagenham wrap – Oxford United 4 Dagenham and Redbridge 0

In another world, Michael Appleton steps forward for his post-match interview following the win over Dagenham and Nathan Cooper asks one of those questions, like he does, which contains the answer.

“So Michael, a comfortable night and a professional job, you can only play what’s in front of you, I guess?”

In this other world, rather than Appleton parroting back that it was a professional job and you can only play what’s in front of you, he says…

“To be honest, it was a piece of piss.”

And it was, if there was going to be an easy game, it was this one. Pretty much the only thing that remains of Dagenham’s League status is the font on the back of their shirts. This was a game against a Conference team, and not a good one either. If you want more proof, watch our final goal, we turned into the Harlem Globetrotters.

So it’s kind of difficult to know if we’ve turned the corner at home. The wins over Dagenham and York have as much a distorting effect on our form as the quick-fire defeats by Northampton and Accrington did last month.

We do seem to be seeing the benefits of having more direct players in the team; Chey Dunkley is a proper no-nonsense defender, Alex MacDonald is an intuitive firebrand, despite his manager’s preference for him to calm down a bit, and George Waring is a player who seems to know his role in life is not to do sophisticated round-the-corner flicks.

For a team that has a habit of over-playing things, the structure offered by Dunkley, MacDonald and Waring allows the likes of Roofe to run amok; it worked last night and I can see it working again.

But, whether this is the solution to take us through to promotion, it’s almost impossible to say from this game alone. Tuesday was about turning up and banking the points, the club recognised this with their email just to say thank you for making the effort; in another world it might have said ‘Frankly it was a pretty crap night to have to come out, but thanks anyway’ which would have pretty much summed it all up.

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