Dagenham & Redbridge
Ground: London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium (Victoria Road)
Date: 28th March 2015
Match: Dagenham & Redbridge - Wycombe 0-1 (League 2)
Attendance: 2 362
As in recent years I am making a trip to England during Easter. This year my Easter holidays are the week before Easter meaning I will go to matches on Good Friday and Easter Saturday only. Last year I went to matches in the Czech Republic and Slovakia before flying to England for the Easter weekend. This year there was an international break the weekend before Easter and I looked at possible matches I could go to. Going through my options I decided to fly to England on Friday evening and then go to Dagenham & Redbridge vs Wycombe the following day. The original plan was for me to fly to Dublin on Sunday, watch Ireland vs Poland at Aviva Stadium and then fly back home on Monday. Since the Irish FA only sold "hat-trick packages" (Ireland vs Poland, England and Scotland) I realized it would be difficult for me to get a ticket for the game against Poland. To my delight I found out Fleetwood vs Preston in League 1 had, for TV reasons, been moved to Sunday though. That meant I could watch two matches in England this weekend before returning home on Monday. I would then return to England for the Easter weekend.
My flight left Copenhagen airport around 9pm (an hour delayed) on Friday evening and two hours later I was at Heathrow airport. Everything went smoothly at the airport and around 10.45 I was at my airport hotel. Going to football is always special and going to football in England extra special. As I woke up on Saturday morning I knew I had a day with plenty of travelling ahead of me but above all I was going to visit my 100th football match in England, Dagenham & Redbridge vs Wycombe. Going to Manchester in the evening I had to go to London Euston to store my bag before heading out to east London where Dagenham & Redbridge are based. My journey was: bus to Heathrow airport, train to Paddington, tube to Euston Square from where I walked to Euston station, (stored my bag), tube to Bank and I then finally arrived at Barking station around noon. At the Weatherspoons next to Barking station I met up with Wycombe fan Dale and we hade a drink together. He had bought me a ticket for Wycombe vs Oxford next Friday and I was joining him in the away end at Dagenham as well.
Dagenham & Redbridge F.C. was formed in 1992 following a merger between two clubs, Dagenham and Redbridge Forest. Dagenham & Redbridge won the Conference Premier in 2007 and have played in the Football League since then. Victoria Road, or London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium, as the stadium is officially called is one of the smallest grounds in the top four divisions in England. The best and most modern stand is actually the away end. This stand was opened in 2010 and has a capacity of 1 200. The main stand has around 1000 seats and the two remaining sides are terracing. One odd thing about the ground is that the player's tunnel is located in the away end and when the tunnel is "out" it is not possible to move from one side of the away end to the other. The ground is only a short (5-6 minutes) walk from the nearest tube station and after a few exterior pictures I went to the away fans entrance. Dagenham & Redbridge is one of the poorest supported Football League clubs and struggle to break the 2 000 mark for their home games. Today was a different story though, 788 (myself included) Wycombe fans meant the overall attendance was given as 2 362. The first half was not very good but with Wycombe attacking the away end in the second half I was still quite optimistic about this game. From our seats high up in the away end Dale and I had a very good view of the action and the last 45 minutes of this game were much better than the first 45. Wycombe created several chances and after a corner the ball was eventually kicked into the back of the net, 0-1 and wild celebrations in the away end. Before this match Wycombe were third, the last automatic promotion spot, in the table, and three points today would of course be very valuable. Wycombe manged to hold to their lead and with Bury´s game today being abandoned Wycombe are now seven points clear of their nearest promotion rivals.
After the match the tube journey back to central London felt like an eternity but after 45 minutes we came to Bank/Monument where I said goodbye to Dale. He was going to meet up with a friend and I travelled towards Euston. At 18.40 my train left for Manchester. A day full of travelling for me but above all the day I watched my 100th match in England.
On my way to football....
...at Victoria Road
Welcome to Dagenham & Redbridge
Rear of the Main Stand
Welcome to London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium
Main (South) Stand
West Stand (Traditional Builders Stand)
View of Victoria Road
View of play
After the match