Like pretty much everyone inside the Chigwell Construction Stadium this afternoon, Daryl McMahon was impressed by debutant Reise Allassani. His arrival at the Fleet is no random flash in the pan, however, with McMahon having monitored his progress last season when he stood out for promoted Dulwich Hamlet.
“We watched him last season quite a few times at Dulwich but we couldn’t get him because he was destined for the Football League,” McMahon revealed in conversation with BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “But we kept tabs on him and are lucky to get him now. He was outstanding today. He’s a player that’s destined for higher leagues obviously and we thank Coventry for letting us have him. We’ll look after him and I think today he showed his teammates and fans what he’s about.”
The No.24 wasn’t the only player in yellow to earn his manager’s praise, however, with McMahon impressed by performances right throughout his side.
“Front to back, the 11 performed really well,” McMahon enthused. “We looked confident. It’s only the second time we’ve had Winfield and Clark together which is a big thing. Ebou’s been excellent in that little position and now Reise’s come in and Bags has had another game where he’s done well and Myles Weston was outstanding.
“Danny Kedwell’s been terrific in training. Obviously he’s not played the last two games but his training performances have been outstanding and he’s fought his way back into the team like Danny Kedwell does.”
Kedwell’s two goals brought him to 57 career goals for the club but the surprise package was Chris Bush who netted his second for the Fleet, having last scored against Guiseley in December.
“It was a good goal, good set piece and a great delivery from Corey and Bushy’s got his one for the season out of the way!” joked McMahon. “But no, it was well met by Bushy and a great ball from Corey.
“We performed really well from the first minute, I thought we were excellent. We could have probably had a bigger score at half-time and that second-half I thought we were good again, the first five or 10 minutes Dagenham chucked a few balls into the box that I thought we defended well and then we grew into the second half again and ran out comfortable winners.”
‘Confidence’ was a word used a lot during and after Fleet’s win but the manager says confidence has not been the problem.
“Goals change games and change mentalities,” he said. “We have been confident. The results have not gone our way. I’m not saying all the performances have been good because they haven’t been but some have been very good and the one on Tuesday night for me is not a losing performance – we just didn’t put the ball in the net. Then today we got the first goal, made Dagenham come out and we’ve shown what a threat we are.
“I think we’re a better team this season than we were last season. I’m not sure where the points are at now, it’s probably similar or maybe a little bit more already. I think people respect us more and we have to grow into that again. It’s a tough league and we’ve got to keep performing. It’s tough to replicate things week in, week out, but we have to build on it.”
Fleet’s away form, with 14 of their 18 points having come on the road (a record bettered only by Leyton Orient and Harrogate Town), has seen the travelling fans well rewarded and despite critics on home turf, McMahon was simply happy to repay the fans with a win.
“We’ve gone to Hartlepool, come here, Barnet, Leyton Orient… they’re all good sides and we’ve taken points from all of them. We know we’re a good team, the first goal at home is important , the start’s important and we know we’ve got goals.
“The fans were terrific today, they were outstanding Tuesday night as well to be honest and the group, the staff, the players feel their support and I’m delighted we got a win for them.”