There were new faces in Essex in midweek but it is familiar challengers from over the river this weekend as Dagenham & Redbridge arrive at the Fleet for the 29th meeting between the sides. Both sides have Emirates FA Cup exits and Tuesday-night defeats in common so the desire for those three points this Saturday will be huge.
There’s similar form on both sides who are separated by a single point and position in the table, with the Fleet enjoying the finer margins with five wins this season to Dagenham’s four and Dennis Kutrieb’s side scored six more goals than Saturday’s visitors.
In their last five matches in all competitions, the Daggers have one win, a draw and three defeats, including that Emirates FA Cup exit to Bracknell Town when Dagenham fell to a 94th minute sucker punch. Dagenham have a good record at the Fleet but on their travels this season have only won one game.
The last time these two came face to face was in December 2020 in the FA Trophy at a deserted Victoria Road, fans watching that one through a stream due to the Covid lockdown. As the higher-placed National League side then, the Daggers won 5-2 with a little help from two-goal Darren McQueen.
Last time out in the National League, the Fleet hosted the Daggers on New Year’s Day 2020 and a close 1-1 draw saw the spoils shared. Oldham striker Alex Reid scored for the Fleet in that one, shortly before moving on to Dagenham on loan. The visitors have the better record overall, with 14 wins to Fleet’s five in our meetings.
The Daggers’ Number One is skipper Elliot Justham who arrived at Victoria Road back in 2016 where he has since made 268 appearances in all competitions. Since his debut on the opening day of the 2016/17 season he has missed just three league matches. Before making the move to Dagenham, Justham made 30 appearances for Luton Town between 2013 and 2016.
Defender Josh Hare arrived at Victoria Road in 2022. The former Gillingham right-back has also played for the likes of Maidstone, Eastleigh and Bristol Rovers. Since his arrival, he has made 53 appearances.
Jake Hessenthaler – son of Andy – signed for the Daggers at the start of the campaign and has played the most outfield minutes. The 29-year-old played for Gillingham between 2013 and 2018 where he appeared 159 times, scoring seven times. He recently moved from Crawley Town and was loaned out to Woking in the closing stages of last season before becoming a Dagger.
A long non-league career for Inih Effiong has seen him play for the likes of Woking, Dover, Boreham Wood and Aldershot to name a few. He scored nine goals for the Daggers last season after arriving in February and has scored twice in his last two games.
Ben Strevens is the man in charge, appointed successor following the departure of Daryl McMahon. Strevens played for Dagenham between 2006-09 where he made 111 appearances following a long spell at Barnet where he spent much of his early career.
It’s familiar territory for Myles Weston who returns to the Kuflink Stadium having spent three years at the Fleet. Following his departure to Dagenham in 2020, he was one of several of our former players under manager McMahon but is now the only former Fleet face in the squad.
Darren McQueen made 23 appearances for Saturday’s opponents before a season-long loan move sent him to Dulwich Hamlet in 2021, while Mark Cousins spent four years with Dagenham. Midfielder Josh Rees also has memories of the Kuflink Stadium but for the wrong reasons having been a member of the Chelmsford City side that lost here in the 2017 promotion final.
Tickets can be bought online here up until kick-off (the match is segregated so please select HOME or AWAY options as necessary) and also on the day at our ticket windows. Car-parking is available for the special matchday price of £3 at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C. Programmes can be pre-ordered online with your ticket, or from our online shop here. In the ground, you can purchase in the club shop, just past the main home turnstiles, at the Plough End social club and for away fans in the Old Sponsors Lounge/portakabin bar.
Supporters are reminded that alcohol will not be permitted to be consumed within view of the pitch and that matches will be segregated as required at the Swanscombe End (or the far end of it). Please cooperate with the instructions of our security team and stewards.
Turnstiles open at 1pm.