Saturday, December 12, 2009
MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN DIVISION 2 ..........
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE - BURY
Here we have two sides looking to get into Division 1. Daggers started their season very well, especially after losing half their team in the summer and all credit must be given to coach John Still for building another competitive side in double quick time, on very limited resources. However, I feel that they have overachieved massively and it looks likely that Still will again be forced to rethink things, with at least another two players set to leave in the transfer window. The prospect of moving up a level and possibly doubling or trebling you salary is a massive incentive for players at this level and also a terrific distraction and I do not think it is a coincidence that D&R have underperformed in recent starts.
Bury missed out on promotion last year on goal difference, actually they were a single goal short on claiming an automatic spot, which, over the course of a 46 game season is a difficult pill to swallow and it was hardly a surprise that they took time to get going this season, especially given an horrendous injury list. However, they are back on track now and lie just outside the playoff spots and boss Alan Knill is definitely targeting a top three place this time round. His side were unbeaten in eleven, before losing 3-0 at in form Morecambe, it says a lot about the spirit at Gigg Lane, that they immediately bounced back with a 2-0 defeat of Barnet last time out. I would not read too much into the loss against the Shrimpers, as Bury had chances to take the lead before the match turned on a dubious penalty award and I am certain that the defeat had benefit of type, if only as a wake up call. On loan striker Daniel Nardiello returns to his parent club after this game and is determined to leave with a win and by adding to his four goals in five starts, he is a player with a touch of class and a little too good for this level.
Knill made keeping a cleansheet a priority last week and his side restricted Barnet to two off target attempts in 90 minutes, with Wayne Brown not making a single save in the Shakers goal. A similar professional approach is on the cards in East London, in a stadium they have done well at in recent trips south, recording a fine 3-1 win here last season at a time when the Daggers were second in the table and the division's top scorers. I do not expect the classier visitors to go home empty handed and am keen on them with a handicap start.
7 points Bury +1/4 ball 1.90 asian line.