Gary Johnson’s men return to action tomorrow, for the first instalment of a Plainmoor double-header against Dagenham & Redbridge.
With the National League play-off spots within touching distance, a positive result against The Daggers would leave United well-placed, with another home match against Eastleigh to follow on Tuesday evening.
Who’s The Boss?
Experienced manager Peter Taylor took up the reigns at Dagenham in June 2018, following the departure of previous boss, John Still. As a player, Taylor represented the likes of Southend, Crystal Palace and Tottenham, before beginning his extensive managerial career as player/manager of non-league Dartford in 1986. A largely successful 33 years have followed, with the highlight arguably a spell as caretaker England manager in 2000. Gillingham, Brighton, Hull (twice) and Wycombe have all experienced promotion under his stewardship.
How have they been doing?
The Daggers will be looking to build on a difficult 2018/19 campaign, when they finished 18th. Prior to the clash at Plainmoor, back-to-back wins have seen Taylor’s men rise to 6th place, with 18 points from 11 games. A win for Johnson’s men though, would see United leap-frog their opponents in the National League table.
Player to watch
Columbian-born forward Angelo Balanta joined the club in October 2018, after signing from divisional rivals Boreham Wood for an undisclosed fee. After beginning his professional career with QPR, Angelo enjoyed successful loan spells at Wycombe, MK Dons and Yeovil before permanent stints at Bristol Rovers and Carlisle. An exciting player who can provide assists and goals in equal measure, Balanta is comfortable either on the left wing or up front, and his strike against Hartlepool last weekend was his fifth so far this season.
Played for both
Striker Joe Quigley netted one goal in ten appearances for Paul Cox’s Torquay United, whilst on loan from AFC Bournemouth during the 2014/15 season. His career has since taken him to the likes of Wrexham, Gillingham and Bromley, before the 6ft 4in target man joined the Daggers in July. Two goals in the 3-1 triumph over Hartlepool saw him take his seasonal tally to 4.
The two sides shared a number of entertaining encounters during their Football League time together, with a particularly pleasing memory for United fans coming in December 2013. Current Assistant Manager Aaron Downes will remember the fixture at Victoria Road well, as it was his 50th minute header that secured an away day victory for Alan Knill’s side.