ISUZU FA TROPHY
TUESDAY 20TH DECEMBER 2022
DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE 5 UXBRIDGE 1 (HT 3-0)
With the rise in temperature and the thawing of the snow and ice that had resulted in the game being postponed on Saturday, Uxbridge made the midweek trip to East London to take on National League side Dagenham & Redbridge. Due to the cold snap, The Reds had not taken to the field of play for over two weeks, and this may go some way to explain their rustiness and slow start to this Third-Round tie. Uxbridge were without Andy O’Brien and Callum Woodcock, both unavailable and new signing Nathaniel Mensah, who was cup-tied. Babs Jarra and David Sota returned to the side having recovered from recent injuries. This was the second season in a row that Uxbridge had reached the last sixty-four of the competition, a superb feat.
The excellent playing surface at the Chigwell Construction Stadium made for a quick, slick passing evening of football. The full-time professionals of The Daggers quickly took control of the tie, racing into a two-goal lead in the opening twelve minutes. Omar Mussa opened the scoring in the 8th minute, side-footing home from just inside the box after the ball was cut-back from the bye-line. Minutes later Junior Morias doubled the homes sides lead, finding space inside the box to fire a powerful shot past Tyler Tobin. The three-league difference between the sides was evident and the Daggers were in complete control as the half wore on. Maybe, The Reds were guilty of showing too much respect to their professional opponents, but the movement and preciseness of passing from the team in Red & Blue was pleasing to the eye. Morias found himself free again and was afforded time and space to curl a shot over Tobin to put the game all but out of reach of the plucky Uxbridge men. Half-time 3-0.
Rumour has it that Danny Edwards half-time talk revolved around getting closer and not allowing the Daggers the time and space to dominate as they had in the first-half. This certainly made for a more competitive second period, in which the Reds gave as good as they got. In the 55th minute Dagenham & Redbridge added a fourth following a short corner. The ball was whipped into the box and Alex Witham in attempting to clear, diverted the cross past the wrong-footed Tobin. Uxbridge’s consolation goal came on the hour mark. Dan Williams picked up a pass from the back by the touchline and fed it into Kensley Maloney, Maloney won his duel and Williams fired a twenty-five yarder into the bottom corner. Obviously, worried about an Uxbridge fight-back, The Daggers brought on striker Paul McCallum and five minutes from time the substitute turned in the box and slotted a shot past Tobin to round of the scoring. Full-time 5-1.
The team should be proud of their achievements in this season’s FA Trophy. They have given the fans some fantastic memories and when you look at the quality of the opponents they have beaten in previous rounds, it has certainly been a superb effort. Hopefully, this FA Trophy form can be transferred to the league and a second-half of the season run towards the top of the table. WELL DONE BOYS!
Uxbridge line-up: Tobin, Andrew, Sota, Jarra, Poley, Jackson, Maloney, Hedley, Williams, Witham, Seabrook. Subs Used: Osobu for Maloney, Donnelly for Sota and Ireland for Jarra. Not Used: Mughal, Evans, Chendlik, Simmo.
Pictures by Arthur Ayres