DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE 0, MILLWALL 0
When fans as demanding as those who follow Millwall cheer the opposition off at the end there can be no bigger tribute, writes Jack Steggles.
And that's the experience the Daggers enjoyed after a heart-warming display against a Millwall side from two divisions higher.
The Lions supporters rose to acclaim the Daggers and with their own manager, Kenny Jackett, under fire they sent Daggers boss John Still down the tunnel with chants of "sign him up"
The send off was thoroughly deserved for the hungry Daggers gave every bit as good as they got and if there was supposed to be a gulf in the class it was never apparent.
The Lions were given precious little chance to roar as Still's very young side made life difficult for them.
The Daggers boss gave instant debuts to Eoin Wearen and Ahmed Abdulla, signed on loan from West Ham 24 hours earlier. Abu Ogogo
returned at right back in a side packed with youngsters, but lacking in experience. But they lacked nothing in heart and endeavour and can be proud of their efforts.
In a match where clear chances were few and far between the Lions probably shaded the first half as the new look Daggers took time to get used to each other.
Millwall front man John Marquis was proving a handful, holding the ball up well and proving difficult to knock off it. He brought an early save from Chris Lewington
and put another effort over the bar.
Liam Feeney put a good chance wide after being set up by Liam Trotter and Harry Kane, on loan from Spurs, headed over. But the Daggers gradually fought their way into the game, with Dom Green curling a free kick wide and Abdulla firing across the face of goal.
A wild miskick from Lions keeper Steve Mildenhall early in second half left him stranded and the goal wide open. But Daggers got no one up to take advantage when the impressive Brian Woodall
crossed the ball.Jon Nurse
brought a save from Mildenhall and Mickey Spillane
- now a permanent Dagenham player - had a volley blocked. Marquis and Trotter hit back for the visitors to send a warning to a Daggers side growing in confidence.
The longer the game went on the more likely the Daggers looked to win it. But they failed to achieve the vital breakthrough and must now do it all again in their third replay in this season's FA Cup competition.
Still was understandably full of praise for his young team after the game, saying: "In view of their limited experience they were outstanding. It was a superb team performance with some brilliant individual displays.
"My lads were terrific and more than held their own against a Championship side. I'm delighted with our performance and the Board will be delighted with the money from the replay. So everyone is happy".