Thursday 01st September 2005

The pitch looked fine, admitted disappointed Daish


Gravesend & Northfleet manager Liam Daish is now focusing on Monday's trip to Dagenham & Redbridge after tonight's game against Crawley Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Stonebridge Road, writes Stephen McCartney.

Rain throughout the day took it's toll on the Nationwide Conference fixture, which was postponed by the match referee an hour and a half before kick off.

But Daish and his squad were allowed to participate in a light training session around the pitch - once the rain stopped falling.

The Kent club, however, didn't open the turnstiles before the referee's decision, but have taken flack from both sets of supporters about the postponement - something that was out of their control.

Speaking after their training session at the ground, which finished at around 7:15pm, Daish said: "Looking at it now it looks fine but the referee said there's a lot of water on the pitch and the ball wasn't running so we've got to tune in now for Monday."

Daish takes his side to Essex looking to get revenge for their 3-1 Boxing Day defeat to the Daggers.

"It's going to be a difficult game," Daish told

"Obviously they've got one over us in the first game but we'll be looking to get our own back - put a performance in against them."

Daish, however, will be without defender Brett Johnson, whose been recalled by Northampton Town to feature in their high-noon showdown against local rivals Peterborough United tomorrow (Saturday).

"I've got injuries over Andy Drury, Jay Saunders, Jimmy Jackson's got bronchitis, so yes we're short at the moment," admitted Daish.

"Brett Johnson (in the second month of his loan spell) was recalled to Northampton for tomorrow because they've got horrendous injury problems. 

"Hopefully we'll get something sorted that he comes back for the rest of the season so the only thing I suppose (is) we might get a few bodies back."

Daish will only add numbers to his squad - during January's transfer window - if they improve his squad.

"We're looking at the availability of players," he said.  "We do want to improve the squad and not just bring players in for the sake of it.  If the right player comes available then yes, we'll be interested."

And what can we expect from the Fleet in 2006? "Steady improvement," he replied.   "It's been a tough start to the season what with the transition going full-time, but we're still on a learning curve. 

"We're working very hard to get their sooner rather than later."

But the Kent side can look forward to a trip to Southern Leaguers Boreham Wood in the second round of the FA Trophy on 14th January - and Daish is looking to progress.

He said: (These are) "Fixtures we should be looking forward to.  (We're) looking to progress in that competition.

"We've got to be at our game and go into the game with the right frame of mind and hopefully a couple of good results against Dagenham and Exeter," (before that game).

Daish's men won't be training tomorrow, but will be put through their paces on New Year's morning as they prepare for their trip to Victoria Road.

"We've done some work around the pitch tonight, we'll get our thoughts sorted out and get some sort of result across the river," added Daish.

Dagenham & Redbridge v Gravesend & Northfleet
Nationwide Conference
Monday 2nd January 2006
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Victoria Road, Dagenham, Essex