League Two preview: Resurgent Dagenham & Redbridge look deadly


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The Independent Football

Fortunes will ebb and flow over the course of a season, but it's around this time of year that the dips start to tell us something about the character of those early pacesetters targeting automatic promotion, particularly those with no previous experience of what the race entails.

As things stand, Bradford should consider themselves satisfied with 17 points from ten matches on the back of three seasons finishing in the bottom half, but it requires a certain strength of character to brush off a couple of disappointing results and carry on regardless.

The Bantams have looked the real deal for the most part but emotions ran a little high after their heroic comeback in the Capital One Cup against Burton and now tide is beginning to turn against them. With that in mind, it's hard to resist the 19/10 about resurgent Dagenham & Redbridge beating the Yorkshire club on Saturday.

Our decision to oppose Phil Parkinson's men against Port Vale last weekend might have surprised some and reports suggest we rode our luck in the opening period as Bradford laid siege to the visitors' goal only to be sucker-punched shortly before half-time.

However, they failed in their attempts to level-up after the interval and fired another blank at Rochdale in midweek, despite playing the majority of the match against ten men. So doubts are suddenly being cast over the consistency of their attackers.

Daggers, meanwhile, are back in business after a miserable start to the campaign. With just three points on the board after seven matches, they now have eight after ten following a two-goal fightback at Rochdale, a 3-0 win over Wycombe and an impressive point at Port Vale in midweek.

Manager John Still sensed an upturn a few weeks back and those results show that the 62-year-old's instincts remain sharp. We don't expect anything spectacular from Daggers over the season as a whole but they can ride the crest of this particular wave a bit further against a team over whom they boast a formidable record.

Such is the length of time Bradford have spent in the basement, it's easy to forget what an attractive fixture this is for a club like Dagenham. The Essex minnows have beaten the Bantams five times in the last seven meetings, drawing the other two, a sequence that only goes back four years.

Meanwhile, Gareth Ainsworth wants to be taken seriously as a candidate for the Wycombe job, so he needs to make an impact in the caretaker role soon and we reckon he has enough goodwill in the dressing room to get that first victory on the board against Torquay this weekend.

The Chairboys are without a win in nine outings (if you include the abandoned game against Bristol Rovers) but they were much-improved when holding Plymouth 1-1 at Adams Park in midweek, with Ainsworth taking matters into his own hands by setting up the opener for Matt McClure.

Ainsworth, of course, has two previous caretaker stints under his belt at QPR and he laid it on pretty thick when praising his players for their efforts against the Pilgrims, so 19/10 isn't a bad price against a team who went to great lengths in overturning a three-goal defecit to beat Aldershot 4-3 in midweek.

Such heroics might be enough to put many punters off this wager but the Gulls were bang average throughout September and we reckon a slump could ensue on the back of those exertions against Dean Holdsworth's men.

Betting advice...

2pts Dagenham to beat Bradford at 19/10 (Bet Victor)

The Essex minnows have beaten the Bantams in five of their last seven meetings.

2pts Wycombe to beat Torquay at 19/10 (Bet Victor)

Ainsworth wants the manager's job and has enough goodwill to grab an important win.

For more betting advice, visit Best of the Bets by clicking here.