Big match preview: Imps v Dagenham

Dagenham are sure to be a stern test for Chris Sutton's side. Photo: Ingy the Wingy via Flickr

Lincoln City have the chance to go 13 points clear of the relegation zone on Tuesday night when they take on Dagenham & Redbridge at Sincil Bank (kick-off 7-45pm).

Confidence is high in the Imps camp after their last two games produced very positive results. After gaining a priceless point at table toppers Rochdale, Chris Sutton’s side produced a convincing performance to see off fellow strugglers Hereford United 3-1 on Friday night.

But with a full blown defensive crisis now in place at the club, the Daggers will prove to be stern opponents. Nathan Baker has still not recovered from injury, while both Moses Swaibu and Ian Pearce limped off in the second half of the win over the Bulls. It is unclear whether they will be fit to play some part in the match.

Danny Hone came on as a replacement in that game, while the returning Paul Green was deployed as an emergency centre back. Hone is likely to provide cover if needed, but Sutton may be reluctant to play Green in the centre of defence for an entire game. Lennell John-Lewis and Clark Keltie are also still injured.

Speaking last week, Sutton said the injury crisis had given the club the cue to make enquiries about bringing new players in but that the approaches had been rejected. He also stressed that whoever comes in, whether it be a young or old player, needs to embrace the opportunity.

“The people who come in have to take their chance- we have to patch up and get on with it,” said Sutton.

The match was supposed to be played on January 30th, but the match was postponed because of a frozen pitch. Since then, inconsistency has seen Dagenham slip away from the playoff positions, but they still remain in contention for a place in the top six. The Daggers will be looking to get that challenge back on track on Tuesday night, after a 1-0 home defeat to away day specialists Rotherham at the weekend.

Dagenham have conceded just one goal in their last four games, including a clean sheet away to third place Bury. That has been down to the form of the central defensive pairing of Mark Arber and Scott Doe who have started most matches together this season, and are beginning to form a formidable partnership.

At the other end of the pitch, Paul Benson is a poacher that would force his way into most League Two starting line-ups. Benson was discovered by Daggers manager John Still back in 2005 and, almost five seasons later, has managed to contribute 71 goals for the club. With 14 goals this term, whatever defence Chris Sutton sends out to keep him under control will have a job on their hands.

Ex-Imps man Peter Gain, a familiar face in the fourth tier of English football, will return to the starting line-up after serving a one match ban.

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