DAMIEN McCrory certainly had the last laugh against his former team on Saturday after some of the Dagenham & Redbridge players had given him false information about their starting line-up.
The left-back grabbed his first Burton Albion goal in the Brewers’ thrilling 3-2 victory over the Daggers at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday and afterwards revealed how some of his former teammates had tried to put one over on him.
The 22-year-old said: “Yeah, the Dagenham players gave me some wrong information about their team.
“I did try and tell them (Albion’s coaching staff) the team, but I told them ‘I ain’t sure because I think they could be having me on, but I’ll tell you anyway’.
“They did tell me the wrong team but it didn’t work!” McCrory, who has been a revelation since moving to the Pirelli Stadium in the summer after the Daggers failed to offer him a new deal, got the Brewers back on level terms early in the second half.
The first half had seen the hosts miss three good chances to take the lead before they lost striker Calvin Zola in the 21st minute to a head injury.
Things got worse for the Brewers when goalkeeper Dean Lyness, making his first start for the club with loan signing Mark Oxley ruled out by a broken finger suffered in the first half of Thursday night’s FA Cup first round replay victory at Altrincham, tripped striker Jake Reed in the penalty area.
Referee Trevor Kettle had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and although Lyness diverted midfielder Michael Spillane’s spot-kick onto the inside of a post, it rebounded kindly across the face of goal for striker Dwight Gayle to tap home.
That is how it stayed until half-time, but the Brewers were ahead with just eight minutes of the second half gone and it was McCrory who got them back on level terms.
He did superbly well to keep a ball in on the left, backheeling it to midfielder Jacques Maghoma, who returned the compliment to send McCrory racing towards the penalty area.
He cut back inside and tried his luck with a right-foot shot which deflected off a defender and looped over Daggers keeper Chris Lewington.
Two minutes later, substitute striker Matt Paterson profited from a poor back header by central defender Luke Wilkinson, sliding in to divert the ball past the Daggers keeper.
However, the visitors restored parity with 12 minutes to go.
Wilkinson made amends for his earlier blunder, heading a cross down into the path of substitute Sam Williams, who fired into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
The visitors’ second lead of the game lasted less than 60 seconds, however, as Brewers striker Billy Kee grabbed what turned out to be the winner with a dipping effort from the edge of the area which left Lewington grasping at thin air. McCrory admitted there was some personal satisfaction in scoring against the team who let him go in the summer, but he was more delighted with the win.
“Yeah, if I could have picked any fixture to score my first goal for the club it would have been this one,” said the former Republic of Ireland under-18 and under-19 international who began his career at Plymouth Argyle.
“It was great to score, and obviously win, against your old club.
“You just want to get out there and let your football do the talking, and I thought I proved a point today. And it was just great to get the result.
“I felt a I had a point to prove a little bit and a little bit not, you know, the main thing was just to get the result and beat them that was the main thing.
“I’m glad we won and it was a great performance again today, and I think we can kick on again Tuesday night (at home to Aldershot Town) and move further up the table.” Describing his goal, McCrory said: “It’s been something that me and Mags (Maghoma) have been doing quite often, you know, we’ve formed a good partnership down the left.
“You know, he knows straight away when I give him the ball I’ll continue my run, and I did, I cut inside and, luckily enough, hit one with my right and it lobbed up over the keeper.
“I’ll take those goals, especially against your old team.” The defender admitted the game could have gone either way until Kee’s winner, but praised his team-mates for their effort having played less than 48 hours earlier.
“It could have gone either way to be fair at one stage in the game, but Billy came up with a great goal,” he said.
“When it was two-two, it was looking a bit like it was gonna be a draw, but Billy came up with a great goal and won us the game, and that’s what we’ve got throughout the team on the wing and our strikers, they can just win us the game with just one shot.
“It was a big ask from the boys having played on Thursday.
“You know, we weren’t gonna let that be an excuse for today, and the gaffer said that as well, but I think the lads looked pretty fit out there.
“We kept up with them I think they’re one of the fittest teams in the league so we’ve done really well.”