Kirkley striker set for trial with Dagenham & Redbridge

KIRKLEY & Pakefield striker Ryan Crisp will undergo a trial with Dagenham & Redbridge early in the new year after impressing in a reserve game for the League Two club.

The Royals' youngster played 45 minutes for the Daggers' second string against Stevenage in the week and acquitted himself well according to manager Paul Tong.

Dagenham boss John Still saw enough to want a second look at Crisp, who was at the double for Kirkley on Saturday in the club's 3-3 draw against high-flying Wisbech Town. 'I took Ryan down to play for Dagenham & Redbridge Reserves in the week and he acquitted himself well,' said Tong, who rejected an offer from Leiston for the forward earlier this month.

'He didn't score but he did himself justice – John Still spoke to him at half-time and he wants to have another look at him. They have invited him up in the new year for a week's trial and hopefully he can impress them again.'

Crisp went on trial with West Bromwich Albion earlier this season but failed to earn a deal leading to a loss of confidence which affected his form for Kirkley.

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However, Crisp has hit the goalscoring trail once again this month prompting yet more interest and Tong admitted his prized asset was a class above against the Fenmen last weekend.

'He was unplayable – he is enjoying his football again and his confidence is there for all to see,' he said. 'But his was not the only outstanding performance on Saturday – Kyle Baker is getting back to his best and Scott Woodcock scored a very good goal.

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'Rob Hills was superb in goal for us again despite being injured and I can't leave him out.'

Tong admitted to a degree of frustration at not being able to secure all three points against Steve Appleby's side. The Royals led going into injury time but were pegged back by Scott Johnson's leveller.

'I would have taken a draw before the game but when you get yourself in a winning position going into injury time then it hurts not to take all three points,' he said. 'To go 3-2 up was tremendous but then I think we showed just a little bit of naivety in not being able to close the game out.'

Kirkley welcome Woodbridge to Walmer Road tomorrow with striker Ross King in with a '50/50' chance of declaring himself fit according to Tong.

'We've got a really difficult period coming up,' said Tong. 'Woodbridge have really picked up recently and then we've got Gorleston, who are absolutely flying at the moment.

'But we're a young side and we've just got to keep doing what we're good at and believes in ourselves.'

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