Last week was long and painful, this week has flown by and the expected survival target has edged a little closer.

It’s not a warm summer’s daybreak just yet, but the sky shows signs of brighter times to come.

Dagenham come to visit on Saturday, producing a tense and nervous game. Both sides knew the pressure and all the fans could sense it too.

The Dons pulled back the covers on another loan signing and it didn’t take long for Brentford’s Pim Balkestein to battle his way into our affections with his heading and decent left foot over a distance.

A tight, and unattractive first 45 gave way to a second half that intensified as it progressed, then burst into life with a late goal from Midson, equalised by Spillane before Kieran Djilali stole the points with a composed low finish to mingle relieved sighs with frantic celebration.

When you’re nervous enough to ask for deliberate fouls in commentary, you know you’re in a battle.

In truth, Dagenham showed why they are where they are and the Dons did enough to take the spoils. Their lofty sub, Edmans, was a handful when introduced but they’re really up against it now.

The following chilly Tuesday night welcomed Bradford to TCRRS, with a decent 350ish away fans on the terrace. They came off the back of a decent run and the atmosphere was tense again.

A more confident air was about the Dons, and things improved hugely with Midson’s penalty.

An own goal equaliser dampened spirits but when Bradford’s captain’s gifted his dismissal, the die was cast.

A second half, with Bradford not fancying coming forward, saw goals from Knott’s head following a slick build-up, and another Midson penalty for a foul on Euell take the points and imbued the Dons with greater confidence as time ticked by.

Knott, Moncur and Sammy Moore harried and bustled in the midfield, the back four tightened up and Midson always threatened goals.

Bradford had pace on the counter and hit the bar, so it wasn’t all plain sailing but Fagan’s walk of shame twisted the fixture and the Dons were hungry for more.

If the Dons can surf that wave of confidence in tough upcoming fixtures at Bristol Rovers, with arch-nemesis Harrold, and Jack Midson’s return to Oxford manor, safety might not be too far away.

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