October 18, 2010 § 1 Comment
First alarm clock goes off. Snooze. Second goes off. Awaken. Stretch. Shit, shower, shave. Last night’s ironing crisp and fragrant. Flag rolled neatly and tied with a bow; shorts, shirt, socks, all pressed. Kit into the bag, bag into the car. Kiss for the missus and then on the road.
that Christmas unwrapping all the presents Match annual thank you remote controlled car thank you each one not the right one scarf chocolate coins sportscar Top Trumps thank you it isn’t here that was the last present smiling so as not to cry
FA Trophy game. Heading into London, Dulwich. The Hamlet at home to Hastings United. Check the nets and shake the hands. Sun clear and cold over Champion Hill. Faint breeze toys with your flag. Shuttle up and down the line, crab-like, heels click-clicking. One-nil Hamlet! Not your end. Disregard and focus. Watch the line. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 27, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Three wins on the bounce for the mighty Hamlet, though the four-goal margin is perhaps an unfair reflection of what was, for over an hour, a tight and finely balanced game. Godalming Town kicked off six points ahead of Dulwich in the table, but were playing their first game since the departure of their magnificently-monikered former manager, Chuck Martini, who has returned to a life of crime on the Costa Brava*. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 19, 2010 § Leave a Comment
A timely, convincing and ultimately comfortable win for the mighty Hamlet. Going into the game, both Dulwich and their opponents had identical league records – played 5, won 1, drawn 1, lost 3 – and points were at a premium. So were officials, travel issues meaning the game began one linesman light. Your correspondent had neglected to bring his flag, sadly, otherwise we’d have been happy to step into the breach.
Hamlet manager Gavin Rose went with three up front and the decision paid dividends: Kevin James excelled in a withdrawn midfield role, and Nyren Clunis tormenting the visiting defence throughout. Clunis notched the first in the thirteenth minute, an excellent finish across the goalkeeper, before turning creator midway through the second half, laying the ball on a plate for Sol Pinnock to seal the win.
Indeed, Clunis could have had a second. Running onto a wonderful driven assist from James, he sent a first-time volley pinging off his blue boots but just past the post. That miss, plus a couple of decent saves from Dean Ruddy in the Walton goal, kept the scoreline respectable.
Recently managerless Walton & Hersham were disjointed, and never really troubled Dulwich’s defence, despite a making a number of positional and personnel changes as the game progressed. Lacking nothing in effort, they didn’t create much in the way of clearcut opportunities, and what aerial threat they posed was dealt with effectively – if not always elegantly -by the titanic Francis Duku. The defeat leaves Walton third from bottom, while Dulwich move up to fifteenth. With three of the next four league games at home, the hope will be that this is the beginning of a decent run of results.
But arguably the real highlights were to be found on the touchline. Not only did one of your correspondent’s nearest and dearest take a clearance flush on the shoulder – next time, Trude, put your head on it – but Walton’s caretaker manager Matt Elverson earned himself the biggest laugh of the day. As two Walton players dithered near the touchline, eventually contriving to concede a throw-in, an agitated Elverson, barking encouragement, switched tack mid-sentence. Clear as a bell, ringing around Champion Hill: “One of you, fuck me!”.
A man of the match cameo.
PS. As this is only the second time I’ve seen the Hamlet play, there’s a chance I’ve misnamed a player or two. If so, I offer humble apologies, and request generous forgiveness.
PPS. Next time, photos! Hopefully.