With a pitch heavier than Ten Ton Tessie’s deep sea divers’ boots, this wasn’t the prettiest game of football I’ve seen at Champion Hill, but Hamlet battled hard to take three valuable points from a tenacious Grays Athletic.
Hamlet’s incredible surge in attendances continues, with over a thousand people turning up on a cold January afternoon.
With the queues stretching down the street., the days of hoping to turn up at the turnstiles with just 5 minutes to go are long gone.
In an admirable show of community support, Dulwich Hamlet had invited supporters to bring along food for the Southwark Foodbank, and a large pile of goods was already stacked up before kick off.
Dubbed the ‘hipster ref’ on account of his on-trend facial accoutrements, the ref put in something of an unpredictable performance, angering, baffling, pleasing and amusing in equal measure.
Grays started brightly, and were soon calling Hamlet goalie Phil Wilson into action.
This, if I may so, is rather a splendid example of the divot artform, and a worthy winner of the coveted Divot Of The Day award.
With the recent poor weather, the ground staff had their work cut out ensuring that the pitch would be in playable condition .
The official attendance was registered at 1,047 – which is a remarkable number by any measure, although some were convinced that crowd must have been even bigger than that.
Hamlet had what appeared to be a clear cut penalty appeal turned down in the 30th minute, but continued to apply pressure.
A sextet of Hamlet fans wearing Mexican wrestling masks. And why not.
The Rabble cheers on Hamlet in the first half.
Half time ended at 0-0. Banners were put up at the other end. Beer swilling onlookers offer advice and encouragement.
Oldham fans pay a visit.
The Hamlet terraces were packed for the second half.
Nyren Clunis delivers a cross that blazed across the front of goal.
Serge Makofo lunged out but couldn’t connect with the ball, with his momentum taking him halfway across the goal line.
Albert Jarrett picked up the ball by the far post and slammed the ball home with his right foot. 1-0 to Hamlet!
A mob of Grays’ players hotfooted it over to the linesman, demanding that the goal be overturned, arguing that Makofo was either impeding their goalie or in a offside position. Or both.
The ref ruled that the goal should stand, prompting lengthy celebrations from The Rabble.
The Grays player have another moan.
Hamlet come close to doubling their lead, while at the other end, Grays were looking dangerous on the break.
In the first minute of injury time, Hamlet sealed the victory with Xavier Vidal picking up a deflected ball and firing the ball into the net from close range.
The spinning yellow orb o’Hamlet joy connects with the back of the net.
The Rabble up the volume.
An impromptu conga breaks out.
A sea of pink and blue cheer on the final whistle.
Get behind the Hamlet!
- Chat about the Hamlet vs Grays Athletic game on the Hamlet forum
- Official match report
- Dulwich Hamlet FC forum
- Dulwich Hamlet FC songbook – the great chants from Champion Hill
- All the photos and match reports at dulwichhamlet.org