It’s an ecstasy love-in as record-breaking crowd watches play off contenders Dulwich Hamlet draw against league leaders Maidstone

Record breaking crowd sees Dulwich Hamlet push for play offs with nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet broke their home attendance record yesterday as a sold out crowd of 3,000 watched the home team draw against league leaders Maidstone United.

The result just about guaranteed Maidstone promotion, and the final whistle saw scenes reminiscent of a top notch ecstasy rave of the 90s as both sets of fans took to the pitch and hugged and applauded each other.

Record breaking crowd sees Dulwich Hamlet push for play offs with nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

With Maidstone bringing along a sizeable away following, the previous home attendance record (set in September last year against Hampton & Richmond) tumbled as Champion Hill was filled in a carnival of noise and colour.

Hamlet fans get the party started before the kick off.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Maidstone fans pack into the covered end.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Hamlet’s upturn from their disastrous run of form continued, with a confident first half performance causing Maidstone problems.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

The wind behind Hamlet in the first half was of a toupee-removing girth, with Maidstone clearances often heading off in unpredictable directions.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich defended well against Maidstone’s well organised front line, although it was a half of few real chances at either end.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Making the noise in the Hamlet end.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

A cheeky appeal by the crowd for a red card to be thrust in the phizog of a Maidstone player after he got a bit over friendly in the hoof department.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Flags flying on the Hamlet terraces.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Some high living toffs in the directors’ box wave down at the plebs below.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

The legendary Hamlet whippet.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

View through the dugout.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

The capacity crowd of 3,000.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

The Maidstone keeper makes an athletic save.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

A fine Maidstone hairdo.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

The enormous pink and blue flag is unfurled for the second half.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

The second half was much the same as the first- i.e. not particularly exciting with few chances – but the atmosphere in the ground was fantastic, with both sets of fans making themselves heard.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Hamlet fans keep up the noise as full time approaches.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

A Hamlet chance goes begging at the death.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

In the excitement of the afternoon, I forgot to register the customary Divot Of The Day, so I’m afraid this still life entitled, ‘Divot-esque Vista With Discarded Beer Can’ is the best I can offer.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Full time and it’s 0-0. For Hamlet they’re now just one point off a play off position, and for Maidstone promotion awaits, so there was plenty of reasons to get the party started. And party we did.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Maidstone fans applaud the home crowd, who were sportingly singing, “You won the league, at Champion Hill.” Maidstone fans responded with, “We love you Hamlet, we do…”

The vibe was so warm and celebratory, it was like a giant MDMA cloud had dropped its sparkly contents over the stadium – and a real testament to why non league football is such fun.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Handshakes and hugs on the pitch.

Posting on Facebook, a Hamlet fan summed up the wonderful atmosphere:

A smattering of late night tipply-emosh words from me… Today was one of the most wonderful days I’ve known in the few years I’ve been supporting Dulwich Hamlet. Not because of the game itself or the result (even though we’re into the guts of the season and need the points to get in the play-offs and the pretty much drab 0-0 helped a bit) but because it was an all-ticket 3,000 capacity sell-out and therefore a massive day for the club and the club put on one hell of a show.

Let’s put this in perspective. We are a step 7 club. That attendance of 3,000 (and we’d have had more if capacity were bigger!) beats ALL games in the Conference today. And 3 games in football league 2. And wouldn’t have looked out of place against half the games in league 1. And within this swollen excitable crowd it was still personable enough and warm enough to enable me to meet up with friends new and old.

We caught up with Maidstone fans we’ve known online and offline for a while and shared a drink and a laugh. And the whole game was full of bubbly energy without any need for segregation or a hint of violence. For future football!

Yes, there are some problems with catering for these growing vociferous crowds at Champion Hill, especially at the bar. But my heck, what a problem to have. And how incredibly well it was all managed by the volunteers and fans on the ground who give so much to the club. Well done one and all

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Children head for the net.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

A pink and blue piggy back.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Maidstone fans crowd over to the grandstand to applaud their team.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

A new game of football breaks out.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Praying for the play offs.

With just one game to go, here’s how the table looks:

The play off permutations:
Dulwich Hamlet are away to 16th placed Tonbridge. A win guarantees that they’ll make the play offs, as does a draw.
Sixth placed Met Police are also home to a relegated team, AFC Hornchurch, but even with their mighty goal difference, they’d need Hamlet to lose and Enfield fail to win.

Dulwich Hamlet look good for the play offs, as record breaking crowd watches nil-all draw against league leaders Maidstone, Sat 18th April, 2015

Match highlights:

Get behind the Hamlet!

Dulwich Hamlet info:
Dulwich Hamlet Football Club
Champion Hill Stadium
Edgar Kail Way
East Dulwich
LONDON
SE22 8BD
Tel: 020 7274 8707
[Map location]

The last game of the season:
Sat 25th, 3:00pm – Tonbridge Angels- away