Dulwich Hamlet battle bravely but Macclesfield’s quality shines through in 0-2 FA Trophy defeat

After the scintillating 2-2 draw at Champion Hill, Dulwich Hamlet made the 400-mile round trip up north for the quarter final replay, but sadly fell victim to an early first half brace of goals from the Silkmen’s Rhys Browne.

Buzz was unable to make trek oop north, but spent 90 nail-biting minutes listening to the excellent commentary from Live Sports FM, and keeping an eye on the Dulwich Hamlet forum for updates, while frantically seeking any social media stream bedecked with a #DHFC hashtag.

Many tables were thumped in frustration, while the office joined in with the Hamlet chants that were coming through loud and clear over t’wireless.

Dulwich Hamlet battle bravely but Macclesfield's quality shines through in 0-2 FA Trophy defeat

With Macclesfield residing two divisions above Hamlet, this was always going to be an uphill struggle for the underdogs, and two goals within two minutes from Rhys Browne were to be the deciding factor.

Despite the early reverse, the away fans remained magnificent throughout the game. “The Hamlet supporters are making more noise than the whole of the Macclesfield supporters,” observed the commentator.

On the pitch, Dulwich players did the club proud, playing with fire, hope and passion, but they were unable to make an impression on the scoresheet, with the full time whistle blowing at 0-2 to the hosts.

Macclesfield fans and staff proved to be very generous in their praise of the visiting fans:

The praise continued on the Macclesfield Town forum:

PB: [Hamlet fans] Absolute class tonight, and you did your club proud .

You guys & girls never stopped singing for your team throughout the game and you have become my favourite Southern based non league club .

IMHO the best fans to visit the Moss Rose for a long time, and I sincerely hope you go up via the play off

Dulwich manager Gavin Rose told BBC Sport that there was “a lot to be proud of” from the result and the club’s wonderful FA Trophy run, and he praised the 140+ fans who made the journey up from south London on a Tuesday night:

On the Hamlet forum, BD added his thoughts:

They started really strongly, was deja vu as two quality solo goals saw them race into an early 2-0 lead.

They relaxed after that and we got back into it, but really only had one short dangerous spell, with our best chance coming from a Nathan Green cutback. I couldn’t see who struck the shot but it took a top save to stop the net from bulging.

Agree we missed Beaney, lots of high balls which didn’t really work, Ash and Tomlin were quiet, but always seemed to have two guys instantly on them when the ball came through.

Really strong shout for a penalty in the second half as Tomlin was chopped down but Ref wasn’t having it.

We played the whole second half in driving rain/hail/wind, which didn’t help. Dumaka came on and looked lively but lacking recently match practice.

Great night at a very welcoming club. (And there were definitely more than 140 Hamlet fans there…)

Also posting on the forum, Clog said:

Macc did much better this time, probably helped that having actually seen us play they knew how to close us down. They still looked weak on set pieces, but we managed to force far fewer of them.

Their first goal looked amazing but not a single Dulwich player made an attempt to tackle, he should never have been given that amount of space to get himself into a position to score. Their second goal was pretty much unstoppable. I don’t think we dominated the second half, and we never really looked like scoring. The difference in leagues and status was much more clearly visible last night than at CH.

We get bigger home crowds than Macc generally I think and this was a much bigger game for us than them, so the difference in attendances is hardly surprising, particularly given it was a Tuesday night. If there had been a late train back there might have been more Dulwich fans there. We were very grateful for the coach, but arriving home at 4am doesn’t make for a successful Wednesday… Anyway, just not sure boasting about our crowds is a good look.

But, this has been an amazing run – how fantastic to be able to travel to an away game that’s far away rather than round the corner once in a while. Time to concentrate on pushing for the play offs now!

We had a lovely afternoon in Macc, visited Ian Curtis’s memorial in the cemetery, had a quick look at 77 Barton Street where he lived, and visited 4 great pubs – Red Willow, Snow Goose (an old favourite of mine), Treacle Tap and The Macc. My only regret is we didn’t have time for chips.

Nivag added:

I think we missed Beany in midfield, we played more long balls tonight than I’ve seen all season put together.

They took their two goals well and their goalie did a couple of good saves to deny us getting on the scoreboard.

If we had managed to score one or kept it to one nil I think the second half could have been very different.
We just seemed to be missing the rub of the green some of the game.

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]

Admission prices:

  • £10 for Adults
  • £4 for Concessions – Seniors – 60+, Teenagers (13-19), Unemployed (JSA), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), NHS Staff, Blue Light Services, Serving Members of the Armed Forces and Full Time Students. (Please bring valid ID)
  • Under 13s FREE accompanied by a paying adult

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See full fixture list for 2016-17 season

[Pics (c) Nivag]