Dulwich Hamlet thrash Merstham 4-1 on their oscillating pitch to move third in the table

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet comprehensively thumped Merstham 4-1 on their wobbly pitch last night, shimmying the south Londoners to third place in the table with a guaranteed play off place now tantalisingly close.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Established in 1892, Merstham are a friendly and modest kind of club, with attendances normally swaying around the 150 mark.

However, this season the club enjoyed their best-ever FA Cup run, reaching the first round proper where they lost to League One opponents Oxford United 0-5, racking up a record attendance of 1,920.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

It seems they weren’t so prepared for the 200 or so travelling Hamlet fans last night, with a sizeable queue outside the ground five minutes after the match had started.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

I arrived just as Dulwich scored their first, with Gavin Tomlin firing home.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

A Merstham pooch.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Some nicely folded plastic sheeting.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Merstham’s ground is as green and verdant as you might expect for deepest Surrey. Such is the polite atmosphere here, I felt a bit guilty for singing too loudly at first!

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

The Hamlet massive.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich totally dominated the game, more or less from start to finish, although Merstham put some good moves together from time to time.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Not many takers for the Albury End.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

A nest of nets.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

The home keeper, Yannick Makiese, was kept busy all night and made one or two cracking saves.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Green everywhere!

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

I loved this wooden pavilion.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

The sun goes down over Moatside.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

This photo is for aficionados of Obscure Non League Ground Bits’n’Bob.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Back of the guv’nors bonce.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

The PA was comically bad, spitting out supremely distorted messages that could have been about anything: football, incoming nuclear strikes, alien communications or the latest Radiohead tune.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Taking it easy.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Aunty Claire was nowhere to be seen last night. I hope she’s OK.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Half time: Merstham 0 Hamlet 1.

The grass was so lush behind the goal I was almost tempted to roll around in it.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Gaze your peepers on this fine vintage roller, made by Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries Limited, once a major British agricultural machinery maker based in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Formed from a 1789 enterprise, the company’s portfolio included traction engines, trolleybuses, ploughs, lawn mowers, combine harvesters and heavy iron work for astronomical telescopes, mountings, and observatories. The company became defunct in 1998. []

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Having a solitary half time snack.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Stairway to Heaven. Or a cheap plastic chair.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Merstham ironwork.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Proud badge wearer.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

The queue for the refreshments stretched into infinity and beyond.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Condiment table action shot.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Multimedia hub.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Very much against the run of the play, Merstham conspired to equalise 2 minutes after the second half had started. 1-1.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

The loneliness of the roof-located cameraman.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Taking in the action.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

“I’m hearing only bad news from Radio Merstham…”

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

While I was waiting in the Queue O’Eternity for the chips, Gavin Tomlin restored Hamlet’s lead with a well taken strike. 1-2 to Hamlet.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Double thumbs up!

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Four minutes later – and me still stuck in the flaming refreshments queue – Hamlet made it 1-3, courtesy of Marc Weatherstone’s noggin.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Who doesn’t love a non-league shed? Not me, that’s for sure. I can’t get enough of then.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

The Hamlet crowd was impressive for a Tuesday night.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

With ten minutes on the clock, Michael Chambers made it 1-4 to Hamlet.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

Hamlet threatened until the end, but the score remained 1-4 at full time.

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

I think he’s happy.

On the Hamlet forum, PP added his report:

A second comprehensive victory over Merstham inside a calendar month. I always feel confident against teams like this, as they try to take us on at our own attractive attacking game, and they simply aren’t in the same class. We have far more difficulty against sides that try to stifle and negate us with pressing tactics in the middle third.

As in the 5-0 win at home, Hamlet took an early lead. Dumaka shrugged off a vigorous attempt to pull him back from behind (which the linesman flagged for – take note last Satruday’s linesmen) but the referee played a good advantage as he accelerated into the box and squared the ball for Tomlin to slam into the roof of the net from three yards out at the far post.

Hamlet dominated the rest of the half with a number of chances missed, one good save from the keeper to tip away a Chambers header, and a very obvious penalty decision bottled by the referee following a clear trip on Clunis; a looping header over the bar provided the only real threat from the hosts.

For the fourth time in the last five matches Hamlet conceded inside the first five minutes of the second half after leading at the break. It’s almost as if the half time team talk concludes with the words “just go out there and forget all about the things you were doing right in the first half”.

Our former player Dean McDonald unlocked the right side of our defence on the counter-attack and passed inside for a team-mate to fire past an exposed Wilson.

The game appeared in the balance of the next ten minutes or so with the play switching rapidly from one end to the other, and former Hamlet hero Xavier Vidal went close with a 20 yard free kick that grazed the outside of the near post. Just before the hour Hamlet regained the lead when Tomlin was sent clear on the right, cut in behind the Merstham backline, and fired hard and low through the keeper’s legs from a narrow angle.

Five minutes later Hamlet landed the decisive blow when a corner flighted into the middle of the box was powerfully headed home by Weatherstone. One further goal followed with ten minutes to go when another corner was headed back by Chambers at the far post, then crossed back into the middle for Chambers to find the net with a downward header inside the opposite corner.

Saturday’s unexpected deployment of Tomlin in almost a sweeper role ahead of the back three was abandoned, as our leading scorer was restored to the front two while Camara made his first full league appearance in Carew’s usual position.

He looks like a player who hasn’t really been coached a lot and does a lot of unpredictable things off the cuff that sometimes cost us possession, but there’s plenty of raw talent there and a natural athleticism that enables him to retain the ball under pressure and whisk it away from opponents who are left trailing in his wake.

Team: (3-4-1-2): Wilson – Weatherstone, Drage, Chambers – Clunis, Kargbo, Beaney(c), Green – Camara – Dumaka, Tomlin. Subs: Sekajja (for Dumaka), Akinyemi (for Tomlin), Carew (for Beaney), Ming, Taylor, (not used). Attendance: 336

PD added:

Nice tidy little ground, very friendly home fans, lovely April evening with a full moon.
Merstham defence never turned up – Hamlet powerful performance – great to see cameo role from Phil Wilson.
Big Dulwich Hamlet turnout 150-200 and probably a majority of the 330 crowd.

Pleasing to see so many make the effort to support the team during these key games. Looking very strong going into the play offs

Dulwich Hamlet thrash Mertsham 4-1 to move third in the table, Tuesday 11th April 2017

League table

With just three games to go, Dulwich are strongly positioned to secure a play off place, helped by Leiston only managing a home 2-2 draw last night.

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

See full fixture list for 2016-17 season

Season tickets and admission prices for 2017-2018 season