Saturday, 22 September 2007

Wembley Through The Valley To Dog Kennel Hill

As The Addicks Championship Diary chronicles the events of Leamingtons finest Football club, I've been doing a tour of top to bottom and in the space of 11 days have gone from the glories of International Competitive Football to Rymans League Division One South, via Footbal League Coca Cola championship. So much is written about our modern professional teams that there is little to add, Wembley was outstanding, although I am not sure worth all of that money, Heskey was brilliant and Owen sublime, The Valley stands out amongst Championship Club stadiums and there is an argument for playing our games at Welling to avoid lesser clubs raising their game, in an environment they will never experience in their professional lifetime. The Addicks themselves shining through Reid and Zheng and then you come to Champion Hill, the home of the Hamlets.

Dulwich Hamlets are to Palace as Welling are to Charlton. Many successful years, not many in the recent past though, average crowds of 300 and like Palace, not a stones throw away from Sainsbury. Playing on a Friday night to encourage supporters who follow their illustrious neighbours and passing trade (presumably late night shoppers), they were playing Kingstonian under floodlights. When I say floodlights, I assume thats what they were. Being used to premier league lighting , it felt that the players could have done with the miners hats with the old lights on to see their way around the ground .

This was only my 2nd non league match in 50 years, so a novelty. Siting behind the Hamlet dug out it was great watching the Manager ranting, David Brent esque at no one in particular, while the manager of Kingstonian, a former Spanner and a scot to boot, ranted in a Scottish dialect reminiscent of Russ Abbot, with the occasional F word being the only thing identifiable.

Kingstonian won 1-0, a goal out of the top draw of womens world cup keepers as the Hamlet keeper Sheikh Ceesay. called the ball, it looped over his head and dropped to the on coming forward to slot in.

Both Pards and Dickson were discovered here and the nights program had a cartoon with a picture of his head on it scoring a goal against Wimbledon. It appears that they have printed up a job lot of coves and change the inside each match, stickering the cover with the game.

If you are looking for skill don't go to lower league games, but if you want to see a good old fashioned rough and tumble,be able to park within 10 metres of the entrance and do your shopping prior to kick off, get yourself down to Champion Hill.

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