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Dulwich 3 City 0

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Peter Newman
BenE
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Post by Luton Roman Sat Nov 13, 2021 7:31 pm

Well I travelled in hope that we might get a plucky draw or suffer a narrow defeat. Reality was that there was nothing plucky or narrow in the result, quite a grim fare for the many City fans in the sell out 3300 crowd. Always an interesting place Dulwich, has been a good ground for City but not today. All the singing and friendly banter about the merits of Quinoa (not a new City forward, that signing happened later !) could not mask a big disappointment at the performance.

The well dressed Dulwich fans with their own demographic not seen at other grounds, including an impromptu buggy park manned by mums and dads at one corner, will have seldom seen an easier win for their team. Early goal and yellow for Delaney put us on the back foot from which we never got going. Clarke and others kept us in it in the 1st half which only yielded a half hit attempt from Smith that may have been goal bound. 2nd half saw little difference with fans tiring of singing their support when nothing was coming back and the mood changed to inevitable negativity. Dulwich attacked at will and the additional goals were no surprise. We had a couple of shots but certainly no flying around the goal by the keeper. An easy afternoon for him.

So:
- difficult to single out a man of the match...we seldom saw the City players close enough to judge from behind the goal we were allegedly attacking !;
- we had absolutely nothing to cheer. I mean nothing. Comparing with Banbury we did have some moments there, early on and late on when something could have happened. Here, nothing. So this was worse than Banbury, consider that those who went to Banbury and didnt get to Dulwich;

- we are creating next to nothing. Pass around the defensive third, sometimes in the middle third, but the final third? Nose bleed time, ball lost, back on the defensive, repeat;

- they were quicker, sharper, cleverer, physical when needed. We weren't any of those. that's a mantra for this season.

Where now? I'm sure all of the above and more JG and others know. How do you fix it? need to cos we are easy fodder and a soft touch for clubs now. Any Hampton and Concord scouts watching that will think those games cant come quick enough.

Finally, fans can accept defeats, in that context its the performance that counts, bodies on the line, attacking with intent, shots on goal,  give us something to get excited about and we will willingly cheer you on to the last seconds and beyond.

Great thing about sport is there is always a next time. Now where's that Quinoa?

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Post by the demon headmaster Sat Nov 13, 2021 8:15 pm

I was listening to the commentary and fortunately I could switch off after the third goal and do something else. It sounded pretty dire and you have just confirmed that. For whatever reason it seems our players are not as good as almost every team we come up against. Therefore, it's hard to see what will change.

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Post by comrade powell Sat Nov 13, 2021 9:24 pm

Very disappointing performance after the positives shown last Saturday. True we were up against stronger opponents who had a few very tricky, quick players but I’m sure Dulwich are not as strong as we made them look.

We were told that the reset button had been pressed but for me today’s match was a carbon copy of the Dorking defeat and as then we were fortunate not to lose by many more.

Is Tom Richards really not good enough to get into this midfield? And if so, why was he retained in the summer?
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Post by 2weirdtown Sat Nov 13, 2021 11:15 pm

What the hell is going on? I understand Ben G*****g was outstanding today for Gloucester.
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Post by threeday week Sun Nov 14, 2021 2:58 pm

🎞


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Post by stillmanjunior Sun Nov 14, 2021 3:18 pm

I’m assuming you’ve been at all three of these games to make such an evaluation? The fact it’s being made after three games is hasty to say the least.

Still, I remember Southwood being crucified after conceding 10 in his first three, people saying Cafer had to play ahead of him. And James Morton was classed as not good enough after his debut. Pretty sure Semenyo had his critics early.
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Post by South London Road City Sun Nov 14, 2021 3:36 pm

Evocative write up of the game thanks Luton Roman
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Post by BenE Sun Nov 14, 2021 4:08 pm

We aren't used to seeing us concede three or four goals in games. This season we have conceded three or more in 5 games 18 goals in total in those games We have conceded not many more than that over entire seasons. We haven't looked anything like secure. A number of people I talk to think it stems from midfield. Owers and Mehew have done alright but unless they are noticeably better than players we have already got things are not going to improve.
Interesting that you mention Morton because I thought he was class from the get go and was just as surprised to hear people doubting him when he had one off game. But I do not feel the same about the above two.
Having said this I think the biggest disappointment has been Touray and no doubt it is to Jerry as well. In the first game he looked like he would be the focal point of the team but it has just not happened and instead the midfield is much of a muchness. Where he would have been the link between defensive midfielders and attack, they are needed to do a bit of both and not very well at either.
Still it may all come good on Tuesday night.
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Post by comrade powell Sun Nov 14, 2021 5:46 pm

Let’s hope it does, Benny. Having seen us well beaten at Oxford, Dorking and Dulwich and with some very difficult looking away matches to come I feel that to achieve even a mid table position will require a good home record between now and May. Wins on Tuesday and Saturday would certainly ease the pressure and boost the team’s confidence.
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Post by Peter Newman Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:07 pm

I think Luton Roman's summary  is spot on.  Always an interesting experience and would add that, apart from it being a large open air bar the place also seems to be an offshoot of Crufts. Never seen so many designer  dogs in attendance and had the pleasure of one canine supporter using my foot as a urinal. (I assumed it was the dog and not its handler!)

Rail  problems meant 4 different trains up  and 6 back so combining all of that with the lacklustre performance it was  an overall frustrating day out.

Disappointing that once again there was no supporters' coach but perhaps it may have turned out to be a good match to have missed.

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Post by comrade powell Sun Nov 14, 2021 7:18 pm

Attending a game at Dulwich is a similar experience to being in a crowded pub with football on the big screen but virtually no one is watching it, preferring to drink and talk to their friends.
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Post by Peter Newman Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:10 pm

I have just had a look at the Dulwich forum. It's well worth a visit to read the posts on how the game went.
Brief comment on the match but plenty on the performance of the bar arrangements such as introduction of cocktails etc. I suppose that comments regarding it being a 20 minute wait to get a beer and then a 25 minute queue for the toilets then many would not have seen much of the game.
In light of those times perhaps it was the dog owner who was responsible for the incident.

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Post by Steve Whites Missus Sun Nov 14, 2021 8:17 pm

Peter Newman wrote:I have just had a look at the Dulwich forum. It's well worth a visit to read the posts on how the game went.
Brief comment on the match  but plenty on the performance of the bar arrangements such as introduction of cocktails etc. I suppose that comments regarding it being a 20 minute wait to get a beer and then a 25 minute queue for the toilets then many would not have seen much of the game.
In light of those times perhaps it was the dog owner who was responsible for the incident.

Did you find a cherry pierced by a cocktail stick and a small umbrella in your turn-ups? That could solve your mystery pee.

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Post by South London Road City Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:47 pm

Fascinating to read through some of the posts on the Dulwich forum about the large crowds. I remember watching City play Fisher Athletic at Champion Hill in the 00s and there was less than a hundred people in the ground.
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Post by comrade powell Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:56 pm

I think that was the match when Ken Loach got into a friendly conversation with another spectator. Turned out to be Steve King on one of his endless scouting missions. I don't think either knew who they were talking to.
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Post by South London Road City Sun Nov 14, 2021 10:17 pm

It might also have been the first sighting of city in the rain but my memory of the day is a little hazy
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Post by stillmanjunior Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:59 pm

I liken it to people like me going for a day at the races.

I expect a lot of the people at the game yesterday aren’t massive football fans but they see it as an opportunity to drink, socialise and have a sporting centrepiece which some might have a passing interest in. I go to the races a couple of times a year to catch up with friends, few drinks, few bets without really knowing who will do what and cheer a bit if I find out I won money.

Not everyone is like that at either - there are big football and racing fans at both - and I have no beef with the atmosphere at Dulwich being how it is. They’ve stumbled across a format which works, there is never any trouble and they’ve made a pretty bland stadium more attractive. Good on them, if results dip I doubt the crowds will. From memory they took a few to Twerton when allowed, maybe because visiting Bath appeals. Be interesting to hear how many go to places like Braintree and so on.
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Post by Midsomer-steve Mon Nov 15, 2021 9:46 pm

South London Road City wrote:Fascinating to read through some of the posts on the Dulwich forum about the large crowds. I remember watching City play Fisher Athletic at Champion Hill in the 00s and there was less than a hundred people in the ground.

I think that you have brought back memories of another game that I attended in the not too distant past, that will always stick in my mind, for the bizarre reasoning of astonishment and disbelief, For anyone who may be interested, or who want to be amused:-

It was a rainy Monday evening. The nearby pub's landlord had advertised his establishment, on our Forum, as the place to have a pre-match drink, so we all assembled in it. The place was most acceptable, so we were all in fine spirits as we walked the short distance to the ground. We took a large coachload of supporters, so, together with those who travelled by other means, I reckon we outnumbered them at the ground - Yes, I remember that the crowd was very small.
It was a case of first versus bottom I believe - Yes, we were top of the League at the time. It was not until we were at the ground that two amazing facts became known to us - Firstly, their team contained no less than six players who were making their debuts! When they came onto the field they were literally introducing themselves to each other! and secondly, Fisher were in the habit of having a lottery each week, and the prize was becoming manager for the next match - so, in theory, they had a different manager every week! I think the manager of their team that evening was female, not that that matters - I just wondered whether there was any age limit on the participation in the draw.
As the game progressed it was becoming clear that, despite numerous clear cut chances, it was not going to be our night. And, you've guessed it - One of their newbies - a tall lad who was playing up front, scored the only goal of the game!
As it happens I believe that they disbanded at the end of that season.

Happy days? No - but interesting ones.
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Post by Pink Panther Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:25 am

stillmanjunior wrote:I liken it to people like me going for a day at the races.

I expect a lot of the people at the game yesterday aren’t massive football fans but they see it as an opportunity to drink, socialise and have a sporting centrepiece which some might have a passing interest in. I go to the races a couple of times a year to catch up with friends, few drinks, few bets without really knowing who will do what and cheer a bit if I find out I won money.

Not everyone is like that at either - there are big football and racing fans at both - and I have no beef with the atmosphere at Dulwich being how it is. They’ve stumbled across a format which works, there is never any trouble and they’ve made a pretty bland stadium more attractive. Good on them, if results dip I doubt the crowds will. From memory they took a few to Twerton when allowed, maybe because visiting Bath appeals. Be interesting to hear how many go to places like Braintree and so on.
As a long standing Hamlet supporter (in my 45th season) this is the best summary of our support I've seen from an opposition supporter.  

We get a lot of sneering comments from other fans, labelling us all as "hipsters, lefties, middle class" and all sorts of other things.  At most non-league clubs the core support seems to be men in their 40s, 50s and 60s who probably started supporting the club with their dad as boys.  Some of them may have drifted away after leaving school to support the local League club, then raised a family before returning with their own boys and the cycle repeats.  We have that core support of a few hundred too, but we also have various other groups that other clubs don't seem to attract in significant numbers.  Young adults in their 20s who've possibly never watched live football as children, mixed groups of male and female friends, women with other female friends, children under 12 get free admission and teenagers can "pay your age" for a season ticket i.e. £13-£19. (One thing we do have in common with Bath is a large transient student population living away from home.) We've got 6 Premier League clubs within a ten mile radius plus Millwall barely 2 miles away.  A lot of our newer supporters probably watch England or Premier League games in the pub but wouldn't attend those games.  Hamlet have tapped a big niche market within a large city for watching live football that doesn't have all the petty restrictions of higher levels.  There's no segregation, no aggro, you can move around the ground and have a beer while you watch, and the actual football is a decent standard given that many players are ex-pros or ex-Premier League Academy players.

It's a shame the ground can't be bigger.  There were possibly as many as 500 turned away on Saturday with the ground full (hopefully not including anyone from Bath) and others will have stayed away as they knew they wouldn't get in.  The attendance might have been 4,000+ given the space.  Thirty years ago we had the biggest non-league ground in the country (about twice the current size of Twerton park) but were pulling less than 200 by the end!  There is a new ground in the pipeline right next door, it won't be much bigger in terms of capacity but will have proper terraces all around three sides.

Regarding your final point, we were probably taking up to 300 to Saturday away games in our first season in the division but it seems to have dropped off since the pandemic, especially for the less attractive trips.  I didn't do our recent game at Braintree, where the official attendance was only 333, but I'm told we took over 100 and the photographs I saw suggested that's about right.  I'm sure a lot of people will want to visit Bath in April, it's a good day out (or weekend) and our longest trip since Truro, Torquay, Gloucester and Weston-super-Mare all disappeared at the same time.


Midsomer-steve wrote:I think that you have brought back memories of another game that I attended in the not too distant past, that will always stick in my mind, for the bizarre reasoning of astonishment and disbelief, For anyone who may be interested, or who want to be amused:-

It was a rainy Monday evening. The nearby pub's landlord had advertised his establishment, on our Forum, as the place to have a pre-match drink, so we all assembled in it. The place was most acceptable, so we were all in fine spirits as we walked the short distance to the ground. We took a large coachload of supporters, so, together with those who travelled by other means, I reckon we outnumbered them at the ground - Yes, I remember that the crowd was very small.
It was a case of first versus bottom I believe - Yes, we were top of the League at the time. It was not until we were at the ground that two amazing facts became known to us - Firstly, their team contained no less than six players who were making their debuts! When they came onto the field they were literally introducing themselves to each other! and secondly, Fisher were in the habit of having a lottery each week, and the prize was becoming manager for the next match - so, in theory, they had a different manager every week! I think the manager of their team that evening was female, not that that matters - I just wondered whether there was any age limit on the participation in the draw.
As the game progressed it was becoming clear that, despite numerous clear cut chances, it was not going to be our night. And, you've guessed it - One of their newbies - a tall lad who was playing up front, scored the only goal of the game!
As it happens I believe that they disbanded at the end of that season.

Happy days? No - but interesting ones.
The female manager was Donna Powell.  She has FA coaching badges and managed a junior team, so she won't have been totally clueless.  She's also the sister of Ray Powell, a regular Fisher Athletic player for many years.

The pub was Hooper's (formerly the Ivanhoe) in Ivanhoe Road, sadly closed in December 2012 and converted to housing.  The owner Jamie Hooper was a nice bloke but a bit eccentric.  He was an entrepreneur based in Brighton, where I think he owned a restaurant, and running a traditional backstreet boozer seemed to be a bit of a hobby for him but he wasn't hands-on enough and it just didn't generate enough trade. I remember it being packed with supporters of both sides after a game against Maidstone. If he could have just kept it going for a couple more years while our attendances rose from under 500 to over 1,000 it would be a goldmine by now and probably break even just from takings on our matchdays.

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Post by Midsomer-steve Tue Nov 16, 2021 4:04 am

Thanks Pink Panther for adding that interesting information to what I wrote. Not too many games stick in my old memory bank but this one did because of the points about it that I made.
I omitted to say that the bar staff took pity on us at half time when we entered the bar for a drink - they kindly rustled up some sandwiches for us for free. What a nice friendly Club it was.
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Post by stillmanjunior Tue Nov 16, 2021 9:42 am

Yes a lot of that Fisher game was familiar with how I saw it. Crowd was given as 110 but looked lower, can’t remember their manager but recall Donna Powell had one game a few weeks before and they had used about 100 players that season. We probably had as many chances as England against San Marino but all sorts of things conspired to us not scoring. I walked out dead on FT with a mixture of anger and embarrassment. It was our third 1-0 defeat in nine games - Basingstoke were struggling, Bognor were well adrift and went down, Fisher had lost something like their previous 18 games and were relegated by a country mile yet we failed to score against them all. I think Fisher did fold swiftly afterwards like Steve mentioned. I saw them play two years ago in the Vase at a new, rather characterless stadium in the centre of London. The backdrop of these huge buildings livened it up a bit.

Only correction I’ll make to that Fisher 1-0 was we were 10th heading into it. I don’t think we’ve been close to top in March in all our seasons. I had no idea in exact position at the time, even I’m not that odd, I gathered it from the archive section of the site. We finished 8th and won promotion the following season.
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Post by SteveBradley Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:16 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:I liken it to people like me going for a day at the races.

I expect a lot of the people at the game yesterday aren’t massive football fans but they see it as an opportunity to drink, socialise and have a sporting centrepiece which some might have a passing interest in. I go to the races a couple of times a year to catch up with friends, few drinks, few bets without really knowing who will do what and cheer a bit if I find out I won money.

Not everyone is like that at either - there are big football and racing fans at both - and I have no beef with the atmosphere at Dulwich being how it is. They’ve stumbled across a format which works, there is never any trouble and they’ve made a pretty bland stadium more attractive. Good on them, if results dip I doubt the crowds will. From memory they took a few to Twerton when allowed, maybe because visiting Bath appeals. Be interesting to hear how many go to places like Braintree and so on.

Would agree with this 100%. If Dulwich can draw a crowd, then who cares really why they're there. They're paying to support a non-league football club in large numbers, and that's what counts. From listening to some Dulwich fans on their forum you'd think that a) They'd forgotten that they used to get only about 300 at games until 15yrs ago, and b) That they'd be happier if their crowds went back to that level again,

Part of the whole community ownership idea for Bath City was about finding a way to tap into similar people in our city. People who are looking for something fun and sociable to do on a Saturday afternoon, and who have a love for the town that can be tapped into at the same time. Not everyone is a died-in-the-wool non-league football fan (let's be honest - the vast majority of people in the country aren't, never mind in Bath). But if they come along to a Bath City game - pay their way in, spend a bit behind the bar, buy a programme and a scarf etc etc, then it helps keep the club going. If they do all that and then spend most of the match talking about their children or taking a dump in the toilet at Charlies, then who am I to judge  Very Happy Clubs like our's will never survive off of the purely non-league loving local fans. There are a lot of other people in Bath who need to be tapped into to make the club sustainable. Indeed - it can't be done without them.


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Post by SteveBradley Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:17 pm

South London Road City wrote:Fascinating to read through some of the posts on the Dulwich forum about the large crowds. I remember watching City play Fisher Athletic at Champion Hill in the 00s and there was less than a hundred people in the ground.

Fisher are still getting sh!t crowds nowadays at their new home

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Post by comrade powell Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:30 pm

Pink Panther wrote:
The pub was Hooper's (formerly the Ivanhoe) in Ivanhoe Road, sadly closed in December 2012 and converted to housing.  

Along with The Wagon & Horses at Halesowen and The Mermaid at St Albans that was one of my favourite pubs on the non league circuit.
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Post by Peter Newman Tue Nov 16, 2021 3:19 pm

I think a large part of the attraction seemed to be the ability to have a drink during the game. If that is the case then Dulwich could well face problems in the future. I assume they want to gain promotion so not sure how this would pan out in the National league particularly when some of the big ex-league clubs turn up.
One of the previous posts mentioned people being locked out. Surely Dulwich need to make games all ticket in which case there would need to offer an allocation to the away team. Plus there would need to be some form of segregation which would seem difficult in the ground as it stands.

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