Dulwich Hamlet 1, Kingstonian 1
To Transpontine del Curva! …on Saturday afternoon for the brown pants play-off party. This was make or break for the Dulwich. A home win against Kingstonian would advance the Hamlet beyond the Moral Victory.
But we’ve already won that – reason enough to wear your brown pants on your head for 90 minutes. Celebrate your skid marks in style, Comrades.
I was already dribbling during the ride down Dog Kennel Hill. A little over-excitement ahead of kick off led to a mouthful of phlegm as the sound of the Pink ‘n’ Blue army came into my radar.
This was no time for shirkers. I was prepared to do whatever it takes to help the pink ‘n’ blue play-off party.
“If you’re going to scream and cry then I’m not taking you to the football”
…came the cry from a Dulwich Dad just ahead of the Sainsbury’s crossing. I’m not one to pass judgement on modern parenthood, but Sir: if your little ankle biter ISN’T going to scream and cry, then he would have looked a little out of place down at the Dulwich on Saturday.
You can get a feel for match day at most football clubs by listening to the moans ahead of kick off. But the For Future Football mantra at Dulwich dictates that a decent match day is defined by the lack of cycling spaces.
The Sainsbury’s car park already had the full quota of bicycles when I pedaled in just ahead of kick off. The campaign for new owners Hadley to re-develop the car wash into a cycle park begins now. Or possibly after the brown pants play-off party had come to a close.
Which of course it never does, Comrades.
Except it wasn’t – the full print run completely sold out ahead of kick off.
Dulwich were hoping to make their own history on the pitch. Champions of Ryman’s Division One only twelve months previous, and now with the very real possibility of a second successive promotion.
Dreams can come true, as that well-known Dulwich fan Gabrielle once warbled on about.
The wibbly wobbly woes of spring seem to have now been sorted for the home team. The Ides of March have left the Hamlet from top of the Premier slipping to seventh place ahead of the Kingstonian game.
The free-flowing football was there to be celebrated early in the game. I found myself standing next to the lucky omen of SLHC Jnr. An in-depth analysis on the current state of the Transpontine hyperlocal online scene came to a sudden close with mass man kissing.
No tongues, Mr Transpontine.
An early goal from Kevin James steadied the buffers for the pink ‘n’ blue boys.
I decided to do the photo-wandering thing and headed off down to the Car Wash End, just in time to see Kingstonian equalise.
Should have stuck tonguing, SLHC Jnr.
1-1 at half time and I had a bit of a Dulwich moment to myself up in the bar. My Champion Hill sabbatical has seen many changes since I returned. New faces and explosions of color and commitment. None of this seemed possible only five seasons ago.
And then occasionally during my re-introduction to The Rabble and I clock an old face from a long-since forgotten hit and miss blog post.
Dog Man was the Dulwich Top Trumps spot for me at half time on Saturday. The old boy looked like an old boy even back in the day. The Dog Man came to the Dulwich with… his dog, a patient young thing that sat underneath the seat.
Occasional yelps could be heard across the ground during the match, such was the morgue like mentality of Champion Hill at the time. It’s a reassuring presence to see that the pink ‘n’ blue faith remains unbroken in so many.
Dog Man on Saturday was solo. I do hope that his yelping little foot warmer has kept the faith and not departed to the pink ‘n’ blue Dog Kennel Hill in the sky.
God Bless Edgar Kail, etc.
I can now pin point to the exact moment where it [SPOILER ALERT] all went wrong for Dulwich on Saturday.
[Remember: we have already WON the Moral Victory…]
I saw a penny on the floor in the gents. See a penny, pick it up etc. I genuinely hovered over the copper-plated steel that covered a pool of piss. I may have been happy to swallow pink ‘n’ blue, but a pissed stained 1p ‘aint worth no brown pants play-off party.
I walked out the gents, paused, pondered and thought again.
#ForFutureFootball will get us through, Comrades.
And if you carry on advancing down the slogan heavy Transpontine timeline, then you will find that we did get through all of this, just not the route that would have led to a play-off place.
The second half was all a bit of whirl. This has been a defining feature down at the Dulwich for me this season.
My random mixed up mental notes include clocking a dude with an Inspirals style bowlie haircut, and then recalling how the coming together of the clans with Glam Wolfie is something of an achievement in itself.
I remember remarking that Harry Ottaway is the #ForFutureFootball equivalent of Lee Chapman: strength, unpredictability and a cool as fuck haircut. Just a shame we didn’t get to see a Chappo style airplane celebration.
Flip flops appeared during the second half, just as I was basking on the South London sun trap and thinking how EVERYTHING in my Transpontine Universe is defined by sun and fun: the Car Wash End, on the piss in the Peter May, and yes, the lovely lido.
Maybe I’m just a South London sun lover that needs the excuse of football / cricket / swimming to soak up the rays?
“ONE LAST PUSHKA!!”
…demanded the Glam Wolfie, with the score still at 1-1 and Dulwich failing to gatecrash the brown pants play-off party.
It got a little surreal with the singing of the SE22 postcode. Don’t let yer man from Hadley hear that – it will add an extra nought on to the *shhh* redevelopment of Champion Hill that will no doubt follow.
Beers and tears followed though.
I stuck around for a short while, but then poncey evening theatre duties came-a-calling.
Mishi is a STAR.
I hope he has enjoyed the past season as much as I have. Apologies for the five-year sabbatical.
See you all in a few months.