Witham Town 0, Dulwich Hamlet 0
The Dulwich Hamlet stuttering spring period continued away at Witham Town on Saturday as the pink ‘n’ blue boys failed once again to find their early season rhythm with a 0-0 draw out in deepest Essex.
The point somehow leaves Dulwich still sitting fourth in the Ryman Premier with a place in the play-offs in their own hands. It also means that the Bank Holiday Monday evening match at home to fifth place Enfield Town is now all the more important.
The stalemate at the wonderfully named Village Glass Stadium suited Witham Town more. The North Essex side ended the day fourth bottom as they battle to stay in the Ryman Premier.
Attacks on goal for both sides in the first half were a rarity. Witham were kept out by a brilliant save from Dulwich ‘keeper Phil Wilson. Dulwich meanwhile had their one and only chance ruled out for offside.
The second half was scrappy, both on and off the pitch. It all got a little silly towards the end of the game when an over-zealous Witham steward didn’t like the noise that some members of the Dulwich Rabble were making.
It could have turned very nasty, but the blowing of the full time whistle seemed to calm down the situation.
Far more positive was Martyn Guest, the Witham goalkeeper. This man was an absolute star all afternoon. He played along with the Dulwich fans, even out witting them on many occasions. It was a brilliant gesture for the goalie to give his gloves to a young Hamlet fan once all the pushing and shoving had died down. Martyn was a credit to his club.
We spent most of the afternoon singing, drinking and snapping away. Below is the Brixton Buzz photo catch up from a Saturday afternoon away day jolly out in deepest Essex.
Welcome to Essex.
Despite the rather intimidating fortress like entrance, we did find Witham Town to be more or less a genuine community club. It was a bloody long walk from the train station, mind.
The entrance for players and officials required extreme security checks in order to access.
Mr Tank and friends go through their touchline warm-up routines.
Some enthusiastic Dulwich fans offer the referee some assistance. He needed it for most of the match.
Drinking a cheapo pint and watching non-league football under overcast skies wasn’t the worst way of spending the Easter weekend.
The terracing behind the goal was incredibly relaxed. This fella took quite a shine to some of the Rabble songs. We clocked him having a crafty foot shuffle on more than one occasion. Nice moves, Sir.
The 3:33pm to London Liverpool Street offers travellers a blink and you’ll miss it opportunity to watch the game.
A quick spray and a touch of the magic sponge, and all was well in the world once again.
A lino. Splendid vertical positioning.
The crowd of just under 200 can best be explained as being part of the busy Easter weekend. We think.
We confess to shooting out photographic load with Divot of the Day. This was a rather alcohol fuelled over-excitable early contender. It was later pointed out that it was more of a half decent skid mark.
The Joy of Essex.
Dulwich ‘keeper Phil Wilson preparing for a Witham corner.
Note the simply AMAZING media stand in the background. We shall come back to this…
Defending the all important near post. You read these Brixton Buzz reports for such cutting tactical analysis.
This chap made a lot of noise for one man. The Witham repertoire was a little limited, but fair play fella for your enthusiasm.
The Witham Family Stand. Possibly.
The Village Glass Stadium was actually a half decent ground for this level. Note the ‘opportunities’ that the corrugated stand can offer. Once again, we shall come back to these…
Flying the flag. No Emily Thornberry style comment from us. Nope.
In Pooch of the Day News: WOOF WOOF.
Who needs Premier League style Armani suits on a windswept North Essex touchline?
It was very Essex, though.
The Rabble swelled the Witham attendance figures.
Mr Tank and mate, again.
The bin was fairly average in terms of non-league street clutter. We still have absolutely no idea what the mysterious front door and small structure was all about.
Hands on hips. They coach this out of you at junior level.
More sideline action.
The pink pig of Dulwich. We were told post-match in the pub the historical significance of the pig. But we’re afraid that the explanation got rather lost as the fourth pint of the excellent No Name beer was sunk.
Witham come close in the first half. This is a sentence that we could only really use once to be honest.
Harry Ottaway toiled, toiled and toiled again for Dulwich.
The view from behind the rather overcast goal.
And here’s that man Martyn once again.
It was one of those Dulwich away day afternoons where we weren’t really sure if it was a half empty or half full occasion.
Mid to high spirits from The Rabble.
The pink pig gets some attention.
Martyn gets a little muddy.
You won’t see this kind of picture in a Chelsea match report.
Lovers of turnstile architecture would have been fascinated by this structure. Sadly it wasn’t operational. It wasn’t even positioned by a ground entrance. Which was rather odd.
Ooooh. Corrugated stands.
MC Witham, in the area.
Half time rituals.
Finally. In Divot of the Day News: Gawblimey. Wot a WHOPPER.
The action on the pitch wasn’t always riveting.
Here’s that Witham chap once again singing his happy heart out. Well played.
Dulwich defending a free kick on the edge of the area. Note ‘keeper Phil Wilson’s Phantom of the Opera mask once again. We rather like this.
In-depth Rabble conversation and smiles.
With 0-0 looking likely, manager Gavin Rose made some late substitutions to try and liven things up for the Hamlet. We’ve no idea about what is going off with the collapsing stand in the background.
Yer man Gav cut something of a lone figure for most of the second half.
BIG Essex skies.
Martyn wasn’t really troubled. At least not on the pitch, anyway.
Here we go – the Witham Media Stand. We’d love to see John Motson being winched up there. We personally wouldn’t go anywhere near it. We can’t see what role the roof actually does.
Harry Ottaway picks up a yellow card. We’re not sure what for, and neither was Mr O.
The ref checks his spelling of Ottaway.
Not long left now…
Hands on hips again.
Ah – the Witham steward. We’re not going to make this personal. Honest. But right from the kick off the man in the yellow bib was on a mission to try and make the Rabble’s day out in Essex an unpleasant experience. Gawd knows what would have happened if the smoke bombs had been brought in…
A late corner for the pink ‘n’ blue boys.
Mr Steward seemingly enjoying the game. As were The Rabble.
And then WOH. What happened here? The corrugated stand was given a very gentle tap in tune with the latest Dulwich ditties. Mr Steward flipped, pints were thrown to the floor and a Dulwich fan was singled out and physically told to leave. There was one minute of the game remaining…
More OVER THERE action.
The Dulwich fan stood his ground as the ref was about to blow for full time. A second steward became involved. He appeared to have slightly better man / woman management skills.
The Rabble try and play down the incident.
The first steward is having none of it. He gave the impression that he was up for a ruck.
It then got very silly.
The first steward was ordered away by his pal. He then symbolically took off his yellow bib, and came back for more.
More people become involved.
Oh come on ref – just blow your whistle and none of this nonsense needs to take place.
Full time. And thank the chuffers for that.
Essex, over and out.