Thursday, 26 March 2009

Rebels rout Rabblers!

Saturday 21st March 2009
"The Rabblers" 5
Worthing supporters' 6
at Belair Park, Dulwich.
Friendly match.

It must be said that the Worthing match is one of the most enjoyable of the fixtures in our Supporters’ Team calendar. Not for the entertainment if you’re a footballing purist, though there is certainly entertainment value! For this is ‘ye olde worlde’ supporters team football, based on how it way before the Internet Football Association was even a twinkle in someones eye & an assortment of old codgers, beer bellies & assorted ne’er do wells trotted out on the pitch, huffed & puffed for ninety minutes for the sheer craziness/love of the game, then shook hands afterwards before having near heart attacks lying prone on the hallowed turf of the local council pitch, if a spot could be could be found to lie prone, gasping for air, without getting covered in dog shit!

A slight exaggeration perhaps, as there was some rare bursts of skill on show on Saturday morning, but you get my drift. This is about pain and pleasure. I’m sure the Worthing lads enjoyed it as much as we did. More so after they were triumphant by the odd goal in eleven! One more than the five apiece draw down on the Sussex coast last Easter.

So another goalfest was on the cards. And it was 'The Rabblers' who drew first blood only a couple of minutes into the match, when James O'Shaughnessy latched onto a long, low through ball from captain for the day Jack McInroy to put the Hamlet boys in front. not long after Jacko was in someones bad books, for what I'm not sure! Steve Rickerby screamed 'Behave Jack!' from down the pitch. Whatever naughtiness he was getting up to I'm afraid I didn't spot, so anyone who spotted it fee free to use the comments box! ;-)

The Rebels almost equalised when they hit the bar, our defence caught out by their quick long throw. The game flowed end to end and 'The Rabblers' went close with Aaron Whitton heading wide from a McInroy corner. Not used to having such precociously talented youngsters in the side it was Whitton again who went close, with his shot going agonisingly wide of the post, after a through ball from the trusty boot of Shaun Dooley. Minutes later it was Whitton yet again who wasted a superb chance to stretch the lead, when he chose to attempt to lift the ball over the advancing keeper, instead of blasting it past him. But it wasn't all Hamlet as Worthing beat defending Larry Marsh out wide, the end shot being superbly tipped over by built like an elephant but leaping like a salmon Matt Hammond for a corner. Which wehen played in was totally wasted as the header was well wide.

Play swung back and forth, & a mistimed late tackle in the box gave the 'Rabblers' a chance to double the lead from the penalty spot, awarded by referee Mick O'Shaughnessy. It was fitting that it was his son James who made no mistake from thr spot to make it two nil. Despite the comfortable advantage Worthing were not going to roll over & die, & continued to push forward. One shot just over the crossbar. End to end stuff indeed! But not enough to keep Hamlet fan Brian 'Ollie' Oliver enthralled. He was having more fun holding court to anyone who was listening, regaling us with tales about his younger years when he procured 'ladies of leisure' at two AM in the morning in Mayfair! But enoug of that...back to the football! It was a Dulwich Hamlet player who put the ball into the back of the net. Just a pity it was at the wrong end! A wicked header off of the bonce of Steve Rickerby giving a despairing Matt Hammond no chance. It is only possible to guess, as full records have never been kept, but it would be fair to say that if they had been Steve would be comfortably top career scorer in the own goal stakes.

This setback was rectified a couple of minutes later, when Matt Pike knocked the ball through to Aaron Whitton, who go onto the scoresheet at last, looping the ball past their hapless custodian. Having restored the two goal cusshion in typical traditional 'Rabblers' fashion we proceeded to concede another just before half time, a shot from the edge of the box ding the damage.

After the break Dulwich again pushed forward, and the early pressure again paid off with James O'Shaughnessy hitting a low shot inside the box to bag yet another hat-trick to his name. But as the minutes ticked tiredness got to the 'Rabblers' as well as the half time formation changes fromm the Gaffer, Worthing started to apply the pressure & gain the upper hand, first pulling one back & then equalising with-without a doubt-the goal of the game. A wonderful overhead volley that gave helpless keeper Hammond no chance. As one old timer said on the sideline: "Dennis Law would have been proud of that!" Disaster struck, when the Rebels were awarded a free kick just outside the box, which was struck quickly while Matt was trying to organise his wall, thankfully the ball was whacked right into them, but the bad news was, while Matt was still bawling out his defence, Worthing scored with a shot, as the Hamlet defence & keeper were out of position arguing.

But there was life left yet in the old dog that is the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Team! A rare pin point clearance from the back by Mishi Morath (for 'pin point' read hoff & hope!) sent the ball down the field, which found a Pink 'n' Blue shirt. The ball was then knocked further forward for Aaron Whitton to level, with his second goal of the game. But as the game wore on, depsite battling valiantly, the Hamlet men tired, & matters were not helped when Shaun Dooley had to retire injured, leading to another reshuffle. A draw would have been a fair result, but it was not to be, with the final goal of the game coming from a red shirt, for the Rebels to win by the odd goal in eleven!

But the real winner was 'supporters football'. A game that was enjoyed by everyone who played in it, with the majority of Hamlet fans, while wishing Worthing well for the rest of the season, secretly hoping they blow up in the play-offs, as it's such a pleasure to play them.

Back at Champion Hill the last words go to the 'Rabblers' Gaffer Mick O'Shaughnessy:
" I thought it was, in the main, a very good performance by the team. And the referee had an outstanding performance, which is praise indeed, as i'm not usually one to pat them on the back. It was a great effort from us, and as always seems to be the way with us nowadays, being an ageing team caught up with us at the end. Credit to the Worthing boys for making the long trip up from the coast. They are a pleasure to play against, & a delight to drink with! "

'Rabblers' team: Matt Hammond; John Tennison; Steve Rickerby; Lawrence Marsh; Ian Wright; Shaun Dooley; Alex Margolis; Jack McInroy; Matt Pike; James O’Shaughnessy; Aaron Whitton; Mishi Morath; Paul Verrico.

Scorers: James O'Shaugnessy (3); Aaron Whitton (2).

The line up:

Back row (left to right): Ian Wright; Jon Tennison; Shaun Dooley; Matt Hammond; Steve Rickerby; Paul Verrico; Jack McInroy; Mick o'Shaughnessy (manager)

Front row (left to right): Mishi Morath; Al Margolis; James O'Shaughnessy; Matt Pike; Lawrence Marsh; Aaron Whitton.

Photos galore!

And quality ones too! A big BIG thank you to Melanie Lucking for practising with her new camera at the match & allowng meto copy them all! I've picked a huge amount out, but-believe it or not- three hundred on top of these were deleted!

I've not done any captions to go with them, for the simple reason there are too many of them, and to sort them, and post them, combined with the report, it has taken me about twelve hours in total to sort these posts from the Worthing game out. Thanks for that Melanie, it wouldn't have been possible without your help! ;-)

Before during & after...without the action!

This set includes the pictures taken before the match, on the sidelines as the game was in play, half time & after the final whistle.

There are 62 pictures in this set. Click on any of the pictures below to see the rest of ones in the album.

EDIT 23/5/09: I didn't publish these properly, so you couldn't see the other snaps! to see them now click here

The ones that went wrong...

or the 'arty-farty' type shots? Probably the latter, as melanie is an art teacher after all! ;-)

(There are 23 photos in this set altogether. Click on one of them to view the others in the album)

EDIT 23/5/09: The links don't work. To see the photos now click here

And the game itself...

(There are 295-yes two hundred and ninety five!- photos in this set altogether. Click on one of them to view the others in the album)

EDIT 23/5/09: Again I cocked this up, you can now view all the snaps by clicking here