Saturday, 18 April 2009

Supporters to take on the players!

Following the final whistle on Saturday 25th April at the final Dulwich Hamlet First Team game of the season the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Team take on a Club Staff & Players XI in a fun friendly on the main Champion Hill pitch, in a fixture instigated by the First Team manager Craig Edwards.

It was actually, by coincidence, around twenty years ago, that a similar fixture in May 1989 led to the establishing of the current Supporters' Team.

The 'war of words' between Edwards & our 'Gaffer' Mick O'Shaughnessy has already begun, and hotted up on the terraces at Kingstonian this afternoon, as they squared up to each other!

This follows on from heated exchanges on the back pages of the 'Southwark News' the week before:


The grudge match to end all encounters will take place on the final day of the season at Champion Hill when the first team squad and staff take on the Dulwich Hamlet supporter's side, writes John Prendegast..
The first eleven will take on Fleet Town in their final league encounter at 3pm on April 25, and will then form the bench for the game against the supporters which will be played afterwards.
The starting eleven for the club will include manager Craig Edwards, assistant Paul Downes and team physio Bridget Higgs, as well as youth team coach Ian Neal.
The remainder of the team will be made up of youth team players and first team squad members, who will play in positions dictated by a lottery system.
The Dulwich manager felt it was a perfect way to thank the fans for their support, and demonstrates the special bond between players, staff and supporters in the non-league game.
He said: "The bond is better between players, supporters and staff in the non-league set up and the reltionship is certainly more personal than in the professional game. That can be seen by the fact that Daryl Plummer and Stanley Muguo turned out for a charity game the supporters were involved in last year. "
The entire first team also attended a recent supporters' team clash against Millwall, in recognition of the fact that the fans often travel far and wide to follow them.
Hamlet gaffer Craig Edwards added: " It will be fun and a great laugh, but in football they say that every manager is three games away from the sack. After April 25 Mick O'Shaughnessy will be just two games away."
Edwards is currently putting himself through rehab to be fit for the game, having picked up an ankle injury, but he stated that his full focus was to be ready for that encounter.
However Michael O'Shaughnessy, manager of the supporters' team, has decided to show him no sympathy. He said: " We will be putting little targets on the ankles of Craig Edwards, and I will tell my players that is where to kick him. I have also not forgotten his assistant Paul Downes, whom the supporters also owe one to following his dismal defensive display when he played for us earlier in the year."

The game is eagerly awaited by all, and if anyone would like to take part, even if you've never turned out for "The Rabblers" before then just drop Mick an email at
& he'll hopefully put you in the squad.

Friday, 3 April 2009

No disgrace in defeat!

Saturday 28th March 2009
"The Rabblers" 2,
Hayes Lane Ultras (Bromley supporters') 5
at Belair Park, West Dulwich
IFA League match.

Despite yet another defeat "The Rabblers" aquitted theselves well against a visiting Bromley side with some very talented players, the main two protagonists clearly being above the usual standard of opposition we come up against in supporters' games.

Beaten...yes. But this was a strong performance from surprisingly youthful "Rabblers" line up. And even an older debutant Andy MacDonald, finally making an appearance after a couple of seasons nagging from the rest of the aquad behind the goal, who didn't disgrace himself in midfield.

Despite always being behind we battled well, and at times actually strung some rare half decent passes together.

In fact we actually came close to taking the lead when a free kick just outside the area was quickly taken by Steve Rickerby, a good effort which flew just wide of the post. With a little bit more power I have no doubt it would have rippled the back of the net rather than roll towards the pond. It wasn't long after when Bromley showed us how to score when the ball was knocked through the middle of the park, which another player latched onto, nipped in & lobbed the ball over an advancing Matt Hammond, who stretched in vain. One down.

The surburbanites continued to pressure us, & another goal attempt was thwarted by a superb clearance off the line by the evergreen Ian Wright. Despite being a goal down football is still supposed to be fun. And it was...for everyone apart from an eye watering Aaron Whitton, and he suffered the pain of the ball getting him right in the nuts! Ouch! He did recover though, with no help from the sidelines as there were no volunteers to be 'spongeman!'

Chances were at a premium for us, as we tried to push forward, but were held back by the Bromley defence. And the scoreline was doubled when a powerful strike from their big forward smashed into the back of the net that Matt Hammond was powerless to stop, even though he got his fingertips to it.

Now it was a case of hoping to hold on until haf-time, maybe reducing the arrears. But with a quarter of an hour left on the clock both teams & all those on the sidelines were left totally bemused when 'our' referee Phil Baker blew for the break early! Quickly realising he'd cocked up big time,, not having taken into account that our 10.30am kick off had actually commenced at ten forty three! Before he did blow for the real interval we had another chance to score, but an effort from young Ethan Meade ' on loan' from Alleyns School football/hockey/cricket* team (*delete whatever excuse is applicable for him not usually turning out for us on a Saturday morning) went just wide.

After a buoyant pep talk from the 'gaffer' Mick O'Shaugnessy during the short breather from the action, it was "The Rabblers" who scored the first goal of this half. Substitute David Yuill played the ball through which ended with Ethan Meade letting off a marvellous left foot strike. Despite being buoyed by this goal Bromley were still too dominant for "The Rabblers" to grab control of the game get an equaliser. Two more goals in fairly quick succession giving the Hayes Lane Ultras a comfortable three goal cushion. The first of these, in particular, was more down to us as we failed to clear our lines, to let them have a shot. The defence, and by the 'defence' I don't specifically mean those at the back, but everyone who came back to defend in numbers, couldn't get the ball out of danger again, & with Matt beaten he was saved by having place John Prendergast on the line behind him, who stopped & cleared a certain goal.

The next goal was ours! And rightly so as David Yuill was hauled down on the edge of the box. After a few moments he got up, dusted himself down, and took the penalty, knocking it low past the keepers left. But that was to be our last goal. With Bromley getting one more before the end. The goal that never was...but was! Pushing forward they clearly had a man offside in the middle & Shaun Dooley correctly raised his flag. The referee dithered a little while, which is understandable from a man who didn't know what time of day it was earlier, & he was about to disallow the goal, when our keeper Matt Hammond sortingly booted the ball upfield for the re-start. Except it wasn't quite as 'corinthian' as it sounds... While some of their team started arguing the toss that it was a goal one of them was clearly heard t say 'don't worry about it, we don't need the goal.' At which point there was NO WAY we could disallow it! We are NOT a team to be patronised! And Matt told the bloke "Don't worry take it!" which was when he threw the ball up the park. quite right too!

After that 'set to' we almost got a last gasp goal ourselves, Matt Virgo shooting from the edge of the box, but unfortunately lacking power, floating in rather than rasping.

I did note down the post-match views from the 'gaffer' Mick O'Shaughnessy, but humble apologies, I can't find the scrap of paper I jotte them down on. Instead I repeat the comments from his right had man Mark Hutton, from the IFA yahoo group:

"Dulwich playing with some younger players than we normally do started quite brightly had our moments nice goal by Ethan in the first half but where worn down by a very good Bromley side who took there chances well.Many thanks to Col & his Bromley players for a sporting game hope to see them in the summer for our annual cricket match. Dulwich goal scorers : Ethan Meade, Lawrence Marsh "

Larry on the scoresheet? News to him & the rest of us! Must've been on your blindside Hutty! ;-)

Team: Matt Hammond; Larry Marsh; Jon Tennison; Steve Rickerby; Ian Wright; Andy McDonald; Chris Tabrett; David Yuill; Ethan Meade; Aaron Whitton; James O'Shaughnessy; Jack McInroy; John Prendergast; Matt Virgo; Mishi Morath; Gary Tabrett; Phil Doyle.

Scorers: Ethan Meade; David Yuill.

The team was...

Back row (left to right): Jack McInroy; Shaun Dooley (linesman); Ian Wright; David Yuill; Steve Rickerby; Phil Baker (referee); Chris Tabrett; Mark Hutton (c-manager); James O'Shaughnessy; Mick O'Shaughnessy (manager).

Front row (left to right): Ethan Meade; Matt virgo; Jon Tennison; Andy McDonald; Matt Hammond; Gary Tabrett; Larry Marsh; Aaron Whitton; john Prendergast.

Not in photo: Mishi Morath (taking photo); Phil Doyle (not yet arrived)

Some more mugshots

Last season we published individual snaps of most of the squad. Here are a few new ones, with a 'repeat' or two:

David Yuill, following on from a long line of players who have appeared for us down the years from the 'Southwark News'.

'Ginger Ninja' from the messageboard, young Ethan Meade. If only he'd stop playing for his school teams he'd be a great asset!

Finally making his debut, after years of nagging, Andy Mcdoanld. Did anyone remember to get the international clearance?

Late for the team photo, but ever the professional with a full stretching warm up before he comes on, Phil Doyle.

Matthew Virgo, trying to hog the limelight while his brother Joel is out injured!

Aaron Whitton playing the fool. I hate to think what his passport photo looks like!

And finally the Tabrett brothers, one for the old family album. Gary on the left, Chris on the right.

Photos from the game

Jacko crawls up to the management in a failed attempt to get in the starting line up!

Shaun looks on in astonishment at the Yuill belly!

Hutty tries to work out the difference between Ethan and Larry!

Everyone tries to pay attention to the Gaffers, as John Prendergast stifles a yawn!

A random close up of the line up!

Blimey, this almost looks like a proper action photo! Sorry chaps, my mistake! ;-)

Wrightie looks as though he's missed the ball again!

S-t-r-e-t-c-h Jon, stretch!

Like a knife through butter....or is that lard? ;-)

Ball watching...

Caption contest anyone?

Take enough photos & you get a decent one. This is my favourite out of the whole set.

Steve's never looked so svelte! ;-)

Thin stripes were never for the larger player!

If it wasn't for the ginger hair it could be father & son!

Half time is recovery time.

Thankfully this is Belair & not Hampstead Heath! ;-)

Keeper! To your left!

Well we are a bit of a scratch side!

Bit closer Phil!

Never mind gold at the end of a rainbow, the referee has heard a rumour there's a tin of beer under the goalnet!

One day we'll all have matching shirts again!

Phil's still not that close, but a darn sight nearer than John!

No idea why I took this? ;-)

Superb clearance from Matt...shame their bloke ruined the shot. Sorry mate!

Go Jacko! Bad back & almost fifty! But he's still got it!

At last! Game over!

Well done everyone!