When I agreed to write up a match for REPD, I hoped for a multi-goal thriller. What did I get? You guessed it: Hamlets 3, Thigh-rolled Havanas 0. This was one of the least inspiring AFCW games I’ve been to. Dulwich probably won the first half on points, although little of note occurred. Ten minutes into the second half, they scored two soft goals. A third came later, with the Dons in some disarray. It could have been worse: their number 9 missed a couple of chances (one a Tony Cascarino-like blast over from two yards) and Gavin Bolger did all he could to score an own goal before heading wide.
Plus points: Well, the weather was mild. Okay, so maybe I’m being a bit harsh. There were only a couple of AFCW regulars in the team, with the majority being trialists, so you couldn’t expect it to be Carshalton all over again. As for the individuals on show, Dobbo showed some silky skills but not much else and Gav tried his best.
Nul points: On last night’s performance, I’m not expecting many of the players present to be starting against Feltham. I suppose we learned some minor things: the off season hasn’t done anything for Mark Nicholas’s waistline, Ryan Gray was bundled off the ball worryingly easily, and Leon White – who played up front – is probably better suited to defence. So, after Carshalton, reality strikes.
The referee’s a….: Cheese-eating surrender monkey. Again, I’m being a bit harsh. Some of the challenges of the Dulwich players deserved more than a little talking to, even though it was a friendly, but he kept the game under relatively successful control.
Them: I just can’t get over their pink shirts. A few of their fans were wearing them too. I don’t think I would.
Points to ponder: I spent Â£7 to watch a dismal pre-season game between a bunch of trialists, most of whom are unlikely to figure in an AFCW team next season. It wasn’t really value for money. More importantly, it’s difficult to see what positives Terry can take from playing a team that’s made up of people who basically haven’t played together before. I could have told him it was going to be a disjointed mess, giving little opportunity for players to shine. It’s my belief that you need to test players against the backbone of the first team – that’s the only way to see if they can make it as part of the team. Not doing so is selling the players, and the punters, short.
Singing: Hello … hellooo…. helloooooo [echo]. I’ve heard more singing in Trappist monastery.
Truth is stranger than fiction: Did someone really say that this game sucked more than Monica Lewinsky on a cigar? And did you know that there’s a road called Plough Lane in East Dulwich?
Anything else: Some kid living in the house backing on to the far side of the ground has at least seven balls in his garden, including one that cleared a fifty-foot tree. Sadly, his dad has to fix a totally fucked greenhouse.
So, was it worth it?: God yes. It’s only because I’ve mixed antibiotics and lager that I’m grumpy. Even today beat the Premier League hands down.
In a nutshell: Happiness isn’t a cigar called Hamlet.