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Re: Post-match statement...

By Pink Panther (legacy user)14/8/2013 13:29Wed Aug 14 13:29:13 2013In response to Post-match statement...

Views: 4388

I thought Hendon essentially tried to play constructive football, which made the game a far better spectacle than Hamlet's first Premier Division match on Saturday, thanks to Lowestoft's attritional and cynical approach, but we simply outplayed Hendon from start to finish. (4-0 would have been an accurate reflection of the ninety minutes.)

Hendon are a good benchmark for where Dulwich need to be in our new division. They seem to be a very stable club, generally holding their own in mid-table and guided by an established management team of ex-Hendon players who have built a squad that has evolved steadily over a number of seasons, much like ourselves. But we have the advantage of having our own ground and growing numbers of supporters - average league attendance has risen from 180 in 2009/10 to 491 last season. So whereas Hendon are hampered by something of a glass ceiling unless they can find a proper home ground of their own we should ultimately be able to push on to a level that is currently beyond Hendon.

Dulwich have always played the patient passing game you saw on Monday evening. We thrive on denying our opponents the ball, and although we always play with pacy wingers we're not really a counter-attacking side. We're possibly the smallest team in the league with no natural ball winners ahead of the back four, and we tend to struggle most when confronted by big physical sides like Lowestoft who press us in our own half and bypass the midfield. (Faversham and Hythe were similar in Division 1 South.) We've consistently played the same "4-2-3-1" formation with a pair of wingers and the little number 10 Oztumer supporting a lone striker regardless of who we're playing or whether any of our players are unavailable, so it's hard to see how Gary McCann could have "got his tactics wrong" in terms of how he expected us to play. I think you simply caught us at our best and had a bit of an off day yourselves.

As for Thamesmead, we played them in the League Cup Semi Final last season and I thought they were a very good side. We beat them on penalties after a 1-1 draw and I rated them as one of the best three Step 4 teams we faced last season along with Maidstone and Godalming, whom be beat on penalties in an FA Cup replay. They may well struggle as they have tiny support and I don't suppose they have much of a playing budget, but Lowestoft away on a Tuesday night is a bit of a tougher proposition than catching them cold on your home turf on the first day of the season in front of 500 of your own noisy and enthusiastic supporters. Lowestoft will obviously have been stung by getting turned over by the Hamlet and Thamesmead copped the backlash.

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