It was time for the 2018/19 non-league football season to get underway. My first season watching five non-league clubs began on the London/Kent border. I saw my step two club, Dulwich Hamlet, take on Welling United.
Dulwich, like me, are entering unknown territory. In 1907 they joined the Isthmian League and they didn’t leave until May this year. Their first ever National League game was the perfect place to start my season. It would also be my first new ground of the season and my 83rd in total.
Competition: National League South (Step 2)
Ground: Park View Road
Refreshments: £1 (can of Pepsi)
Dogs allowed: Yes
Ground 83: Welling United
Welling United, also known as the Wings,
Dulwich Hamlet begin National League adventure
It has been an exciting summer for Dulwich fans as they prepare to take their first steps in the National League South. Transfer activity has been modest for the most part, and Gavin Rose has managed to keep hold of most of his key players. Reise Allassani was the notable exception. The striker made the expected step up to the professional ranks and joined Coventry City in League
Dulwich’s pres-season has been largely positive with some good performances. I saw them take on Haringey Borough. Rose rotated the team at half-time and they appeared to have good strength in depth as there was little drop-off in quality.
The Hamlet’s opponents, Welling United, have had a considerably more transformative summer. Steve King, known as the National League South’s most successful manager, took over in the summer and has set about
The away game e
Park View Road, Welling’s excellent ground, filled up early with eager non-league fans enjoying the sunshine and the start of a new season. Supporters in pink and blue could be seen all around the ground. Park View Road is well set up with large seating areas and good sized terraces at each end. One stand is adorned in the colours of
The continuation of this summer’s heatwave meant tough decisions had to be made on arrival. Fortunately, the seated areas provided plenty of
The atmosphere was tentative early on despite the large attendance, reportedly nearly twice Welling’s average attendance from last season. The heat and first game nerves perhaps slowed the arrival of most of Dulwich’s popular songs. They soon got going, however, and the Welling fans at the other end managed a response
Welling wiser as they edge season opener
Dulwich started the game well and had lots of possession during the first half. Unfortunately, a mix of the heat and off-season rust appeared to get the better of both sides in the first 45 minutes. There were few chances of note causing one gentleman behind me to exclaim “I could have played at this level if I stayed fit!”. Minutes later the same gent took a tumble while
The second half saw a marked improvement in quality. Dulwich went close early on as set piece maestro Ashley Carew saw his free kick well saved. The game then turned on a couple of incidents in the far corner of the ground. Firstly, Nassim L’Goul, the only bright spot from the first half, was fouled. The resulting free kick was powerfully headed home by Thierry Audel.
Just minutes later Carew then pushed a Welling player off the ball. The fussy referee, who produced his cards far too early in the first half, then showed Carew a second yellow, and Dulwich
The result will ultimately
Star man: Nassim L’Goul
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