Sunday, April 30, 2017
Dulwich Hamlet assured of Ryman League Premier Division play-off spot as they...

Dulwich Hamlet assured of Ryman League Premier Division play-off spot as they head into final day

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Gavin Rose Photo: Keith Gillard

Dulwich Hamlet are assured of a play-off place in the Ryman League Premier Division as the normal campaign comes to an end on Saturday.

But none of the finishing positions in the top-six are resolved. The third-placed South Londoners go to Wingate & Finchley tomorrow.

If Dulwich drop then it will mean they are away in the play-offs fixture, which takes place on Thursday.

“Sometimes being at home can be overrated,” said Hamlet manager Gavin Rose. “It’s great to play in front of your home fans and I don’t think anyone would relish that. But our away record is pretty good. That’s just the facts – we have done equally well, if not better, than at home.

“I don’t think being away or home has much bearing on the actual football on the pitch.

“A lot can change on the last day of the season. We are the only ones guaranteed out of the top six to be in the play-offs. Even the top teams aren’t sorted. At least we know our future.”

Wingate could be pipped by Leiston if Dulwich record a 22nd league win of the campaign.

Rose is unfussed about who lies in wait in the knockout format.

“Every team we have played against this season has caused us some sort of problems whether we have won or not,” he said. “The fact we lost to Grays Athletic on Monday shows that anyone can beat anyone. It’s about being prepared and making sure we do the best we can. I don’t have any preference.”

Dulwich suffered a surprise loss to relegated Grays. Ashley Carew missed a penalty and the hosts spurned other chances before Kieran Bishop’s 90th-minute winner.

“The longer it went on the more likely it was they would get an opportunity to counterattack and score. We couldn’t hit a barn door. It was quite comical.

“On another day we’d probably have been comfortably three or four goals to the good. I don’t think you can read too much into it. Our recent form has been good.”

Dulwich have recovered from a sluggish start to the league programme plus the fixture congestion due to their progression to the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.

Rose said: “We did well in the trophy and it could easily have been a distraction for obvious reasons – the glamour, the fact we went so far and the games we had to catch up. The players have met that challenge and now we have another one – to go up through the play-offs.”

Greenwich Borough are definitely in the Ryman League Division One South play-offs – with the only thing to be decided if they are home or away against Corinthian Casuals.

Gary Alexander’s side only drew 0-0 at Cray Wanderers on Easter Monday but can make sure of being on their own patch for the tie if they beat lowly Guernsey at DGS Stadium tomorrow.

Sports Editor | South London Press sports editor since 2007 who has covered huge sporting events for the paper – Crystal Palace’s Championship play-off final, two trips to Wembley in the FA Cup and David Haye’s world heavyweight unification fight with Wladimir Klitschko. Previously sub-edited on the Sunday Mirror, Daily Star and Sport First. Former ClubCall deputy editor.

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Dulwich Hamlet assured of Ryman League Premier Division play-off spot as they...