Gavin Rose admitted his Dulwich Hamlet side failed to deal with the poor condition of the Bolitho Park pitch in Saturday’s FA Trophy defeat at Plymouth Parkway.
Youngster Alpha Diallo’s 90th-minute goal for the South Londoners took the tie to a penalty shootout which they lost 4-3. Truro City also play at the same ground.
“The players were a little bit startled about the condition of the pitch and the opposition were quite well-versed to playing on it,” said Dulwich boss Rose. “We never came to terms with it – mentally or physically.
“The pitch has something like 120 games on it a season – it takes a battering. It was more like the ones I used to play on in my years in non-league – very sticky and you have to adjust your game. The ball isn’t on the floor for long spells.
“Credit to Plymouth Parkway, they knew how to play the pitch and have got some really good players who adjusted well.
“We had periods where we played okay but in terms of the time and effort we put in for the match it was a bad showing.
“We prepared really well and went down the night before, which could be seen as a risk because we have had more cases [of Covid].
“We had two boys test positive on the morning we were going down and they didn’t travel.
“Some of the other players who had been around them tested negative. You don’t know if they are in the clear because everyone’s body is different, their symptoms could show later on. We took the train together and a mini-coach – we were in closer proximity than we normally would be.”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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