Michael Chambers: Dulwich Hamlet players thrive playing in front of huge Champion Hill attendances

BY DANIEL MARSH

Michael Chambers has spoken about how Dulwich Hamlet players “thrive” on being back at Champion Hill, after a raucous record gate helped them overturn a two-goal deficit against Billericay Town on Saturday.

Hamlet found themselves on the brink of back-to-back defeats at the half-way point, trailing to goals from Joe Kizzi and Moses Emmanuel.

But the hosts fought back superbly, with a Dipo Akinyemi penalty supplemented by a Lloyd Doyley own goal in the dying embers of the game, in front of a boisterous home crowd.

Saturday’s attendance of 3,243 was a Champion Hill record and is a massive jump from the figures that Hamlet were attracting when forced to ground-share with Tooting & Mitcham following a dispute over their home with ground owners Meadow.

Recently, after mixed results, Hamlet manager Gavin Rose admitted to the South London Press that the return to Champion Hill and larger crowds hadn’t been as straightforward as perhaps hoped, with rival teams upping their game due to the larger gates and healthy atmosphere.

But it was Rose’s side who used the huge attendance to their advantage on Saturday, with their late fightback befitting the occasion of the record attendance – and Chambers was quick to point out how much the team have enjoyed their return ‘home’ to Champion Hill.

“I think from the first game we played back here, I think everyone seemed to thrive being here. 

“Everyone enjoys being here, we’d much rather be here than Tooting and I think you can see we haven’t lost many games since we’ve been back. So, I think you can see that all the boys [enjoy] playing here, we seem to get a good buzz from the crowd, and we sort of as you say, worked hard and ended up getting a point.”

The late salvation of a point means that Hamlet are now unbeaten in five at home, with 11 points out of a possible 15. With just five games remaining, Dulwich have climbed a couple of places to 15th, but remain just four points above the relegation zone.

Their final two home games, against relegation rivals Hungerford Town and high-flying Woking, will be key to their survival hopes after a tough run of form on the road, where Hamlet are winless in 11. 

PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD


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