True Blue: A Wingate & Finchley fan reflects on the charity walk and defeat to Dulwich
13:05 07 April 2014
Wingate & Finchley blogger Simon Swingler was part of a group of fans who walked 13 miles for charity on Saturday - and then watched the Blues lose 4-2 away at Dulwich Hamlet.
At 8.30am on Saturday morning, 10 hardy souls congregated at Summers Lane to walk the 13 or so miles to Champion Hill - the home of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club - to raise money for Noah’s Ark Hospice in Barnet.
When we set off we had already received over £1,000 in pledges, which I have to say did inspire me to keep on walking when my feet began to hurt, which was somewhere around Muswell Hill!
We eventually arrived at our destination just after 2pm after one or two pit stops, and were overwhelmed by the reception we received by the Dulwich Hamlet officials and supporters, who also allowed us to perform a bucket collection at the ground, which topped up the already raised cash very nicely. The generosity from their supporters, officials and even players was wonderful.
Dulwich Hamlet are one of the more famous names in non-league football and can boast attendances of around six times that of our own. They are currently riding high in second place in the league, despite this being their first season in the division since their promotion last season.
An example of Dulwich’s stature in comparison to our own is that both clubs have a scheme called the ’12th man scheme’.
In ours we have a whip round amongst the fans and raise about £30-40, which is handed to the winner of the man of the match award on Saturday home games. Dulwich actually raise enough money to increase their playing budget and improve their squad.
We shocked our hosts when we had the audacity to take the lead when Adam Bolle capitalised on an error by a Dulwich central defender before slotting the ball neatly beyond the keeper for his third goal for the club.
However, our joy was short-lived and Dulwich had not only pegged us back before the break but took the lead. It felt a little like they were keeping us at arm’s length, conserving energy for more testing encounters that may lay ahead.
The game was ended as a contest when Dulwich grabbed their third and, although lively substitute Josh Kennett netted again for us to temporarily put us back into the game at 3-2, Dulwich simply went up the other end and scored again via a penalty.
We did have a stonewall penalty turned down when Kennett was clearly fouled in the box, but the poor decision from the official made little difference to the overall outcome of the game.
Our misery was compounded by the news that the other two sides in our relegation battle - East Thurrock and Enfield Town - both won their matches, leaving us in an extremely precarious position and with arguably a harder run-ins than both of our rivals.
However, even if we do get relegated to the Ryman League Division One North, I am sure our loyal fanbase will remain solidly behind the club and the 11 players wearing the famous blue on the pitch.
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