Dulwich Hamlet are among a fresh breed of football thinking, where open minded philosophy and a liberal approach is blessed with an edge of creative thinking. Joining the party and tasting the gravy, step on in as pitch side awaits, pie in hand.
Cast the mind back to a matter of weeks ago and the cool breeze of February started to break away from the winter blues that leave a chill on many a football pitch. Our setting skirts London surroundings and Dulwich Hamlet welcome in Needham Market. The home side pushing for a late playoff surge, this pied offering is served with a solid sense of routine for Dulwich Hamlet. The flags are rolled out, the keys are jangled for a 'key moment' in the game and the pies are served a plenty.
Another showcase for what makes the non-league game such an interesting propsect, 1,960 fans turned out for this fixture. No small number considering both sides sit pretty in the Ryman Football League - the 7th level of English football. This support impressive too, considering the number of clubs that surround London.
Going through the motions to pick up the points, this tussle offered a feisty battle. Hamlet took the lead on 14 minutes and it stood at 1-0 for the majority of the game. A second half with chances for both sides and Needham could have found their way back into the mix though killing it off on '89, Dulwich wore their pink shirts with pride and duly despatched a postage stamped finale with a second goal.
Though off the pitch and warming the hearts as well teasing the tastebuds, the real fixture that produces come three o'clock was that of a dish wrapped best in pastry. Solid volume and a fine crisp, let's hear how photographer Ben Pooley rated that pie.
Pie Rating (Chicken and Mushroom)
Price: £3 ― 8/10
Size: Serious volume ― 8/10
Crispyness: Baked to a sumptuous crips ― 8/10
Pastry: A little on the thin side ― 6/10
Filling: Packed. All the chicken, all the mushroom ― 9/10
Photography by Ben Pooley for SoccerBible.