We've all been hard done by, claims Dulwich Hamlet boss Gavin Rose

Tuesday 12th May 2015

DULWICH HAMLET manager Gavin Rose claims all the club’s involved in the Ryman Premier League play-off shambles have all been hard done by.

The Hamlet were due to travel to Margate for an eagerly-awaited clash at Hartsdown Park on Thursday 30 April, but that was postponed due to the long-winded saga involving fifth-placed Enfield Town.

A statement from The Football Association said today: An Appeal Board has dismissed appeals from Enfield Town and their player Aryan Tajbakhsh in relation to a decision made by an Independent Regulatory Commission.

At the original commission hearing, the club was warned as to its future conduct after it was found Enfield Town had failed to comply with an FA suspension in that Mr Tajbakhsh participated in two first team fixtures between 3 January 2015 and 17 January 2015.

“The player, meanwhile, was given a two-match suspension, which commenced on Wednesday 22 April 2015 and fined £150, after it was found he had failed to comply with an FA suspension in relation to the same matter.”

Now that embarrassing fiasco is done and dusted, all four clubs can now look forward to completing their campaigns.

Rose takes his side to the Kent coast to play their make-or-break semi-final on Thursday night.

Runners-up Hendon will now play Metropolitan Police (who finished in sixth-place and will take Enfield Town’s place) in the other semi-final.

The Final will now take place on Sunday 17 May (3pm) at the highest placed club of the two finalists.

Rose said: “It’s been a quite unusual set of circumstances. I don’t think any of us really know what’s happened but what we do know is the effect it’s had on our club and I’m pretty sure it’s had a pretty similar effect on all of the other clubs involved.”

Margate boss Terry Brown revealed to his club website that striker Ryan Moss left for his holiday in Dubai at the weekend and Rose will be without a midfielder for Thursday’s game.

“Luke Wanadio is away. Harry Ottaway may get to stay if the games conclude this week but Luke went away yesterday so it’s neither here or there.

“I was told Margate have a few lads injured but they may have a few boys back from fitness so it’s very similar.

“What way do we turn? We’ve all been hard done by but we just have to get on with it.”

Dulwich Hamlet completed their campaign with a 2-2 draw away to Tonbridge Angels on 25 April and Rose has put his squad through their paces during the limbo period.

He said: “The boys have been training but it’s very different from a match. You can train as hard as you can but a match situation is different.  The boys have worked very hard and their attitude has been fantastic. I can’t fault them whatsoever.

“Playing a match is totally different – we’ve not played for something like two and a half weeks!”

Rose admits to feeling frustrated as his preparations for next season have been put on hold because he doesn’t know whether the club will be playing Ryman Premier League or Vanarama National League South football in August.

The winners on Sunday will join promoted champions Maidstone United in the division above.

“That will be the biggest problem for us and we just hope it doesn’t take too much of an effect,” said a concerned Rose.

“Normally I’d probably be speaking to players’ for next season already and got it all sorted so I can go on my holidays but that’s going to be delayed and we can’t even open a conversation with people because we don’t know what our situation is going to be.

“Sunday or Thursday or whenever it is and we know it’s all concluded and we’ll know where we are.  The quicker the better really so we can focus for next year.

“The boys want to get it out of the way and I think we do as well.

“More importantly all the teams involved want to be able to know where they stand for next season.

“Everybody wants to go up but there’s three teams who ain’t be going up and we want to make sure we’re prepared for the players we want to get on board now and the players’ we want to potentially sign.

“It’s left us a little bit underprepared and where we stand for the future.”

All four clubs are now kicking their heels ahead of Thursday and Rose is relishing a tight and nervy game against Margate, a side that they beat twice during the league campaign.

When asked what he’s expecting, Rose said: “Very similar to what you’ve just said – a very tough game!

“We’ve had two very, very tough games against them but we’ve come out victorious but we knew how hard it was to actually get the victory.

“For us to be victorious again we have to work a million percent, very, very hard. We know they’ve got a very good team, a team that a lot of their players anyone in the league will want.

“They’ve got an experienced management team, so they finished well in the league and it’s going to be very tough for us but it’s a one-off game. Let’s hope we can pull it out again!”

Meanwhile, Margate boss Terry Brown insists the experience within his camp will get the club promoted at the end of the saga.

Speaking two days before the original date of the game against Dulwich Hamlet, Brown said: “I would say that we set ourselves out with the target of gaining promotion and we’re in a position where we can still fulfil that target so it’s still a work in progress at the moment.

“Like all play-offs, they’re very nervy, difficult affairs regardless of who you get. 

“We’ve played Dulwich twice this year and lost home and away so it’s certainly not going to be an easy task.”

Rose and his assistant Junior Kadi have created a side that’s attractive to watch and will be more than capable to leaving Margate empty handed.

“They’re a team that we have a lot of respect for because the management team play in a style that I think is the most attractive in the Ryman League,” said the former AFC Wimbledon boss.

“That style sometimes leads to difficult chapters of play, especially during the winter months and more direct teams are more suited to that.

“I’ve personally got a lot of respect for the team. They’re a good footballing side so we have to make sure they don’t dictate the play and we have a way to combat their style and we have to concentrate on our strengths and where we can score goals.”

Brown is confident that his players’ experience of playing in nights will be crucial against the London team.

“Yes, we certainly got a squad with enough experience there and if it was a case of whose been there and done it the most then we’ll walk through the play-off’s,” said Brown.

“Experience tells me that these are one-off games that you treat with a great deal of respect and you need to be massively fired up for it and you need to ally that with discipline on the pitch and the brains and intellect to play to your strengths and to exploit the oppositions weaknesses so you don’t need to get carried away just running about smashing into tackles and getting yourself booked and sent off early on.

“You need to remember that game can last 120 minutes. We’ve been practising penalties as well on a regular basis so we’ll be prepared for every eventuality.”

On one final note, Enfield Town issued the following statement on the matter.

“Enfield Town Football Club has today been unsuccessful in its bid to overturn the verdict of the FA Regulatory Commission in respect of alleged breaches of FA Rule E10 (fielding a player while suspended).

“The FA’s decision and today’s appeal outcome are both very disappointing for everyone associated with the Club. We await the FA’s written reasons for their decision. We would like to thank James Mulholland QC for his work on our behalf.

“We also wish to take this opportunity to thank all Enfield Town Supporters Society Members who responded so positively by donating funds to pursue further appeals as deemed necessary, and also other clubs and supporters for their hundreds of messages of support.

“In the best interests of the Club itself and in order to avoid further wider uncertainty and inconvenience, not least to clubs involved in the Ryman League Premier Division Play-offs, the Board has taken the unanimous decision not to take any action that would delay the play offs any further. ETFCSSL members will be contacted shortly in order to make arrangements for handling donations made.”

Enfield Town’s Board would like to express its view that:

• This decision sets a dangerous precedent;
• Clubs taking every precaution when checking the FA’s disciplinary record system may be subject to this charge (irrespective of whether or not the FA announce changes or a thorough overhaul of current arrangements); and
• The Club would have taken exactly the same action once charged by the FA irrespective of whether or not it had finished the 2014-15 season in a play-off position.

“The Club will now put this unsatisfactory outcome behind it, and look forward positively to the 2015-16 season.

“We wish the Clubs in the play offs the best of luck.”

* Margate confirm that tickets can be purchased at the turnstiles on the night.

Visit Dulwich Hamlet’s website: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/dulwichhamlet

Visit Margate’s website: www.margate-fc.co.uk

Margate  v  Dulwich Hamlet
Ryman Premier League Play-Off Semi-Final
Thursday 14th May 2015
Kick Off 7:45pm
At Hartsdown Park, Hartsdown Road, Margate, Kent CT9 5QZ