Dulwich Hamlet

KNK Stadium

Capacity: 3,500 (Seats 612)
Address: Bishopsford Road, Morden, SM4 6BF*
Telephone: 020 7274 8707
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Hamlet
Year Ground Opened: 2002
Home Kit: Navy Blue and Pink

Main Stand Side
Main Stand Side
Bishop End
Bishop End
Main Stand and Bishop End
Main Stand and Bishop End
Main Stand
Main Stand
Wandle End
Wandle End
Looking Towards The Bishop End
Looking Towards The Bishop End
Main Stand External View
Main Stand External View

KNK Stadium SignAlthough a relatively modern ground, having opened in 2002, it does have a bit of character from the striking striped exterior of the Main Stand, to the odd-looking terrace covers at each end. The smart looking Main Stand on one side of the pitch, is all seated and covered. It is free of any supporting pillars, meaning that supporters get a good view of the playing action. There is a glassed frontage area at the back of the stand for club offices and the stadium announcer. The Main Stand runs for about half the length of the pitch and sits astride the halfway line. The roof of the stand is pitched quite high up as it is attached to a large building behind, which almost extends the full length of the pitch. Normally such buildings located so close to the stadium would normally be a bit of an eyesore, but this building has a modern look and does not look out of place. The team dugouts are located in front of the Main Stand, on either side of the Players Tunnel. The other side of the ground is mostly a strip of a flat standing pathway that runs behind the pitch perimeter fence. Towards the middle, it does have a couple of concrete steps and some old railway sleepers for fans to stand on. 

Both ends are virtually identical being two good sized terraces that are tall and have a portion of cover behind each goal. The covers on each of these ends are quite striking with their angled cantilevered roofs. Although they do provide some cover on a largely open terrace, then oddly they do not have any retaining back wall and hence are open to the elements, meaning that wind and rain can blow into the stand from the rear. The stadium has a set of eight floodlights four of which run down each side of the ground. 

Dulwich Hamlet have been groundsharing with Tooting & Mitcham FC, since March 2018, after they were forced to leave their Champion Hill Ground by their Landlords. The Imperial Fields Ground was renamed the KNK Stadium in early 2018 in a corporate sponsorship deal.

Welcome To Dulwich Hamlet FC SignDulwich Hamlet are a well-supported club, which can make for a good atmosphere. Normally visiting fans are made welcome and a sign of this is that fans are very rarely segregated at the ground. Imperial Fields must be the only ground that has a fast food outlet on one corner called the Shak which sells Carribean Food. It offers matchday specials, so if Jerk Chicken or Goat Curry takes your fancy then this is the place to head for. If you are more traditional in your food tastes, then inside the ground you can sample a range of Pukka Pies; Steak, Chicken and Mushroom, Beef and Onion (all £2.50) and Sausage Rolls (£1.50).

There is a small club bar inside the Main Stand, that is accessed from the car park. The bar which has a large screen and shows televised sports normally welcomes visiting supporters. Just under a ten minute walk away from the stadium on London Road in Mitcham (and close to the Mitcham tram stop), is the Casuarina Bar & Restaurant. The bar shows Sky & BT Sports and also has a beer garden. If arriving at Mitcham Junction Station that not too far away on Carshalton Road is the Crown of Mitcham which also offers reasonably priced food. The Imperial Fields Ground is about a twenty five minute walk from the pub. On reaching the top of the station approach, turn left and the Crown is further down this road on the right.

Leave the M25 at Junction 8 and take the A217 towards Sutton and London. Keep on the A217 for just under 11 miles passing Sutton and Cheam and then towards Mitcham. Just before reaching Mitcham itself, the entrance to Imperial Fields is on the right side of the A217, opposite a BP Petrol Station. There is a fair sized car park at the ground which is free, otherwise street parking, on side roads off the A217.

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The nearest railway station is Mitcham Junction which is just over a mile away from the Imperial Fields ground, or around a 20 minute walk. However from Mitcham Junction, (which is served by trains from London Victoria), you can take a tram to Mitcham. From the Tramlink stop the ground is about a five minute walk away. Just walk up the exit path from the tram stop to the main road, where you turn left. The entrance to Imperial Fields is further along this road on the left.

By Tube
The nearest tube station is Morden and is around a 20-25 minute walk away. It is situated on the Northern Line.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

Adults £12
Concessions £5
Under 13's Free

Concessions apply to Over 60's, Under 20's, Full Time Students, the Unemployed and current members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services and Local Authority Employees. Relevant ID may be required to be shown as proof of status.

Official Matchday Programme £2

Tooting & Mitcham

Record Attendance
3,321 v Hendon
Isthmian Premier Division Play-Off Final
7th May 2018

Average Attendance
2017-2018: 1,317 (Isthmian Premier League)

If there is anything that needs to be updated or if you have something to add to the Guide to the Imperial Fields in Mitcham then please email me at: duncan@footballgroundguide.com.

Dulwich Hamlet v Gloucester City
National League South
Saturday 25th August 2018 3pm
Myles Munsey (Groundhopper)

Reasons for visit
Another ground to add to my growing collection of National League venues. But there was a lot more to my visit than just ground ticking. I have been very pleased to see this historic club reach level 6 of the football pyramid. Therefore a visit sooner or later was anticipated and with the forecast good I set off for leafy South London suburbia to see the Hamlet in action. After a slow start at this level, I was eager to see how they got on.

Getting there
An easy journey from London Victoria to Mitcham Junction. I did not pursue the tram option (saving that for later) but instead found an attractive walking route to the ground that takes a little longer (25 minutes), but is delightful at least in the latter stages. Arriving from London turn left out of Mitcham Junction station and follow the slope up to the main road. Turn left again and follow the road down. Cross to the opposite pavement at the lights – you need to - and carry on to the ‘Crown’ pub. Turn right and shortly after crossing the river Wandle turn right again. Follow the cycle and path to the stadium along the river. This section is surprisingly rural as the path meanders along the banks of the watercourse.

First impressions
The KNK Stadium is a ground that looms large, is modern and therefore not a world-beater for the style. It does not, however, overpower you. What I liked though was the way in which it settles well into the surroundings and more to the point the friendly supporters and staff who made me feel most comfortable. It does have proper terraces though and this for me makes all the difference even if I did sit in the very comfortable main stand. This had excellent legroom (lack of is my usual complaint) and a perfect view of the action. Dulwich are a well-supported club and it was nice to see those terraces thronged with pink and blue. Naturally, they changed ends at half time which of course at this level is a tradition.

Before the game
There is a small café on Mitcham Junction station which suited my needs admirably. When finished I made my way to the ground along the pretty route just described. I noticed some high ground to the side of the stadium and spotting a vantage point for photographs investigated the possibilities. The spot afforded a splendid view out over the pitch and over to the big stand opposite (yes a few non-payers do gather there) and got chatting to some fans sat up there soaking up the sun. I paid a mere £5.00 for entry (OAP rate!) and purchased a programme and a ‘donations please’ team sheet. Once inside I met a German couple from Hamburg for whom Dulwich is their second team. Oddly they were carrying an inflatable palm tree and a blow-up pink flamingo. Well, I suppose pink has to come into it somewhere. My palm tree decorated casual shirt suddenly gained acceptance!

KNK Stadium

KNK Stadium Dulwich Hamlet

The game
The chill of autumn was noticeable every time the sun disappeared but when it emerged it was bordering on hot. Ominously the programme notes focussed on ‘good play – failure to kill the game off’ for the home side in their first few outings. And that regrettably was the outcome. Neither dull nor a thriller, the whole affair was settled just as I had resumed my seat after half time. A neat header from Noah Smerdon on 47 minutes decided this one. Dulwich had chances, but the final ball was lacking and too many easy crosses were gobbled up by the confident hands of Matt Yates. So 1-0 to Gloucester but it could easily have gone the other way.

My Photographic Vantage Point In The Distance

Imperial Fields

Getting away
In order to make the 17.21 train back to Victoria, I selected the tram option which is quick and easy. I comfortably made the 18.30 from Paddington back home to Newbury. 

Overall thoughts
Again a thoroughly enjoyable day out even if the game was a little flat at times. Dulwich are having a bit of bother adjusting to this level one feels. I sincerely hope they will soon climb that table. The dog count was two this time around and plenty of pints balanced on the front rail. Give me National-League South (or North) any day!

And finally
The pink strip does take a bit of getting used to and there is probably a pub quiz question in there somewhere about pink strips. So be it – I like a bit of variety.

Tooting & Mitcham United v Wingate & Finchley
Isthmian Premier League
Saturday 10th February 2018, 3pm
Andreas Lemonides (Wingate & Finchley)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Imperial Fields Ground?
 
I was looking forward to it because it is a simple journey down the Northern Line and as we played them at home on the Tuesday before.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
From Morden underground station, I took the 118 bus (towards Brixton) to Bishopsford Road bus stop. I then did the 1 minute walk to the stadium which is extremely easy to find from the bus stop.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I went to the bar to socialise with other Wingate & Finchley fans who I normally see. They show live football at the bar (Tottenham - Arsenal on that day) and also it's where everyone was before the game. I didn't talk to that many other away fans but they said hello to us. I did see home fans talking to some other Wingate & Finchley fans.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Imperial Fields Stadium?
 
Imperial Fields has a modern and quite tall Main Stand. It also had two roofed terraces which didn't feel tight inside because there is quite a bit of space between the top row and the roof. These terraces were quite high.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
We lost 2-0 and didn't play that well. The atmosphere was good as both teams' fans were making noise. The stewards were extremely relaxed and were only talking between each other about the game. I didn't get any food but one of my friends got some Jamaican pasty from the food stall called "The Shak" and he said it tasted very nice.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I took the 118 bus from Bishopsford Road bus stop towards Morden (Morden was where it terminated) which only took about 10 minutes. I then took the Northern Line back up to North London.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I would rate it about 6/10. Of course, the result wasn't good (from a Wingate fan's point of view) but I liked the Imperial Fields Stadium, transport and just the general feeling of going to a football match. I would come back if we play against either Tooting & Mitcham or Dulwich Hamlet.

Why not write your own review of the Imperial Fields and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

* This is the stadium address. The Club correspondence address is 11 Fairmont Close, Belvedere, Kent, DA17 5LY

Updated 3rd September 2018

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