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For the first Saturday home game of 2017 a bumper crowd of 1960 flocked to Champion Hill and were rewarded with a home victory.
This was a game that Dulwich controlled for long periods although Needham Market always looked dangerous as Dulwich were occasionally sloppy in possession.
Quade Taylor, who replaced the injured Marc Weatherstone, picked up a caution in only the 2nd minute as he hauled back Jack Simmons after the Needham player had capitalised on his mistake, before Dulwich settled and began to push forwards.
Nathan Green took up advanced positions at every opportunity as Dulwich played out from the back and looked to create an extra man in midfield.
The first shot on target saw Sanchez Ming fire in a 20 yard effort that Gay held low to his right, whilst Nathan Green had an effort deflected just wide.
It wasn't long before Dulwich took the lead as Dipo Akinyemi scored his first goal for the club this season. A slick move through midfield found Gavin Tomlin who moved the ball on to Dipo Akinyemi on the right. He advanced into the penalty area and thumped an effort over Gay to give Dulwich a 13th minute lead.
The Marketmen continued to press from the front and, as a result, a Michael Chambers mistake presented the ball to Reece Dobson but he tracked back and denied him an effort on goal and another slip saw an effort from Simmons deflected wide.
Dipo Akinyemi should have extended the lead in the 25th minute but his effort was brilliantly saved by Gay at point blank range. Akinyemi then had another effort saved after the ball had been transferred forwards by Gavin Tomlin and Ashley Carew.
Just past the half hour Needham Market forced a number of corners and free kicks but couldn't create any clear chances. Any dangerous crosses saw Preston Edwards in commanding form, getting both height and distance on his punched clearances.
As half time approached Dipo Akinyemi and Ashley Carew had efforts wide, whilst Preston Edwards made a great save with his feet when Dobson got clear after accelerating beyond the Dulwich defence.
Half Time 1-0
Dulwich came close to adding to the lead five minutes after the break. Dipo Akinyemi cut in from the left and unleashed an effort that beat Gay but came back out off the underside of the bar.
Two minutes later Michael Chambers was unable to turn in a free kick from the left by Ashley Carew after it had found him at the far post. From the resulting corner the ball was hwaded forward from the edge of the box and Matt Drage headed home but was adjudged offside.
Whilst the visitors mounted a number of quick breaks, they were unable to threaten Preston Edwards in the Dulwich goal and 20 minutes from time Dulwich thought they had got the vital second goal; Dipo Akinyemi getting above the static Gay to head in, but he was harshly adjudged to have fouled the keeper.
Ashley Carew, having created space inside the penalty area, wss denied a penalty as his foot was clipped from behind just as he was about to shoot,
As it was, Dulwich made the game safe in the 89th minute. Ashley Carew played the ball into Jacob Erskine, who had his back to goal some 10 yards out. The Dulwich substitute then used his strength to turn his marker and although Gay got a hand to the shot the power took it beyond him and into the net.
One final low save from Edwards made sure that Dulwich would see out 5 minutes of stoppage time without any alarms.
Full Time 2-0
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Updated 09:57 - 19 Feb 2017 by Liam Hickey