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Merstham 0-2 Dulwich Hamlet

3 years ago By Liam Hickey

Dulwich maintained their perfect start to the new season with a gritty & determined performance at newly promoted Merstham.

Gavin Rose named the identical starting line up as Saturday but with Dean Lodge on the bench in place of Jamie Mascoll.

Dulwich began brightly and had early penalty claims turned down as a shot struck ex Hamlet man Michael Olarewaju on the hand. At the other end, Merstham had one effort blocked after the combative Hutchings got clear.

Dulwich were passing the ball well at this stage and it came as little surprise when they took a 14th minute lead. Damian Scannell found space on the left and his cut back struck a prostrate Calum Willock, who had been wrestled to the ground,and nestled in the goal.

Three minutes later The Hamlet almost had another as a Nyren Clunis shot was diverted on to the post by the fingertips of Daly in the home goal.

However, the home side began to dictate proceedings and Phil Wilson had to make three fine stops before the interval to preserve the lead. First he blocked a Hutchings piledriver, then make a fine tip over before he got down low to thwart the dangerous Rhule.

The closest Dulwich came to extending their advantage was an Ashley Carew free kick that flew just wide with Daly scrambling to get across .

Half-Time 0-1

Merstham kept up the pressure in the early part of the second half without bring able to create real scoring opportunities against a resolute Dulwich defence.

With The Hamlet definitely second best in midfield, manager Gavin Rose changed tactics, replacing the artistry of Carew with the industry of Dixon and bringing on Dean Lodge for his first competitive appearance since the opening day of last season.

Phil Wilson made another fine stop from a free kick but whilet Merstham were definitely in the ascendancy they were unable to fashion any clear scoring chances.

In a rare Dulwich attack, Clunis had a good chance but a heavy touch allowed Daly to take the ball off his toes; the keeper's bravery leading to him needing lengthy treatment.

In the final 15 minutes Dulwich began to wrest control from the home side and Dean Lodge created a chance for Damian Scannell but his low shot was comfortably held by Daly.

Merstham had one more clear chance but could only hit the side netting after a cross from their left evaded everybody in the box.

Their chances of levelling the game became much more difficult with 5 minutes remaining when Simon Cooper was sent off for a reckless challenge on Clunis that was unnecessarily aggressive.

As 90 minutes were up Dulwich put the game to rest with a second goal. A Phil Wilson goal kick found Clunis on the left. He advanced before finding Scannell in the box and he swivelled and rolled the ball across the keeper and just inside the far post.

There was still time for Lodge to go close twice; Okoye getting back after Daly had presented the ball to him with a poor clearance and then Daly blocking a feocious drive.

The game finished with another fine Phil Wilson save to preserve his clean sheet; the big keeper going high to his left to keep out a shot destined for the top corner..

Full Time 0-2


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First XI Welling United
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First XI Torquay United
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