HAMLET PUSH YOUNG EAGLES CLOSE
A full blooded game just shaded by the Palace as Dulwich go down by the odd goal in five
Dulwich Hamlet 2 Crystal Palace 3
Tuesday 29th July 2014
Palace under 21s may have lacked the star names of last season’s encounter but once more Dulwich’s clash with their Premier League neighbours produced a rip-roaring evening of football enjoying by a healthy four-figure crowd. It was dingdong stuff with attacking football to the fore but while the Headmaster is away, the kids can run riot in the playground, Palace head honcho Tony Pulis not known for his flamboyant football!
After most of most experienced squad had sat out the Saturday sauna at Whyteleafe, Dulwich boss Gavin Rose’s starting line-up saw only Iñigo Echepare and Nyren Clunis retained from that last victory. Meanwhile in the visitors line-up amidst the future stars had been included the experienced Stephen Dobbie and new signing Frazier Campbell, picking up for a bargain £600k from Cardiff City.
If the Eaglets defence though they might be in for a quiet evening, they were given an early alarm call as Clunis darted in behind the Palace defence to connect with a long ball, his shot saved by David Gregory. Palace’s response came through Reise Allassani who capitalised on a slip by Ethan Pinnock only for his shot to be blocked. Again, Clunis slipped the leash of defence, setting the ball up for Dean Lodge. His effort had the beating of Gregory but the Palace keeper had a saviour in the shape of Sam Magri was cleared the ball off the line with a deft header.
The Hamlet continued to flow forward and with Ashley Carew the instigator, the ball was swept forward via Laurent Hamici to Clunis. A swinging cross looked to have picked out Lodge again, but he could not quite connect with a diving full-length header.
On the quarter hour came the first of the evening’s goal and it was a peach with right back Mandela Egbo finding the back of the net with an outrageous lob from the edge of the area, after Allassani had denied by Echepare one-on-one moments beforehand.
Spraying the ball about with supreme confidence, Dulwich might have been level when Carew smashed a shot in on goal only for Gregory to excel himself with a fine save. However, the Palace stopper was powerless to prevent Laurent Hamici squaring up the scores on 22 minutes as the Hamlet striker got the better of Luke Croll, his shot bulleted past past Gregory, whose touch on the ball proved all in vain as the ball found the top corner of the net.
Dulwich were within a whisker of taking the lead as Lodge attempted an audacious overhead kick, the shot deflected wide, whilst Sullay KaiKai did all the hard work in the build-up, his fancy footwork deceiving the Dulwich defence, only for the final execution to lack accuracy as his forceful drive whizzed over the crossbar.
As half time drew near, Dulwich found themselves with a penalty as the man in black spotted an infringement in the box as Kevin James’ corner swung in. The job of dispatching the spot kick fell to Ashley Carew once more and there was no mistake as Gregory was sent the wrong way.
However, it was but a brief lead as Palace swept forward in fine fashion, Allassani nicking the ball off Kershaney Samuels before slipping the ball through to the cantering Campbell. Some might have expected a shot but Campbell proved selfless, tucking the ball back in the path of KaiKai who had the simplest task of home from a few feet out almost as the half time whistle blew.
Half time saw the withdrawal of Palace’s star names, Campbell and Dobbie along with fullback Mathew George who had struggled against Dulwich pace on his flank. Two minutes in the second half and one of the replacements, Morgan Ferrier, was given a chance to put the Eaglets back in front after KaiKai went to ground in the box. However, Ferrier gave his spot kick too much welly, the ball cracking against the crossbar and off in the Dulwich dusk.
The sultry evening and the frequent changes meant the breakneck pace of the first became difficult to maintain, Palace’s defence with Ghass Sow at the helm stood strong against the Hamlet attacks with Gregory able to enjoy a breather after his exertions of the first 45 minutes. There was close call when Pinnock’s attempted cross almost caught out the Glaziers’ custodian, Gregory back wheeling to tip over but few moments of true danger.
Palace might have felt they deserved another chance to put away a penalty kick after Sow went to ground in the box after tangling with the Dulwich defence but the man in black was having nothing of it.
As the pace began to take its toll in the latter stages, Palace finally found a winner on 72 minutes. KaiKai charge down the left saw his ball whipped into the area, the ball not cleared and Kyle de Silva pouncing to smack the ball home with a tasty volley on the turn.
More goals might have been cruel on the Hamlet though Femi Akinwande was unfortunate not to find the net after he curled one out from 20 yards, beating Echepare but hitting the upright.
CPFC: David Gregory; Mandela Egbo; Mathew George (Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong HT); Ghass Sow (Capt.); Sam Magri (Ryan Inniss 60); Luke Croll (Michael Chambers 60); Reise Allassani; Elijah Gabsi (Sonny Black 60); Frazier Campbell (Morgan Ferrier HT).; Stephen Dobbie (Kyle de Silva HT); Sullay KaiKai
DHFC: Iñigo Echepare; Michael Kamara; Marlon Patterson (Lewis Gonsalves 63); Ashley Carew; Terrell Forbes; Ethan Pinnock; Nyren Clunis (Ashley-Paul Robinson 69); Kevin James (Xavier Vidal 63); Laurent Hamici; Kershaney Samuels (Emiliano Hysi 80); Dean Lodge (Abdul Mansaray 79)
Subs not used: Solomon Bangura; Kareem Boyle