Erskine's Arrow and Carew's curler settle it for the Hamlet
Two goals straight out of the top drawer saw Dulwich to victory over National League South Hayes and Yeading United
Hayes and Yeading United 1 Dulwich Hamlet 2
Pre-Season Challenge Match
Saturday 1st August 2015
Dulwich Hamlet may not have clinched a place in the newly renamed National League South last season but another bright, promising performance albeit against one of the division’s strugglers in the last campaign showed that the potential to achieve that higher status is surely within the grasp of Gavin Rose’s refashioned squad.
With a game being played on the 3G pitch in the shadow of the as-yet unfinished Warren, it was clear that the management were adverse to risk some of those players carrying knocks and so the Hamlet rear-guard bore an unfamiliar look. Oshane Brown, still struggling to shake an injury, returned between the sticks whilst Matt Drage was partnered at centre half by Osei Sankofa who began his career at Charlton Athletic more than a decade ago. This saw Ethan Pinnock shift out to left back whilst Jordan Hibbert came in on the opposite side. Danny Waldren and Ashley Carew took on midfield engine room whilst Albert Jarrett and Nyren Clunis controlled the flanks with Damian Scannell sitting behind the forward prong of Jacob Erskine up front.
Dulwich were quickly into their stride with home ‘keeper Charlie Crowley having to be at his best to push away Carew’s goalbound free kick. However he stood no chance when Erskine fired Hamlet ahead with just 8 minutes on the clock. Using his physical presence to make light of the last defender, Erskine let rip from the edge of the area, his steamer of a shot blistering the air as it beat young Crowley low down at his left hand upright to put Dulwich in front.
The hosts threatened briefly but to no avail and Dulwich were on the offensive once more with Clunis haring into the box only for Crowley to deny him as he smothered the ball at his feet.
A rash challenge 20 yards out gave Hayes and Yeading an opportunity with a free kick, Brown almost beaten as the ball flicked off the defensive wall and dropped just over the crossbar. Harry Grant, denied by that, almost redeemed himself as he met the following corner with a crisp volley but Brown held on to the effort well.
Dulwich lost Erskine in the 26th minute as he seemed to twist a knee meeting a long ball with a volley just over Crowley’s crossbar. This meant a reshuffle with Jack Dixon replacing the injured striker and Scannell becoming the main focus of the attack. He did not disappoint, rice denied by the overworked Crowley, first with a block at his feet then tipping over a long distance drive. With Carew also going close with a volley from a half cleared corner it was the Hamlet who ended the half clearly in the ascendancy.
United made five changes at the break, for Dulwich it was as you were. The fresh legs definitely shifted the momentum with Hayes and Yeading starting to gain the upper hand in the second half. However for all their possession play, there seemed little in the way of opportunity for the hosts to break through a resilient Hamlet. Indeed it would be Dulwich that would further extend their lead shortly before the hour mark.
The man in black had been confounding those of all persuasions with some of his decisions throughout but there was no doubt that the foul on Scannell some 25 yards out from goal was worthy of punishment. And punishment was exacted in the form of a delicious free kick from Carew, his signature shot curled up and over the wall leaving Crowley watching in awe as the ball nestled just inside his left-hand upright.
Scannell went close for the Hamlet whilst Dixon dragged a shot beyond the far post after linking up well with the same player. Sandwiched between these Rhys Murrell-Williamson put a shot over the goal from a good opening. The Hayes and Yeading man did better when meeting a right wing delivery with a neat volley but was thwarted as Brown pushed the effort wide of the goal.
With a dozen minutes left on the clock the hosts made a breakthrough as Murrell-Williamson pulled the ball in from the left to find Tom Collins. With his back to goal turned and drilled the ball home to narrow the margin. Nervous moments now as the hosts found extra energy, Dulwich battling to keep their lead in the final throes of the game. Somehow the ball was blocked on the line as Collins attempted to find the net in a goalmouth scramble. Yet Dulwich held firm to claim victory.
Hayes & Yeading United: Charlie Crowley; Jim Fenlon; Max Worsfold; Lewis Ferrell; Ben Gerring; Devante McKain; Luke Williams ©; Tyrell Miller-Rodney; Elliot Benyon; Ismael Ehui; Harry Grant
Substitutes used: Ed Sanders; Rhys Murrell-Williamson; Evans Kouassi; Joachim Ehui; Jhai Dhillon; Tom Collins; Howard Hall; Michael Thalassitis
Dulwich Hamlet: Oshane Brown; Jordan Hibbert; Ethan Pinnock; Danny Waldren ©; Matt Drage; Osei Sankofa; Nyren Clunis; Ashley Carew; Jacob Erskine; Damian Scannell; Albert Jarrett
Substitutes used: Jack Dixon; Calum Willock; Josh Fernandes; Jamie Mascoll