Too Little Too Late Can't Repair First Half Damage
Dulwich produced an appalling opening 45 minutes that saw them arrive at half time four goals and a man down.
Some woeful defending in the opening half saw Dulwich all but surrender any chance of making it through to the final qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The Hamlet were quickly a goal down as the defence dithered and allowed Alfie Rutherford to curl the ball around Preston Edwards from the edge of the penalty area in just the 4th inute.
Worse could have happened in the 14th minute but the Assistant's offside flag saved Dulwich after more inability to clear the ball. However, that warning wasn't heeded and two m inutes later they were two goals down. Ryan Hall taking advantage of more inability to clear the ball by thumping it over Preston Edwards from 20 yarsd out.
The Hamlet finally showed some signs of stringing a cohesive move together as Dipo Akinyemi got away on the right but home defender Gardiner managed to cut out his cross, and miss his own goal by inches, with Gavin Tomlin waiting behind him to tuck it home.
If the fans thought this represented a sign of The Hamlet fighting back, they could not have been more wrong as just two minutes later Rutherford was brought down in the box and Dean Cox sent Edwards the wrong way from the spot.
If being three goals behind wasn't bad enough, Iffy Allen then got himself sent off for a tackle on Dean Cox that the home player milked to the maximum, and this was closely followed by a 4th goal in the 43rd minute as Ryan Hall was allowed time and space to slot past an unsighted Edwards .
In fact, it took a fine save from Preston Edwards right on half time to prevent it becoming five.
Half Time 4-0
The second half was almost a non event for the first 28 minutes. Eastbourne seemed content with their afternoon's work, safe in the knowledge they had done enough to win and Dulwich could still find no fluency.
However, signs of Dulwich pulling a goal back grew and Nathan Ferguson just failed to get on the end of a 73rd minute cross from Nyren Clunis, with the goal gaping.
Walker missed a good chance for the home side as Preston Edwards was forced to head clear, but the Eastbourne forward's volley was a good 10 yards wide of goal.
Six minutes later, The Hamlet pulled back what seemed to be little more than a consolation. Dominic Vose delivered a corner from the right and Dipo Akinyemi half-volleyed past Smith in the home goal.
Four minutes later, Nyren Clunis pulled back another goal as Quade Taylor's ball forward tempted Smith to the edge of the box and Clunis nipped in to beat him and roll a shot into the unguarded net.
Just two minutes later, the most improbable of comebacks became a possibility. Dipo Akinyemi played a through ball to KIngsley Eshum, newly signed on work experience from QPR, and the youngster stayed composed to roll the ball past Smith.
Now there was a sense of panic in the home ranks as they tried to run the clock down and Smith had to race from his goal to clear , although Akinyemi almost charged down the clearance.
Magnus Okuonghae and Michael Chambers went forward but Okuonghae was only able to shoot too high from the only further chance created.
Final Score 4-3