Damian's double sinks the Islanders
Dulwich were on fire on a sizzling day at Champion Hill as Canvey Island’s Gulls were shot down in style.
Dulwich Hamlet 3 Canvey Island 0
Saturday, 8th August 2015
Ryman Premier League
Though Dulwich’s defence bore a slightly unfamiliar look with recent arrival Osei Sankofa partnering Matt Drage at the heart of defence and multiple player of the year Ethan Pinnock moving wide to fill the left back role vacated by FRazer Shaw departure to Leyton Orient in the summer, the team was very much as to be expected with only Albert Jarrett sidelined by suspension and Jacob Erskine still nursing an injury from preseason.
If the stifling heat had the nearly 900 strong crying out for liquid refreshment in vast quantities, it seemed to have little impact on the Dulwich players. Off at full steam, it took just three minutes for the Hamlet to make their mark on the game with the opening goal. A sweeping pass out of the middle of the park from Ashley Carew saw Calum Willock cantering away from in pursuit. Canvey custodian Jake Larkins hesitated too long, Willock clipped the ball over the ‘keeper, darted past him and nonchalantly rolled the ball in the net. The season was up and running.
WIth the dynamic duo of Danny Waldren and Ashley Carew orchestrating things in the middle of the park, Damien Scannell lively in the vanguard behind Willock and the wingmen of Nyren Clunis and Jordan Hibbert penetrating down the flanks, it seemed as if Dulwich were well on course to avenge last season’s 3-0 beating at hands of the Gulls. Yet danger from the visitors did occasionally manifest itself. Martin Tuohy, a proven goalscorer in his days with AFC Hornchurch looked a threat, a pinpoint tackle from Pinnock denying him. Best of the chances fell to Ozzy Adeniji who called Phil Wilson into rare action with a low shot that the big Hamlet ‘keeper got down to well.
Five minutes before the break Dulwich had a second with a peach of goal straight out of the training manual. Carew delivered the perfect corner, Scannell showed all the nous as he peeled off his marker, rose and bulleted an unstoppable header to put the Hamlet two goals to the good at the interval.
The second half belonged to the Hamlet as they turned the screw on their hapless opponents. Willock could, perhaps should, have bagged more to boost his tally. A volley skimmed wide, a header from perfect Waldron cross flew just over when it seemed easier to find the net. The overworked Larkins between the sticks certainly earned his corns with a vbarce of agile stops to deny Clunis before Carew miscued an attempted chip over the goalkeeper that might have put the tin hat on things.
Those missed opportunities might have come back to haunt them had Touhy made more of a rare opening that fell his way with a quarter hour remaining. Cutting in from the flanks Ashley Dumas drove a powerful shot in low and hard. wilson kept that out was a smart save but the ball dropped to Touhy whose follow up effort looked destined for the back of the net until Drage slid across to block.
No wind down in the closing phases with Scannell pumped up to the max and turning back the years. DEnied a goal with four minutes on the clock after Steve Sheehan had found the extra gas to spectacularly clear his deft chip over Larkins off the line, Scannell was not to be thwarted again. The 90 minutes were up as substitute Kristian Campbell drove in a rasping cross from the left wing, too hot for Larkins to handle and pouncing first was Scannell who hammered the loose ball into the roof of the net.
No stopping in stoppage time as Scannell celebrated what he and the ecstatic home fans thought was the hattrick goal, nipping in behind the defence to finish smartly only for the assistant’s raised flag to cut those celebrations short. Though Canvey’s sun beamed a little brighter in the final throes, Sheehan’s header just creeping over the bar, the Dulwich opening day party was now in full swing. With only 45 (or 43) games to go the top of the table had a Pink and Blue tinge to it, albeit alphabetically!
Dulwich Hamlet: Phil Wilson, Mitchell Nelson, Ethan Pinnock, Danny Waldren, Matt Drage, Osei Sankofa, Nyren Clunis, Ashley Carew (Charlie Penny 77), Calum Willock (Kristian Campbell 86), Damian Scannell, Jordan Hibbert (Jack Dixon 69)
Subs not used: Josh Fernandes, Jamie Mascoll
Canvey Island: Jake Larkins, Tambeson Eyong, Ashley Dumas, Omarr Lawson (Charlie Barlow 63),Steve Sheehan, John Easterford, Jay Curran, Glenn Poole, Dan Gilchrist (Harrison Chatting 77), Martin Tuohy, Ozzy Adeniji (Marlon Agyakwa 63)
Subs not used: Jake Pitty, Flo Gislette
Referee: Thomas Ramsey (Chelmsford, Essex)
Assistant Referees: David Lunani ( Bromley, Kent) & Alexander Kyriacou (Enfield, Middlesex)