Sweeney scores stunner but Crook helps Police nick it
A disappointing defeat for Dulwich as they miss the chance to grab top spot after Police reverse
Dulwich Hamlet 1 Metropolitan Police 2
Ryman League Premier Division
Tuesday 13th October 2015
Dulwich Hamlet missed the chance to go top of the table as they went down 2-1 to the Met Police in a game that attracted much coverage beyond the bounds of Champion Hill for the names of the scorers.
Full credit must be given to the Met, who played far above the shadow of a side that Dulwich had so comprehensively beaten in the previous league meeting at Imber Court just a fortnight earlier. However, Dulwich must have been sorely disappointed with their own performance in a game that the points should have been secured such was the share of play that the men in Pink and Blue enjoyed. Then again it will not be often that the Hamlet will run into a ‘keeper like Thomas Williams, playing out of his skin and making some out-of-this-world saves, nor will the small matter of a penalty denied rest easy.
The Dulwich Hamlet starting XI showed just one change from that which had won so well away to Farnborough on Saturday afternoon. Back came Matt Drage into the starting line-up with Mitchell Nelson dropping to the bench. After an even but uneventful opening spell, the contest bust onto life in the 23rd minute when Met ‘keeper Williams sprang to turn around his post a fiercely struck shot from Rhys Murrell-Williamson. Matt Drage then outjumped everyone from the resultant corner, nit planted his header over the crossbar. Restricted to breakaways the Met still had their threats with one such chance leading to an opportunity for Joe Turner moving in from the left, but shit was scuffed and Phil Wilson saved comfortably. Shortly afterwards, at the other end, Damian Scannell seized on a left-wing cross from Jordan Brown but a defender got in the way of his goal bound shot to block. When Dulwich did score, in the 35th minutes, the goal came rather out of the blue. Dan Sweeney made his play for Goal of the Season as he collected a pass about 30 yards out and struck a glorious right foot shot which flew past the ‘keeper and went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Seven minutes later Dan Sweeney tried his luck again from even further out but this time his effort flashed narrowly past the angle. However, bang on the stroke of halftime, the Met surprised Dulwich with an equaliser. Joe Turner skipped past the challenge of Osei Sankofa and Matt Drage on the left before pulling the ball back to the edge of the box where former Hamlet favourite Billy Crook smashed it home first time to Phil Wilson’s left.
After the interval the Met looked dangerous on the counter but the bulk of the traffic headed in the direction of Williams’ goal. The overworked Police ‘keeper saved well from Rhys Murrell-Williamson, then topped that as he stretched backwards to tip over a dipping effort from Damian Scannell. On 74 minutes came a moment of controversy as, in turning a defender in the box, Calum Willock was sent to the floor with a clumsy challenge. No penalty signalled the man in black as paly was waved on.
Minutes later Williams did well to hold on to a long-range free kick from Ashley Carew before a shot from Calum Willock was deflected high of the bar.
It appeared as if the game would peter out into a draw but with 5 minutes left, the Met countered to clinch the points. Ethan Pinnock made an excellent last-ditch tackle to thwart substitute Ifeanyi Onwuachu as he shaped to shoot on the edge of the box but the ball ran free to Joe Turner galloping down the far touchline. With space to spare, Turner cut inside and drilled a low shot beyond the dive of Phil Wilson to find the far bottom corner of the net. Even then Dulwich might have equalised in stoppage time as cross from substitute Jordan Hibbert was nodded agonisingly wide by Danny Waldren. Soon after Ethan Pinnock embarked on a run from the halfway line, defenders backing off as he turned towards goal. A slick low shot skidded across the box striking the base of the post. As Danny Waldren met the rebound with a fierce shot somehow Williams pulled off the most astounding save to batter the ball over at point-blank range.
Dulwich Hamlet: Phil Wilson; Osei Sankofa (Jordan Hibbert 80); Jordan Brown; Danny Waldren; Matt Drage; Ethan Pinnock; Dan Sweeney; Ashley Carew; Jacob Erskine (Calum Willock 66); Damian Scannell; Rhys Murrell-Williamson
Subs note used: Josh Fernandes; Jamie Mascoll; Mitchell Nelson
Metropolitan Police: Thomas Williams; Elliot Taylor; Mekhail McLaughlin; Billy Crook; Steve Sutherland; Jordan Cheadle; Taureen Roberts (Sam Butler 75); Nikki Ahamed (Ethan Chislett 86); Charlie Collins (Ifeanyi Onwuachu 82); Nathan Campbell; Joe Turner
Subs not used: Luke Robertson; Scott Tarr (GK)
Dulwich Hamlet: Dan Sweeney (35)
Metropolitan Police: Billy Crook (45); Joe Turner (86)