Ferguson Strike Stuns Billericay
A stunning 69th minute strike secured a point for The Hamlet
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Billericay Town opened brightly with The Hamlet unable to get much of the ball in the opening quarter of an hour. However, despite this there were no alarms for Preston Edwards and, in fact, the first chance feel to Dulwich in the 16th minute.
Ashley Carew played a a ball over the top and Dipo Akinyemi sped away from ex Hamlet player Rickie Hayles, but his effort was thwarted by a fine stop from home keeper Alan Julian. Just a minute later, Dipo Akinyemi seemed to be slow to anticipate that Nathan Green would get in a great cross from the left, and it fizzed across the six yard box without any Dulwich player there to tap if into the net.
That chance having not been taken, the home side took the lead in the 19th minute. The Hamlet allowed too much space on their left and a fine cross was headed home by Ross Lafayette as he got the wrong side of Magnus Okuonghae.
Immediately following this, Dulwich were fortunate not to quickly find themselves two goals behind as they seemed unable to keep the ball for any length of time, continuously inviting Billericay to attack them.
Preston Edwards produced a great save from Emmanuel, although the Billericay player had strayed offside, and some crucial interceptions from Okuonghae denied them a clear sight of goal. The home side thought they had added a second goal in the 28th minute from a Sam Deering free kick.
The diminutive playmaker floated a free kick into the penalty area that beat everybody and nestled in the back of the net. However, one of those home players who had gone for, but missed the ball, was adjudged to have been in an offside position when the free kick was taken.
Whilst the disallowed goal was good news for The Hamlet, the sight of Preston Edwards laying injured after a collision as he tried to keep the ball out, was not such a good sight. For a time it looked like the Dulwich player would have to leave the field, but he soldiered on although unable to kick.
Although now with an injured keeper behind them, the Dulwich defence held firm as the stoppage also seemed to take the momentum out of the home team's attacking threat.
With half time imminent, Akinyemi again got the better of Hayles but his cross was just too far in front of the onrushing Nyren Clunis who, on the stretch, could only poke it wide. However, he had already been flagged offside, whilst Hayles was also left injury stricken and had to be replaced.
Half Time 1-0
The second half meandered through the first ten minutes with neither side seizing any control or gaining any momentum. Akinyemi fired over the top for The Hamlet whilst Emmanuel fluffed a header after one of many good crosses from impressive home left back Callum Kennedy.
Emmanuel went close again when hesitation in the Dulwich defence saw him get to a cross that a number of visiting players could have cleared, but around the hour mark Dulwich started to put the home side under more pressure.
In the 61st minute, Dulwich came within inches of eqaulising. A scramble in the penalty area saw Ashley Carew fire under Julian, but with pace taken off the shot, it was hacked off the line.
As Dulwich grew in confidence, Nyren Clunis turned neatly and fired an effort from 25 yards that Julian was pleased to push out, and just four minutes later they were level. A ball was played to the right of the Billericay goal and Ferguson struck the bouncing ball across Julian and in off the far post; a truly stunning strike.
Dulwich noww looked the more likely winners as they looked to get down the sides of the home defence, with Nathan Green marauding forward from his left side defensive position at every opportunity.
From one such run, Nyren Clunis just couldn't quite get on the end of a cross with the goal at his mercy.
However, in the last minute, Dipo Akinyemi was shown a straight red card for a clumsy studs up challenge as he slipped on the edge of the home penalty area, and Dulwich's ten men then had to see out a nervous 5 minutes. They escaped punishment for a free kick given away on the edge of the penalty area after Ashley Carew had lost the ball in midfield.
In fact, the ten men could have won the game but Sanchez Ming snatched at a gilt-edged chance when the ball came to him some 12 yards out, when he actually had time to control the ball and strike with his favoured right foot.
Final Score 1-1