Dulwich Hamlet 2 - 1 Thurrock
A hard fought contest sees Dulwich Hamlet take the points
The afternoon began with a magnificent classy gesture from Dulwich Hamlet as the visiting Thurrock fans were given free admission to today’s game and chairman Liam Hickey gave a lovely speech from the heart.
But sentiment was put to one side as the whistle went, Joel Nouble ghosted his way to the bye-line in the first minute to win a corner. A short corner and the ball is moved to the centre of the pitch just outside the D for James Goode to connect and draw a good diving save from Tangara in the Dulwich goal.
Ten minutes in and Dulwich get two on one with Ben McNamara but a double save keeps the game goal-less. Further chances for Hamlet are spurned by a combination of poor finishes and fine goalkeeping before Joe Oseyemi gives away a free kick half way into the half. Ashley Carew curls the ball round the wall and into the side netting to open the scoring.
Another save from McNamara before Ellis Brown and Joel Nouble link up before Charlie Stimson sets Remi Sutton to fire the ball in but cleared. Jordan Clark gathers and feeds the ball back between defenders but Dulwich are able to shepherd the ball behind for a goal kick.
On the half hour Dulwich have a penalty shout as Allessani and Connor Weston are shoulder to shoulder with the Dulwich man staying on his feet until he gets in the area, referee Michael Smith is well positioned and waves play on. The ball comes downfield to Nouble who jinks his way in from the wing evading five or so tackles before shooting low into the right hand corner but bizarrely the ref pulls play back for an earlier foul and the goal doesn’t count.
Reise Allassani and Ben McNamara seem to have been having their own private battle throughout the first half with the Thurrock custodian coming out on top and before the half is out McNamara pulls out another couple of saves to keep Thurrock in touching distance.
Half Time: Dulwich Hamlet 1 – 0 Thurrock
The second half begins much the same as the first with Nouble taking on the defence on the left wing and getting into the area before being fouled and there is no hesitation in the penalty decision. Jordan Clark places the ball, walks back then on the whistle runs forwards and sends Tangara the wrong way to level the score.
Thurrock’s tails are up and in as much as McNamara kept Thurrock in contention in the first half then it is Tangara who does the same for Hamlet as he first blocks a goalbound blast from Sutton from 18 yards before swiftly regaining his feet to stand tall to deny Brown’s follow up shot.
Hamlet swarm forwards and Thurrock’s defence are robust and resolute and concede a corner, Rickie Hayles rises highest and heads just over.
Connor Weston making his debut start brings the ball forward and then lays back to Sutton who has shadowed the centre half’s run. Sutton plays a tidy 1-2 with Stimson and pulls the ball back for the bye-line where it’s taken off Brown’s toes.
It’s the last action for Weston as he pulls up and is replaced by Michael Pindy with Clark dropping back in to defence. Pindy is soon active down the right wing pulling the ball square for Brown passing onto Nouble to play the ball into Sutton’s path, his shot blocked for a corner. Another short corner to Nouble who then sets Brown to fire hard and low across the face of goal inches beyond Pindy. Dulwich break at pace to win a corner and again Hayles goes close denied again by McNamara at point blank range.
Pindy battles again with Nathan Green and puts the ball onto Stimson’s head to nod in only to see another goal chalked off as a free kick is awarded to Dulwich. Another chance for Thurrock as Lewwis Spence floats in a free kick for Sutton to glance just wide of the post.
Dulwich Hamlet get their winner ten minutes from time. McNamara pulls off another double save but this time the corner results in a goalmouth scramble that ends as Nathan Green forces the ball into the net.
Thurrock press hard to get a point from the game but the Dulwich defence stand firm and take all three points.
The spirit of the game is perhaps summed up by a tweet after the game. “@ThurrockFC we are sorry about your plight and end of season decision. Therefore even more impressive to see @ThurrockFC players being professional and passionate, even as the light fades on a mighty club that will be greatly missed”
Thurrock: Ben McNamara, Connor Weston (Michael Pindy 62), Remi Sutton, Joe Oseyemi (Reece Cave 83), James Goode, George Winn, Jordan Clark, Lewwis Spence, Charlie Stimson (Timothy Ogunrinde 83), Ellis Brown, Joel Nouble
Unused: Toby Smith
Next Match: Tue 17th Apr | Thurrock vs Folkestone Invicta
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