Dulwich Hamlet returned from their first away games of preseason with two victories: a 2-1 win against Chester and a 4-2 comeback over Marine.
Given that Chester compete at the same level as us, it was a good opportunity to see how this newly assembled Dulwich side is coming along and for Gavin Rose this was perfect preparation for the upcoming season.
“They were very fit and they moved the ball well and they were aggressive. I felt like that was good for us because we reacted quite well to it”, Rose said of our first opponents. “I think at the start we were probably quite surprised at their approach but we reacted really well and competed well, and we started to pass the ball.”
As they had in the Colchester game, Dulwich preserved a clean sheet in the first half and it took two second half goals from new striker Danny Mills to secure the win over Chester.
“We’ve come away with a good result and obviously it’s [still] preseason but the main thing is that we were competitive at this stage of the year”, Rose continued. “That game could have easily been a league game. We’re only two weeks into the preseason so I think it’s a credit to both teams in terms of our fitness levels on the day.”
The Marine friendly on Saturday followed a rather different pattern and Dulwich found themselves behind early on. “I was slightly disappointed with the boys who started the game, I think they’re capable of a lot more than what they showed in the first 45 to 60 minutes”, he said. “We gave away a penalty which was silly and then the second goal was cheap, a free header in the box. Generally our performance wasn’t great; it was a bit slow and a bit lethargic, which was disappointing.”
Rose rang the changes during the second half and they paid off, with Dulwich scoring four times in the final 18 minutes to defeat Marine 4-2.
“We made a few changes at different times. The boys that came on showed a bit of an insight into the value that they will bring”, he said. “We were lucky enough to get the goals - there’s no guarantee you’re going to get them but I think our play deserved a decent reward and a bit of respect out of it.”
Mills added two more to his tally, while Ade Yusuff and Ben Chapman were also on the scoresheet. The addition of David Ijaha and Christian Smith also helped to sure up Dulwich’s midfield in the second half.
While this Dulwich contains many new players who are still getting to know each other on and off the pitch, the North West tour presented an opportunity for the squad to bond ahead of the 2019/20 campaign. Rose was pleased to see the team starting to gel as a unit.
“It’s good in terms of bonding, we’ve got some good characters and personalities”, he said. “We took a little bit more time in recruiting them this year because we knew the personalities were just as important as the ability and I think that’s going to stand us in good stead. This trip in particular’s been good, I think they’ve had a good time and got valuable minutes out of it as well.”
Following on from the weekend’s success, Dulwich are back at Champion Hill tomorrow night as they take on Bromley at 7:45pm.
Tickets for the Bromley game available to purchase here.
Season tickets are still available to purchase and give holders half price entry to all of Dulwich's remaining pre-season games.
Buy Season Tickets HERE
Full details can be found here.
Photo: Ollie Jarman