vs Crystal Palace
|Dulwich Hamlet||Crystal Palace|
|None||Ibra Sekajja, Rhys Williamson-Murrell|
JUST ONE OF THOSE NIGHTS AS YOUNG EAGLES EMERGE VICTORIOUS
Dulwich Hamlet 0 Crystal Palace 2
Tuesday 3rd August 2010
In front of a crowd of more than 600, the best at Champion Hill to witness a Dulwich Hamlet match for many a year, the boys in Pink and Blue found themselves on the receiving end of a footballing lesson from the young pups of Crystal Palace as fitness told in the latter stages of a fiercely competitive. The fledgling Eagles were clearly keen to put on a show for the boss with manager George Burley and his number two, Dougie Freedman, amongst the spectators as the Glaziers moved ever closer to the opening of their Championship campaign.
Early doors the Hamlet gave as good as they got though the Eaglets shooting was clearly the more accurate with big Dave King the busier of the two custodians as Palace tested him twice in the first ten minutes through Alassane N'Diaye and a stinger from Jaser Kasim. From the resultant corner, a towering header from Ibra Sekajja lopped against the top of the crossbar. Dulwich responded first through Gerry Gonnella with one that zipped wide from distance then through the nippy Nyren Clunis who cross cum shot from the flanks drifted uncomfortably close to the back stick for the liking of the visitors' bench.
Some nervous moments midway through the half as overlapping right back Jon Williams popped one into Nathaniel Pinney in the six-yard box, his effort scrambled away off the line. A quick break from the corner, Sol Pinnock galloping away like Shergar coming down the final furlong before drilling in low strike though 'keeper Wes Fotheringham smothered the effort.
Dulwich's defence was forced into an unwanted alternation on the ½-hour mark as a hobbling Tamba Ngongou given a fireman's lift from the field after injuring an ankle. The resultant reshuffle saw David Moore shoed into an unaccustomed right back role.
The Dulwich resistance finally cracked with 10 minutes to go to the interval but what a corker of a goal it took to breach the Pink and Blue defence. A razor-sharp run from N'Diaye ripped a hole in the Hamlet midfield but Sulaiman Bangura's tackle looked to have halted the threat until one time England Schoolboy Sekajja latched onto the loose ball. No time to steady himself, instead a curling strike snaked goalwards beyond the grasp of the diving King. The net bulged, the travelling Palace hordes gave voice to might roar as much of relief as in awe of a super strike.
Moments before the break an opportunity to double the lead materialised as quicksilver winger, Kieran Djilali's mesmerising run culminated in a precision chip over the Hamlet lines and into the path of the charging N'Diaye. Only King stood between him and the goal but with glory calling, the striker fluffed his lines, spooning the ball over both 'keeper and crossbar.
The Glaziers made a bright start to the second half, having replaced Williams with the man with no name, a trialist know only as "Nico" who moved into a central midfield role. Quick corners were forced though they came to naught as Dulwich clocked in for overtime at the back.
No haggling about the star of the show as Djilali played the pied piper, the hamlet reduced to the role of shadow chasers as the highly rated wingman mesmerising with sinuous excursions into Dulwich territory. Had his gunners had their sights better trained Dulwich might have been picking the ball out of the net countless times rather than scrambling round to Greendales to retrieve yet another ball booted high into No Man's Land. A change was needed and it came in the shape of wiry Rhys Williamson-Murrell, on for goalscorer Sekajja on 65 minutes. On 67 minutes Nathaniel Pinney looked to have escaped on the right after a long pass found him in space but King stood tall and was able to clutch the shot out of the air as Pinney hurried his attempt.
However the big man stood not an earthly as glistening Glaziers' manoeuvre, started by N'Diaye, finessed by Djilali in the right pocket and finished with a flourish by Williamson-Murrell who collected the short pass from his colleague on the edge of the six yard before a pirouette and punchy shot saw King beaten.
Hamlet rang the changes and regrouped. One Pinnock off, Sol, one on, Ethan. Withdrawn too was Carlton Murray-Price who had struggled to catch the eye in the van. On too came big barneted Noir Gordon on the right wing. Fresh blood breathed fresh life into the Hamlet but they needed a sustained push to relive the siege the Eagles were laying at their door. It would not come; the Palace was too well guarded.
With 9 minutes left on the clock, the visitors had the ball in the net once more but illegally as the corner was met with a slam-dunk into the net. Fortunately for the culprit, man with no name "Nico", referee Mr Atkin chose not to brandish a card for the crime.
Williamson-Murrell botch the chance to add to the tally after zipping through a backline now shorn of skipper Francis Duku after he had been forced off with cramp to be replaced by striker Roy Odiaka as Dulwich adopted a full frontal attack mode. Fortunately for the Hamlet the Palace substitute's finishing was awry, the ball ballooned into the hinterlands.
As the game moved into stoppage time a rash challenge on N'Diaye in the box presented the striker with the opportunity to put the icing on the cake with a spot kick. However he was foiled by replacement 'keeper James Dunn who joined the goalkeeping roll of honour with a fine save to keep out the penalty kick
Dulwich Hamlet: Dave King (James Dunn 80), Tamba Ngongou (David Moore 30), Dean Carpenter, Ellis Wilson-Joseph, Francis Duku (Roy Odiaka 78), Sulaiman Bangura (Osa Obamwonyi 68), Nyren Clunis, Kalvin Morath-Gibbs, Carlton Murray-Price (Ethan Pinnock 71), Gerry Gonnella, Sol Pinnock (Noir Gordon 71)
Substitutes not used: Quaid Taylor
Crystal Palace: Wes Fotheringham, Jon Williams ("Nico" HT), Gerry Nnamani, Jack Holland, Matt Parsons, Charlie Holness, Ibra Sekajja (Rhys Williamson-Murrell, 65), Jaser Kasim, Nathaniel Pinney, Alassane N'Diaye, Kieran Djilali
Substitutes not used: Alex Winter, Charlie Mann, Kadel Daniel, Jake Caprice