HAMLET FEELING GOOD VIBRATIONS AS WILSON-DENNIS DOUBLE HELPS SINK 'MEAD
Thamesmead Town 0 Dulwich Hamlet 5
Pre-Season Challenge Match
Saturday 28th July 2012
A world away from the Olympians gallivanting on the gallops of Greenwich, pedalling furiously yet fruitlessly through the leafy lanes of Surrey or taking pot shots up the road in Greenwich, Dulwich Hamlet showed their own Olympian spirit. Citius, Altius, Fortius as Thamesmead Town were scattered to the four winds by a five-goal blast from a Hamlet side finally kicking into gear after a pedestrian start to the pre-season preamble.
Even from the start the difference in quality and attitude seemed marked, Thamesmead at times almost disinterested, Dulwich determined, imaginative and inventive, industrious and incisive. It took just five minutes for the first breakthrough to come as an exquisitely worked corner, the ball nicked to Erhun Otzumer, the return to Ahmed Deen who executed a deadly cross flashing high across the face of the six yard box as Joshua Turner arrived to slam a unstoppable volley in the roof of the net at the back of the box.
Soon after a charging run through the middle from Peter Adeniyi, green shirts split like dissected frogs, set the stage for the ball to be laid for Kevin James to whistle over another tempting delivery, Carl Wilson-Dennis meeting it with a crashing header but unable to keep his effort low enough. Twice more Wilson-Dennis could have added to the Hamlet's lead, reaching out his leg like Stretch Armstrong only to stab the ball wide of the back stick. Within minutes he was attacking the ball again, gamely beating the home 'keeper at the near post to James' low cross from the right, prodding the ball just the wrong side of the post. However his busy bustle would shortly be rewarded as the award of spot kick gave the Dulwich Hamlet the chance to add to their tally for the afternoon with Wilson-Dennis the wronged party when grappled to the ground by former Hamlet centre half and home skipper Lewis Tozer. Adeniyi, taking over dispatching duties from James, provided the perfect finish, the ball sublimely stroked home from the spot as the home goalie was sent the wrong way.
Almost straight from the restart Wilson-Denis was galloping through a gaping defence, only to be denied as Rob Budd extended himself to batter away his opponent's fierce effort before pouncing on the cut back as James threatened to swoop The big striker kept plugging away and was rewarded with a simple goal just after the half hour as the 'Mead defence took forty winks in the afternoon sun allowing Adeniyi to spring the offside trap. Cutting back inside a defender he unselfishly slipped the ball back to Wilson-Dennis who task of applying the finishing touch was made all the more simple by Budd's headstrong charge out of goal that had left his net open to the world, Wilson-Dennis calmly rolling the ball beyond him from 20 yards out.
A first half double was sealed five minutes later as the green defence was caught flatfooted by a floated ball beyond the backline. Serenely Wilson-Dennis captured the ball as an angler might net his prize trout, bringing it down before hitting the boost button, holding off the last defender and torpedoing a steaming strike past the cruelly exposed Budd.
With Ellis Green's on target 25 yard angled drive claimed by Budd in the closing seconds of the half, things might been even worse for the hosts before referee Mr McLeod called time on the first 45 minutes but the interval was but a short respite for the beleaguered hosts.
More of the same in the second half, Dulwich dominant, Thamesmead timorous but further goals were scant in supply, if not the number of chances. On 59 minutes the electrifying Otzumer, a firecracker midfielder, added the fifth as once more exploited space and pace on the flanks. Green was the provider, scuttling out wide to the deep right hand pocket before piercing the back four with a low missile of a pass that Otzumer rattled home at the back of the box.
Cue the traditional swathe of substitutes as Dulwich made copious switches, a blend of youthful exuberance and experience with Gavin Rose and Junior Kadi complemented by the likes on Nick Gonsalves, Eku Deen, Taylor Thomas and the lively Luke Joyce de Freitas.
No more goals but a raft of chances as Dulwich continued to slash at the 'Mead's vulnerable flanks. Eku Deen might have bagged a brace, heading just over as Joyce de Freitas swung over a teasing cross from the right. In the latter stages Eku Deen picked up a booming cross field pass, nipping inside flat-footed defenders before letting rip with a sizzling shot from outside the area that brought the best out of Budd, the young 'keeper springing to tip the ball over his crossbar. From the resultant corner, Ethan Pinnock came close, his header just skimming the top of the goal.
In the latter stages of the contest, the hosts at last seemed to come alive, finally forcing the almost redundant Phil Wilson into the odd save or two. one, a neat strike from the edge of the area, almost squirmed from his grasp after he had got down smartly to block yet with no incoming attackers looking for scraps he had time aplenty to recover the loose ball.
Team: Phil Wilson, Kershaney Samuels, Ahmed Deen, Peter Adeniyi, Joshua Turner, Ethan Pinnock, Ellis Green, Vernon Francis, Carl Wilson-Dennis, Kevin James, Erhun Otzumer
Subs used: Eku Deen, Nick Gonsalves, Junior Kadi, Gavin Rose, Taylor Thomas, Luke Joyce de Freitas