NUTS AND BOLTS THROW A SPANNER IN THE WORKS
Dulwich may be the Christmas Number One but they were put in a seriously off-key performance yesterday, slumping to a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to second bottom Ashford Town. Despite a bright start from the Hamlet, the Nuts and Bolts soon clicked into gear and Hamlet were lucky not to get caught on the hop when first Walid Matata got away from the Hamlet rearguard only to drive wide of the mark, then George Fenwick repeated the escape only for his effort to be blocked at the death. The game's only goal came in the 21st minute as a Ken Jarrett-Elliott corner looked to be an easy take for Simon Overland but under pressure from George Fenwick, the big keeper seemed to punch the ball into his own net. Perhaps to spare his blushes the goal was credited to Fenwick.
Had the hosts capitalised on first half chances the contest might have been settled before the break, last ditch defending and off kilter finishing combining to keep the Hamlet in touch on the scoresheet at least. Five minutes before the break, Chris Dickson pulled the ball back from the goalline to set up David Moore for a low strike that tested 'keeper Jake Whincup as he dived left to block. Phil Williams showed strength to get to the rebound but hammered the ball high and wide.
The hangover lasted into the second half though fortunately Ashford did not make the most of their opportunities to extend their advantage with Fenwick and Matata (twice) failing to find the target from good positions. Unfortunately for the Hamlet, the damage had by now been done. Not until the final 10 minutes did the real Hamlet make an appearance, an excellent move ending with Jamie Coyle slipping the ball into Daniel Jones but the substitute could not find the power for a finish as Whincup smothered a stabbed effort. Shouts for a penalty in the final minute of normal time as the Ashford goalmouth became a battlefield, then a cleared corner found its way out to Kenny Beaney on the left wing, a cross whipped in and Gavin Dayes hurling himself at the ball to connect with a header that zipped just wide of the far top corner.