Dulwich and Broxbourne will have to do it all again on Tuesday after Gavin Wade's 85th minute equaliser meant the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division side were allowed to escape with a share of the spoils in a below par match when few players in Pink and Blue could be satisfied with their performances. Had Hamlet managed to find a higher gear this game might have been put to bed long before that heart-breaking equaliser, all the more gutting that it would come from a mistake from usually sure-footed skipper Ryan Bernard. First chance fell to the visitors; Junior Langsbury stabbed the ball over the bar from close range in an unseemly goalmouth scramble, Dulwich struggling to find their feet, almost as if a sluggish Sunday hangover dulled their skills. However the Hamlet soon grabbed the whip hand and Fas Koroma was a whisker away from connected with the ball as Laurent Hamici larruped a drive across the face of the six yard box. Consolation though for the energetic Koroma as he was on hand to drive Dulwich into the lead on the quarter hour. Scott Simpson jet powered free kick was too hot to hold for Broxbourne 'keeper Mark Virgo and as the ball spilled from his hands Koroma was on hand to stab the ball home under the falling custodian.
The game slipped into a morass of midfield muddling as Broxbourne's pressing kept the Hamlet from their free flowing best. Little to report until Jamie Lunan was testing for the first time in anger as Dan Nwanze was robbed of the ball by Tony Burke, the onetime Potters Bar man, driving on to set up Mark Brennan, but thought his long range shot clipped off a defender, the deviation in flight was not enough to deceive Jamie Lunan. Spurred into direct action Dulwich were galloping back on the attack with Simpson spinning off his mark but with his shooting satnav on the blink larruping a fierce rising shot over the crossbar from 14 yards out. Though Boro' had the ball in the side netting soon after the chances were going the way of the Hamlet but something was lacking, accuracy. Tyran James skewed a strike off target, right-footed Koroma's left-wing cross was clawed away by Virgo from the marauding Simpson, Hamici off the mark as he latched to the loose ball.
An escape for the Hamlet was Lunan was caught in No Mans Land but Brennan blew the chance as he stretched to balloon the ball over the unguarded goal. The relentless Koroma seemed the best channel for the Hamlet and twice in closing stages of the half he came close a curled effort deflected wide then a smart save from Virgo denying him in stoppage time.
Bit of a soggy pudding the second half. A long distance screamer from Hamici flew well wide of the top corner. The same player turned provider a cracking cross an agonisingly inch too far in front of Simpson who flung himself with reckless abandon at the ball as it fizzed across his face. An extra inch might have been so vital for connection would surely have equalled a goal. Some excellent industry from Hamici created the opening for himself but a skewed shot fell short of troubling the 'keeper.
A quartet of replacements as half a half went by, Broxbourne's were to prove the more production as the Boro' shuffled their pack, Wade the lion wolf in attack. But for the leg of Lunan, blocking a close range of effort, Wade might have been a hero of Hertfordshire sooner than he did. Still with 5 minutes left Wade's moment would come as Bernard slipping as he went to block a pass the ball running cruelly into the path of the Boro's frontman who would run on to larrup the ball beyond a powerless Lunan.
Urgency now running Hamlet heads, a penalty shout fell on deaf ears as Bernard, now adding his weight to the attack, helped a pass on Billy Chattaway, the ball striking a defender's hand in flight. Chattaway had the chance to rescue the Hamlet from the midweek ordeal of a trip north of the Thames after substitute Gary Noel wide left had picked him out in the middle. But at the death the Boro' found another hero in the spindly form of Virgo, not once but twice denying Chattaway, blocking at his feet then spreading his hands across as the young wing back tried to force the ball home.