Play off dreams revived after Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

Dulwich Hamlet fans who braved the journey out to the distant lands of Aveley yesterday watched Dulwich Hamlet grind out a win against bottom club Grays Athletic.

The win sees Dulwich sitting in fourth place in the league table, but they can’t feel too comfortable as theey’ve played more games than all of their nearest rivals (see full table at the bottom of page).

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

A large travelling contingent of some hundred Hamlet fans boosted the crowd to 317 – the biggest attendance at Grays this season by a considerable margin this year.

Unfortunately, yours truly was busy enjoying the thrills of the replacement bus service from Wales so was unable to attend the game, but the posters on the Hamlet forum provided the photos and commentary for the game.

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

Bobble of the Day. And what a multi coloured feast for the eyes it is.

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

Everyone loves a Refreshments “Q”.

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

Nivag was the first to add his match report:

First half was very sluggish, be interesting to see the highlights as to whether there should of been a first half goal or not.

The team still looks nervous when hit on the break near the end of the game and giving away freekicks.

The first goal was well taken and the second was a rush to see who could get the ball in the net after their goalie had gone up for a last minute corner.

But a good win in the end. Got cold near the end, thank fuck I’ve got heated gloves on the bike

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

PD added:

Sure Grays doing their best (as a fan owned club at a shared ground) but that was like watching a game in a cemetery (not that I have done that)

Maybe because they are bottom of the League – fans just going through motions on a very cold day. Good turn out of 100 ish from Hamlet (one fan cycling in 1 hour 45 mins to the game)

Referee spoiled the game with needles stoppages. I thought Hamlet made heavy weather of winning, but then again Grays had won last two home games.

Great goal from Dumebi Dumaka (but then I saw nothing wrong with his first goal ??).

The Grays goalie suicidal decision to go up for Grays last minute corner – allowed Hamlet to score a break away goal. Very cold. Roll on New Years eve (remember 1pm kick off).

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

DCD:

The Grays/Aveley pitch is probably the worst in the division – more bobbles than Brighton beach – and certainly not conducive to great football.

Would be good to kill off games rather than having to endure the seemingly inevitable late onslaught. Always too squeaky bum towards the end.

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

PP:

Murrell-Williamson replaced Carr at the same time as Sekajja replaced Carew. The bloke operating the electronic number board kept putting the wrong numbers up, the bloke on the PA announced the wrong players as being substituted, and the wrong players started walking towards the bench before being sent away by our staff!

I suspect fact that farce probably accounts for a chunk of the stoppage time.

We made hard work of what should have been a reasonably straightforward win. Grays were well drilled and played well enough within their limitations; Terrell Forbes galvanised their defence as he did during his season with us, and the bloke partnering him at centre back was very solid and alert with his challenges and interceptions.

They weren’t a pushover in terms of unlocking their defence and I can see why they had a run of wins recently, which must also have given them some belief.

They created little in the first half, and Dumaka had a goal disallowed for offside that looked a highly dubious call, outpacing his marker at the near post to reach a teasing cross by Clunis and turn a neat shot inside the far corner. Grays showed little as an attacking force in the first half.

After half time Hamlet continued to push hard against a stubborn defence and six minutes in they cracked under a spell of sustained pressure.

A couple of desperate clearances and interceptions kept us at bay, but a half-blocked shot from Carew ran to Dumaka just left of centre, and he turned his marker to lash a rising shot into the near top corner.

One more goal now would have finished them off, but them with twenty minutes to go we began tinkering.

The changes in personnel were fair enough – Carew hadn’t looked as effective playing further forward than normal, and Carr had wasted a few good opportunities, but we also dropped Green into a flat back four and switched Clunis to the left (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGGGHH!) with the equally one-footed (left-footed!) Murrell-Williamson coming on to play on the right. so we lost Green’s surging forward runs and had no one getting around the outside of their full backs on a relatively wide pitch.

Our inability to close out a game where we’re a goal ahead has been a persistent problem all season, and we could easily have come unstuck again here.

Grays sensed a chance to snatch an equaliser, we were giving away silly free kicks in our own half, from one of which the ball was dramatically belted off the line with home fans appealing for a goal.

In the final minute of stoppage time Beaney conceded a free kick after getting caught the wrong side of a man breaking from midfield which led to a corner; their keeper went upfield for it, but the ball was cleared into space and Murrell-Williamson ran it from inside his own half to shoot into an empty net.

Team (3-4-1-2): Edwards – Weatherstone, Drage, Chambers – Clunis, Kargbo, Beaney, Green – Carew – Carr, Dumaka. Subs: Sekajja (for Carr), Murrell-Williamson (for Carew), MIllar (for Dumaka), James, Taylor (not used). Att. 317

Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic, Tues 27th December 2016

[Pics © Blitzwalker, PartisanDulwich and Nivag]

Ryman League Premier Division

(as of 28th Dec 2016)

Play off dreams revived after Dulwich Hamlet bag three points from their trip to Grays Athletic

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