Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 Faversham Town - I hope we take a lot of belief out of tonight, says proud Faversham Town boss Ray Turner

Tuesday 10th January 2017
Dulwich Hamlet 2 – 1 Faversham Town
Location Champion Hill Stadium, Dog Kennel Hill, Edgar Kail Way, East Dulwich, London SE22 8BD
Kickoff 10/01/2017 19:45

The Alan Turvey Trophy (Sponsored by Robert Dyas) Third Round
Tuesday 10th January 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Champion Hill Stadium

FAVERSHAM TOWN boss Ray Turner says he wants his players to take belief from their impressive performance against Dulwich Hamlet.

Dulwich Hamlet went into this Alan Turvey Trophy (Sponsored by Robert Dyas) tie in fourth-place in the Ryman Premier League table on 46 points from 29 games, but manager Gavin Rose made six changes to the side that went down to a 1-0 defeat at Canvey Island at the weekend.

Faversham Town belied their disappointing league position of fifteenth in the Ryman League Division One South (36 points from 25 games) and created more chances than their hosts but could only convert one at the end.

Dulwich Hamlet’s impressive wide-right striker Rhys Murrell-Williamson opened the scoring with a beautiful strike to open his account for the season.

The Hamlet had to wait 11 minutes from time to double their lead through substitute Gavin Tomlin’s header, scoring his ninth goal of the season to seal a trip to Ryman League Division One North side AFC Hornchurch in the Quarter-Finals.

Faversham Town deservedly pulled a goal back through substitute Oliver Wells but Turner was proud of his players, especially after making four changes to the team that beat Godalming Town 3-2 in the league at Salters Lane at the weekend.

“On reflection, delighted with the performance,” said Turner during the post-match press conference.

“It’s a difficult one for us in terms of a balancing act. You can tell we’ve got a few problems injury wise. We didn’t make that as an excuse.

“We had four debutants tonight (David Blaikie, Joseph Alatise and substitutes Fabrice Blewordah and William Hadler) so I think it’s a great testament to the structure that we put together at the club. It’s nice to be able to offer those chances to young players, actually. 

“You do worry a little bit.  I did approach the game with a little bit of trepidation, I must admit, because it’s a daunting place to come midweek and what pleased me was the amount of faith that we showed in each other and the way we played football and the amount of chances we created.  The only criticism in the players is we haven’t won the game.”

Dulwich Hamlet boss Gavin Rose sent out player-coach Kevin James, 37, to do press conference duties and the holding midfielder was pleased to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat in Essex.

“It’s good to get a win after a disappointing defeat at the weekend. It’s pleasing just to get that win again,” said James.

“We performed quite well (at Canvey Island), just didn’t manage to unlock it so conceding a late goal from a set-piece was difficult to take but the boys are still confident so it was good to get the right result tonight.”

When asked about getting his fourth start of the season, James replied: “It’s good. I haven’t trained much so it’s good, when I can, to get on the pitch.  I still want to be here and ready to play still and needed.

“It’s great to still be involved with the boys on the pitch and help them as much off the pitch as well as much coaching as we can do off the field and then on the field if I can help it suits me when I’m on the pitch myself.”

Faversham Town started the game on the front foot, creating their first opening inside the opening three minutes.

Right-winger Josh Stanford chipped the ball forward to striker Jordan Casey, who powered a left-footed drive towards the far corner from 16-yards, only to be denied by a fine save from Preston Edwards, who dived full-length to his right to tip around the post.

“Jordan unfortunately went off through an injury.  It looks like we’ll be missing him for a bit as well. It looks like a calf strain and that’s a shame as well because I thought we started excellently,” said Turner.

“He’s looked as sharp since he’s been with us.  Those last few games have done him the power of good and unfortunately that’s probably how the season has gone for us.”

Reflecting on Casey’s early chance, Turner said: “I’m not behind it so it’s difficult to see from that angle, but Jordan said it was moving away from the keeper. It’s a really top save and the most important thing is he’s made the keeper work.

“I thought we’ve been bright all night to be honest.  You could go through numerous chances we’ve created and it’s just the finishing touch.  The only difference on the night is finishing.”

James added: “Preston has been good for us in recent weeks. He’s full of confidence and made some good saves and kept us in a couple of games that we’ve managed to win. He’s in nice form Preston, so good for him.

“Faversham started with a lot of pace and maybe a lack of defending from ourselves kind of let them in a little bit but we’ve got Preston there as our rear guard and it’s good that he’s in form.”

Kieron Campbell swung in the resulting corner from the left and the ball fell at the feet of central defender Ryan Cheek, who took a touch but couldn’t dig the ball out from under his feet and Edwards was able to make the block.

Turner said: “He just didn’t seem to be able to get it from under his feet. Any decent kind of contact it’s a goal isn’t it? It was a good start.  We’ve done plenty of that and unfortunately not scored the goal.”

Dulwich Hamlet snatched the lead, with 12 minutes and 10 seconds on the clock.

Louis-Michel Tamfam collected the ball and drove forward straight down the heart of the pitch before playing the ball outside to Murrell-Williamson, who cut inside struggling Faversham left-back Joseph Alatise, before curling his left-footed shot sailing over the diving keeper into the top far corner, scoring from just inside the box.

James said: “Beautiful finish! Rhys can do that! He threatens to do that a lot. It’s good that he’s got one in, boosts his confidence a little bit more and some really good positive stuff from Louis.”

It was to be Tamfam’s first start for Dulwich Hamlet.

“He’s waited for that little chance to get a start on loan from Charlton and it was a good game from him today as well,” said James.

“I thought the first 20-25 minutes, he was really positive, gave us a real threat through that middle of the pitch when we broke up the play and getting the ball into him.

“He’s a good prospect. It’s a lot different than playing at under 23’s football.  We’re playing for points and really playing for wins instead of under 23s is a little bit more about development and not needing that win. Here it’s playing against men, people are here to play for that real energy and spirit.”

Turner added: “He was a great outlet for them and they had some real quality on that (right-hand) side.  He caused us a lot of problems early on, hence the change that I made.  There was no chance for Will and he (Murrell-Williamson) just highlighted that little bit of difference and the level they’re at and the level we’re at and the quality of the finishing that’s the headline for the night really.”

Faversham Town showed great character and instead of folding asked questions of their higher league hosts.

Casey laid the ball off to central midfielder George Monger, who was given time and space to crack a stunning left-footed dipping drive from 30-yards, which only just cleared the crossbar.

And just 62 seconds later, Mobolaji Dowadu fed the ball into Stanford, who cracked a left-footed drive towards the bottom corner, forcing Edwards to swiftly get down low to his right to push away towards safety.

Turner said: “Josh struck his shot really well. We moved the ball really well tonight. I was really pleased with the belief we showed in each other and the way that we played and the approach play was good up to Josh’s chance and again he’s worked the goalkeeper.

“He would’ve liked to get it out of his feet a little bit more and there was an opportunity to tap it in from the rebound but there was some good football.”

Alatise was withdrawn by Turner with a torn white shirt after 21 minutes of being harassed by talented Murrell-Williamson and Fabrice Blewordah came on to make his debut.

“I’m keeping everything crossed at the moment,” added Turner.

“When you come to a place like this and you’ve got no Ryan Cooper your captain, Jamie Maxted, Daniel Carrington and Luke Harvey, it’s a big core out of your team and that’s why I’m delighted.

“Joseph (Alatise coming off after 21 minutes) was a tactical thing, that’s my fault. I know he’s a centre half and most players would struggle with their winger and he was just a real handful.  I brought Fabrice (Blewordah) on, who I know was more quick-footed and he done a very good job.  Both of them got a debut.”

Monger floated in a free-kick at the half-way point and Casey nipped in front of his man but his header sailed harmlessly wide of the target.

James admitted he should have done better with a chance that came his way in the 27th minute.

Winger Sanchez Ming, who was making his 100th appearance for Dulwich Hamlet, fed Murrell-Williamson, who easily skipped past Blewordah down the right by-line and he cut the ball back to Ming, who played the ball inside to James, who lashed his first time right-footed drive over the crossbar from inside the D.

“It was a poor attempt. I had my head down as much as possible and just connected with the ball underneath it.  Yes, it was quite woeful to be honest, putting it lightly,” laughed an honest James.

Faversham Town’s central defender Matthew Bourne gave the ball away cheaply straight to Hamlet striker Ibra Sekajja, who from the final third cut in to drill a low right-footed shot from 20-yards, which took a deflection and flashed just past the far post.

James said: “Ibra latched onto that so maybe could’ve hit the target. He could probably do with a goal himself as well. It wasn’t bad in the end.”

Turner added: “I think it was a fair reflection that we worked their goalkeeper more than they worked our goalkeeper and that’s probably really tells a story.

“Quite often in the transition when you’ve got the ball they’re very dangerous and that’s where the goal came from. When they spring on us we had good possession at that time.  They are very good at that.  You have to be very concentrated but it was fairly clear to me that we created the better opportunities in the first half.”

Faversham keeper Godmon made a comfortable catch from Murrell-Williamson’s looping header after he met James’ swept in right-footed free-kick from the right.

Murrell-Williamson was a bright spark for the home side and James agreed: “Impressive, positive. It’s good for him to get a start because he went out on loan to (Vanarama National League side) Boreham Wood, had some games, came back in and been on the bench so it’s good for him to get that start, try to gather a little bit of momentum for himself, get that goal, boost his confidence. He's put himself in contention for a start.”

Both camps were asked their thoughts at the break.

James said of Rose’s team-talk: “Just to try to keep calm from bits of the first half, unpick bits of their play, just move up the pitch a little bit higher, try and play a little bit more on the front foot with the ball, that was all.”

Turner added: “Two things I really want them to concentrate on was to have the belief when they were on the ball, keep passing it as well as they had done.  There was a reason why we got into great areas in their final third because we created those chances and we passed the ball well.

“The second thing was just the concentration levels because they are very good at moving the ball and very quickly.”

Ming burst down the right wing and Godmon made a save at his near post after whipping in a cross took a deflection off Blewdorah inside the opening four minutes.

Faversham Town continued to create – and miss – some glorious chance to cause a Third Round upset.

Renford Tenyue was starting to enjoy making space in behind Nathan Green (who bombed forward at every opportunity to whip in some high-quality crosses) and after linking up well with Stanford delivered a great cross towards the far post but Campbell ghosted in to hit his half-volley over the bar from a couple of yards out.

Turner said: “Ren’s done a great job all night, he was a real handful for them all night.  Kieron’s flown in at the far post, it either flies in the net or as it happens tonight, it misses the target but at least he’s attacked that area.”

James added: “We had a little bit of a lack of understand and communication in the way we was defending. I thought bits and periods of the second half at the start we dealt with it and then as it got on maybe a few tired legs from people that haven’t started and a couple of new faces, sometimes it’s hard to get that all together.”

Dulwich Hamlet went close through a set-piece, swung in by James from the right and was met by Marc Weatherstone, who rose above his marker at the near post to send his header just over the crossbar.

Green bombed forward and found himself inside the penalty box but he lacked composure and drilled his left-footed shot past the top of the near post after James’ free-kick set him free.

Faversham Town missed a glorious chance in the 57th minute following a short-corner.

Campbell rolled his flag-kick to Tenyue, who from the left floated in a cross towards the near post but central midfielder Dowadu powered his free header past the left-hand post.

“Great chance! Well worked. He scored two for me on Saturday and managed the game and he’s very good at that, it’s one of his strengths and he’ll be disappointed he missed the target,” said Turner.

Murrell-Williamson then went up the other end and dragged his shot across Godmon and past the far post from 20-yards.

Dulwich Hamlet felt their match clincher had come towards the halfway point but Sekajja was in an offside position after being fed by Yamfam, who was much quieter in the second half.

Faversham Town played Dulwich Hamlet at their own game by hitting their hosts on the counter-attack.  Stanford’s pass from the halfway line released Tenyue, whose pace initially took him past the last defender but Joseph Debayo and Quade Taylor got back to sandwich the Faversham striker, who knocked the ball behind for a goal-kick as the angle tightened up.

Rose made a double substitution with 20 minutes to go by bringing on striker Tomlin and right-winger Nyren Clunis.

Green whipped in another quality cross which Tomlin flicked on at the near post and Clunis met with a looping header at the far, which was comfortably saved by Godmon.

Edwards was called into action when he danced along his goal-line to tip over a speculative cross-come-shot from the right wing from Tenye, which dipped towards the top near corner as Faversham Town pressed.

But Dulwich Hamlet were clinical when it mattered and they doubled their lead with 33:27 on the second half clock.

Clunis rolled the ball back to Green, who took a touch before whipping in another great cross into the box and Tomlin guided his glancing header across the keeper into the top far corner from 12-yards.

Benched James was full of praise for his team-mates.

He said: “Nice header from Gav, a good little ball as well. Gav threatens to do that a lot, he's in those positions a lot. Someone of Gavin’s quality, if he gets crosses, he’s going to finish them!”

Turner replied: “How many saves did Will have to make? Not too many!  But the two chances that they’ve had have gone straight into the top corner! I thought the standard of their crosses were excellent and he’s flicked the header into the corner. It was in as soon as it left his head!”

Faversham Town gave it a go late on and they missed further chances.

Campbell played a sublime diagonal pass in behind the Hamlet defence to put Stanford through. He cut onto his left foot and placed his shot across Edwards and agonisingly past the foot of the far post.  It was a chance that the Wembley goalscorer had to take.

“Josh’s was probably the best chance coming in on his left foot just to side-foot that one in,” agonised Turner.

Tomlin hit a speculative 40-yard drive with his right-foot which was on target and Godmon made a comfortable save, as he did from Tomlin again after Ming’s cut back shortly afterwards.

Faversham Town deservedly pulled a goal back with 38:12 on the second half clock.

Tenyue, once again, found himself in acres of space down the right channel and he played a low centre towards the near post.  Wells was the only Faversham player inside the box and Edwards and Weatherstone were favourites to cut out the ball at the near post but Wells nipped in to poke his shot into the bottom right-hand corner. 

Turner said: “That’s what pleased me, we kept believing our goal would come.  I don’t think anyone would dispute we deserved that on the night, at least.

“Oliver’s done that for me before at Guernsey and at least he’s got in those areas. Right now I could do for someone to score me some goals because we are creating those situations and we need to finish them off.

“I’m pleased for him because he’s another young lad that’s been playing for the 21’s and he’s been helping us out every now and then. He’s on the fringes at the moment and he’s worked really hard again tonight.”

Dulwich Hamlet awarded the goal as an own-goal (Weatherstone).

But James, who was off the pitch at the time, replied: “I’m not sure, if it’s been given as own goal but Tenyue is a dangerous player. He’s got good pace, good energy. He works really hard and he's got a good delivery that I’ve seen from when I was on the pitch so I couldn’t really see how it went in but I heard it was an own-goal. I couldn’t really see.”

Edwards frustrated Faversham Town again when Tenque played the ball inside to Stanford from the right, who set up Dowadu, who powered a shot towards the near post, only for Edwards to save Dulwich Hamlet’s bacon again, beating the ball out high to his left.

James added: “They huffed and puffed. They’re not a bad side. I don’t think their league position probably states where they actually should be because they’ve got some decent young players. We know their management team. He’s a good manager so I don’t expect them to be suffering too low in their league position for much longer.”

Dulwich Hamlet travel to Whitehawk on Saturday to contest a Second Round tie in The FA Buildbase Trophy.  The Brighton-based outfit are fourth-from-bottom in the Vanarama National League South.

The Hamlet, meanwhile, will travel to Ryman League Division One North side AFC Hornchurch in The Alan Turvey Trophy (Sponsored by Robert Dyas) Quarter-Finals.

“We look forward going back there. I suppose that will be an interesting one. We go in it to win it,” added James.

Turner wants his side to replicate tonight’s performance when they travel to thirteenth-placed Whyteleafe on Saturday – a side that are a couple of points and places above them, although the Lilywhites do have four games in hand.

Turner saw his side lose 5-0 to Ryman Premier Leaguers Kingstonian in the Final of this competition last season.

He said: “You try to avoid that word (frustrating) because I could use it after nearly every game this season for various reasons, continuity of the team or the lack of finishing. We’d certainly be a lot higher than we are.

“I’m not going to get too down about tonight because I think there was an awful lot of positives about the players that have come in, the young players that have been given their chance and the way they’ve taken it. I’m quite upbeat.

“I’m proud of what the boys have done tonight and I hope they take a lot of belief out of tonight because I think when you play teams like Dulwich Hamlet you raise your level. If we can take that level into Saturday then we’ve got a good chance of getting on a decent run.”

Dulwich Hamlet: Preston Edwards, Marc Weatherstone, Nathan Green, Ibrahim Kargbo, Quade Taylor, Joseph Debayo, Sanchez Ming, Kevin James (Kenny Beaney 74), Ibra Sekajja (Gavin Tomlin 70), Louis-Michel Yamfam, Rhys Murrell-Williamson.
Subs: Mohamed Mohamed, Kiki Oshilaja

Goals: Rhys Murrell-Williamson 13, Gavin Tomlin 79

Faversham Town: William Godmon, David Blaikie (William Hadler 90), Joseph Alatise (Fabrice Blewdorah 21), Mobolaji Dowadu, Matthew Bourne, Ryan Cheek, Kieron Campbell, George Monger, Jordan Casey (Oliver Wells 41), Renford Tenyue, Josh Stanford.
Sub: Daniel Carrington

Goal: Oliver Wells 84

Attendance:  321
Referee: Mr Lee Brennan (Westminster, London SW1)
Assistants: Mr Nick Brown (Southfields, London SW18) & Mr Peter Georgiou (Wandsworth, London SW18)

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