Dulwich Hamlet 4-2 Kingstonian - There will be a load of twists and turns, says Dulwich Hamlet assistant Junior Kadi

Monday 20th March 2017
Dulwich Hamlet 4 – 2 Kingstonian
Location Champion Hill Stadium, Dog Kennel Hill, Edgar Kail Way, East Dulwich, London SE22 8BD
Kickoff 20/03/2017 19:45

Ryman Premier League
Monday 20th March 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Champion Hill Stadium

DULWICH HAMLET assistant manager Junior Kadi says there’s going to be more twists and turns in the Ryman Premier League promotion race.

The Hamlet leapfrogged over Billericay Town and Enfield Town into seventh-place with 61 points from 36 games with a 4-2 win over Kingstonian, who extended their winless run to nine games and remain in the bottom six on 44 points from 39 games, only three points clear of the relegation zone.

Gavin Rose’s side opened the scoring through Ashley Carew’s early penalty, before five goals were scored in the second half.

Dulwich Hamlet scored twice in 138 seconds to put them in the driving seat, through winger Ibra Sekajja and striker Afolabi Oladipo Akinyemi.

Tommy Williams saw his side pull a goal back with 20 minutes remaining through a drilled free-kick from striker Pelayo Pico Gomez, scoring his eighth goal of the season.

Both sides scored in stoppage time as Sekajja rolled in his eighth goal of the season, as did Kingstonian substitute Joe Turner, which leaves Kingstonian’s position just above the relegation zone as depressing as their grey away strip.

“K’s are a good side.  Their league position, I think is a bit false at the moment and we knew we had to work very, very hard to get the points,” said Kadi, who played for Kingstonian when they beat Kettering Town 3-2 to win The FA Trophy Final at the old Wembley Stadium in 2000.

“Obviously we’re mindful with the amount of games that we’ve got and we made a few changes and I thought the first half was a very even game.

“We were a little bit disappointed with the start of the game because I don’t think the guys carried out the instructions as we asked them to do but K’s have got some good players and it was a difficult start to the game.”

Kingstonian started the game on the front foot without creating anything, before Dulwich Hamlet grabbed the lead with eight minutes and 24 seconds on the clock.

Carew whipped in a free-kick in the right channel which bounced up and hit Charlie Wassmer on the hand and referee Bhupinder Gill pointed to the spot.

Carew stepped up and sent keeper Rob Tolfrey the wrong way with his right-footed penalty.

Kadi said: “From where we’re sitting we can’t see that. It’s a great ball from Ashley though from the original set-piece. If the ref’s given it, it’s a bit of luck. Ashley is good from 12-yards.”

Kingstonian striker Gomez went on the outside of Michael Chambers – who plays on the left of a three-man defence – but scuffed his right-footed shot from 15-yards, allowing Preston Edwards to make a comfortable low save to his right.

“Preston, when he’s called upon, as he has been the last few weeks to be fair to him, he done alright,” added Kadi.

Chambers then played the ball down the line to left wing-back Nathan Green, who whipped in a lovely cross but Akinyemi planted his header over the crossbar from 15-yards.

Carew swung in a corner from the right and Akinyemi rose to loop his header towards the top left-hand corner, which was smartly clawed to safety by the busy Tolfrey, high to his right.

Tolfrey was called into action again in the 19th minute, superbly beating away Sekajja’s hooked volley from 12-yards after Green delivered another excellent cross from the left wing.

Kadi said: “Rob’s a quality, quality goalkeeper so it takes some beating.   I think that was a good move, a great ball from Greenie, a good first touch from Ibra, a good save.”

Tolfrey kept his side in the game in the 23rd minute to prevent Akinyemi scoring when he was put through on goal through the heart of the pitch, the keeper making a low save to his right.

Kadi said: “From where we was, maybe he could carry it on to make the shot a bit more easier but he decided to take it early, Rob again made a good save.”

Sekajja played the ball inside to Kenny Beaney, but a weak shot from the Dulwich Hamlet midfielder was comfortably collected by the Kingstonian keeper.

Gomez collected the ball in midfield and swept the ball out wide to K’s winger Charles Banya, who sped past Marc Weatherstone and Nyren Clunis down the left, cut into the penalty area but his looping cross sailed over Edwards’ left-shoulder and dropped just over the crossbar as the game reached the half-hour mark.

Dulwich Hamlet finished the half with a couple of chances.

Panutche Camara held off Sean Bonnett-Johnson and slipped the ball through to Akinyemi, who strode forward before hitting a low right-footed drive across Tolfrey, who saved low to his right to hold onto the ball.

But Kadi felt his side should have doubled their lead when Green whipped in another excellent cross from the left which was met at the near post by Sekajja’s free header, which he planted over the crossbar from six-yards.

“A great ball from Greenie, Ibra’s done everything right apart from textbook, try to head down but yes he got into a position to score so as a forward you’ll be worried if you don’t get in those positions.”

Kingstonian right-back Jordan Gibbons played the ball down the right channel for former Margate and Dulwich Hamlet striker Ryan Moss to chase and he played the ball back to Gibbons, who whipped in a cross which was gathered at the second attempt by the Dulwich Hamlet stopper.

When asked his thoughts at the break, Kadi replied: “We thought we were off the pace a little bit to be honest with you.  It could be the amount of games we’ve had.  Listen, they played on Saturday, we’re playing tonight, there’s no advantage, no disadvantage as such so I just thought we were off the pace.

“I just think it’s the mentality. The mentality wasn’t really at it at the start of the game to be honest with you.  The gaffer’s had a few choice words in there and in fairness to the boys they’ve come out a lot brighter and kind of kicked on.”

Kadi was delighted with the way his side started the second half as they doubled their lead after five minutes and 37 seconds.

Carew played the ball over the top to put Sekajja through on goal and he beat the last defender to roll the ball past Tolfrey into the back of the net.

“I mean Ibra was lively all night I thought and he got his just rewards. The ball’s squirmed under Rob, so we’ll take that,” added Kadi.

Man-of-the-match Tolfrey then produced a world-class save.

Sekajja was released down the right and he floated in a cross towards the near post which was met by a free header from substitute Ibrahim Kargbo, which was destined to sail into the top right-hand corner from 10-yards, but Tolfrey dived high to his left, stuck out his left hand to pull off a great save.

Kadi said: “Tolfrey is a quality, quality goalkeeper. We’ve known him a long time. Kargbo’s done everything right. The ball’s come across, he’s headed it back across goal.  I suppose everyone’s waiting for the net to bulge and Tolfs has pulled off a great save.”

Moss got a shot away, from a tight angle, at the other end, but the ball rolled safely into Edwards’ hands.

Dulwich Hamlet killed the game off with a third goal, timed at seven minutes and 55 seconds on the clock.

Winger Nyren Clunis cut in from the right and cut the ball back for Akinyemi to sweep his first time drive into the right-hand corner from 10-yards, sparking fed up K’s fans to chant “we’re sh** and we’re sick of it!” as their relegation fears mount up.

Kadi said: “It’s good to see Nyren back out there. That was his first game for a while, showed good fitness levels and showed really good quality.

“I thought we were a bit more clinical and we started the half better.  We were on the front foot and we gave ourselves a better chance.”

Kingstonian substitute  Turner played the ball to Sean McAuley, who floated in a cross into the Dulwich box but Moss glanced his header across goal and past the far post from six-yards, before Dulwich Hamlet clicked into gear after the hour-mark.

Drage’s clearance out of defence was chased by substitute striker Dumebi Dumaka, who cut in from the right and dragged his angled drive across the keeper and past the far post.

“It was a good ball from Drage, DD’s managed to get himself in front of the defender. It was a decent enough first touch and he’s hit it across the face of the goal and it’s just unfortunate for us it went the other side of the post,” said Kadi.

Dumaka then received the ball from Carew’s pass and his shot was saved by Tolfrey, low to his right.

Sekajja’s cross form the right was met by Dumaka, his first shot was turned away by Tolfrey, his follow-up drive deflected over the crossbar.

“Like Ibra in the first half, you’ll be worried if the strikers don’t get into goalscoring positions, so once they get into positions we believe they’ve got the quality to take chances,” added Kadi.

Kingstonian pulled a goal back in controversial circumstances, the goal timed at 24 minutes and 7 seconds on the clock.

Gomez dived as Drage attempted to clear his lines and referee Gill awarded Kingstonian a free-kick in a central position from 19-yards and to add insult to injury, Gomez drilled the resulting right-footed free-kick through the wall and into the bottom right-hand corner.

“It was a breakaway to be fair. I don’t know, Drage’s done well to recover. Did he actually touch him? We don’t know but a free-kick in a dangerous position,” said Kadi.

“I think maybe Preston’s unsighted. I mean the free-kick was so close, if that ball does go past the wall it’s a tall order for a goalkeeper to save it because it’s 19-yards out so it’s difficult.”

The lifeline gave Kingstonian hope and Moss cut inside and hit a right-footed drive from 25-yards which was saved comfortably by Edwards, low to his right.

“Preston’s got his body behind the ball. Moss is a proven goalscorer, so you’ve got to be on your toes with him around,” said Kadi.

“Listen, they’ve got good players. They’ve got Pico up front, they’ve got Ryan Moss, got good wide players.

“Their league position for me, maybe a bad run of results but they should be higher in the league because they’ve got some quality, quality players.

Sekajja shrugged off Gibbons, cut into the box but dragged his shot just past the foot of the left-hand post from 15-yards.

Dulwich Hamlet then hit Kingstonian on the break and Sekajja set up Dumaka, whose shot glanced off the man on the line and kissed the right-hand post to sum up the striker’s bad luck in front of goal.

“He struck it well enough, again a bit of luck it maybe nestled in. It was a good strike. He was getting into good positions, so we’re happy with that,” said Kadi.

Kingstonian substitute winger Youssef Bamba and right-back Gibbons linked up and played the ball inside to Moss, who drilled his first time shot into the side netting, only for the referee to award Kingstonian their fourth and final corner.

Dulwich Hamlet completed their goalscoring exploits for the night with their fourth goal – timed at 2 minutes and 21 seconds into timed added on.

Kargbo played the ball inside to Sekajja, who stroked his right-footed drive towards the bottom right-hand corner, which Tolfrey was at fault for, diving to his left to allow the ball to run underneath him and trickle into the corner of the net.

Kadi said: “As the boys are being told, if you’ve got opportunities to shoot, you’ve got to shoot.  If you don’t buy a ticket, you won’t win the raffle so Tolfs has made unbelievable saves tonight, that squirmed underneath him.”

Kingstonian scored a flattering second, timed at 48 minutes and 59 seconds, which was virtually the last kick of the game.

Substitute Turner collected the ball in midfield, ran through and drove his right-footed shot across Edwards, the ball clipping the foot of the far post before nestling into the back of the net.

Kadi said: “From our point of view it’s very disappointing. I think we had a couple of people who could’ve affected that situation. To concede a goal so late on as well takes the gloss of it a little bit but we came out here tonight aiming for three points and we’ve got that.”

Bognor Regis Town occupy the sole promotion spot with 79 points from 39 of their 46 league games.

Havant & Waterlooville, who were relegated from National League South last season, are in second-place with 77 points from 38 games and the remaining play-off berths are occupied by Needham Market (67 points from 40 games), Tonbridge Angels (65 points from 40 games) and Wingate & Finchley (63 points from 40 games).

Leiston are in sixth-place with 62 points from 36 games, followed by Dulwich Hamlet (61 points from 36 games), Enfield Town (60 points from 40 games) and Billericay Town (60 points from 39 games).

Dulwich Hamlet are back in action on Wednesday night when Havant & Waterlooville visit Champion Hill, before a double-header against Billericay Town (home, Saturday, away on Tuesday 28 March), before travelling to Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday 1 April.

“We’ve got to recover now, we go again on Wednesday against Havant, which will be a tough, tough game and then we’ll get back into training on Thursday looking forward to Billericay on Saturday,” said Kadi.

“I’ve seen Havant a couple of times and I think they’re very, very good, a very organised side so it will be a tough game but hey these are the games you want at the back end of the season.  You want games where you’re playing for something.

“The boys are starting their recovery now. They’re getting all their fluids on board and the ice baths.  We’re doing our best to recover the best we can.

“I think it’s difficult.  Havant were relegated and you normally see a lot of teams, they get relegated and the season after they’re in a bit of a lull but fair play to their management team, they’ve bounced back. Along with Bognor they’ll be fighting for the title.  It will be a tough, tough game.

“Everyone knows Billericay have signed loads of players, good quality players. Again, it will be a tough game but we have to worry about Havant first and then put our thoughts and focus on to Billericay.

“Bar our first season every season we’ve been here we’re always there or three abouts. It makes it exciting. You don’t want to be at the end of the season come March and you’re not playing for anything so for us we’ll take every game as it comes, I know it’s an old cliché, and we’ll see where we’re at after it.

“There’s a lot of football. There will be a load of twists and turns. There’s loads of points to play for. At the minute it doesn’t matter where you are, it's just about picking up points and see where we go.”

Dulwich Hamlet: Preston Edwards, Marc Weatherstone, Nathan Green, Kenny Beaney, Matt Drage, Michael Chambers, Nyren Clunis, Ashley Carew (Quade Taylor 77), Afolabi Oladipo Akinyemi (Dumebi Dumaka 59), Panutche Camara (Ibrahim Kargbo 46), Ibra Sekajja.
Subs: Gavin Tomlin, Sanchez Ming

Goals: Ashley Carew 9 (penalty), Ibra Sekajja 51, 90, Afolabi Oladipo Akinyemi 53

Booked: Matt Drage 86, Dumebi Dumaka 90

Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Jordan Gibbons, Keir Dickson, Sean Bonnett-Johnson, Sam Page, Charlie Wassmer, Aaron Lamont (Joe Turner 46), Sean McAuley, Ryan Moss, Pelayo Pico Gomez (Tom Derry 77), Charles Banya (Youssef Bamba 77).
Subs: Bruce Hogg, Peter Dean

Goals: Pelayo Pico Gomez 70, Joe Turner 90

Booked: Sean McAuley 34

Attendance: 595
Referee: Mr Bhupinder Gill (Iver, Buckinghamshire)
Assistants: Mr Jonathan Bolland (Egham, Surrey) & Mr Zach Jacquart (Sutton, Surrey)

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