Dulwich Hamlet 3-1 Bromley - We do work hard to produce what we produce, says Dulwich Hamlet assistant Junior Kadi

Wednesday 21st October 2015
Dulwich Hamlet 3 – 1 Bromley
Location Champion Hill Stadium, Dog Kennel Hill, Edgar Kail Way, East Dulwich, London SE22 8BD
Kickoff 21/10/2015 19:45

The FA Youth Cup Third Qualifying Round
Wednesday 21st October 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Champion Hill Stadium

DULWICH HAMLET first team and Academy assistant manager Junior Kadi says the club aspire to reach The FA Youth Cup First Round every season.

The Hamlet maintained their impressive record in the competition by knocking out Vanarama National League club Bromley with an impressive performance, watched by a crowd of 186 at Champion Hill.

The Ryman Premier League hosts opened the scoring after only 159 seconds through striker Reece Johnson.

Dulwich Hamlet doubled their lead through their impressive skipper Osman Proni, before Bromley pulled a goal back through a solo run from lightening quick striker Daniel Ajakayie.

But contracted striker Diallang Jaiyesimi capped off an excellent performance by scoring a stunning free-kick at the death to book a trip to either Metropolitan Police or Folkestone Invicta (who play on Thursday night) in the First Round.

“It was a good game, competitive, we knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Kadi afterwards, who has lost count the number of times that Dulwich Hamlet have reached The FA Youth Cup First Round during the past 14 years.

“I know Steve (Baker) and the guys at Bromley really well and they’ve got a great set of good young players, similar to ourselves. It was going to be a tough game, there wasn’t really much in it.

“I think at times we played well. We moved the ball well at times, also other times, because they’re youngsters as well, they can get a little bit lackadaisical
and stuff like that but it’s all about development.”

Bromley Academy manager Steve Baker admitted Dulwich Hamlet were by far the better side throughout this last qualifying round tie.

He said: “We can't kid ourselves, they thoroughly deserved the win. The best team won, without a doubt!  We knew Dulwich would be a good side. They’ve built something really good here over the last few years and always going to be a tough game.  We play each other pre-season every year and it’s always a good game.

“They were better today and they controlled the game. I felt they were always in control of the game and we huffed and we puffed a little bit.

“They were quick, physical and they controlled the game. I’m disappointed the lads are as well because they certainly didn’t bring their best to the table but a lot of that as well, you’ve got to give credit to Dulwich. They didn’t allow us time, they pressed and they’re always a threat.”

Bromley kicked off and the ball was played back to Samuel Asante, whose attempted clearance up field took a wicked ricochet off pressing Johnson, the ball looping towards the Bromley goal before it was caught by an alert goalkeeper Roland Higyed after only eight seconds.

Baker said: “The warning signs are there straight away! It’s something that we’re working on. We have conceded goals early this year and until this point we’ve either come back to win or get a point.

“It’s the first time the boys have lost and we’re at the back end of October so if we can get that bit right then hopefully moving forwards things can get better.”

Kadi said: “Again, it’s the same managing the first team. We try and get the boys to get after the ball and press and work hard off the ball as well as on the ball. It was good pressure from Reece and it would’ve have been a freak goal as such.”

Bromley immediately hit Dulwich Hamlet on the break and Ajakayie dragged his shot across the keeper and past the far post with only 53 seconds on the clock.

But Dulwich Hamlet drew first blood in this local derby when Johnson picked the ball up and ran forward and with Bromley failing to close him down he was given an opportunity to drill his right-footed drive past the diving Higyed into the far corner from 30-yards.

Kadi said: “He’s coming along Reece. He’s an under 16 player, good powerful strong boy with a good eye for goal. He’s a good player. He’s developing well. We’re happy with his development at the moment.”

Baker added: “We had the same conversation in the last round!

“I think it was Yaqin (Mohammed) who done really well to delay him, delay him, delay him and then as soon as you’re getting that close to goal, just outside the box, you’ve got to step to it and apply some pressure on it and not allow the forward to get the shot off.”  

That goal set the tone for a first half of Dulwich Hamlet dominance and they went close when right-back Kiki Oshilaja played the ball inside to Jaiyesimi, who hit his first time right-footed drive past the post from 25-yards.

Higyed made a comfortable low save to prevent Jaiyesimi scoring after escaping from Bromley’s holding midfielder Ethan Frederick.

Higyed made a fine save to prevent Dulwich Hamlet from doubling their lead with 22 minutes on the clock.

The goalkeeper dived to his left to claw Tarik Ibrahim’s right-footed shot on the turn from 22-yards behind for a corner.

Dulwich Hamlet had certainly done their homework on Bromley and found left-back Yaqin Mohammed to be their weakest link in defence as the home side’s attacks mainly came down the right.

Oshilaja threw the ball to Jaiyesimi who cracked a rasping drive with his right-foot from 12-yards, which stung Higyed’s fingers, the Bromley keeper beating the ball away to safety at his near post.

Kadi added: “We had a lion share of possession in the first half. We did create a few chances but the disappointing thing is we didn’t convert the chances and to maybe make the game easier for ourselves.

“I thought Bromley was always a threat on the break, they have very, very quick players up front and I thought the boys at the back dealt with them well.”

Baker added: “You had the warning signs and you know they can hit the target and work the keeper. You have to apply some pressure on the ball!

“Roland done really well again. He’s only a first year with us. We had a few first years out there today so it will be a good experience for them because they can get another chance at this next year but Roland done really, really well, some great saves, parries and another one he done well to hold as well so he’s done alright today.”

With Dulwich Hamlet fans behind the goal giving their young guns plenty of vocal encouragement, Bromley just couldn’t get into the game.

Oshilaja was given an opportunity to whip in a cross from the right, which was sliced away by Sam Nicholson-Scott but Dulwich Hamlet let-back Abdul Lyoubi took a touch before drilling his left-footed drive past the near post from 25-yards.

Jaiyesimi then cut in and drilled his right-footed drive over the bar from similar range.

But Bromley created three glorious chances to claw themselves, undeservedly, back into the game just before the break.

Ajakayie, who will certainly be interesting lower league managers for a loan, played the ball out wide to right-winger Joel Vian, who burst down the line to whip in a low centre towards the near post but Ajakayie slid in and poked his shot agonisingly past the foot of the near post from six-yards after 39 minutes.

“I thought that was in as well,” added Baker.

“That was one of the rare moments where we got it right in the final third where we produced a bit of combination play that actually led to a bit of end product.

“It wasn’t on target but that’s the sort of thing we’ve been doing numerous times in games and our front players are quick and clever.”

Bromley skipper Louis Fox then played a one-two with Vian before cracking a right-footed drive from the corner of the box, which was palmed over by Jack Yerlett.

Kadi said: “I think it’s a complement to Jack because he was – I wouldn’t say he was a spectator – but he didn’t really have a lot to do, so for someone so young to keep himself engaged in the game and when called upon to make a save of that quality, I think it was really good and testament to him.”

The 17-year-old has been sent out on loan to play Southern Counties East Football with Holmesdale.

“I think the gap from Academy youth team football to first team is very, very big and I do think it’s very, very beneficial to the guys to be playing senior football, Ryman One, the old Kent League, so I think it’s very, very important for their development.”

Baker simply added: “It’s a shot on target. He’s forced the keeper to make the save.”

Dulwich Hamlet created their last chance of the first half when Oshilaja played the ball in from the right and the ball got stuck underneath Jaiyesimi’s feet and the talented striker laid the ball off to Proni, who hit his left-footed drive screaming wide of the left-hand post from 30-yards.

Bromley went close, too, but this time Ajakayie cut into the box on the break and stroked his shot into the side netting.

Both bosses were asked their thoughts at the break.

Kadi said: “Just basically to keep playing and being a bit braver on the ball and passing the ball a little bit more because we like to play possession based football at the football club, so just to keep doing what you’re doing and express yourself with an end product.”

Baker added: “We felt that we’re up against a good side but we felt at that point our performance could only get better.  We spoke about not having any regrets, about what we brought to the table ourselves and we spoke about belief again – the same as we did against Tooting at half-time.

“We spoke about having the confidence about getting the ball down and play and if it’s not on one side just keeping possession but also we keep looking to get in behind and playing our way through, rather than hitting it long.” 

The second half was an even contest, with not as many goalscoring opportunities as the first half.

Baker said: “We were better (in the second half). It kind of evened out a little bit more. I thought we struggled to get a foothold but we sort of huffed and puffed without anything at the end of it.”

Johnson played the ball into Jaiyesimi’s feet, who hit his right-footed drive towards the bottom right-hand corner from 25-yards, which was spilt by Higyed low to his left before the Bromley stopper gobbled up the loose ball after only 130 seconds.

Proni pinged a ball over the top of a hesitant Bromley defence - Michak Stanic-Stewart letting in Ade Batula - but the winger lashed his first time left-footed drive past the near post.

Bromley created an opening on the hour-mark when Akakayie fed winger Kelvin Ogboe, but his deflected drive looped into Yerlett’s hands for a comfortable catch.

Dulwich Hamlet seemingly killed Bromley off with their second goal in the 71st minute.

Jaiyesimi was to be denied by a fine smothering block from Higyed and the ball rolled out to Proni who lashed his first time left-footed drive into the roof of the net from 12-yards.

“Ossie didn’t have his best of games tonight but he’s a player that we’ve got high hopes for,” said Kadi.

“Gav’s registered him on first team forms. He’s been in and around the first team this season. I think he’s a very good player. It was good catch up and a lovely finish.”

Baker added: “There might’ve been a foul in the leading up to it, I don’t know, we were on the other side.

“I spoke to Yaqin about it in there. If it’s tight you just shift it straight back to Michak and we go out the other side but trying to clip it inside and beat him, no need, but that’s a decision that led to a goal.

“Yaqin done really well tonight though but that’s an example of developing and learning the game and making better decisions.”

Ajakayie, who was Bromley’s best player on the night, skipped down the right channel on the break and his right-footed angled drive was tipped away by Yerlett, diving to his right.

Proni unleashed a left-footed drive from 30-yards, which was blocked by the legs of the busy Bromley keeper.

Bromley, who failed to reach the high standards that defeated Tooting & Mitcham Untied 3-2 at home in the last round, gave it a go towards the end.

Kadi was expecting it by adding: “I know Steve and Bob (Turgott) and they’re going to get Bromley to have a real go and I think they did.

“I think we had to weather the storm and in youth football the game becomes stretched and they’re throwing the kitchen sink at it.  There was always going to be more goals in it, it’s just a matter of time.”

Bromley substitute Fidan Fejzi, 16, who was being watched by scouts from Brentford, scuffed his shot into Yerlett’s hands for a comfortable save, before he failed to make contact with a volley while he was left unmarked on the corner of the penalty area.

Fox floated over a cross from the right towards unmarked substitute striker Andy Kadulko-Somo, who jumped to plant his free header over the Hamlet bar from 16-yards.

Baker admitted: “He was maybe a little bit under it as such. It would’ve been better if he stepped onto that and just got up a little big high and headed it down and on a slippery surface that can go anywhere.

“Andy done very well today. He worked really hard when he came on and he’s only a first year so it’s good experience for him.”

But Bromley pulled a goal back with five minutes remaining with a player who has a bright future in the game.

Ajakayie produced another magical solo run from the halfway line and ran and ran and ran before he cut inside and from a tight angle slotted his right-footed shot into the bottom near corner from eight-yards.

Baker said: “Do you know what, Dan’s been exceptional this year and not just in the goals that he’s scored but his work ethic and the type of lad he is. He works his socks off and I just said to him if he keeps doing those things and working hard there’s definitely a place for him somewhere.

“If anyone deserves a goal from the front players it was Daniel.  He will never give up and he will always give you that. He will give you a chance. Whilst it would’ve have been deserved at that point, he gave us a chance.

“There was one where it went right-to-left and Fidan could’ve brought it down and I would’ve probably backed him to finish that had he done and then suddenly two-all, game on. Probably not deserved on the balance of play, that’s how things go in football but Daniel gives you a chance at 2-1.”

Kadi added: “To be fair to De Nairo Queva, that was probably his first mistake all night!.

“He probably should’ve gone forward and he kind of dilly-dallied a little bit and the boy he was playing against is very, very quick and a handful but to be fair he had a lot to do still after De Nairo lost the ball. He done well to slot the ball past Jack, which was a good finish to set up a tense last ten minutes.

“Was I worried? You always worry because you can never take anything for granted!

“Bromley are a good side but I just thought if we can just maintain our composure and just pass the ball and just relax, which is very difficult for young players – and stick to your principles and kind of see the game out.”

But any chances of an unlikely and undeserved Bromley comeback were extinguished when Jaiyesimi proved why he has signed a first team contact.

Faced with a four-man wall, Jaiyesimi hit a quality right-footed free-kick over the wall and into the top left-hand corner – despite Higyed diving high to his right in an attempt to make the save – with 47 minutes and 13 on the clock to seal Dulwich Hamlet’s passage.

“To be fair to DJ, Kevin (James) was saying (on the bench) it would either go in to the trees or in the top corner and to be fair to him it was a very good free-kick,” said Kadi.

“It was a good hit, good technique and he’s a technical player and another one we have high hopes for. He’s done well; Gav’s put him in the first team squad now. He’s signed a contract at the football club, he’s developing well.” 

Baker said: “At 2-1, you’re in the game. We had two up top. We turned things around a little bit but the 10, a fantastic player, a really good player. I thought he was their main attacking threat going forward and we knew we had to keep an eye on him.

“We was standing right behind it and it was a cracking free-kick and he probably deserved that goal on his contribution to the game as well. He’s got senior experience as well, he’s a decent player.”

Looking ahead to their First Round tie, Kadi, who reached the Semi-Finals as player for Crystal Palace back in 1997, replied: “It’s the First Round proper of The FA Youth Cup now. It’s a massive competition. It’s going to be tough. They’ve won a few games like ourselves, whoever it may be.

“I don’t know much about Folkestone but I know a lot about Met Police. Stuart Searle does the Academy over there; he’s a good mate of mine. It will absolutely be a tough game.

“Our target every year is to say can we get ourselves in the First Round proper, pitch ourselves against professional clubs?

“It’s great for the football club and great to see some of the fans coming as well and supporting the youngsters.  It’s a real, real boost for them as well playing in front of a little crowd and they’re singing the boys names and stuff like that, which is a little bit of a taste of what’s to come.”

Manager Gavin Rose, Kadi and Kevin James run the ASPIRE Academy and produce players for the club and the professional ranks.

“We’ve been doing it for 14 years now. We’ve been quite fortunate we’ve had good players,” said Kadi.

“We do work hard to produce what we produce. Boys going into the first team and professional football but for us really it’s just not about the football at ASPIRE.

“When these guys come in at 16, we have a responsibility to turn them into better human beings. Academically they’re on top of their studies. If the boys aren’t up keeping with their education they don’t play regardless, we could have Man United for all I care. It don’t matter to me. 

“Their education is just as important as their football and we’re trying to create good, young people here with discipline, just to give them a start in life.”

Baker admitted to be feeling disappointed that the side’s first defeat of the season spells FA Youth Cup elimination.

Bromley’s Academy manager said: “It’s that balance, we want to create a winning attitude and environment and a competitive one but our job across these two years is to make sure the boys develop as individuals and players.

“Results are secondary but let’s not kid ourselves. As coaches and all the boys we want to win and we always set out to win the games.

“Primarily it’s about development and if we can win games along the way and repeat some of the stuff we did last year (by winning the league title) then great.

“But in terms of both of our Academy sides one’s only been beaten once and this was the first time our older group of lads have tasted that defeat. They’ve done alright but there’s plenty of them to learn and do.”

Dulwich Hamlet: Jack Yerlett, Kiki Oshilaja, Abdul Lyoubi, Osman Proni, De Nairo Queva, Richard Soyoye, Ade Batula (Cristian Bucin 89), Henry Histon, Reece Johnson (Kladji Cani 75), Diallang Jaiyesimi, Tarik Ibrahim (Alfie Powell 82).
Subs: Alton Leeward, Adrian Brown

Goals: Reece Johnson 3, Osman Proni 71, Diallang Jaiyesimi 90

Booked: Osman Proni 56

Bromley: Roland Higyed, Sam Nicholson-Scott, Yaqin Mohammed, Ethan Frederick (Victor Naranjo 81), Michak Stanic-Stewart, Joel Vian (Fidan Fejzi 65), Samuel Asante (Andy Kadulko-Somo 59), Daniel Ajakayie, Louis Fox, Kelvin Ogboe.
Subs: Ted Scanlon, Ronaldo Mitchell

Goal: Daniel Ajakayie 85

Attendance: 186
Referee: Mr Kevin Nicholson (Hornchurch, Essex)
Assistants: Mr Thomas Nicholls (Lewisham,  London SE13) &
Mr Andrew Simmonds (Grays, Essex)