Hampton & Richmond Borough 2-1 Dulwich Hamlet - It was a bad one for even our supporters to watch, admits Dulwich Hamlet boss Gavin Rose

Tuesday 20th October 2015
Hampton & Richmond Borough 2 – 1 Dulwich Hamlet
Location Beveree Stadium, Beaver Close, Station Road, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 2BX
Kickoff 20/10/2015 19:45

Ryman Premier League
Tuesday 20th October 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Beveree Stadium

DULWICH HAMLET manager Gavin Rose says he wants consistency from his side after they missed out on the chance to reach the summit of the Ryman Premier League table.

The Hamlet would have leapfrogged over Leiston had they won at seventh-placed Hampton & Richmond Borough and things were going to plan when midfielder Daniel Sweeney powered home his header to score his fourth goal for the club on the half-an-hour mark.

But Alan Dowson’s side climbed up to fourth-place on the same number of points as Dulwich Hamlet (30 from 17 games) after dominating the second half.

Central defender Moussa Diarra capped off a solid performance at the back by sweeping home the equaliser, before Hampton & Richmond Borough skipper Dean Sinclair won it from the penalty spot with 15 minutes left.

“A lot of disappointment obviously.  I feel the first half we probably should’ve been two goals to the good possibly and the fact that we didn’t capitalise on that half, our first half form absolutely paid us in the end,” said Rose, following his side’s fifth league defeat of the season.

“Second half we came out, we had to play a harder game, a dogged game and we didn’t look like we wanted to do that and that was the disappointing thing.”

Dulwich Hamlet’s pre-match plans were thrown out when right-back Mitchell Nelson was withdrawn from the team through his troublesome calf so Matt Drage slotted in at that position.

“He felt his calf on Saturday but passed a fitness test. He done a bit of sprinting just before he came in and it went,” revealed Rose.

“I suppose it’s better it happened before the game but not great preparation for us.

“Matt (Drage) came in but he’s not a natural full-back. He did a good enough job, but it’s not his preferred position.

“We’ve got some really good players who are out injured at the moment. Nyren (Clunis) came back today, probably a bit ahead of schedule, but Damian Scannell’s just had a little strain, Albert Jarrett.  These guys are good at the top end of the pitch and we’re just hoping that they’re competing for places, which will help us.”

The first half was a cagey affair, with clear cut goalscoring opportunities at a premium, although both sets of supporters made it a cracking atmosphere.

Dulwich Hamlet created a half chance after 10 minutes when left-back Jordan Brown delivered a hanging cross towards the far post but Calum Willock’s header across goal was headed away by the dominant Diarra.

The first real goalscoring chance fell to Hampton & Richmond Borough after 24 minutes.

Josh Casey (who took all of their seven corners) swing in a left-footed free-kick and Diarra’s towering header looped into Phil Wilson’s hands for a comfortable catch.

Dulwich Hamlet striker Willock ran into a brick wall down the right hand side of the penalty area and the ball came out to Sweeney, who drilled his first time drive screaming over the bar from 25-yards.

Rose admitted: “Before the goal, I thought it was quite a cagey affair. They’re a team that will be there or there abouts towards the end of the season I feel and you could see that in the first half.

“It was a cagey affair but as it went on I thought in the first half I felt we created a lot more and had a lot more of the ball as well and should’ve gone two goals to the good.”

Dulwich Hamlet took the lead with 29 minutes and 54 seconds on the clock.

Ashley Carew rolled the ball to Drage, who fed Jordan Hibbert down the right.  He cut the ball back for Drage to whip in a first time cross, which caught out hesitant goalkeeper Seb Brown and Sweeney planted his downward header into the bottom near corner.

Rose said: “A good move! It was something we asked our midfielders to do, to arrive in the box and Danny done that really well today and I was happy with that move. It was a good passing move and a good finish at the end.”

Dulwich Hamlet were to be denied a second goal only 164 seconds later.

Carew swung in a free-kick from the right and Ethan Pinnock rose at the far post to plant his header over Brown’s left shoulder, the ball crashing back down of the crossbar and no one in a pink shirt could react to tuck home the rebound.

Rose added: “It was a great cross and probably could do a little bit better Ethan but at the end of the day he’s hit the bar, it’s a matter of inches. That’s football.”

Harry Taylor whipped in a cross into the Dulwich Hamlet box from the left and Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick attempted an over-head kick.  The ball came out to Casey, who lashed his shot past the near post from 8-yards.

Hampton & Richmond Borough then called visiting keeper Wilson into making a save in the 43rd minute.

Striker Nicke Kabamba cut in from the left and found Sinclair, who clipped the ball back towards the far post for Kabamba to loop his header towards the top near corner, only for Wilson to spread himself at his near post to use a strong right hand to palm the ball over the bar.

“I thought he got himself underneath the ball there to be honest with you,” said Rose.

“I thought the initial cross, he didn’t really need to get involved in. He got a little bit underneath the ball and then he got caught out by the header but in the end he’s had to make the save but probably shouldn’t really be that far off his line.”

Wilson made a comfortable low save to his left to prevent Diarra directing his downward header into the corner of the net after staying up for another set-piece.

Rose admitted to be feeling disappointing going into the half-time interval a goal up.

“That’s the disappointment though,” said the Hamlet boss.

“We spoke about what Hampton will try to do in the second half in terms of how they like to attack and get the ball forward quickly etc and we basically didn’t take heed of what was asked of them and we came a cropper in the second half.

“That’s the big disappointment, that the boys didn’t really listen to what was said or didn’t take it on board enough and we came a cropper.”

Hampton & Richmond Borough received a slice of luck inside the opening six minutes of the second half.

Sweeney played the ball into Carew’s feet, who cut the ball firstly on to his left foot, then checked onto his right, before stroking a low deflected drive from 25-yards across the keeper, the ball bouncing agonisingly off the foot of the far post.

Carew swung in the resulting corner from the left, which was glanced past the far post by Drage.

But following those couple of early chances, the home side were to dominate large chunks of the second half.

Rose admitted: “They (my players) didn’t turn up at all. It was a really disappointing half from us, really uninspiring really to be honest with you. A bad one for even our supporters to watch!”

Hampton & Richmond Borough’s left-back, Tom Jelley, who scooped the club’s player-of-the-month awards for August and September before the game, called Wilson into making a smart low save to his right at his near post to turn away a right-footed driven free-kick from 22-yards.

It was therefore no surprise when the Beavers deservedly equalised with 13 minutes and 26 seconds on the second half clock.

Rose was left disappointed when his flat-footed defence allowed winger Brendan Kiernan to skip past them and cut into the penalty area before cutting the ball across the face of goal for an unmarked Diarra to slide his shot into the bottom near corner.

He said: “It’s badly defending on the wing. I think it was Jordan Brown or Ethan Pinnock, who’s let the guy, let Brendan Kiernan down the side. The ball’s come across two defenders before it’s got to Diarra and I think Matt Drage should do better with him on the back post.”

Brown launched a big kick upfield and the ball was helped on into Kiernan’s path, the former Bromley winger chipping the ball straight at Wilson, stroking a first time shot after being played in behind the defence.

It was only a matter of time that Hampton & Richmond Borough would score the winning goal.

“They’re on top, with a lot of territory possession. They were getting the ball forward quickly and we found it hard to deal with the first ball and the second,” said Rose, whose side committed 20 fouls tonight.

“In fairness, if we got out to the first ball, we wouldn’t have so much problems but we didn’t do that so well.”

Poor defending from Jordan Hibbert (who by this stage has slotted in at right-back) let Kiernan cut in from the left and his drive deflected wide.

Casey then drilled his shot past the post during a dominant spell for the home side.

Hampton & Richmond Borough deservedly claimed the victory, 15 minutes from the end.

Hippolyte-Patrick was sent tumbling to the ground following a bookable challenge by Carew and referee Dean Appleby pointed to the spot.

Sinclair stepped up and sent Wilson the wrong way with his right-footed penalty, which was clinically despatched into the left-hand corner.

Rose added: “No complaints, it was definitely a penalty! Poor defending from us all round on that move. It was a good finish!”

Dulwich Hamlet, who were poor for large parts of the second half, pressed for an equaliser and came close a couple of times during the final ten minutes.

Danny Waldren played winger Rhys Murrell-Williamson in behind right-back Michael Kamara down the left and he whipped in a great cross.  Sweeney’s header was kept out by the former Bromley keeper and substitute Nyren Clunis’ follow-up looped over the bar.

Rose said: “There was one when he saved a great header from Danny Sweeney in the second half and Nyren rebounded over the bar and you start thinking we’re not going to score! It happens, it’s football.”

The Beavers went close when Kiernan played the ball inside to Taylor, whose angled left-footed drive flashed just past the foot of the near post.

Brown pulled off an excellent save to deny his former Bromley team-mate Waldren inside the final four minutes.

Good wing-play by Murrell-Williamson saw him beat Kamara for pace and burst down the left channel, before wrapping his foot around the ball to pick out Waldren unmarked on the edge of the box.  The midfielder hooked his right-footed volley towards the top left hand corner of the net, but Brown dived high to his right to push the ball over the crossbar.

“Good move, the keeper’s done well, not much we can ask for,” came Rose’s reply.

Clunis unleashed a right-footed curling effort from 35-yards, which was destined to bounce into the bottom far corner, but Brown dived to his left to tip the ball around the post.

Hampton & Richmond Borough fashioned the last chance of the game with virtually the last kick of the game when Hippolyte-Patrick forced a comfortable low save from the Dulwich Hamlet keeper.

Canvey Island are now sitting proudly at the top of the table on 33 points from 17 games and Rose takes his side to Essex on Saturday.

“At the end of the day going top now isn’t the main thing for us now,” said Rose.

“We need to get a bit more consistency. We’ll definitely win more games.  We need to go on a four, five, six (winning) game run and being at the top of the league or not doesn’t really matter.

“They’re (Canvey Island) a very good team so we know it’s going to be a tough, tough game.  It’s always hard down there so we have to make sure that we’re on our mettle.

“Hampton are pretty similar, a very tough team so we knew we’ve had a few tough fixtures coming up and this is another one.”

Dulwich Hamlet’s players clapped their supporters at the final whistle, who gave them excellent vocal support all night. Even the Hampton fans were copying their songs!

Rose added: “That was disappointing. Our supporters deserve that same enthusiasm that they give my players on the pitch and they (my players) didn’t do that today.”

Before their trip to Canvey Island, Dulwich Hamlet meet old rivals Bromley in The FA Youth Cup Third Qualifying Round at Champion Hill on Wednesday night (7:45pm).

The winners will travel to Metropolitan Police or Folkestone Invicta (who play on Thursday night) in the First Round.

Rose who runs the highly-acclaimed ASPIRE Academy, which has produced a number of players for Dulwich Hamlet and professional clubs, is looking forward to facing one of his former clubs.

“It should be an entertaining game, with both sets of good young players.  We’ve seen Bromley play, they’re a very good set of players and we’ve got some exciting young boys coming through the Academy, so it should be a very good entertaining game.  Hope the best team win.”

Hampton & Richmond Borough: Seb Brown, Michael Kamara, Tom Jelley, Joe Hicks, Moussa Diarra, Harry Taylor, Brendan Kiernan (Kieran Murphy 83), Dean Sinclair, Nicke Kabamba, Josh Casey, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick.
Subs: Eddie Hutchinson, Charlie Moone, Jerome Federico, Richard Pacquette

Goals: Moussa Diarra 59, Dean Sinclair 75 (penalty)

Booked: Moussa Diarra 33, Josh Casey 90

Dulwich Hamlet: Phil Wilson, Matt Drage (Nyren Clunis 66), Jordan Brown, Danny Waldren, Osei Sankofa, Ethan Pinnock, Daniel Sweeney, Ashley Carew, Calum Willock (Jacob Erskine 66), Jordan Hibbert, Rhys Murrell-Williamson.
Subs: Jack Dixon, Jamie Mascoll, Josh Fernandes

Goal: Daniel Sweeney 30

Booked: Matt Drage 45, Danny Waldren 54, Ashley Carew 74

Attendance: 442
Referee: Mr Dean Appleby (High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire)
Assistants: Mr Neil Fyfield (Harrow, Middlesex) & Mr Keith Kennett (Ruislip, Middlesex)