Dulwich Hamlet 3-2 Dartford. Darts surrender "not very good," says Burman

Tuesday 19th September 2006

Tuesday 19th September 2006
Ryman League Division One South
Stephen McCartney reports from Champion Hill Stadium

Dulwich Hamlet fought back from being two goals down after just 24 minutes to record a deserved victory over Dartford in a very entertaining game between two very good sides at Champion Hill tonight.

The Darts, going into the game in third place, were 2-0 up thanks to Eddie McClements and Dave Martin (penalty), scoring their first goals of the season.

But the game turned on its head when the hosts scored twice in the last six minutes of the first half through the impressive Luke Cornwall and Phil Williams.

And it was former Erith & Belvedere striker Chris Dickson who bagged the three points for the south Londoners, scoring the winning goal three minutes from time.

Dartford had taken the lead after 13 minutes following the first corner of the game.

Ryan Briggs’ flag-kick was met on the side-footed volley by midfielder McClements, which flew into the bottom left hand corner.

A superb run from Dickson, where he ran some 30-yards with the ball, ended with a low 20-yard shot, which slid towards Kevin Hudson in the Darts goal.

But when Brendon Cass was brought down inside the penalty area after 24 minutes, which wing-wizard Dave Martin fired the spot kick into the bottom left hand corner, despite James Pullen getting a hand to the ball, meant Dartford were full value for their two-goal lead.

Pullen then made two comfortable saves, denying low shots from leading scorer Jay May and Martin from outside the box.

Dickson brought a fine save from Hudson in the 38th minute, with a fierce swerving drive from 18-yards, before the south Londoners pulled a goal back a minute later.

A ball over the top was latched onto by Cornwall, who slid the ball around Hudson, and slotted home into an empty net to score his second of the season.

The slick passing hosts, however, turned the game on its head by levelling the score just three minutes later.

Williams scored his second of the season after bursting through the Darts defence and slid the ball past Hudson into the bottom left hand corner.

But Dartford’s first half attacking play was snuffed out by a Dulwich Hamlet side that sensed victory, on an excellent playing surface, which was watered before the game using the stadium’s eight pop-up pitch sprinkling system.

In a rare Dartford attack early in the second half, Martin’s attempted lob from sixteen yards was clawed out by the advancing Dulwich goalkeeper.

At the other end, Danny White had Hudson to thank for pushing Dickson’s low shot around the post, after the striker stole the ball from the left-back.

Dulwich Hamlet were awarded free-kick just two yards from the penalty area after 67 minutes, but Kenny Beaney’s drive took a deflection and flashed past the right post.

The home side continued to dominate possession late on, and another mazy run from substitute Eniola Olkwa carved open a chance for Dickson, whose 25-yard drive deflected over.

And then a lob from Dickson dropped wide of the left post, after he burst past central defender Richard Avery, who was missing his partner at the heart of defence, Anthony Henry, who hasn’t recovered from his back strain.

Dartford almost stole victory with seven minutes remaining but a 30-yard free kick from substitute Ryan Hayes, after a quiet Jay May was fouled, sailed over.

The impressive Williams was desperately unlucky not to score from a 30-yard shot, which flew agonisingly past the right post, but they fully deserved their winning goal with just three minutes left on the clock.

Dickson started and finished the move, aided by a spot of pin-ball inside the Darts penalty area, but in the end, he was able to roll the ball past Hudson’s desperate dive and into the net to the delight of Hamlet’s second largest crowd of the season.

“I thought first half hour we done well and we went 2-0 up,” Darts boss Tony Burman said EXCLUSIVELY to www.kentishfootball.co.uk afterwards.

“They are a very, very good side and they play good football. So it was disappointing. We got a little bit disorganised for that last ten minutes of the first half.

“It would have been nice to keep the lead obviously, but a bit of sloppy play at the back let them in. It’s happened but unfortunately we’ve come in at two-all.”

Burman spoke about the second half: “Although, again we started off ok, I don’t think they bothered us really that much, other than from corners in the second half.

“I felt we was well worth getting something but the main thing is it’s a lot better than Saturday’s game (a 2-0 defeat in the FA Cup to Hastings United) performance wise.

“We’ve had a tough game tonight, and we’ve come here and had a go. Some you win, some you lose and we lost tonight, albeit we’ve surrendered a two goal lead, which is not very good.”

Dulwich Hamlet: James Pullen, Jason Turley, Danny Moore, Daniel Nwanze, Gavin Dayes, Lewis Tozer, David Moore (Eniola Olkwa 70), Danny Beaney, Luke Cornwall (Daniel Jones 84), Chris Dickson, Phil Williams.
Subs: Cedric Meeko, Eniola Olkwa, Sol Pinnock, Nicholas Pluman.

Goals: Luke Cornwall 39, Phil Williams 42, Chris Dickson 87

Dartford: Kevin Hudson, Tommy Osborne, Danny White, Brad Potter, Richard Avery, Steve Hafner, Ryan Briggs, Jay May, Brendon Cass (Ryan Hayes 77), Eddie McClements, Dave Martin.
Subs: Glenn Billenness, Craig Maguire, Tommy Olson.

Goals: Eddie McClements 13, Dave Martin 24 (pen)

Attendance: 300
Referee: Mr Paul Andrews (Rochester)
Assistants: Mr Christopher Evans (Ealing) & Mr Aheene Yahiaoui (Loughborough Park)