Dulwich Hamlet 3-3 Weston-super-Mare - Weston won't be down there for much longer if they play like that every week, says Dulwich Hamlet assistant manager Junior Kadi

Tuesday 06th November 2018
Dulwich Hamlet 3 – 3 Weston-super-Mare
Location Imperial Fields, Bishopsford Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 6BF
Kickoff 06/11/2018 19:45

Vanarama National League South
Tuesday 6 November 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Imperial Fields

DULWICH HAMLET assistant manager Junior Kadi says Weston-super-Mare were the best side they have played this season.

Marc McGregor’s men arrived at Imperial Fields sitting at the bottom of the Vanarama National League South table with six points on the board from their 14 league games, while Gavin Rose’s Hamlet were in sixteenth-place with 21 points from 15 games.

Dulwich Hamlet took an early lead through Dominic Vose’s first goal for the club, scoring with a drilled finish into the top right-hand corner.

Weston-super-Mare were an impressive outfit during the first half and deservedly equalised through striker Gethyn Hill’s top-corner finish.

Dulwich Hamlet came out of the traps on the front foot during the early stages of the second half with Nathan Ferguson and Ashley Carew (penalty) giving them a 3-1 lead.

Weston-super-Mare striker Jamie Lucas came off the bench to rescue a deserved point to take back to Somerset.  The Welsh striker, 22, tucked home a penalty with eight minutes left and levelled just a couple of minutes later, finishing off a four-man move.

“First of all, I thought Weston were a really, really good side,” Kadi said of Weston-super-Mare, who are in their fifteenth season playing in this division, while this was Dulwich Hamlet’s sixteenth game at this level.  The Hamlet have extended their unbeaten run to three games.

“They’re definitely the best footballing side we’ve played all season, I thought, so credit to the management team.

“I’ll be very surprised if they stay there (at the bottom of the table).  People are finding their feet and they’ve been in the league for a while. Just going on tonight’s performance, that’s the best team we’ve played.”

Weston-super-Mare were a much better side than their league position suggests.  They claimed their first league win of the season at the weekend by winning 1-0 at fellow strugglers Hungerford Town.

They started on the front foot and left-winger Jarrard Welch drilled a deflected free-kick past the left-hand post from 35-yards inside the opening six minutes.

Alex Byrne then released left-back George Nurse on the overlap and his cross from the left sailed over the head of the jumping Hill at the far post.

However, Dulwich Hamlet were deadly with their first chance, taking the lead with only eight minutes and 48 seconds on the clock.

Left-back Nathan Green – who was throwing up several times inside the dressing room before the warm-up – played a sublime 60-yard pass out of defence to release striker Gavin Tomlin down the left channel and he cut the ball back for Vose to drill his first time right-footed drive into the top right-hand corner from 12-yards.

“It was a good finish, good football, good finish,” said Kadi.

“Greenie’s done ever so well to get through the game.  I think he had a bout of food poisoning so he’s thrown up about five times so he’s done really well.

“Vose, a player of his ability, he should score more goals. It was a nice finish.”

Weston-Super-Mare winger Ben Swallow was to be a threat all night with pacy runs down the wing and he was released by holding midfielder Naby Diallo, before cutting into the box down the right but his shot lacked conviction and rolled into Preston Edwards’ gloves at his near post.

Ferguson released Green in the final third and he teed up Vose, who from the left flashed his left-footed angled drive across the diving keeper and past the far post from the corner of the box.

Welch played a low pass in from the left to central midfielder Jacob Crane, but his effort from 30-yards curled harmlessly high and wide of the far post.

The impressive Swallow raced down the right again and cut the ball back for Alex Byrne, who drilled his first time shot over the Dulwich Hamlet crossbar from 20-yards.

Nurse took a touch before whipping in a cross into the Dulwich Hamlet box from the left but Hill steered his towering header past the left-hand post.

Weston-super-Mare deserved their equaliser when it came with 26 minutes and 9 seconds on the clock.

McGregor made a tactical switch and told Diallo to leave his holding midfielder duties to join in with the attack and the move paid off with the equaliser.

Welsh fed the ball into Diallo’s feet down the left-hand channel and he played the ball inside for Hill to drill his left-footed shot into the top left-hand corner from 15-yards.

“I think Weston had the better of the first half to be honest with you.  I thought they were in complete control,” admitted Kadi.

“It’s nothing that they didn’t deserve to be honest with you. At the time I thought Weston were really good.”

When Dulwich Hamlet had the ball, Weston-super-Mare’s players retreated and put everyone behind the ball and they proved a hard side to break down.

The Hamlet went close following their third of five corners on the night. Carew floated in the corner from the right for Michael Chambers to come up from the back to rise to plant his header just over the crossbar.

“It was a good delivery from Ash. Mike’s got a free header and probably should hit the target and make the keeper work but we’re decent at set-pieces so we expected to score more goals,” added Kadi.

Weston-super-Mare were to be denied the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Swallow, now on the left-wing, reached the by-line and hung over a great cross towards the far post for centre-half Matt Bower to plant his free header towards the roof of the net.  The ball, however, was tipped over the crossbar by Edwards’ outstretched finger-tips.

Byrne floated in the resulting corner and Bower had a second bite of the cherry, sending his free header at the far post down and past the right-hand post from eight-yards.

When asked what was said during the interval, which clearly had the desired effect, Kadi replied: “Just tried to organise the boys better, try to get after Weston a bit higher up the pitch because we allowed them too much time and space to play.”

Dulwich Hamlet charged out for the second half on the front foot and Carew swung in a corner from the right and Chambers flicked his shot across the keeper and past the far post from 10-yards after only 39 seconds.

The Hamlet produced a slick one-touch passing move, which included Chambers playing the ball into Tomlin’s feet and he set-up Vose, whose low right-footed drive from 20-yards was held by visiting keeper Luke Parnell, low to his right.

Dulwich Hamlet took the lead with only three minutes and 32 seconds on the clock.

Green made one of his trademark runs into the final third and whipped in a great cross from the left and Tomlin’s low angled drive beat Purnell and was cleared of the line at the far post and the ball fell to Ferguson, who placed his right-footed shot into the bottom far corner from 10-yards.

“It was good because they were posing different problems for us. It was really good so we need to be right tactically and I think the start of the season half the boys were a bit better.  We were pressing a bit better, pressing them a bit higher, so we got a bit of joy.

“Credit to Weston, they stuck to their guns, stuck to their principles and played some really good football.  To be honest with you, they deserved something from the game.”

Reflecting on the goal, Kadi said: “I think we won the ball quite high up the pitch and got crosses in and balls in the box as well. We probably should’ve scored with Gav’s attempt on goal, the keeper’s made a save and Nathan’s followed up well.”

Dulwich Hamlet were on course of sealing their record win in the National League South when they scored their third goal of the night with six minutes and 7 seconds on the clock.

Green drove into the penalty area and was fouled by Weston-super-Mare right-back Louis McGrory and referee Christopher O’Donnell pointed to the spot.

Carew stepped up and sent Purnell the wrong way as his right-footed penalty flew into the right-hand corner of the net.

“Good penalty from Ash,” added Kadi.

“On the line it was never a comfortable game. It was never a comfortable evening because Weston still stuck to their principles an they played to their philosophy and played a certain way and massive, massive credit to them, their management team, they were really good on the night.”

Dulwich Hamlet were comfortable on the hour-mark but they should have wrapped the game up in the 64th minute.

Vose split open the Weston-super-Mare defence with a fine 30-yard pass which put Clunis through on goal but the winger flashed his right-footed drive across the keeper and past the foot of the far post from the edge of the box.

Kadi admitted: “First turning point. If Nyren scores, it’s 4-1 but a two-goal lead, as we all know in football, two goals, one goal swings in either way.”

Clunis played the ball out to Green, whose turn of pace saw him glide comfortably past Welch down the left channel and once inside the box he drilled his shot just past the top of the near post, into the side-netting.

The tempo of the game died down for the next 10 minutes before Dulwich Hamlet should have buried the game with 15 minutes left.

Green released Tomlin down the line and he played the ball back into Green’s feet and his cross was cleared out to Clunis, who curled his shot around the top of the far post from just inside the penalty area.

Lucas’s introduction, however, sparked Weston-super-Mare into life and his contribution proved vital as the Somerset side claimed their fifth point from their last three outings.

Swallow drilled a deep cross in from the right wing and this was smacked by Nurse’s half-volley, which screamed off Quade Taylor and sailed over for a corner.

Byrne played a short corner to Diallo, who rolled the ball inside to Nurse but the left-back drilled his left-footed drive just over the crossbar from 25-yards.

Weston-super-Mare were given a lifeline when a poor challenge inside the penalty area by Dulwich Hamlet centre-half Magnus Okuonghae sent Diallo crashing to the deck and the referee awarded his second penalty kick of the night.

Lucas stepped up and his right-footed penalty nestled inside the bottom left-hand corner, despite Edwards diving to his right and almost getting a hand to the ball – the goal timed at 36 minutes and 20 seconds.

“Ridiculous penalty to be honest with you, ridiculous,” came Kadi’s reaction.

“Preston’s quite good with pens, but I think the guy stuck it well so fair play to him.

“It was never an easy game.  Weston kept battling, they kept playing and kept playing their way and massive, massive credit to them. They’re a very, very good side on the night. As I’ve seen that’s the best team we’ve played against this season.”

Weston-super-Mare claimed a deserved point, the goal coming with 38 minutes and 34 seconds on the clock.

Swallow cut into the penalty area from the left and floated a cross towards the near post for substitute Tom Llewellyn to flick his header across goal and heading behind for a goal-kick.

McGrory was there, however, to cut the ball back from the right by-line for Lucas to flick his shot across Edwards to find the bottom far corner from six-yards out to score his fourth goal of the season.

“On balance of play, it’s what they deserved on the night.  Weston deserved something from the game but being 3-1 up you’d like to think that we’ve got enough experience and enough know-how to see the game out.

“But listen, this is football. The times we haven’t played great and there’s times we’ve played really, really well and got nothing.

“If I was Weston getting back on that coach I’ll be disappointed if we had nothing and fair play to them, they deserved something from the game.”

Kadi insisted Weston-super-Mare’s performance didn’t surprise him tonight.

“No, no, no, no, not at all.  We’ve had them watched, I’ve seen the videos of them, so we were under no illusions.  I’ll almost say off the back of that they’re in a false position but listen, you’re there for a reason but credit to them.”

Dulwich Hamlet are now in thirteenth-place in the Vanarama National League South table and Rose takes his side to Torquay on Sunday to play a Truro City side struggling in the bottom four with 11 points from 15 games.

Truro City have won two league games this season and cannot be underestimated as they are fighting for their lives with Hungerford Town (11 points from 16 games), East Thurrock United (10 from 15) and Weston-super-Mare (7 points) below them in the table.

In fact, only five points separates Chelmsford City with 26 points in fourth-place and Hampton & Richmond Borough in sixteenth!

Kadi said: “Listen, we’re just trying to get ourselves settled and compete at a higher level. It’s different for us. We just need the players and the club and everyone to understand what we’re trying to do.  We’re stepping in the right direction.  We want to be competitive and see where we go.

“We’re going to the new grounds, coming up against different teams and different mangers. We were in the Ryman/Bostik League for a very long time. It’s an adventure. The fans are great, they give us massive support as always and we’re enjoying it.

“We need to recover. We’re a bit disappointed because we were 3-1 up and you want to see the game out but it’s no problem. We’ll come back to training on Thursday, shake the boys down, prepare right and get ready for the long journey and hopefully try to bring some points back.

“In this league a lot of the teams are well organised.  You can see by the league table from fourth to sixteenth there’s nothing in it.

“Watching Weston tonight, they won’t be down there for much longer if they play like that every week!”

Dulwich Hamlet were forced out of their Champion Hill Stadium in March 2018 and the club are HOPEFUL to be making a return for the visit of Torquay United on Saturday 1 December 2018. Nothing has been made official by the club just yet though.

Kadi said:  “The good thing is we’re going to go back home so if it’s not that date and it’s the day after, if it’s two weeks after, it is what it is, but the most important thing people have worked ever so hard to get us back home and if we have to wait a week or two weeks, we’ve been out for eight or nine months.

“It has been tough because you love your home comforts don’t you and we’ve got a lovely pitch at Dulwich and our crowd. It’s a Tuesday night and we’ve still got loads of people coming, which is great but inevitably the crowd is going to go down with the distance and stuff like that. 

“I’ve said already, massive, massive thanks and respect to Tooting for giving us an opportunity for somewhere to play football and stay alive.”

Dulwich Hamlet: Preston Edwards, Quade Taylor, Nathan Green, Ashley Carew, Magnus Okuonghae, Michael Chambers, Nyren Clunis, Nathan Ferguson, Gavin Tomlin (Jay May 83), Ibrahim Kargbo (Anthony Cook 61), Dominic Vose (Sanchez Ming 83).
Subs: Iffy Allen, Kingsley Eshun    

Goals: Dominic Vose 9, Nathan Ferguson 49, Ashley Carew 52 (penalty)

Booked: Dominic Vose 56

Weston-super-Mare: Luke Parnell, Louis McGrory, George Nurse, Naby Diallo, Matt Bower, Jason Pope, Ben Swallow, Jacob Cane, Gethyn Hill (Jamie Lucas 71), Alex Byrne, Jarrard Welch (Tom Llewellyn 78).
Subs: Elijah Phipps, George Morris-Edwards, Cory Thomas-Barker

Goals: Gethyn Hill 27, Jamie Lucas 82 (penalty), 84

Booked: Louis McGrory 51, Naby Diallo 80

Attendance: 386
Referee: Mr Christopher O’Donnell (Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire)
Assistants: Mr Ian Stewart (Bedford, Bedfordshire) & Mr Stuart Smith (Watford, Hertfordshire)