RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
DULWICH HAMLET – 2 [Perkins 53.90]
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Panter 75]
Match Reporter: Bob
Change of reporter this week!! (What? Again??) With me visiting the missus at Uni in Stoke and Chalmers stuck at work with the early kick off stopping him attending, match report duties were handed over to Bob. He duly accepted his responsibility and got on with the job (after numerous threats of varying degrees of violence).
Oh and just ‘cos he’s gone to the trouble of recording the subs, not swearing, generally telling you what went on etc, don’t get bloody used to it. It’s back to my normal rambling bollocks for the Bath game. Off you go big man…
Sorry to use a headline from the old Sutton fanzine ‘The Alternative Supporter’ but I felt it was very appropriate after Saturday’s performance.
The day started well……, well I got out of bed early AND managed to catch the train at the desired time! For a strange moment it seemed like Sutton had returned to Conference football again because there I was setting off early to an away ground, too early to have a beer because the pubs weren’t open and there was quite a few Sutton fans on the platform but then 30 minutes later I arrive at….East Dulwich. Oh.
Oh well, back to reality and heavy rain and once inside the ground trying to get to the bar turned out to be a new zone from the crystal maze. Apparently, with Dulwich in money trouble they’ve decided to stop people walking into the bar and then into the ground without paying. So when I find the door at the back of the stand locked I look for an alternative routeinside. Eventually I head down the player’s tunnel, past the dressing rooms, through some doors, down the corridor, through more doors, up the stairs, through more doors, down the corridor and eventually get to the bar…… hurrah!! After a quick drink and Soccer AM finishing, its time to get wet and take up a viewing position in the ground.
I take up my usual position behind the goal and the first half starts. Fortunately not a lot happens early on and I’m able to chat to Cathy and do a bit of catching up. The first noteworthy incident happens in the 12th minute when Lee Macken takes a right wing free kick and it’s met by a brilliant dive (about a 9.5) by Peter Garland who puts the ball into the back of the Sutton net. Thankfully the referee, who was in the box, spotted that Mr. Garland had punched the ball into the net and promptly disallowed the goal and booked Garland. The half continued and we both agree that considering the pouring rain both sides were playing quite good football with the “U’s” keeping the ball on the deck and playing some neat one touch circles. On 25 minutes, another Garland gets a booking when he clatters into Damian Panter. Then with about 30 minutes gone a long clearance by the keeper finds the ball on the half way line with Peter Garland and a “U’s” player tussling over the aerial ball which results in Mr. Garland punching the ball away. The referee spots this and is quick to give Garland his second yellow card and his marching orders.
Things are looking good I think, playing well and Dulwich down to ten men, but I should know by now that the opposition being reduced to ten men is not always an advantage to Sutton and this I was about to find out! The rest of the half becomes very close knit with few chances, the best being a cross from the left wing by Nko Ekoku finding Ben Hodson unmarked 6 yard’s out. He scuffed his shot wide but was probably relieved to see the linesman’s flag being raised against Richard Thompson for offside so the chance didn’t matter anyway. With 5 minute’s to go to half time a bad Thompson tackle on Veli Hakki on the left result’s in an 18 man mass brawl and with Nko Ekoku making his quickest run of the afternoon to get involved and the ever ready Les Cleevely also sprinting over to see if he could help, the watching referee decides when all is calm, to book all four players. This is received by a clapping of hands by Cleevely when the referee’s back is turned because of his disgust at getting a yellow card. A couple of minutes later the referee end’s the first half.
After a quick half time tipple the second half starts with a couple of changes on both sides. For the “U’s” Thompson & Ekoku are replaced by Danny Bolt & Damian Panter and for Dulwich John Cross & Mike Ebanks are replaced by Declan Perkins & Danny Cecil. Apart from Harlow missing an open goal from around the penalty spot in the opening minute, Dulwich start the stronger and on 48 minute’s Marcus Dussard has a good run into the area and is only denied by an excellent saving tackle by Stuart Hammonds. In the 53rd minute Dulwich first corner of the game is taken short on the left and is crossed in by Danny Cecil. Declan Perkins finds lots of room in the Sutton box and meet’s the cross with a firm downward header which creep’s inside the near post.
Oh shit, 1-0 down to ten men, is there a god? Sutton wake up a bit and push forward and on 59 minute’s Andy Walker has a good run down the right and crosses low to the near post which is met by Damian Panter but he is unable to direct his header and the chance is lost. Danny Bolt settles into the game well, delivering some good ball’s into the box from the left, one of which is met by Paul Harford in the 69th minute but his header is directed straight at Cleevely who takes the catch with relief. In the 70th minute another deep cross finds Harford at the far post who heads back to Ben Hodson in a better position but he can only blast the ball over the bar from about 8 yards. This turns out to be Hodson’s last touch of the game as Scott Forrester then replaces him. Dulwich then have a good spell with Veri Hakki shooting over the bar from 20 yards and Marcus Dussard having a shot well saved by Paul Newell. In the 75th minute with Sutton pushing forward, Danny Bolt produces some good skill on the left and delivers a good cross which is met by Damian Panter who has found space in the centre of the box and plant’s a downward header to the right hand side of the stranded Les Cleevely.
Sutton decide to go for the full 3 points and continue to push forward, maybe a bit to far forward because Dulwich start to find gaps in the “U’s” defence. With 5 minute’s to go Mike Azzopardi is put through for Dulwich, looking certain to score with just the keeper to beat, he shoot’s straight at the advancing Newell who with a super save turn’s the ball away for a corner. A Declan Perkins header meets the resulting right wing corner but it’s directed straight at Newell who saves well. With the game entering injury time, a left wing corner by Veli Hakki drop’s into the box and in a pinball style result’s in the ball hitting the post, a goal line clearance from a Dave Richards effort and eventually Declan Perkins arriving to head over the line and grab his second goal of the game and Dulwich first win of the season. With the Dulwich player’s and their bench going ape-shit at the winning goal, Sutton’s player’s head’s drop in realisation that we ARE that bad and can’t beat the bottom team with ten men.
All in all summing up, 1st half not bad, kept ball quite well but with no real threat on goal. 2nd half was a bit of a shambles with the “U’s” player’s not able to play like a team and create many clear cut chances and unable to test Les Cleevely, who’s day’s exercise was a couple of clearing punch’s and the occasional catch from crosses.
After the game a rush back to Sutton is in order to get to the pub for the England game but to my horror watching England’s performance is just as bad as watching Sutton’s, but to Keegan’s credit he had the decency to resign from his shambles.
Well that’s enough from me and I await in anticipation as to what lesson’s Bath are going to teach us next Saturday, and hope it’s not to embarrassing.
Team : Paul Newell, Andy Walker, Chris Boothe, Stuart Hammonds, Danny Brooker, Dave Harlow, Paul Sears, Paul Harford, Ben Hodson, Richard Thompson, Nko Ekoku, SUB’S, Damian Panter, Danny Bolt, Scot Forrester.