Two first-half goals give the Beavers their first win in six games
Two early goals were enough to see the Beavers claim their first win in six as they claimed victory over Dulwich Hamlet at the Beveree.
By Darren Barnard
There has been anticipation in the air recently at the Beveree. Anticipation that Hampton will likely concede an early goal. Anticipation that the Beavers will spend a lot of the game working hard but ultimately lack quality at either end of the pitch.
A run of five straight defeats over the Christmas period was more sobering than most people’s attempt at dry January. Despite this, fans had reason to be optimistic going in today’s game with Dulwich Hamlet – as the visitors were the nearest side to the Beavers in the form table.
Numerous departures in and out of the club as of late meant that Roy Syla and Nana Kyei both made their debuts. It was through the middle of the park, which Syla fantastically patrolled for 90 minutes, which led to Matty Wichelow dribbling into Hamlet’s box and rifling the ball into the top corner in the fifth minute.
The lead was doubled just six minutes later when debutant Kyei ran down the left flank and picked out Chris Dickson – who managed to get ahead of his man at the near post and tap it in. Poor starters? What poor starters?
The home fans were in a state of confusion. Two nil up in the opening 11 minutes was unfamiliar territory for the side placed 16th in the league table.
Confidence was unexpectedly high. This was exemplified by Oliver Sprague’s audacious effort moments later – when the defender attempted to lob Preston Edwards from the half-way line, which meant the Dulwich keeper had to sacrifice a collision with the frame of the goal in order to tip the ball over the bar.
After the shock of having a lead early – a pink wave made its way towards Tim Lovelock’s goal for the remainder of the half.
Sprague was possibly still revelling in the moment of nearly scoring the goal of the season as he failed to close down Decarrey Sheriff, leading to Tyrell Miller-Rodney making a goaline block that would be equally worthy of a winning an end-of-season award.
As the second half started, the Beavers became reliant on the likes of Craig Dundas and Sam Cox picking up the loose balls in midfield. Although, they were unable to release Dickson and Kyei to the same affect in which they did before the break.
A left-footed effort from the edge of the box went a whisker wide of Lovelock’s right-hand post on the hour mark which signalled the beginning of endless clock-watching from the home support and undoubtedly, Gary McCann. A two goal lead never felt so vulnerable.
Dundas continued to use all two decades of his footballing experience to help win free-kicks and contested balls. The gamesmanship wasn’t quite as subtle from Lovelock who received a yellow-card for timewasting as the Beavers continued to withstand the pressure.
An air shot from Nathan Ferguson at the near-post. A miss-directed header from Jacob Erskine. Sheriff looking promising but unable to get a shot away.
It seemed that despite giving Dulwich every opportunity to get back into the game – they were incapable of taking any of their chances. The opponents were clearly a side on a baron run as well.
James Durkin blew the full-time whistle and with it, Hampton supporters breathed a sigh of relief. A dogged performance. Invaluable three points.