Beavers snatch a point on the Hill
A 95th minute equaliser from the league's leading scorer Charlie Moone enabled the Beavers to snatch an point after going 2-0 down before half-time.
On a playable but heavy pitch, the hosts ran the game from the start and on 10 minutes gained a slightly fortuitous lead. Justyn Roberts attempted a back-header to Rodney Chiweshe but Hamlets' Dean Lodge read the intention and managed to latch onto the loose ball in the box. In rounding Chiweshe, it appeared that the keeper had managed to get a hand on the ball, but Lodge simultaneously fell down after making contact with his arm. Referee David Spain deemed that a foul and awarded a penalty after a glance at his assistant. Rodney felt so aggrieved about the decision that he managed to get himself cautioned for his long protest. After the heat had died down, Erhan Oztumer stepped up and blasted the ball into the roof of the net.
The Beavers were looking somewhat adrift and Dulwich pressed, playing neat and confident football and it was surprising that it took until the 39th minute for them to double their lead. This time, Oztumer was provider, and after he drove to the edge of the box, his incisive pass through the defence found an overlapping Nyren Clunis, whose shot gave Chiweshe no chance.
Dulwich were looking much the better side at half-time and it was clear that the Beavers had to step up their efforts or they could find themselves in a deep hole.
From the restart, it was clear that the management had earned some of their money as the Beavers came out in a much more committed fashion and before long they'd got back into the game. Charlie Moone chased down a soft backpass to keeper Nlate, who looked awkward with the ball on the floor. Moone challenged Nlate and effectively forced him off the ball; after turning, he fashioned an outrageous looping chip which cleared the tall keeper and also the defender covering on the line.
From this point, control of the game swung towards the Beavers, who visibly grew in confidence.
Dave Tarpey was having a quiet game, but just a few minutes after the goal, he could have levelled it. Luke Wanadio's cross was cushioned down into his path by Moone, but the striker couldn't get over his shot and it flew over the bar.
Dulwich's diminutive playmaker Erhan Oztumer was creating his own brand of havoc in the Hampton defence and on 56 minutes, he found some space for a shot which flew straight at Rodney Chiweshe as the Hamlets were still on the back foot.
The game was looking like it was drifting away as the Beavers couldn't force the opening that would get them on level terms, and 76 minutes they nearly paid as Ahmed Deen came up from the back to fire in a stinging shot which Chiweshe had to acrobatically tip over.
The officials had indicated a minimum of 6 addition minutes at the end of the game, which was a surprise to most; after 3 of them, the Beavers looked to have spurned a gilt-edged chance as Dave Tarpey beat the defence with one of his trademark scurrying runs into the box. The ball though got stuck under his feet as he rounded the keeper, and the game looked to have gone.
With literally only seconds remaining, the Beavers were awarded a free kick just inside the Dulwich half. Knowing it was likely to be the last chance, almost everyone crowded the box; James Simmonds flighted a long ball into the congested area, it ricocheted loose in that crowd and fell to Charlie Moone, who held his composure to wriggle into some space and finish in some style off his left foot, as the 30 or so Hampton fans went berserk behind the goal in delight.
A hard won point but credit to all the team for the way they fought back and proved to everyone that they can hold their own with the best in the league.
Dulwich Hamlet 2
Erhun Oztumer (pen 10')
Nyren Clunis (39')
Hampton & Richmond Borough 2
Charlie Moone (49') & (90')
Shots on target: DH 5 HRB 4
Shots off target: DH 5 HRB 5
Free kicks won: DH 6 HRB 3
Offside: DH 1 HRB 1
Corners: DH 5 HRB 4
Penalties: DH 1 HRB 0
Yellow: DH - Oztumer (21'); HRB - Chiweshe (10'), Carder (21'), Powell (78').
Dulwich Hamlet: 1 Yannik Nlate, 2 Kershaney Samuels, 3 Ahmed Deen, 4 Xavier Vidal, 5 Peter Adeniyi, 6 Lewis Gonsalves, 7 Nyren Clunis (Jordan Clarke 79'), 8 Kevin James, 9 Dean Lodge (Jerome Walker 72'), 10 Erhun Oztumer, 11 Billy Crook (Ethan Pinnock 85')
Subs: 12 Ethan Pinnock, 14 Marc-Anthony Okoye, 15 Ian Daly, 16 Jerome Walker, 17 Jordan Clarke
Hampton & Richmond Borough: 1 Rodney Chiweshe, 2 Tommy Brewer, 3 George Wells, 4 Stuart Lake, 5 Darren Powell, 6 Justyn Roberts, 7 Luke Wanadio (Ben Harris 78'), 8 Karle Carder (Bradley Simmonds 84'), 9 Dave Tarpey, 10 Charlie Moone, 11 Joe Turner (James Simmonds 69')
Subs: 12 Harry Mills, 14 Bradley Simmonds, 15 Reece Brewster, 16 James Simmonds, 17 Ben Harris