Strikerless Beavers Beaten
A superb strike from Erhun Oztumer was enough to settle proceedings at Beveree in the Beavers' final home game of the season.
Paul and Darren were forced into late changes to their team after striker Ben Harris - the hattrick hero at Hornchurch - failed a fitness test. With Charlie Moone and Dave Tarpey suspended, this left the managers with no recognised striker. And despite plenty of effort and endeavour, the lack of a proper frontman showed.
The visitors had the first clear opportunity after just seven minutes when skipper Peter Adeniyi marauded down the right before pulling the ball across to where Harry Ottoway waited unmarked. However, the striker completely missed his kick, perhaps due to a bobble, and the chance went begging.
Erhun Oztumer was a menace throughout, and saw a volley go wide, while Joe Turner - Supporters' Player of the Month for March - fired into the side netting for Hampton. Nyren Clunis then dragged a shot wide from a decent position, before Rodney Chiweshe flung himself to his right to turn away Oztumer's curling effort.
Just past the half hour, there was a moment of controversy as Luke Wanadio raced towards a through ball, with Dulwich keeper Phil Wilson also haring out of his goal. Luke got there first, and touched the ball past Wilson to leave himself with a very good scoring chance. However, he was scythed down by Wilson - outside the box - and was only booked by referee Lee Forrester with the home fans screaming for a red card. The freekick came to nothing, leaving some in the ground to think that Dulwich were fortunate to still have a full compliment of players.
After Joe Turner headed over from a Harry Mills cross on the stroke of halftime, Oztumer scored the decisive goal. He collected a pass before being allowed to dance across the Beavers' backline and firing an accurate left foot shot in off the post, giving Chiweshe no chance. It was the only spot Oztumer could have beaten Rodney, making the goal all the more special.
Reece Brewster hit a shot over the bar eight minutes into the second half after good play from Joe Turner and Wanadio, but at the other end midfielder Kevin James' freekicks were looking like being Hamlet's best route to goal. Ottoway did well to reach back and get his head to one such set piece, but was unlucky to see his effort rebound off the post. Minutes later, James sent a direct freekick just wide.
The lively Oztumer was given the freedom of the penalty area to get into a shooting position, but his effort was repelled by Chiweshe, and Kershaney Samuels' rebound was deflected just wide. James had another freekick narrowl miss the angle of post and bar, while Tom Hickey had a couple of tame efforts.
The result drops Hampton one place to eleventh, while Dulwich Hamlet moved up into the playoff positions thanks to AFC Hornchurch dropping points. The final league game sees the lads travel to Carshalton Athletic, the address for which can be found here.
The game at War Memorial Sports Group will see Tommy Brewer and Player of the Season Charlie Moone return from suspension, while Dave Tarpey will still have one game to serve of his three match ban.
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0
Dulwich Hamlet 1
Hampton: Rodney Chiweshe, Harry Mills, Geroge Wells, Tom Hickey, Stuart Lake(c), Justyn Roberts, Joe Turner, Ben Osman, Luke Wanadio, Reece Brewster (Alvin Pilgramm 75), Jack Barton (Paris Mason 66). Unused: Reece Barnett, Marcus Rose, Luke Edgecombe. Booked: Tom Hickey.
Dulwich Hamlet: Phil Wilson, Peter Adeniyi, Ahmed Deen, Kershaney Samuels, Marc-Anthony Okoye, Lewis Gonsalves, Nyren Clunis, Kevin James, Harry Ottaway (Xavier Vidal 85), Erhun Oztumer (Jerome Walker 86), Tommy Kavanagh (Ethan Pinnock 75). Unused: Mathieu Boyer, Ian Daly. Booked: Phil Wilson.