Report - Wealdstone 1 - 3 Dulwich Hamlet
Wealdstone’s National League South play-off hopes were dented on Saturday afternoon as they were defeated at The Vale by relegation survivors, Dulwich Hamlet.
First half goals from Connor Hunte and Anthony Cook, along with a penalty from Dipo Akinyemi, secured three points for The Hamlet; while Freddie Grant scored a late conciliatory goal to mark his 100th appearance in the National League South.
From the outset, The Stones started energetically, dominating proceedings, and galvanising two goal scoring opportunities within the first minute of the match. Godfrey Poku fed Daniel Green down the left wing and his resultant shot brought a solid save from Dulwich’s keeper, Preston Edwards. Green’s subsequent corner found Jeffrey Monakana, whose effort was spilled by Edwards, but David Pratt was unable to convert the follow up.
In the sixth minute, Wealdstone once again came close to taking an early lead as Poku’s through ball found Monakana for a one-one-one, but Edwards pulled off a fine save to keep the match scoreless.
Dulwich’s first real goal scoring chance of the half came in the ninth minute when Cook’s cross from the right wing found Jamie Mascoll free at the back post; his bullet header flying just wide of the post.
The Stones continued to dominate the first half, with Rhys Tyler’s effort being well-blocked by a Dulwich defender in the 12th minute. Defensive stalwart, Connor Stevens, also came close to scoring, producing and excellent acrobatic effort from Green’s corner in the 15th minute, which flew just over the bar.
In the 19th minute, against the run of play, The Hamlet took the lead through Hunte. Dan Thompson provided the assist, finding Hunte on the right wing, for him to cut in onto his left foot and despatch a shot past Jonathan North, low in the far corner.
Wealdstone responded well, as they began to dominate possession and spur an equaliser. This was generated by excellent work from Poku in central midfield, as he was relentless in braking up play through interceptions and tackles, enabling The Stones to attack Dulwich.
In the 33rd minute, Christian Smith combined well with Grant, who touched down to Pratt, but he was unable to hit the target.
As the first half drew to a close, The Hamlet began to look more dangerous, with North producing a brilliant save from Akinyemi’s goal bound header in the 35th minute.
Four minutes later, Dulwich won a free kick just outside Wealdstone’s box. Hunte stepped up and stuck a delightful free kick into the top corner, doubling their lead before half time.
Wealdstone started the second half brightly, with Tyler setting up Brown in the 46th minute, but his effort was blocked well by a Dulwich defender. In the 51st minute, Green struck a fantastic effort, that curled just wide of the post.
The Stones came agonisingly close to reducing the deficit again in the 79th minute, as Monakana produced a trademark surging run, threading a fantastic ball through to James Clarke, but he was unable to capitalise.
Against the run of possession, Dulwich broke on a counter attack, resulting in the referee awarding a penalty, which Akinyemi converted to increase the visitors’ lead.
As the second half progressed, Wealdstone continued to push for a goal, with Monakana and Allarakhia, in particular; using their skill and pace to outwit The Hamlet defence.
In the 86th minute, The Stones were duly rewarded for their persistence as Grant unleashed a thunderous long range shot which was deflected past Edwards into the top corner.
Despite further late efforts from Allarakhia and Monakana, Wealdstone were unable to peg back Dulwich any further.
The Stones return to action at 3pm on Monday 22nd April as they travel to the Melbourne Stadium to face Chelmsford City FC.
Wealdstone: North, Tyler, Grant, Stevens, Okimo, Poku Monakana, Smith, Pratt, Green, Brown Subs (used) Clark, Allarakhia. Not used Patterson, Sheppard, Mensah
Dan Finill pics HERE
Listen to Bobby Wilkinson post match interview HERE