Battle Of Champion Hill Ends In Draw

Dulwich Hamlet

Dulwich Hamlet

Webb (63), Fowler (90+8)
Slough Town

Slough Town

Archer (11), Rainford (82)
League Attendance: 284 David Rainford
Two out of form Ryman Premier Division sides met at Champion Hill today, in what can only be described as a battle, which eventually ended all square thanks to a late Dulwich equaliser, but two-one to the hosts in terms of red cards.

Both sides started brightly with Veli Hakki looking impressive in the centre of the Dulwich midfield, and it was Dulwich who had the first opening of the game from a long range Hakki effort which was well blocked by Barrowcliff.

Slough's first chance of the game fell to Holsgrove through a long range effort which went narrowly wide but was well covered by the impressive Cleevely.

Dulwich's Matt Fowler was causing problems for Daly at the back for Slough, and with a neat touch to bring the ball down, an ambitious effort by the Dulwich front man went across the face of the goal from 20 yards, but did not trouble Mautone.

Slough got the opening goal of the game through Archer when a Marshall knock down into the path of Barrowcliff sat nicely for a shot. His attempt was well blocked by Clevely, but Archer was alert to knock in the rebound.

Ten minutes later, a cross into the area was fumbled by Mautone and as the ball headed goalwards, Holsgrove was in the right place to clear the ball off the line. Dulwich were now firmly on top, and applying a great deal of pressure at the Slough end with a series of corners and some good possession.

Fowler nearly benefitted from a good right wing cross from Gibson, but could only steer the ball wide on the volley.

Dulwich's best chance of the half fell to Webb after a mistake in the Slough defence saw him break through with only the keeper to beat, but somehow he managed to drag his shot wide.

On the stroke of half time, Fowler again had another good effort saved by Mautone, after a good turn and shot inside the area.

Slough made two early substitutions in the first half with Lambert and Rainford coming on to replace Kerr and Wilkinson respectively. Lambert immediately involved himself, threading a good ball through to debutant Coombs, but his shot was well saved by Les Cleevely.

Chances then came from Hewitt and Brown, both benfitting from good crosses, but neither was able to find the target. With their next chance of the game, Dulwich drew level. A crossfield ball found its way through to Webb, who broke through the static defence and cooly slotted past the advancing Mautone.

Slough began to dig in a bit more now, and started to play some neat football again, after losing their way a little in the first half. Lee Archer saw Cleevely produce another fine save from a free kick before Lambert had a good run across the field but his shot went over.

Dulwich were still creating chances though, largely thanks to Fowler, who had two good attempts. Firstly, a turn and shot in the area saw Mautone save comfortably, shortly followed by a run which took him past two players before chipping the ball over the bar.

Slough soon went ahead for the second time after a left wing Hall cross was met by a diving header from Rainford. As the ball struck the underside of the bar and bounced down, Cleveley clawed the ball out, but the goal was awarded by the linesman.

Shortly after, Coombes was released by Hall and he touched the ball past Cleevely, but the touch was not strong enough to go in; he managed to get back up on his feet to attempt to get the ball but was superbly blocked by Ebanks to prevent a sure goal.

As the ball crossed the line and out of play, this sparked a number of incidents where players were jumping in with arms raised. This first incident, where a number of players were involved, saw Hamlet's Oliver Hunt sent off.

This put an edge on the remainder of the game with the referee slowly losing control of the events happening on the pitch. With just four minutes remaining in the game, Perkins had a good run down the right wing into the area and onto the touchline, but as he prepared to cut the ball back, Mautone stuck out a leg and diverted the ball out for a corner.

In what 'should have' been the last minute of the game, a free kick from Hakki was claimed by Mautone, and as he fell back toward the goal, a number of players rushed in and fouled the keeper in the process. Again, a number of players jumped in with arms raised as tempers were lost.

Mark Hall then released Lambert with a crossfield ball, and as the winger cut back inside two players and hit his shot, Cleevely again pulled off another good save.

Slough were now trying to run down the clock by all means possible holding the ball in by the corner flags, and to some degree, got what they were aiming for.

Hamlet managed to get the ball back though, and in the third minute of stoppage time, a very late challenge by the otherwise impressive Hakki started another scuffle, with Ebanks rushing some way to involve himself, and Slough's Jamie Lambert also getting involved. Both Ebanks, who should have been removed earlier instead of Hunt, and Hakki were booked for their involvement in the fracas.

Hall continued to try and run down the clock for Slough, and managed to get past two players on the touchline before cutting the ball back for Coombs, but the Rebels new boy could not get his effort on target.

Now into the eighth minute of injury time, and Dulwich were still pressing hard for an equaliser which they got through Fowler. A shot from the edge of the area was blocked by the Slough defence but the ball fell into the path of Fowler who, with Mautone still grounded, slotted home into an unguarded net much to the delight of the home bench.

This was not the final incident of the game though, as in the eleventh minute of injury time, another scuffle saw both Lee Archer and Dulwich's Perkins sent off after they had exchanged blows on the right wing.

Dulwich Hamlet Lineup

Cleevely, Gibson, Ebanks, Richards, Hunt (sent off 85), Brown (Morgan), Hewitt (c), Webb, Fowler, Butterfield (Perkins, sent off 90+11), Hakki. Sub not used: Dussard.


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