Dulwich Hamlet (1) 3 Bath City (0) 0 – Saturday 13 November – Vanarama National League South – Champion Hill
Match Report by Mark Stillman.
Former England international Peter Crouch would have been impressed with Dulwich’s attacking prowess as the South Londoners claimed a comfortable win over Bath City.
The experienced forward, now a director for his former club, was in attendance at a sell-out Champion Hill with the vast majority leaving the happier.
Goals from Quade Taylor, Jordan Green and Darren McQueen did the damage over Jerry Gill’s men, who failed to build on two wins a week previous.
Instead they suffered a fourth successive away defeat and have now conceded three or more in a match five times in their first 17 games.
Dulwich had a fortnight off following a 4-3 win over Hampton & Richmond Borough, where three of their goals were scored from corners.
They carried on that momentum as early as the eighth minute. Gio McGregor’s deep delivery was headed towards goal by Ronnie Vint to Quade Taylor, who glanced home from six yards. A simple goal aided by abysmal marking in the City backline.
Green’s low strike required reliable handling by Ryan Clarke and Zak Delaney’s clearance denied Danny Mills a certain tap-in, preventing the big striker adding to his 10 goals in previous meetings with the Romans.
Vint wastefully headed McGregor’s precise free-kick wide as Hamlet pushed for a second, but were nearly exposed at the other end when Michael Timlin’s misdirected header was met by Tom Smith’s half-volley on the turn, but Taylor was on hand to clear with Charlie Grainger untroubled.
After the break, Tom Mehew’s inviting low ball across the six-yard box evaded all onrushers whereas Dulwich were more clinical, demonstrated with their second goal.
McGregor picked up the ball in midfield, was allowed to saunter forward unchallenged before slipping it on to Green, who did the rest – a simple side-footed finish from 10 yards past the helpless Clarke. It was McGregor’s fifth assist in two games and highlighted that the former Crystal Palace man isn’t just a danger from set-pieces, he’s lethal from open play too.
City huffed and puffed but struggled to make inroads. Delaney’s glorious crossfield pass picked out Alex Fletcher, who cut inside before seeing the sting taken out of his 18-yarder from Vint, resulting in a comfortable gather for Grainger.
A third goal with 20 minutes remaining wrapped up the points. Green dispossessed the recently introduced Eddie Jones on halfway, stormed down the left and picked out McQueen, whose connection wasn’t full but had enough to trickle past Clarke.
The same forward was desperately unlucky not to add another three minutes later when he edged into space on the edge of the box before his left-footed curler clipped the post with Clarke beaten.
Fletcher couldn’t get a strong enough connection on Cody Cooke’s flick-on to test Grainger, while at the other end Callum Wood was perfectly placed on the line to deny Green on the line after the nippy front-man rounded Clarke before trying his luck from a narrow angle.
The final whistle was greeted by a chorus of cheers by those supporting the hosts, with the attendance their joint highest at this level. The hundreds who couldn’t gain entry were unfortunate to miss Gavin Rose’s men regain a play-off spot, which they’re likely to hold onto if this performance is anything to go by.
City’s Line-Up: Clarke (c), Raynes, Delaney, Wood, Fletcher, Cooke, Smith (Jones 68), Frear, Mehew, Owers (James 61), Dyer. Subs not used: Fuller, Batten, Holness.
Scorers: City – none; Dulwich – Taylor (8), Green (51), McQueen (69)
City Bookings: Delaney (10)
Officials: O Mackey, L Lungarella, R Preca