Ryman Premier Play Off
EAST Thurrock produced a masterclass in discipline and determination to gain promotion to the National League South.
With a swirling wind, it was hard for either team to get a proper grip on the game early on.
But a couple of deep probing free kicks by the Rocks put Hamlet under pressure as well as a corner that just missed the top of the bar.
East Thurrock struck in the 12th minute when George Craddock’s cross beat everyone and went straight in.
This did not dishearten the Dulwich fans who vastly outnumbered the Rocks fans.
However, they were rocked when, in the 19th minute, defender Ricky Hayles fired the ball in from close range.
The priority for the Hamlet was to slowly get themselves back in the game and they dug in manfully.
Rock’s suffered a cruel blow when Sammy Knott was stretchered off and Rocks appeared to lose their bite and rhythm.
But before you knew it the Rocks went 3-0 up when Ricky Hayles headed in a second in the 35th minute.
But this is a durable Dulwich, who went up the other end and earned a penalty after was tripped in the box. Ashley Carew’s strike was saved but Jordan Hibbert struck home the rebound.
It proved that Dulwich were far from finished and ploughed down the flanks in search of further goals.
Both Nyren Clunis and Jordan Hibbert were striking fear in the Rock’s defence and in many ways, the Rock’s were happy to hear the half time whistle.
With the win behind them, Dulwich came out determined to bridge the two goal gap.
And with two corners in the first five minutes, they looked very determined.
The Rocks absorbed the pressure but there was a concern that they let Hamlet come onto them. But the keeper Lukas Lidakevicius was a rock of calm in defence.
Dulwich thought they had a very good shout for a penalty when it looks like a Rock’s defender had handled in the box but the referee Mr Alan Dale, waved them away.
The Hamlet attacks flew in. When the Rock’s keeper shanked a goal kick, you knew they were feeling the strain.
At the same time, Hamlet veterans like Ashley Carew were really stepping up to the plate.
But they just could not pierce the Rock’s defence and the last ten minutes was a very frustrating time for Dulwich.
East Thurrock Utd:
Lidakevicius L, Sammons R, Knott S (Peddie S 32) , Ellul J , Hayles R, Wood B , Higgins S, Wraight T, Sammons R , Craddock G, Marlow B, Walker J (Honesty H 68)
Subs not used: Robson D, Scott B, Hogan C
Edwards P, Nelson M, Brown J, Dixon J, Drage M, Pinnock M, Clubnis N (Murrell-Williams R 56), Carew A, Akinyemi D, Michael-Percile R, Hibbert J (Scannell D 45)
Subs not used: Moss R, , Yiga L, Waldren D,
Ref: Alan Dale