London Senior Cup 2nd Round
Tuesday 22nd December 2015
Match report: Darren Pasley
Pics:Stuart Tree (full set here)
“We won’t play a better side than that this season” were the words of James Bracken as he saw his side go out of the London Senior Cup with a 4-1 reversal at home to a determined and strong Dulwich Hamlet outfit.
It was always going to be a tough task coming into the match against a side who top the Ryman Premier Division going into Christmas and both sides showed their commitment to the London FA’s showpiece competition by fielding near full strength line-ups.
In the driving December wind and rain the visitors struck first in the 4th minute. A lofted ball out the back from former K’s defender Matt Drage found Ryan Moss and after bringing the ball down with a deft touch his belting effort was parried by Danny Bracken. The ball however spun towards goal and the striker signed from Margate earlier this season was first to the rebound to put his side ahead.
The goal cemented a confident start from the Champion Hill side. Knocking the ball about on the slick surface and dominating the middle and therefore possession. A neat passing move in the 13th minute saw Bracken deny Scannell with his legs whilst up the other end Kevant Serbony had Casuals first effort with a low shot which was well gathered by Oshane Brown making a rare start in goal for Dulwich.
Joss Uzun curled a free kick over shortly afterwards. Casuals attacking with the wind in their favour. Scannell continued to have plenty of joy down the right hand side and after winning another corner Drage this time was denied by Warren Morgan on the line after his towering header appeared to be heading in.
The home side's nearest sight of goal came in the 28th minute when Juevan Spencer did well to find Matt Reece but the in-form striker saw his left footed snapshot flash just wide of the left hand upright.
Dulwich doubled their lead in the 37th minute and it was Moss again with the finish. This time showing quick footwork to fashion the opportunity which he emphatically slammed home into the roof of the net from the angle. It was a fantastic strike from the signing partly funded by the clubs 12th man scheme.
The nights action was far from over for Moss and 57 seconds after the restart he completed his hat-trick.
A ball out the back from Jordan Brown was misjudged in the wind by the home defence and the Hamlet number 9 was through on goal and calmly side-footed past Bracken.
Casuals responded in the 54th minute when following Ben King’s corner Joss Uzun’s effort was defected in via Jack Dixon. This prompted Casuals best spell of the match and the Dulwich keeper had to be alert to foil Emmanuel Akokhia who was introduced at half time after Terry Murray had surged forward.
Dixon, looking to make amends for his own goal was denied by Bracken with a drive from the edge of the area but the tie was wrapped up in the 69th minute; substitute Ashley Carew sending in a cross from the left and another replacement Albert Jarrett watched the flight of the ball, bringing down superbly before smashing home low into the bottom corner.
Scannell who along with Moss was the outstanding player on the pitch was denied a deserved goal as his header from point blank range was instinctively kept put by Danny Bracken.
Both sides continued to push for further goals and Akokhia’s effort was again well held by Brown before Danny Dudley make a great block in stoppage time to deflect wide Carew’s shot.
Speaking after the match James Bracken praised his opponents.
"We conceded after three minutes, just before half time and right at the start of the second half which are all of the times that you don’t want to concede goals.
“All against a very good team… a very, very good team. We won’t play a better side than that this season. They’re my tip to be promoted from the league above from what I’ve seen today and all credit goes to them.
“They were better than us tonight. No qualms, no objections, no excuses… just the better team won. We can live with that. We’ll brush ourselves down ready for Saturday.
“It was probably a bit of a wake-up call to our players. We’ve had four competitive games against teams from a division above and we’ve been in every one of them. They were fifty-fifty games and we achieved results in most of those.
“Today was not a fifty-fifty game. They’ve dominated possession and subsequently, the game.
“I’ve got no beef with my players; we worked hard and we didn’t fold. We just conceded a few soft goals and weren’t good enough to get ourselves on the ball and impose ourselves on the game.”