Rebels earned a valuable 3 points with a hard fought 1 – 0 victory over second placed Dulwich Hamlet with a goal from Ryan McBride in the 25th minute. In truth Dulwich were slightly the better side but the Rebels scored at one end and didn’t concede at the other with man of the match Alan Mansfield making a number of terrific saves on his return from injury. Steve Metcalf and Tom Lawley also returned to the starting line up in place of Jon Lansdale and Shaun Charles.
Dulwich nearly took the lead in the first minute when Sanchez Ming was able to cross too easily and Frankie Sawyer had a free header which was well saved by Mansfield’s legs. For the first 15 minutes it was pretty much one-way traffic for Dulwich with the whistle happy referee seemingly blowing for any minor infringement against the Rebels. Sawyer and fellow striker Kevin James both had half chances either comfortably saved by Mansfield or missed the target.
Hot prospect Michael Chambers, Dulwich’s young centre back who is being tracked by a number of Premier League and Championship clubs, went into the officials notebook with a heavy challenge on Tom Lawley. Later, he was lucky to stay on the pitch when just before half time he tackled Jamie Brotherton late and was given a stern talking to by the referee. If it had been http://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/worthing/blog/edit.aspx?id=41480a first offence, or anyone else on the pitch had committed the foul, it would have been a booking, so why wasn’t this offence deemed bookable?
James was also booked for a challenge in the face of Mansfield who came out to punch the ball following a long ball over the top of the Rebels defence.
Rebels took the lead when Tom Lawley was played in and had a good shot well saved by James Teeder in the Dulwich goal. The rebound went back to Lawley whose shot went straight across the face of the goal but the ball stayed in and enabled Luke Gedling to cross with Lawley getting a header which Teeder again saved. This time, however, the ball fell to Ryan McBride who was able to head under pressure in to an open goal from 5 yards. This was against the run of play but acted as a catalyst for the Rebels for the rest of the half and seemed to knock Dulwich back a bit.
Both physios had a busy first half dealing with injuries to reds Lawley and Mansfield, and Dulwich’s Lewis Gonsalves and Nyren Clunis resulting in about 6 minutes added time which could easily have been longer.
HT 1 – 0
Straight after the break Mansfield had to be alert when substitute Charles Ofusuhene cut in from the left and shot and then when he dived at the feet of Sawyer.
After last week’s bizarre refereeing incident involving Chris White being summoned to walk across the pitch, there was another similar incident when the referee consulted his assistant, then White, before walking across to Mick Martin, Rebels temporary groundsman. The request this time was to clear up the mess that an errant animal (or player!) had left just inside the penalty box. It was left to Jeff Perkins and a shovel to clear the offending turd up before play could recommence.
Ofusuhene was causing a few problems down the right and fired in a wicked cross along the 6 yard box, but just in front of Sawyer who couldn’t connect. Mansfield continued to shine with saves low down to his right from Ofusuhene and then to his left.
Dulwich made a couple of substitutions to try and get the breakthrough taking off Junior Kadi and James and bringing on Omarr Lawson and Justin Bowen but without success.
This was a good, fiercely competitive game of football with Dulwich arguably being the best Division 1 South side we’ve seen at Woodside Road this year and it’s easy to see why they are near the top of the league. For the Rebels, they took their chance and produced a better all over defensive game which resulted in a good clean sheet. Rebels are at home to Croydon Athletic when another 3 points will be very welcome.
FT 1 – 0