By Ben Reggione
With all online tickets being sold out and 350 tickets being held at the ground, the game was highly anticipated and built up to have a great atmosphere to it. The game offered a chance for players to make an impression and statement to the league. We knew going into the game that Dulwhich Hamlet were formidable opponents, but the opportunity to rise up the table was at the forefront of the players minds. With fans flooding in and the game being imminent, it wasn’t long until the players emerged from the tunnel.
There was a nervous interval for the first 15 minutes of the game, players were being put onto the Concord back line, and on various occasions clearances had come about; these clearances had opened up hope in the fans that a goal could be on the cards, leading to the occasional counter. Unfortunately there wasn’t any but Randell had established himself early on in several moments.
It wasn’t the start the Beachboys had dreamt of, after 19 minutes had passed, a ball over the top that lead into a one two ended with the ball in the back of the Concord net. Pressure from Dulwhich had been emphasised following this, once they had broke through they had just been persistent for the next goal. Myles had conducted himself greatly to palm away various one on one opportunities Dulwhich had to keep the score at just 1-0.
But things had slowly began to go on a downhill trend, Pollock was forced to make his way off the pitch in the 34th minute; then after a nicely placed cross was put in, Mills was found on the end of it making it 2-0 just shy of ten minutes from the break.
Dulwhich had persistently tried to capitalise each time they had put the ball in the back of the net, for the five to ten minutes of which followed each of the goals, Myles was called on a lot to deal with the chances of which came through. Fortunately for Concord, Myles could be relied on to provide support and hope for the fans, that there could be a way back into the game if just one of our attacks ended in success. It was quite common in the first half that any attacks we’d have would begin with Lamar on the right hand side with Simper, or a ball would be played across the park in the hope Joe Payne would be able to craft something together. The first half had ended 2-0, and the players needed to come out at 110% in the second half to ensure that an early impression was made.
Thankfully, the players had come out in a new light in the second half. They came out seeking for that first goal to get them back into the game, life wasn’t made easy for Dulwhich when the game had restarted. Many superb crosses made there way into the box, they just marginally missing the heads of the Beachboys. Lamar had come away with the ball and fired a shot goal wards of which forced the Dulwhich Hamlet keeper to make an impressive save.
During the 66th minute after a cross had been played into the box, it was taken down by Danny Green and he took his chance with a shot, it never ended in a goal but it did lead to the ref giving a penalty Concords way after the ball deflected off of an opposition player. Danny was able to finish the penalty with aplomb and inspire hope that a comeback were on the cards.
A new dimension to this game was required in order to bring the game back level, in the 79th minute, Blanchfield made way for Jake Peck to come on and then only a few minutes later, in the 82nd, Lewis Simper left the field for Ben Allen to come through.
Before things could change in the way Concord had hoped for, Dulwhich Hamlet were able to make full use of the opportunities they had late on in the game, and took the game out of reach for the Beachboys, it had finished 4-1 in the end, not the result any Concord fan had hoped for. With Concord facing two sides from the current top five in their next three games, a shift in form is what is required for the Beachboys to pull themselves in and around the tenth spot and even maybe higher.