There's no Dulwich delight for Rocks

Bognor fell to their second away defeat in a three days at Dulwich Hamlet as a hard-working display failed to bring any reward.

Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 11:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:37 pm
Alex Parsons couldn't find the breakthrough for the Rocks at Dulwich / Picture by Tim Hale

In front of a bumper crowd of 1,914, it finished 2-0 but the Rocks remain in the play-off places and still have seven games left, where most other teams have only three.

It was fifth versus fourth and plenty of Rocks fans headed to the ground, many brandishing inflatables - a dinosaur, cactus and zimmer frame were all spotted.

Craig Robson and Harvey Whyte were back in the starting line-up but Dan Beck was on the bench.

Robson’s early ball forward found Jason Prior but his lay-off to Ollie Pearce failed to create a chance.

For Dulwich, Nyren Clunis’ cross from the right was deflected wide by Sami El-Abd.

Another Clunis cross was cut out by El-Abd but only as far as Jack Dixon whose shot went just over the crossbar on six minutes.

Mitchell Nelson set up Clunis down the right with a simple pass. Clunis’ cross found Dipo Akinyemi but his header was glanced well wide.

Jordan Hibbert’s run down the left seconds later allowed him to cut inside and strike low but Grant Smith was equal to it.

Pearce’s corner kick found Robson but the defender stubbed his shot into the ground and Nelson kicked it away.

Alex Parsons was teed up by Pearce but Matt Drage was there to clear the danger.

Rocks won a free-kick on 21 minutes and Pearce’s well-struck cross was only just headed out.

Stuart Green won a free-kick in a dangerous area. After a lay-off by James Crane, Prior’s strike flew high and wide.

Prior laid the ball off for Doug Tuck who sprayed a lovely pass to the right for Parsons, but his cross was headed away.

Akinyemi’s low strike bounced just wide of the post before Tuck smashed high and wide from long distance at the other end.

El-Abd left a long ball and Smith had to come out to boot clear - then Parsons crossed for Prior but he glanced his header wide.

Clunis latched on to a long ball down the right and did well to cut inside before sliding a low shot just wide.

On 36 minutes Akinyemi had a shot blocked by El-Abd with Smith coming out of his goal.

Smith pulled off a good save to push away an effort by Roman Michael-Percil on 38 minutes.

Dulwich took the lead on 42 minutes. A long-range shot by Hibbert deflected off the head of Drage to send Smith the wrong way as the ball bounced into an open net.

HT 1-0

The sun had disappeared and the wind had picked up as the players returned for the second half.

Pearce and then Crane had crosses headed out. Moments later Green found Parsons on the right but the winger’s cross was too much for Prior as Preston Edwards plucked the ball out of the sky.

Bognor were allowing the hosts to have too much space in front of the defence but El-Abd smashed Clunis’ cross out for a throw.

Pearce hit Hamlet on the break following a Crane pass but his shot was easily saved.

A Pearce corner found Robson for a free header and his low attempt was only just scrambled away.

El-Abd allowed Akinyemi to get through and shoot but his low attempt bounced wide.

Dulwich went two up on 57 minutes. Akinyemi made up for his earlier miss when he attacked the defence before firing the ball under Smith after turning well and cutting inside from the left.

On 59 minutes Gary Charman replaced Robson for Bognor as the Rocks faithful continued to make themselves heard.

Parsons swung in a cross but Prior and Crane failed to connect.

Charman was found by another Pearce cross. His header was good but Dulwich had plenty of men back and blocked it.

Hibbert found Akinyemi with a neat pass and after beating the offside trap he sped through but his first touch was poor and his shot was deflected for a corner by Smith.

The Rocks replaced Pearce with Alfie Rutherford on 68 minutes.

Charman’s long throw was headed on by El-Abd and the ball bounced out to Tuck, whose shot from just outside the box went inches over.

A Charman cross from the left was looking for Prior but again Dulwich cleared their lines. You couldn’t fault Bognor’s efforts.

Michael-Percil was replaced by Rhys Murrell-Williamson on 74 minutes. Murrell-Williamson had scored twice in the reverse fixture at Nyewood Lane.

Akinyemi’s deft flick over the defence was snuffed out by Chad Field.

Whyte’s cross bounced awkwardly before spinning up kindly for Charman. But his header was easily saved.

Crane’s inswinging cross from the left found Charman in the box but his header bounced just wide.

Dulwich made their final substitution on 80 minutes as Akinyemi was applauded off and replaced by Ryan Moss.

A nice dink over a defender by Whyte set up up Parsons, who swung in another cross but Edwards commanded his area well again to gather it.

Green was replaced by Snorre Nilsen on 86 minutes.

Charman won a free-kick which Priorhit goalwards - but Edwards saved. Then Rutherford fired the ball low into the box from the left but it took a deflection before spinning over the bar off a Dulwich defender.

Dulwich hit Bognor on the break but Clunis scuffed his effort wide.

Parsons won a free-kick for Bognor deep into stoppage time and Rutherford’s delivery fell to Charman, who headed wide.

Bognor’s fans kept singing after the final whistle and many of them will head to Kingstonian on Monday as the Rocks try again.

Rocks: Smith, Whyte, Crane, Tuck, El-Abd, Robson (Charman 59), Field, Green (Nilsen 86), Prior, Pearce (Rutherford 68), Parsons. Unused subs: Wollers, Beck.


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