Who writes these scripts? We keep turning up at the Lane for a catch-up, a half-time cuppa and an uneventful game of football. It’s only non-league, after all. Mustn’t expect too much….
And we keep getting blown away. Borough’s third home match at the SO Legal Community Stadium – after two pulsating defeats to Bath and Ebbsfleet – was just as gripping, with an equally dramatic finale. But this time, it went Borough’s way. The ninety minutes with Dulwich Hamlet had been full of creativity and chances, with Mitch Dickenson’s towering header cancelled out by Nana Owusu’s opportunist finish. Danny Bloor had chucked on a final 88th minute substitute, but was it just a gesture? Not to young Shiloh Remy it wasn’t.
As the clock was just ticking over past ninety minutes, Kai Innocent burst forward up the left touchline and found Shiloh, who checked infield and into the Dulwich area. Slight build, lightning pace, magical close footwork. Four touches. Three opponents left for dead.– and a perfect curling finish into the top right corner. It was like watching the Starship Enterprise in galactic orbit.
Dulwich were dumbstruck. And Borough went absolutely barmy. It was a fabulous way to end any football match, and the Sports had claimed the three points.
Back to the start: the first half had been well balanced, with neither side really taking control, nor finding a breakthrough finish to the clutch of decent chances created at both ends. Most of the early pressure came from Borough, with Innocent’s superb run and pull-back setting up Charlie Walker – whose low snap-shot was cleared off the line by Andre Blackman.
Bloor’s line-up had brought in Milly Scarlett for a first league start, and the youngster did not disappoint. Speed of thought, speed of foot. A real capture.
Hamlet’s robust approach was to earn them five yellow cards by the end of the afternoon, with Borough copping just two – although the first of those, awarded on 40 minutes to Chris Whelpdale, looked harsh when he had appeared the injured party.
Just before the break young Hamlet keeper Joe Osaghae – pitched in just minutes before kick-off when Charlie Grainger was injured in the warm-up – pulled a terrific save, stretching to his right to push away Whelpdale’s shot from a Hammond free-kick. And right on the whistle Owusu drew a routine save from Lee Worgan with the visitors’ only clear chance.
After the break Hamlet stepped it up. Old friend and adversary Danny Mills was always a threat, and both he and Owusu saw efforts saved by Worgs. But it was Borough who almost broke the deadlock on 61 minutes, substitute Jake Hutchinson storming to see his shot strike the right post. Just two minutes later, the home side were finally ahead when Dickenson rose highest to convert Kai’s inswinging corner.
Dulwich responded within six minutes, Owusu finessing himself an opening past Mitch and Kai, and drilling a low strike that Worgs parried but could not quite keep out.
Twenty minutes to play, now, and the pace was rising. Simo Mbonkwi brought fresh energy off the bench, and on 89 minutes he created the chance for a Hutchinson winner – but Jake’s well directed shot was just stopped by the keeper’s outstretched foot. Any chance of a late, late finale?
Enter Shiloh stage left. “And crack’d the noble Hamlet hearts”.
Borough: Worgan; Scarlett, Wynter, Dickenson, Innocent; Hammond, Vaughan; Gravata(Remy 88) , Whelpdale (Mbonkwi 81), Romain; Walker (Hutchinson 57). Unused subs: Bull, Seymour.
Referee: Michael Robertson-Tant Att: 103
Sponsors’ MoM (with huge thanks to match sponsors Windmill Restaurant: Mitch Dickenson
Media team MoM: Kai Innocent