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HomeSportDulwich Hamlet suffer first-half collapse against Dorking Wanderers

Dulwich Hamlet suffer first-half collapse against Dorking Wanderers

Dulwich Hamlet couldn’t recover from a first-half collapse as they were beaten 3-1 by Dorking Wanderers at Champion Hill on Tuesday night.

In front of an attendance of 1,717, Alfie Rutherford scored a hat-trick before the break and though Reise Allassani’s strike an hour in gave Gavin Rose’s side hope it proved only to be a consolation.

After Ed Harris headed over for the visitors the Hamlet fashioned their first chance when Jordan Green played a one-two with Jazzi Barnum-Bobb but could only shoot straight at former Middlesex cricketer Dan Lincoln in the Wanderers goal.

Three minutes later Chike Kandi tested Lincoln but that was about as good as it got for Dulwich in the opening 45 minutes.

The hosts went behind in the eleventh minute when a long throw-in was flicked on by Harris for Rutherford to head past Charlie Grainger.

Wanderers almost doubled their lead within five minutes when Bobby-Joe Taylor crossed for Jason Prior to beat Grainger but Tyrone Sterling cleared the ball off the line.

The away side wanted a penalty after they won possession high up the pitch and Jack Holland challenged Niall McManus, before the latter crossed for Jimmy Muitt and Grainger saved at full-stretch

Dorking didn’t let up and went 2-0 up in the 24th minute when Prior crossed from the right and Rutherford scored his second.

Andre Blackman tried to reply for Dulwich but drove a shot over and then Allassani’s neat work on the edge of the box found Green but Jordan Cheadle saw off the danger.

The Hamlet were their own worst enemy at times and almost handed their opponents a third when they lost possession giving Dorking a three-on-one, but Sterling got back to prevent Rutherford from testing Grainger.

But Rutherford wasn’t denied for long. In the fourth minute of injury-time he completed his hat-trick after Darren Oldaker’s long diagonal pass released Muitt and Rutherford fired home the cross.

Rose switched to 4-4-2 at the break as he sent on Mills for Higgs with Quade Taylor going into midfield.

Rutherford almost turned provider when he split the Hamlet defence with a pass but Wes Fogden’s shot was blocked. Rutherford thundered the follow-up attempt off the crossbar before Taylor shot wide.

Just before the hour, Gio McGregor curled a free-kick just past the far top corner before Dulwich finally gave their fans something to cheer as Allassani forced the ball home following a corner.

Dulwich, though, couldn’t create any clear-cut chances in the last half an hour. Green picked out Mills for a header but Lincoln saved comfortably.

Dulwich are seventh in the National League South table as Dorking moved four points clear at the top.

The Hamlet host Concord Rangers this Saturday. Kick-off at Champion Hill is 3pm.

Meanwhile, Ibra Sekajja has returned to Dulwich for his third spell.

Sekajja scored on his debut for Crystal Palace against Hull City in 2011 before going on loan to Kettering Town, Bromley, MK Dons and Barnet. He joined Scottish Premiership side Inverness Caledonian Thistle in October 2014.

A move to Livingston followed before spells at Braintree and Hemel Hempstead.

Sekajja signed for Dulwich in October 2016 and scored sixteen goals in 50 appearances that season, including a first-half hat-trick against Enfield Town in the Isthmian League Premier Division play-off semi-final.

He left for Bognor Regis that summer and then played for Havant & Waterlooville, Gosport Borough and Maidenhead United before re-signing for Dulwich in January 2021.

Sekajja had been training with Dulwich recently before he officially joined. He made his first appearance this season against Dorking.

Dulwich: 3-4-3: Grainger; Taylor, Holland©, Sterling; Barnum-Bobb, Higgs (Mills, 46), McGregor, Blackman; Green (Diallo, 75), Kandi, Allassani (Sekajja, 75).

Substitutes: Dayton, Abubakari.

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