Town pay the price for poor finishing
Steve Eyre’s development squad tasted defeat at Dulwich Hamlet as they continued their preparations for the start of the U21 league.
Manager Mark Robins and First Team Coach Steve Taylor watched on from the crowd as the Terriers were made to pay for poor finishing by Dulwich’s Erhun Oztumer and Matthew Boyer.
Strikers Daniel Carr and Max Leonard both missed one on one chances as the Terriers had an off night in front of goal.
Matt Crooks grabbed a consolation for Town with a superb volley from Carr’s well directed cross.
Carr led the line for the Terriers at his former club’s home ground and missed a glorious chance to open the scoring on 14 minutes. The striker – who scored 25 goals for the hosts last season – was played clean through by Matt Crooks after he had linked up nicely with Kallum Higginbotham, but the striker failed to hit the back of the net from 12 yards.
Max Leonard had earlier fluffed a half chance after trialist Yoric Ravet had found him well with a cross inside the Dulwich penalty area.
The home side looked lively in attack with last year’s top scorer Erhun Oztumer at the heart of all their successful moves. Despite their promise, they failed to test Lloyd Allinson in the first half with the ‘keeper only coming under pressure once from a corner.
The Terriers looked composed in attack and as the half drew to a close twice forced the Dulwich defence into smart clearances from testing crosses. At the other end, Liam Ridehalgh was called upon to make a similar sort of clearance after Dean Lodge had done superbly well to squeeze his way into the box past Robbie McIntrye and Jake Charles.
Town never got going at the start of the second half and had Tom Smith to thank for not going behind with ten minutes played; the former Manchester City defender cleared superbly after neat work from Oztumer and Lodge.
Turkish-born Oztumer had been the best player on the pitch and he deservedly put his side ahead in the 57th minute. The playmaker had done well in the build-up to put Town on the back foot and finished off the move superbly with a well-timed header at the far post.
The Terriers’ response was impressive with Captain Crooks crashing a shot just over the bar before Carr forced Hamlet stopper Phil Wilson into a good save with his legs after good work from Duane Holmes.
The equaliser continued to evade Steve Eyre’s men as the game entered the final twenty minutes. Carr turned provider as he slipped clear Max Leonard, but like the former Dulwich man, he failed to beat Wilson when one on one.
Carr, Jake Charles and Yoric Ravet all went close for Town during the closing stages, but found Wilson in inspired form.
The home side wrapped up the victory with two minutes to play when right-back Matthew Boyer timed his run to perfection at the back post to beat Ed Wilczynski with a powerful header.
Town’s persistence in attack continued, though, and they got their reward when Crooks volleyed home superbly from Carr’s left wing cross.
Town’s team (4-3-1-2):
Lloyd Allinson; Robbie McIntyre, Liam Ridehalgh, Tom Smith, Duane Holmes; Matt Crooks, Dale Hopson, Kallum Higginbotham; Yoric Ravet (Trialist); Max Leonard, Daniel Carr
Ed Wilczynski, James Burke, Jake Charles