MATCH REPORT: Dulwich Hamlet 0-1 Chippenham Town | National League South | Saturday 29th April 2023
A solitary goal from Joe Parker condemned Dulwich Hamlet to relegation on the final day of the league season, as Weymouth’s victory at Dover saw the Dorset club also end up on the same number of points as Dulwich, as did Dover, but Dulwich had the worse goal-difference of the three.
Although many supporters will see the result with a tinge of sadness as the visit to East London was always popular with Chippenham fans and the Hamlet always brought a friendly bunch to Wiltshire.
The three points also saw the Bluebirds top sixty points in the National South for the first time, but that stat has to be set against two covid-curtailed seasons and an increase in the number of teams in the division this season to twenty four.
The Bluebirds were the first to show on five minutes when Tom Mehew’s quickly taken free kick found Caine Bradbury but he dragged his effort across the face of goal.
On seventeen minutes Sanchez Ming crossed to Will Wood but Will Henry easily held his headed effort.
Seven minutes later Alex Bray pulled the ball back to Mehew but his curled shot went high.
Either side of the half hour Hamlet had two chances as Conor Lawless’ free kick found David Stephens but again the headed effort went straight to Henry before Nana Owusu’s free kick cleared the bar.
The all important goal came on thirty four minutes when Mehew robbed Lawless and slipped the ball to Parker who placed the ball home via the far post.
Both sides had chances before the break as Parker found Bradbury who hit the side netting whilst Danny Mills headed a Wood cross straight at Henry and Owusu fired over.
Just before the interval Owen Windsor came on for the injured Craig Fasanmade.
Dulwich went close in stoppage time but Joe Felix’s cross went across the face of goal beyond the reach of any home player and Luke Russe tidied up.
HALF TIME: Dulwich Hamlet 0-1 Chippenham Town
Four minutes after the break Felix curled an effort wide whilst four minutes later Michael Phillips also failed to hit the target.
Good work from Lawless then saw Mills unable to capitalise before the home side saw an effort chalked off just after the hour due to an infringement.
On sixty nine minutes Henry made a superb save to keep out a headed effort from Dean Woodman.
Five minutes later substitute Kristian Campbell’s cross was blocked and the loose ball was met by Stephens whose shot was held by Henry.
At the other end a Chippenham corner was flicked on by Will Richards but scrambled clear by the home defence.
On eighty four minutes Ming shot wide whilst in stoppage time Henry again excelled with a superb double save to thwart Lawless’s headed effort and Mills’ rebound attempt.
FULL TIME: Dulwich Hamlet 0-1 Chippenham Town
Chippenham: Will Henry, Spencer Hamilton, Will King, Ollie Tomlinson, Will Richards, Tom Mehew, Luke Russe (Joe Hanks 80), Caine Bradbury, Craig Fasanmade (Owen Windsor 45), Joe Parker (Sam Heal 79), Alex Bray subs not used: Alfie Santos, Ed Williams
Dulwich: Aaron Jones, Sanchez Ming, William Wood, Conor Lawless, David Stephens, Danny Mills, Nana Owusu (Cameron Thompson 46), Michael Phillips Johl Powell 66), Dean Woodman, Josh Fawole (Kristian Campbell 46), Joseph Felix subs not used: Ronnie Vint, Kreshnic Krasniqi
Ref: F. Hallam
Match report by Wil Hulbert