DULWICH HAMLET roared to top spot in the Isthmian League Premier Division table after an emphatic 4-0 win away to Merstham on Tuesday night.
It was a ninth game unbeaten for Gavin Rose’s side, eight in the league in which they have scored 21 goals and their lasted victory boosted their goal difference to eighteen.
Hamlet are three points ahead of Hendon and six clear of big-spending Billericay, though they have five games in hand. Nathan Ferguson and Reise Allassani scored first-half goals at the Moatside Stadium, before the pair added two more after the break to seal a third win in a week.
The strength of Dulwich’s squad was demonstrated as Rose was able to bring back Allassani from injury and Ibrahim Kargbo returned after serving a suspension. Michael Chambers was out and Nana Boakye-Yiadom on the bench. Despite their scintillating recent form, Hamlet had to dig in in the opening period and were almost behind when the ball hit the back of their net in the thirteenth minute, only for an offside flag to rule the goal out.
That seemed to spark the visitors and they took the lead a minute later when Allassani found Tanashe Abrahams at the far post and he spotted Ferguson’s late run from midfield for the opening goal. It was two just four minutes later. Ferguson was again involved, this time as creator, as he released Allassani who skipped around opposition goalkeeper Chris Haigh before rolling the ball home.
It wasn’t all going Dulwich’s way, and they had Preston Edwards – who was making his 100th appearance – to thank after the stopper produced a double-save to preserve the two-goal lead.
Credit to Merstham, they emerged in the second half determined to haul their way back into the game, and Preston again had to be alert to keep out a free-kick in the 50th minute. Within five minutes of that, they game was as good as over.
Allassani this time was the instigator, intercepting a pass in midfield and again finding Ferguson who confidently beat Haigh for his second of the night. Hamlet could now comfortably sit back and hit the hosts on the break.
Fifteen minutes from time that’s how their fourth goal arrived. Nyren Clunis gained possession just outside his own penalty area before sprinting up the pitch. He spotted Allassani in support and it was another emphatic finish that summed up Hamlet’s soaring confidence.
Rose’s side could even have made it a more damaging defeat for their hosts, but Boakye-Yiadom twice fired just off-target, before Muhammadu Faal was denied by Haigh and Clunis shot just over in the final minute.
On Saturday, Chambers scored five minutes from time to give Hamlet a 3-2 win over Burgess Hill Park in front of almost 2,000 people at Champion Hill. Ferguson put the home side 1-0 up before Tony Garrod equalised in the 48th minute. A minute later Dulwich were back in front through Clunis only for Quade Taylor’s own goal to bring the visitors level again. But Chambers won it for his side to keep the pressure on Hendon in top spot.