Dulwich Hamlet recorded consecutive victories at Champion Hill for the first time this season – and kept their first home clean sheet in the league – with a 2-0 victory over AFC Sudbury on Saturday.
An unseasonably warm afternoon saw hats and jackets cast aside by the 1,683 in attendance, but the action wasn’t as bright as the Autumn sun as both sides struggled to find any fluency in the opening exchanges.
Nyren Clunis was one ray of light for Dulwich, dragging a shot across goal after 15 minutes before neat interplay with Gavin Tomlin on the edge of the box preceded him sending a shot over the bar.
Clunis was at the centre of things again when a flick-on from striker Dumebi Dumaka put him through on goal – Sudbury ‘keeper Marcus Garnham defying his ample frame to show a fleet turn of foot and collect the ball on the edge of his area.
Just before halftime Clunis was to turn provider. Allowed to bring the ball into the box by Sudbury full-back Jack Wilkinson, he chipped a cross for Ibra Sekajja who despite stretching every sinew in his neck was only able to send a looping header onto the top of the bar.
With Clunis shining on one side of an attacking three, Sekajja put in another fine performance on the other. The winger has scored in his last three games and on an afternoon when the centerpiece of the attacking triumvirate, Dumaka, opened his account for his new club all the signs point towards a potent strike force in the making.
Dumaka’s goal came just after the interval when Ashley Carew centred the ball for the Dulwich number nine who nicked a crafty touch at the near post to direct it into the net.
Were it not for Clunis’s profligacy in front of goal, Dulwich would have been out of sight in the second half and the winger may well have had a hattrick. Three one-on-ones saw him draw two fine saves from Garnham before sending the third wide after being fed through by Sekajja.
It was left to Gavin Tomlin to secure all three points for the Hamlet, driving into the box and firing in a powerful low shot to make it 2-0 in the 82nd minute.
“It was a good day for us,” said Gavin Rose after the match. “We were dominant but we missed a lot of chances, which has been the story of our season.
“The back four were solid today – we need to get this kind of consistency more regularly.”
Dulwich’s upturn in home form now coincides with a period where they will not play at Champion Hill until they face Worthing Town on 19 November. That match will be the annual ‘pay what you like’ day for fans with proceeds going to charities Football Beyond Borders and the Dog Kennel Hill Children’s Centre.