The final scheduled Monday night fixture of the 2022/23 season saw the visit of Dulwich Hamlet to Essex. Having won their first game under new manager Hakan Hayrettin, they would hope to continue to build up their form, against Chelmsford. Robbie’s men were also looking to find some consistency, after a mixed run of results. An emphatic Chelmsford performance saw them run riot, with multiple good goals scored. Robbie and the defence will be disappointed, as a clean sheet was missing, but a good 3 points were picked up.
The eleven of choice saw Michael Folivi and Tyreke Johnson into the starting squad after they both came off the bench to contribute on Saturday. Jazzi Barnum-Bobb dropped to the bench along with Jamie Yila. After he came on off the bench late on Saturday, Freddie Hockey gets his first start in the league since August, replacing Tom Blackwell, where he started against Concord in our 1-0 win. Amongst the substitutes was also manager Robbie Simpson who joined the 3 players who were benched from Saturday, and academy prospect Finn Wilkes.
Dulwich kicked us off as Chelmsford immediately won possession and looked to threaten. The visitors looked to have the first chance of the game, as a free kick made its way through to Jordan Cheadle as he decided to bring it on down and hit a half volley straight at Eddie Beach, allowing an easy, early save. Beach was called into action again after his pass was intercepted by Porter. He got wide and drove a ball into the box, which was blocked by Winfield. The ball span towards to goal, but Beach was across to claim with his safe hands. The Clarets continued to cause problems as Tyreke Johnson was allowed the freedom to cross, where Cheadle headed behind for a corner. The corner was cleared but the aftermath saw Dulwich give away a cheap throw-in, instead of countering. Little by little, Chelmsford were getting the better of Dulwich, with the rare attack for the away team being routine for the Clarets defence. Dulwich did look to cause Chelmsford a problem after Liam Trotter was bundled over and they countered. Ben Brookes tracked back and managed a superb tackle to slow down Gianni Crichlow, who Dulwich announced in the hour leading to kick-off. Crichlow could only muster up a poor effort, which was dragged well wide of the goal.
Crichlow was causing all sorts of problems for the Clarets as yet again he was in behind. However, it was the same fate as Ben Brookes was back to put in yet another brilliant tackle and send the ball for a corner. The ball was up in the sky and evaded everyone before it was picked up and another corner was won. This time, Danny Mills flicked the ball on, but no one was present at the back post and it was dealt with. Dulwich did start to grow into the game and managed a few chances, but nothing to test the skills of Eddie Beach. With half an hour gone, Ben Brookes was up for one of his long throws, which Sanchez Ming was on hand to clear. Chelmsford retained possession and Liam Trotter was left to his own devices on the left, allowing him to be free and deliver. Folivi was there to head but could only head it up and over the bar. After Ming was booked in the 37th minute Michael Johnson was pushing and decided to take him on, with the defender walking a tightrope for the rest of the game. Dulwich came the closest in the half, with 5 minutes to go. A ball seemingly going to cause nothing was chased by Crichlow who managed to get around James and shoot, despite falling down in the process.
Chelmsford had the next chance, as Will Wood brought down Callum Jones despite him seemingly going nowhere. Ben Brookes stood over the free kick, just on the edge of the box, with Freddie Hockey. Brookes swung it in, as his free kick was beautifully delivered and whipped round and straight into the top left corner. Some might say David Beckham takes lessons from Ben Brookes, but regardless his free kick was sure a delightful one to watch. Morgan Snow then showed the board and the referee indicated 2 minutes to be added on. Chelmsford got a great chance, as the masked Dave Winfield, who was still able to soldier on with his injury, has a shot blocked and turned behind for a corner. Freddie Hockey’s delivery was cleared, and Dulwich could not counter as the first half was brought to an end.
HALF TIME: CCFC 1-0 DHFC
The second half kicked off, with Chelmsford on the offence once again. Chelmsford’s fast start seemed to quickly fade away, as Hakan Hayrettin’s halftime team talk must have been an offensive one seeing them look to dominate early on. Chelmsford got the best chance in the early stages as Freddie Hockey was able to use his body to send Ody Alfa through. He unselfishly fund Michael Folivi who struggled on the turn, and saw the ball just pipped away from him. Dulwich went straight up the other end, and Ben Brookes forced Joe Felix to the wing, where his shot rolled just past the post. After this slight scare, Chelmsford were back on top. Tyreke Johnson was able to put yet another dangerous ball which had to be turned behind for a corner. Freddie went over and delivered but the Dulwich defenders were able to clean it up and avoid creating any further danger. More danger did follow however as Freddie Hockey was able to deliver a good free kick. Liam Trotter rose highest and the ball fell at the feet of Callum Jones. It was a force of nature for the striker, who on the second attempt, fired the ball past Charlie Grainger and doubled the Clarets’ lead. The offensive nature continued for Chelmsford, with Tyreke Johnson involved yet again. He got a yard on Sanchez Ming, and put the ball across the box, where Grainger was able to step out and claim rather easily
Tyreke was involved again, but in the middle of the park his attempted Cruyff turn saw Ming win the ball back. He drove towards goal, but the determined Johnson raced back and did well to slide away the ball and give Chelmsford back possession. Once again, Chelmsford came forward and were even more threatening. Folivi charged forward and was able to just roll with it, as he set himself for a shot. The striker’s effort nestled in the bottom right corner and gave Chelmsford a third goal for the night, and a second in 5 minutes. Dulwich looked to find a way back into the game, as Johnson gave away a free kick on the edge of the box. Frankie Raymond and Jordan Cheadle stood over it, but Raymond stepped up and fired well over the bar, and over the stand too. Robbie turned to his bench for his first sub, as we approached the halfway point in the half. Ody Alfa, who had been operating at right wing-back, made way for Barnum-Bobb, after Alfa put in yet another good performance. Chelmsford’s Rolls-Royce midfield then stepped with some magic. Trotter won the ball and tiptoed through numerous Dulwich players, before getting the chance to shoot. After his brilliant run, Trotter smashed the ball in and past Grainger, giving the Clarets their fourth of the night. Hakan Hayrettin was wondering where did it all go wrong after his side seemingly looked to start the half well, but could not continue that.
It was more magic from the Clarets, as the wizardry continued with Michael Folivi. He brought the ball down and was able to get past 4 defenders, before he could only find the side netting. With 10 minutes to go, Chelmsford looked to see out the game, but Tyreke Johnson had different ideas. Freddie Hockey picked the ball up on the edge of the box and turned and fired a good effort towards goal. His shot was blocked and fell the way of Tyreke Johnson. He chested the ball down and sent a beautiful volley right into the top corner, making it 5 for the Clarets. Despite the game pretty much won, Chelmsford were still up to standards as Eddie Beach claimed well to keep protecting the clean
sheet. Before the game was restarted with a kick, both Freddie Hockey and Michael Folivi were brought off, to a standing ovation. 2 of the standout performers were replaced by Tom Blackwell and Jamie Yila, who were on for some late minutes. With 3 minutes to go, Dulwich hit the back of the net, and Chelmsford lost the clean sheet. Joe Felix played a good ball across the box, where George Porter arrived to fire the ball into the top right, to give the visitors a consolation. 3 minutes were added on, with the fate of the game set and both sides looking for the final whistle. With no real chances arising in injury time, Shelby Elson brought an end to the game, after a superb performance at home by Chelmsford.
FULL TIME: CCFC 5-1 DHFC
Beach (GK), James, Trotter, Winfield (C), Johnson, Folivi (Blackwell 85), Jones, Alfa (Barnum-Bobb 67), Brookes, Hockey (Yila 85), Krasniqi
Unused subs: Simpson, Wilkes
Goals: Brookes 43′, Jones 58′, Folivi 63′, Trotter 72′, Johnson 80′
Grainger (GK), Ming, Wood, Cheadle, Holland (C), Raymond, Mills (Powell 71), Porter, Felix, Krasniqi (Taylor 75), Crichlow (Fawole 55)
Unused subs: Jones (GK), Vint
Goals: Porter 88′
Cautions: Ming 37, Wood 42
Words By Josh Lowe