Nnamdi Nwachuku 1
Theo Alexandrou 66
Dulwich Hamlet 1
Luke Wanadio 90+8 (pen)
Star Man. Taylor McKenzie Cheshunt
Manager Craig Edwards made changes for this rematch with Dulwich Hamlet, the team that effectively sealed the Ambers fate in the National League South, but then tumbled out of that league with them. Left back Lordon Akolbire, Stevenage loanee Theo Alexandrou and from the bench Christos Djamas made debuts and Last week’s goalscorer Sol Baugh made his home debut. Striker Nnamdi Nwachukwu recovered from injury in time & a masked Isiah Noel-Williams bought his brand of energy back to the midfield.
The Ambers caught their visitors flat footed & cold in the first minute of the match when Isiah Noel Williams threaded a pass through to striker Nnamdi Nwachukwu who left the defence standing & beat Dulwich keeper Jack Ruddy as his hesitation gave the marksman time to pick his spot.
The Ambers should have added to their tally as Nathaniel Orafu & debutant Theo Alexandrou drove into the space between the Dulwich midfield & back line. Elliot Romain was fortunate to stay on the pitch after a tussle with Cheshunt captain Taylor McKenzie and was subbed minutes later. The return of Isiah Noel-Williams in midfield gave the Ambers plenty of energy & they constantly pressed Dulwich into the long ball where Harlain Mbayo & Mckenzie timed their aerial challenges to win the ball back. Anwar Moutawafiq continued his impressive form with his trademark tackling and full backs Fin Titchmarsh & Lordon Akolbire combined well with their wide men to play the ball out, retaining possession with pass & move football around their opponents.
McKenzie the Cheshunt captain marshalled his team for the second half onslaught as Dulwich sought to make their physical advantage count. They forced multiple corners, free kicks & long throws but McKenzie won every header as the visitors set plays amounted to half chances. The Ambers doubled their lead on the break as goalscorer Nwachukwu turned provider, heading a ball into the path of Alexandrou who stayed on his feet under the challenge of keeper Ruddy, and calmly slotted the ball past the defender on the line.
Dulwich did get the ball in the net from a long throw back headed to loop into the far corner, but Krasniqi was adjudged to have stepped over the line in the delivery. this was the only time Ambers keeper Joe Rose was troubled in open play, his positioning & organisation helping him make solid saves on the odd occasion Dulwich were on target. Enock Ekongo & Christos Djamas replaced the hardworking Akolbire & Moutawafiq, maintaining Cheshunt’s ability to squeeze Dulwich and restrict their options. In the last quarter Jimmy Wallace returned after a short time out to provide extra height & power as the visitors sought parity with set plays launched into the Ambers box.
Dulwich did eventually bag a consolation deep into additional time from the penalty spot when a cross to the far post was adjudged to have been handled, but there was no time for a grandstand finish, as referee Stuart Kyle bought an end to proceedings seconds after the re start.
Photos Scott Lear.
- Full-time: Cheshunt 2-1 Dulwich Hamlet
- Half-time: Cheshunt 1-0 Dulwich Hamlet
- 1’Nnamdi Nwachuku scores
- 29’Danny Mills replaced Elliott Romain
- 38’Marvel Ekpiteta cautioned
- 46’Taylor McKenzie cautioned
- 53’Kreshnic Krasniqi replaced Sean Bonnett-Johnson
- 66’Theo Alexandrou scores
- 71’Christos Djamas replaced Anwar Moutawafiq
- 72’Kaya Hansson replaced Jerome Binnom-Williams
- 76’Christos Djamas cautioned
- 77’Enock Ekongo replaced Lordon Akolbire
- 83’Jimmy Wallace replaced Isiah Noel-Williams
- 98’Luke Wanadio scores (pen)