Lewes 2 Dulwich Hamlet 5

Lewes 2 - 5 Dulwich Hamlet
16 Jul 2016 - 15:00The Dripping Pan, Lewes

A hat-trick from Dan Carr saw Lewes fall to their first defeat of pre-season against an impressive Dulwich Hamlet side at the Pan reports Tom Harper.

Despite the score-line, there were plenty of positives to take from the performance for the Rooks, who more than matched the visitors for the first hour of the game and can consider themselves unfortunate to lose by three goals.

Dulwich made a bright start and were ahead after just four minutes, with Carr tapping home from close range after Nyren Clunis had intercepted an under-hit pass from Alex Malins and cut the ball back from the byline on the right-hand side.

The visitors continued to enjoy more of the possession early on, and saw Sandy Cunningham denied by Chris Winterton when clean through before Carr sent an attempted lob just over the crossbar and onto the roof of the net.

Lewes gradually found their feet as the half progressed though, with the trialist at right-back shooting just wide from the edge of the area in another encouraging display after impressing against Worthing four days earlier.

The Rooks then had two good chances to equalise in the final ten minutes of the first half, as Charlie Coppola headed over from close range after a Lloyd Dawes shot had been deflected into his path, before Malins missed the target with a diving header at the far post from a Josh Jones free-kick.

Lewes found an equaliser three minutes before the break, as Coppola capitalised on some hesitant defending from Nathan Green to run through and calmly finish past Preston Edwards to level the scores.

The Rooks made a bright start to the second half and should have taken the lead within minutes of the restart, as Alex Laing latched onto a through-ball from Jones but sent his attempted lob from close range over the bar.

Lewes continued to press though, and did take the lead after 54 minutes through Lloyd Cotton, who showed good composure to beat a defender and finish just inside the near post after the ball fell to him in the penalty area.

The visitors were level with 25 minutes remaining, as Leon Fisher was left unmarked to head home a deep Ibriham Kargbo cross at the far post.

Darren Freeman made a number of substitutions at this stage, giving several development squad players and trialists a chance to impress against higher level opposition.

Dulwich took the lead after 70 minutes through Carr, who latched onto a through-ball from Gavin Tomlin, rounded the trialist substitute goalkeeper and finished into the empty net to score his second goal of the game.

Carr nearly completed his hat-trick minutes later, but saw his curling effort from the edge of the area well saved by the Lewes keeper, before Green saw a towering far-post header from the resulting corner cleared off the line.

The visitors were able to double their lead with 16 minutes remaining, as substitute Josh Fernandes sent a powerful effort from just inside the area past the Rooks trialist and in off the post after a well-worked short corner.

Despite conceding three goals inside ten minutes, the Rooks continued to work hard without really testing Edwards in the Dulwich goal during the closing stages.

Dulwich completed the scoring in the final minute, as Carr got on the end of a Green through-ball and rounded the keeper before rolling the ball into the empty net in a similar fashion to his second goal to complete his hat-trick.

Although the score-line suggests the Rooks were comfortably beaten, they played some good football for the first hour of the game and looked more than capable of picking up their first win of pre-season.

However, the experience and clinical finishing of the visitors showed in the closing stages as they scored four goals in the final 25 minutes to seal the win.

Lewes travel to Hassocks for their next pre-season friendly on Tuesday, kick-off at 7.30pm.

Lewes: Winterton, Trialist, Gore, Hammond, Freeman, Malins, Jones, Cotton, Dawes, Laing, Coppola.

Subs: Perry, Greenfield, Mendy, Trialist, Vickers, Gunn, Badger, Dramis, Trialist.

Dulwich Hamlet: Edwards, Mason, Green, Kargbo, Drage, Weatherstone, Clunis, Beaney, Carr, Tomlin, Cunningham.

Subs: Carew, Fisher, Michael-Percil, Fernandes, Mugabo, Bangura, Pereira.

Referee: Graham Kane.

Attendance: 301