The Blues are making the short trip across London from N12 to SE22 tonight to face a Dulwich Hamlet side who have had mixed, but improving fortunes during their first season back in the Isthmian Premier League.
Dulwich Hamlet are a club which is somewhat famous across non-league for its huge attendances. Last season, the Hamlet were relegated from National League South despite having the highest average attendance in the league of nearly 2,500 and that number shows little sign of slowing despite their relegation, regularly hitting over 2,000 at this level too.
Ex-Barnet player Hakan Hayrettin was appointed as manager in March 2023 after he had left then National League side Maidstone United just a couple of months earlier. Hayrettin was unable to prevent Dulwich from relegation last year and is now the man tasked with rebuilding and pushing for promotion.
Prior to playing Dulwich Hamlet back in October they had made a slow start to life in this league with 11 points from the first 11 games. Since that point they have earned 25 points from 15 games (including 3 on that day at the Maurice Rebak Stadium) which is form that is worthy of a playoff push if they can maintain it for the rest of the season.
Head To Head
In the reverse fixture in October, the Blues will have felt aggrieved to have not taken at least a point from the game. The game ended 3-2 as Ruben Carvalho's opener was quickly cancelled out by Dulwich, who went on to take a 3-1 lead with 15 minutes to go. Anointed Chukwu scored late in the game but there wasn't enough time for the Blues to find the equalising goal.
Last season we faced off in the London Senior Cup, where we ran out 5-1 victors thanks to four second half goals from Ben Siggers, Kavan Cotter, Manny Yeboah and Elliot Long. It added to the lead that we had taken before the break courtesy of Dylan Kearney. The tie was notable not only for the scoreline, but also because Hamlet finished the game with 9 players, though much of the damage had been done by the time the red cards were handed out.
Last Time Out
The Blues went down 1-0 at Cray Wanderers on Saturday, a game where Ahmet Rifat's men will feel that on another day they could've definitely earned something from that game.
Meanwhile, Hamlet won 3-1 at home in front of a sell-out crowd of 3,334 against struggling Haringey Borough at the weekend. A Luke Wanadio brace and Manny Parry goal ensured that Hamlet took all three points. Dulwich have had a tricky run of fixtures since the turn of the year, with a defeat on New Year's Day at 2nd place Chatham Town followed by a 2-1 victory over Hashtag United, before a late equaliser helped to avoid defeat in a 2-2 draw against Hastings United.
Players To Watch
The Blues named an unchanged line-up on Saturday for the first time in a while, probably due to the way in which the team performed against Whitehawk the week before, sealing a 5-1 win thanks to an excellent Ruben Carvalho hat-trick. Carvalho also nearly got on the scoresheet on Saturday, unfortunate to have a goal ruled out due to an offside by another Wingate player deemed to have interfered in the play.
Luke Wanadio is the Dulwich top scorer this season and bagged two at the weekend, as well as one in the reverse fixture, and will be looking to add to this on Tuesday night. At the back, Dulwich have Jerome Binnom-Williams; the ex- Crystal Palace youth player has played throughout the EFL at sides such as Burton Albion, Southend United and Chesterfield as well as a brief spell more recently at local neighbours Barnet. After his departure from Maidstone United in the summer, he followed gaffer Hayrettin to Dulwich, and he will need to be at his best to keep out Wingate's front three.
Tickets can be purchased in advance from Dulwich Hamlet's website here