CLOUD NINE FOR SOARING GULLS AFTER LATE SHOW
LATE goals from Jamie Reid and Saikou Janneh extended Torquay’s unbeaten league run to nine games and lifted the Devon side up to third in the table.
But they didn’t have things their own way against a determined Dulwich side in front of a bumper crowd.
Torquay boss Gary Johnson said: “I was pleased with the result, although I felt we could have played better.
“Dulwich contributed to a well-contested game and it was nice to keep a clean sheet with [keeper] Shaun MacDonald doing well.”
Dulwich almost scored within 20 seconds of kickoff when Gavin Tomlin got free in the box but he delayed his shot and a defender made a timely block.
Torquay gradually grew into the game and after Connor Lemonheigh-Evans tested Preston Edwards from 25 yards, Janneh fired across goal from a narrow angle.
As play went from end to end, a low cross from Dulwich’s Sanchez Ming eluded Tomlin and later a vital tackle by Kyle Cameron thwarted Anthony Cook.
For Torquay, Reid went close from 20 yards before Jake Andrews shot into the side netting.
Hamlet had the better chances in the early part of the second half. Torquay keeper Shaun MacDonald made an excellent block to deny Nyren Clunis who was later brought down just outside the box.
Chieck Toure also had a close-range effort blocked on the line. Then, from Ashley Carew’s free-kick, a goalbound header from Michael Chambers was superbly pushed away by the diving MacDonald.
As the half progressed, Torquay began to gain the upper hand and should have scored on 67 minutes when Calvin Kalala embarked on a surging run down the left only to shoot wide when he found himself with only Edwards to beat.
But United broke the deadlock three minutes later. Play continued after Hamlet skipper Magnus Okuonghae lay injured in the box and when the ball came in from the left, Ruairi Keating’s effort was blocked before Reid crashed home from ten yards.
Then, on 78 minutes, the Gulls doubled their lead when an underhit backpass from Ibrahim Kargbo was intercepted by Janneh who gave Edwards no chance.
Hamlet never gave up, however, and forced MacDonald to make two crucial saves in stoppage time.
First, he blocked from Dip Akinyemi at pointblank range, then made an excellent leap to tip Nathan Ferguson’s header.
Hamlet’s Gavin Rose commented: “Torquay are the best team we’ve played this season but I was disappointed he didn’t capitalise on some good opportunities especially in the first half.
“I didn’t feel there was much difference in quality but Torquay’s mentality was superior.”
STAR MAN: Shaun MacDonald (Torq’y) ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★
CLOSE ENCOUNTER: Dulwich’s Anthony Cook is challenged by Torquay defenders
YELLOW FEVER: Torquay celebrate Jamie Reid’s opener