Billy Grant previews the Dulwich Hamlet v Brentford B London Senior Cup Semi-Final
After years of Brentford being accused of not taking the cup seriously, they find themselves in the latter stages of three different cups – albeit with two different teams.
On Sunday 17th Feb the first team will be winding their way down the M4 to Swansea. The first time The Bees have been in the 5th Round of the FA Cup since we played Southampton 14 years ago in a memorable fixture that saw Martin Allen’s Bees come from 2-0 down to force a replay at Griffin Park.
We will be reflecting more on our FA Cup run this season and of past FA Cup glory later this week on beesotted.com and also on the PrideOfWest.London podcast which will go live on FRIDAY this week. This week’s podcast will feature an interview with an ex-Brentford player who featured in one the FA Cup 5th round games from the past.
Also talking of trophies, Brentford B-team will also be playing the fake Bees Barnet in the semi-final of the Middlesex Senior Cup some time later this month.
But before the first team’s trip to Swansea, Brentford B-team will be taking on Dulwich Hamlet at Champion Hill in the semi-final of the London Senior Cup.
The match was initially due to be played at Griffin Park. But Brentford made the decision to switch the game to Dulwich – a move that has pleased the fans of the South London side who have had a troubled past couple of years after having been evicted from their stadium by their property developer owners Meadow.
The reason why the South Londoners have given the switch a thumbs us is – as well as gaining home advantage, Hamlet will also benefit financially from the switch as the Bees have made the decision that the home club can keep all the proceeds from the match.
Brentford B have come off the back of quite a hectic few months which has seen them travelling a lot. The last few months has seen The Bees beat the likes of QPR (3-1), Bayern Munich (5-2), Brescia (2-1) and Wingate & Finchley (3-2 aet). Draw with the likes of Red Bull Salzburg (2-2). And lose to teams such as Borrusia Dortmund (0-1) and Shamrock Rovers (0-2).
Meanwhile Dulwich Hamlet are having a consolidation season after promotion to The Conference South last summer – winning the Bostic Premier League playoff final after an exciting penalty shoot-out with Hendon.
There was a (tenuous) Brentford link in that match. Dulwich had ex-Brentford striker Gavin Tomlin equalize for them after going behind. Whereas another ex-Brentford striker Francis Joseph had his son Zak playing up-front for Hendon.
A great win on Saturday against playoff-chasing Welling (2-1) broke the back of a win-less run that saw them lose to the likes of Slough Town (1-0). Hampton and Richmond (2-0) and Chelsmford City (3-1).
Having had the plug pulled on their finances by their owners and exiled to Tooting for the best part of the last 12 months (that for them is the equivalent of The Bees being exiled to Craven Cottage), Hamlet returned to Champion Hill on Boxing Day and have regularly been getting sell-out crowds of 3k – pretty remarkable for the division they are in.
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s match (which we discussed with Hugo from Forward The Hamlet podcast in the Beesotted Radio show this week link below), it is expected that Hamlet will field a strong side based on previous rounds as they will be looking to keep the momentum going after the weekend’s win.
Dipo Akinyemi – signed form Stevenage after a couple of loan spells – looks to be coming into his own as of late. He is maturing into a beast of a striker and will prove to be a stern test for the Brentford defence.
Striker Decarrey Sheriff – on loan from Colchester – took his goal well at the weekend and can be a handful.
Nathan Green has looked lively since playing further up the left-hand side of the pitch and should give our full backs a stern test.
Meanwhile Brentford B will have returned from their travels after a tough run of games. With Mads Bech Sörenson on 1st team duty against Villa on the Wednesday, the centre-back pairing is likely to be Jarvis Edobor – who has been given dispensation to play for Brentford B whilst also on loan at Maidstone – and Luka Racic.
Marcus Forss will also be on 1st team duty against Villa meaning Joe Hardy is likely to lead the line and will be looking to add to the 24 goals he’s scored in 32 games so far.
Feeding him on the wing will be Theo Archibald – back from his loan spell at Forest Green Rovers. Theo joined us on the Beesotted Radio show on LoveSport Radio on Monday night at 9pm (558 AM in london and LoveSportRadio.com online and on digital). The podcast of the show is available in the link above.
There has been increasing interest in the B-team increasing over the past year or so with Bees fans flying overt to Dundalk, Germany and even last weekend – Dublin to see then play. A number of Bees fans have also been expressing an interest in travelling to Champion Hill to not only support the next generation and also tick off a new ground.
Although Dulwich cant promise another 2k plus crowd on Tuesday, they are bang up for this match and it is hoped that a healthy audience will be in the house to watch an entertaining game of football.
The regular pre-match pub is The Cherry Tree (31-33 Grove Vale, London SE22 8EQ. East Dulwich mainline).
However, Champion Hill also has a fantastic HUGE bar serving a variety of random ales and other offerings which has often seen fans camped out watching the game if they don’t fancy braving the elements.
And the locals are friendly.
Dulwich Hamlet v Brentford B
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Address: Champion Hill, Edgar Kail Way, London SE22 8BD
Clapham Junction to Denmark Hill. 15 min walk or a few stops on the bus
Victoria mainline to Denmark Hill. 15 min walk or a few stops on the bus
London Bridge to East Dulwich. Short walk
LoveSport Radio Show with interviews with Brentford player Theo Archibald and Theo from Forward the Hamlet Podcast will be live at 9am Monday (558 AM and LoveSportRadio.com) and up on podcast on PrideOfWest.London at 7am on Tuesday
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