A storming cup tie belonging more to the devil take the hindmost football of yore, but one that left Dulwich dumped out of the London Senior Cup by Kent League opposition, albeit the promotion favourites, and manager Wayne Burnett purple with apoplexy at some of the substandard performances from his players.

Indeed had it not been for the dynamic, one man goal show that is Chris Dickson, Dulwich might have been staring down the barrel of a more comprehensive defeat.

As might be expected a number of changes from Saturday's Molesey mayhem.

Jamie Coyle returned to his usual centre-half role after his brief sojourn in the midfield to be partnered by Jason Turley after warm-up misfortune for Lewis Tozer, who turned an ankle pre-game. Kenny Beaney returned after suspension and there were also starts for David Moore and Billy Warner, returning at left back after a long injury lay-off whilst the keeper's mantle returned to the tyro Chris Lewington.

Early on it looked as if Dulwich might well have the measure of some tenacious opponents, attacking at pace and unlucky not to go ahead after just three minutes when a Beaney free kick was allowed to drift across the edge of the six yard box, Dickson's powerful poke cannoned back off the inside of the upright and into the grateful hands of keeper Danny Kemp. 11 minutes though and the Hamlet found themselves trailing as the rearguard was breached with Rikki Cable latching on to Scott Mulholland's incisive pass.

Vain cries for offside, an eyeball confrontation with Lewington, a little shimmy from Cable to shake off his opponent and a neat slot home. One-nil to the Kentish men. Stunned in disbelief, Hamlet were still pondering when Thamesmead struck again. This time breached on the left as Curtis Williams pressed the accelerator pedal to burst past Warner. Out came Lewington again. Something on the ball but not enough and the ball found its way in at the far corner.

A megawatt match ignited. Dulwich searched for a way back. A corner found Beaney edge of the area. Dumping his marker with a nimble turn, he looked to find the far corner of the net, a curling effort swinging just wide. Kemp, ever alert, denied Daniel Jones, rushing from his line to block at the feet of the forward as he won the race for a Moore ball in from the wing.

27 minutes and a rash challenge from Tyrone Sterling threw the Hamlet a lifeline, Dickson felled as he burst into the area. No card for the miscreant but Dickson would play nemesis and although Kemp guessed right the penalty was dispatched with such force the result was inevitable. Infused with confidence Dulwich were back on level terms almost instantly with a goal of breathtaking beauty as a ball out of midfield bypassed the last line of defence to met by Dickson with the crispest of volleys that left a flying Kemp clutching at thin air as the net rippled behind him.

A fortunate ricochet let in Jones to be thwarted once more by Kemp, nay doubly thwarted as the ball rebounded back off the prostrate keeper to Jones who deftly tried to lob a header a header over his tormentor only for Kemp to stretch fingertips to pluck the ball out of the air. Half-time loomed and a second penalty for the Hamlet as Phil Williams at last awoke from his somnambulance with a meandering run that was only ended when Sam Groombridge slid in to send the flying winger crashing to the floor. This time the offence brought with it a caution but perhaps more for naughty petulance from the Mead man in questioning the decision. Groombridge's grumblings soon dissipated as Kemp, perhaps fortunately, kept out Dickson's spot kick diving in expectation of a repeat performance the ball striking his legs as Dickson opted for a different path.

A change at half-time for the visitors, the addition of Sam Thomas providing a pacy foil for the Mead's rapier like attacks. The second half was a reprise, full throated, full throttle but would lack the goals until late as the two defences bolted themselves tight. Dickson unleashed a special from distance, Kemp beaten but relived as the effort sailed wide. Cards for Nicolas Plumain and James Brown, yellow in hue as punishment for talking in class, Brown's gripes a tad justified in the wake of a goalbound charge through the Hamlet defence that seemed to be prematurely halted by a scything challenge in the area.

A preliminary sketch perhaps for a later masterpiece, Dickson came within a whisker of scoring one of the most spectacular goals seen on this fabled turf. Blocked first by Kemp, he launched himself to execute a dramatic bicycle kick over the keeper that was only denied its true destiny by the last minute intervention of Scott Saunders, the ball flicked away from under the crossbar. As Thamesmead struggled to regroup a quick corner saw the ball delivered to the back of the six yard box where Dickson was lurking but again fortune favoured the visitors as the cross was hammered into the side netting.

Five minutes later and the Thamesmead lead was restored. A rightwing raid laid the foundations, the ball finding Cable in space at the far side of the area. Coyle seemed to have covered the danger but he slipped on the dewy turf, letting his opponent in on goal. A fierce strike, one Lewington was equal to but his parry fell to the feet of Williams, some tricky juggling and he turned to volley the ball home beyond the despairing dive of the Hamlet custodian. If Thamesmead though they had finally shaken off the Hamlet threat, they were soon proven wrong for almost instantly Dulwich were back on level terms as Dickson converted a rather routine goal for him, drifting inside from the left and unleashing a screaming low drive that nestled in the far corner out of reach of a diving Kemp.

However Thomas, the half-time replacement for Thamesmead, was about to embark on a personal crusade to secure victory for the men in green.

Blistering pace on the left wing, subdued until now, suddenly came into its own, mere seconds flashing by as first he was denied by Lewington, and then beat the tyro keeper only to see the ball crash back off the far upright. His next attack was to prove more fruitful as an ill-timed challenge saw the evening's third spot kick awarded, Cable the dispatcher, the match winner as a precision finish beat Lewington. Dulwich threw on the late wild cards, first Eniola Oluwa for the below par Williams, then Sol Pinnock for Plumain in a last gasp effort to force extra time, but sandwiching these changes substitute Pedro Knight unleashed a fearsome shot that almost found a home in the bottom corner of the net.

A home tie with Welling or Tooting awaits the victors, for the vanquished angry words from the management. Two defeats, two inadequate performances in less than a week, one fears Mr Burnett's evening stroll on the Thames may well be postponed.

Dulwich Hamlet: Chris Lewington; Jason Turley; Billy Warner; Nicolas Plumain (Sol Pinnock 89); Jamie Coyle (Capt); Cedric Meeko; David Moore; Kenny Beaney; Daniel Jones; Chris Dickson; Phil Williams (Eniola Oluwa 87) Substitutes not used: Wayne Burnett, Matt Dean, Theo Fairweather-Johnson Thamesmead Town: Danny Kemp; Sam Groombridge (Tony Gallagher 83); Scott Saunders; James Brown (Pedro Knight 77); Dean Kearley (Capt); Tyrone Sterling; Scott Mulholland; Robbie Tarrant; Curtis Williams; Rikki Cable; John-Paul Collier (Sam Thomas HT) Substitutes not used: Danny Bezant; Sam Mills Referee: Mr James Vallance (Putney, London) Assistant Referees: Mr Dave D'Wan (Bromley, Kent) & Mr Abdel Zekri (Islington)