The Pilot Field, antebellum pre-war clapboard and corrugation, a paean to the identikit, flat pack stadium that proliferate the modern game.

A slaughterhouse for Hamlet hopes as Hastings inflicted painful defeat on their fresh-faced opponents, exploiting nave defending to hammer home a quartet of goals whilst manning the barricades resolutely whenever the danger threatened from the Hamlet's prolific strike force.

A year ago almost to the day, Dulwich had trekked south to the coast and shredded their hosts with a four goal performance to cap an encouraging end to autumn.

Just two of that triumphant staring XI remain, Jason Turley and Jamie Coyle, the old guard culled in the intervening months to make way for youth's bright torch.

Today that torch burned too dim for it was the turn of the hosts to open the floodgates, victory raising spirits amongst a dogged support too used to seeing points snatched away at the death.

For Hamlet came only reflection and reappraisal; perhaps the curse of manager of the month has turned its evil eye upon the men in pink and blue, the conquest of Chatham a rare flame in a muted month.

For the homesters a host of injuries disrupted preparations as they aimed to repeat a rare midweek victory away to Whyteleafe but kick-off saw few changes from that triumph as Dominic Cruttenden was relegated to the bench, Kevin Rose moving from left back to join the attack in his stead, Rose's role in defence covered by James Sims.

Hamlet meanwhile were unchanged from their own midweek victory on the road. Lack of fitness saw a postponement of James Wastell's predicted arrival between the sticks, meaning Chris Lewington retained custody of the gloves.

Mountainous seas may have been rattling the shingle along the Hastings seafront but loftily perched high above all this tumult, the Pilot Field seemed an oasis of calm. Dark ominous clouds may have scuttled overhead but the predicted downpours had failed to wreak their havoc upon the lush turf, a faint sprinkling of precipitation enough to provide the zip that might aid the Hamlet's incisive passing game.

Not in awe of the Hamlet's fearsome reputation, Hastings made early inroads, a corner forced within the first few minutes and Lee Carey supplied by Sam Adams to rifle a 25-yard effort wide of the far upright.

Soon after Hamlet fashioned a chance of their own, a corner delivered deep to the back of the area where skipper Jamie Coyle rose highest to nod the ball down to the feet of Sol Pinnock, a snatched shot from six yards easily smothered by Lee Worgan on his line.

Found penned in their own half by ambitious opponents, the quarter hour arrived before a Hamlet chance presented itself, Pinnock in the vanguard, taking the ball to the back line before pulling the back to Phil Williams.

Tricky feet flummoxed his marker but a neat pass into the path of Nicolas Plumain came to naught as power replaced precision and the ball was hammered high over the bar.

After too many lacklustre performances, Williams was on turning on the style, futile cries ringing out for a penalty as Jimmy Elford ended a run into the area with a clumsy challenge.

Instantly Hamlet found themselves defending desperately, ersatz striker Rose vainly glancing around him for assistance before electing to chance his arm with a fierce drive that had young Lewington twisting like a sidewinder as he leapt to tip the goal bound effort over his bar. The millstone of their lowly league position failed to hamper Hastings as they grew in confidence, chances continuing to flow their way.

A long throw aimed for Tim Olorunda spun off a defender into the path of John Bradley, the centre forward wasting the opening as the ball was lamped high and wide.

Left winger Lee Carey found an extra gear as he cut in towards goal from the sidelines but again the chance went begging as a shot was curled well wide.

Dulwich still threatened, a free kick releasing Dickson on the left, his tempting low drive into the heart of the Hastings six-yard box cut out by Sean Ray as Pinnock hovered menacingly, the Hastings skipper proving his young protagonist's nemesis with a perfectly timed tackle in the area as Pinnock burst on to Dickson's pass.

Stan-in striker Rose' aim was off when he larruped a volley harmlessly wide from an Adams cross but the reward for endeavour would soon be bestowed upon United.

A half-hearted clearance was easily cut out by Elford; the wing back slipping through some insipid challenges before feeding Olorunda threaded a low drive into the bottom corner of the net as Lewington dived to no avail.

Fired up, Dulwich went straight on the offensive with Dickson mere millimetres away from a telling connection with Pinnock's cross from the left.

Moments later, the equaliser did arrive. Caught cold at a corner Hastings were undone as Eniola Oluwa led a one-man assault on a short-handed defence, a pass in the direction of Dickson dowsed with fortune as Sims' attempted interception merely played the ball into the path of the goal hungry striker.

Worgan had no answer as Dickson neatly tucked the ball home to restore parity.

The goal seemed to drain confidence from the hosts. Williams produced a run of sinewy beauty that mesmerised the left flank of the Hastings' defence.

Only Rhys Whyborne failed to fall under its spell proving a rude awakening from the reverie with a rudimentary tackle as the goal loomed. Worgan denied Plumain with his feet as the midfielder let rip with a twenty yard drive after the home defence had failed to effectively clear a free kick.

Then with half-time but a heartbeat away Dulwich managed to shoot themselves in the foot.

Having already survived a scare when Carey latched on to a Bradley pass through a gaping hole in defence, only to overrun the ball as Lewington was rounded, Dulwich's abortive attempts to halt the run of Nima Chan paved the way from Olorunda to restore the hosts' lead in stoppage time, a fierce strike on the turn after being played in giving Lewington no chance.

For Chan his contribution would prove his last of the game, the midfielder failing to reappear after the break, replaced by Brett Griffin. For Hamlet too half-time mean a change as David Moore came on in place of Oluwa.

A change might be as good as a rest but for Dulwich they could have done with a rest from incessant Hastings attacks. Three minutes into the half and the deficit became two.

Adams on the left wing swept in a deep cross to the back of the six yard box, Dulwich's rearguard cowed by the heavyweight presence of the captain Ray, a towering header cannoning home via the back upright.

The burly centre-half might have found himself continuing his celebrations in the isolation of the dressing room after lashing a kick out at Dickson as he beat the latter in the battle for a high ball.

An unseemly confrontation followed forcing unsighted referee Ryan Atkin, armed with his pay-as-you-go whistle, into conference with his assistant whose own lack of vision possibly spared Ray the red.

Once the dust had settled, Pinnock found himself the victim of a fine cover tackle from Whyborne after silky skills had opened the defence up.

At the other end, the Trojan workhorse Olorunda blew the chance of a hat trick as his shot from 15 yards was smothered at the second attempt by Lewington whilst team-mate Carey's long range drive curled narrowly wide soon after.

The game seemed to be slipping from the Hamlet, the scenario forcing an unusual change as Jason Turley made way for Gavin Dayes, the centre-half taking on the mantle of striker as Dulwich looked to find a foothold.

But for the finest of deflections, Dickson might have kick-started a fight back as his dash across the face of the penalty area was capped by a fierce angled strike.

Elford rescued Worgan after the keeper had spilled Beaney's free kick before a stunning goal extinguished all but the last vestiges of a Hamlet recovery.

Under pressure the Dulwich defence tried but failed to repulse a wave of Hastings assaults, the claret shirts gobbling up the ineffectual clearances, stamping them under foot like grapes in the vat, the fine wine pouring from the feet of Adams, unmarked after injury had incapacitated Justyn Roberts, with screaming drive that flew unerringly into the far top corner of the net drawing ripples of applause from all but the most stone-hearted of Hamlet followers.

An aching chasm now stood before the tyros of Dulwich but surrender is not within their vocabulary.

The Alamo it may have been but the Hamlet seemed determined to go down all guns blazing.

Had the three W's of defence, Whyborne, Worgan and Way, sorry Ray, had stood before them an unlikely point might still have been on the cards.

Released on the left Dickson's incisive run was catalyst for a fearsome Pinnock strike from 12 yards out, Worgan's keen reactions denying a certain goal as leapt to smartly batter the shot away.

As Dickson burst into the area there once more was Whyborne with a determined tackle halt this particular attack.

With four minutes there came a narrow chink of light, albeit with a fortuitous tinge, as Kenny Beaney pulled a goal back with a 35-yard drive that wobbled in the air to deceive Worgan, the keeper cringing as he somehow allowed the ball to squirm through his fingers and fly over him into the net.

For the affable Worgan time was on his side, victory confirmed soon after ensuring mere ribbing would be his fate in the changing room.

DHFC: Chris Lewington; Jason Turley (Gavin Dayes 68); Nicholas Plumain; Justyn Roberts; Jamie Coyle (Capt); Jake Daniel; Eniola Oluwa (David Moore HT); Kenny Beaney; Sol Pinnock; Chris Dickson; Phil Williams Substitutes not used: Cedric Meeko; Daniel Jones; Billy Warner Attendance: 291 Officials Referee Mr Ryan Atkin (London) Assistant Referees: Mr Mark Wood (Redhill) & Mr Timothy Hatt (Redhill) Goalscoring: 1-0 HUFC: Tim Olorunda 34th minute 1-1 DHFC: Chris Dickson 36th minute 2-1 HUFC: Tim Olorunda 45th minute 3-1 HUFC: Sean Ray 48th minute 4-1 HUFC: Sam Adams 76th minute 4-2 DHFC: Kenny Beaney 86th minute