Chatham, whose once mighty docks readied the British sea power upon which the Empire was founded, rolled up for the Medway armed with a plan - stop the Hamlet goal machine in its tracks.

So close they came to succeeding in their task but Cavaliers won through over the Roundhead philosophy, a fourth straight victory ground out and one that sent Hamlet to the top of the division for the first time since John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John topped the hit parade.

Summer Nights then but a chill early winter evening at the Hill, the weather perhaps as much a deterrent as the alternative attractions beamed across the televisual ether.

"Why change a winning side?" Wayne Burnett must have mused, so the same XI that had impressed at Bourne Park took up the Kentish challenge once more.

Chatham re-jigged in the wake of defeat to Hamlet's fellow battlers in the promotion melting pot, Sittingbourne, manager Phil Miles, the man with the plan, shuffling his pack. Early exchanges went the way of the Hamlet.

Two minutes gone, the ever-animated Chris Dickson burst clear down the right, rocketing a shot in on goal but a fraction too wide of the upright.

Frustration reigned as the Chats took every opportunity to squeeze the life blood from the Hamlet's power and pace game.

No sooner had the ball reached a man in pink and blue than red shirts swarmed around him, suffocating inspiration and limiting the chances.

Seven minutes a famous Kentish name came close to upsetting the apple cart, Rob Denness beating Nicolas Plumain to the ball but slamming a volley on the run over the crossbar.

Dulwich response - a screaming drive from Dickson fully 25 yards from goal but too high. The Hamlet goal machine in the thick of it once more soon afterwards, muscling his way to the ball despite the presence of a brace of minders.

A deft hook under pressure deserved better but keeper John Whitehouse was content to watch the effort fly wide.

Mid way through the half a blow for the Hamlet as Phil Williams, who looked out of sorts all evening, was replaced, David Moore on in his stead.

Hamlet came through the tricky test of a close range free kick as the impish Mark Brookes went to ground, a deep ball to the back of the box causing more trouble than it should have done, but the lines stayed firm.

Soon Hamlet were on the attack again and the substitute Moore was at the heart of things, his pass putting in Dickson, only for a timely tackle from Danny Larkin to flick the ball from his toes as he shaped to shoot.

A corner expertly delivered by Beaney but Eniola Oluwa's flicked header flashing wide of the far upright.

Like the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an, the Chatham defenders stood impervious.

A low drive, cracked in by Dickson blocked. Oluwa's follow up likewise repulsed.

Beaney, a thunderous drive from distance whizzing over the crossbar. The pressure turned up.

Whitehouse out to block a close range effort from Dickson after a sinuous run in the area.

A great low cross in from Oluwa on the left after mesmerising the defence but no connection from Moore lurking on the edge of the six-yard box.

33 minutes and Chatham smothering tactics should have bourn fruit, Luke Harvey exploited a rare gap in the Hamlet rearguard, bursting through with only Chris Lewington between him and glory.

Fortunately for Dulwich his finishing was poor, somehow failing to hit the target with just the keeper to beat.

Still the chance seemed to buoy the visitors and some tasty work by Brookes on the right saw him drive a tempting low ball into the six-yard box, Lewington diving to claim as red shirts waited to pounce.

As a swarm of red shirts engulfed him, Oluwa somehow managed to get off a stinging shot from an acute angle but just wide.

A corner with half-time on the horizon won by Moore's powerful run to the backline sparked controversy.

Played short to Beaney, the ball was delivered in the heart of the danger area.

A wild defensive header but as the players challenged, Lewis Tozer was clearly shoved out of the path of the falling ball by Whitehouse.

Remarkably referee Mr McIntyre saw nothing amiss.

A feisty start to Act II.

A Chatham attack repulsed; a powerful attack down the left wing spearheaded by Dickson but no one in the right place to finish off a low cross that capped the run.

Moore scuttled to recover the ball and pop in a cross for the head of Beaney but the finish lacked the power the trouble Whitehouse.

An exchange of passes with Dickson sent a marauding Jason Turley in on goal but a fine tackle from Bradley King extinguished the danger.

Dickson himself unleashed a venomous thunderbolt of a drive, swearing in the icy air but failing to deceive an alert Whitehouse.

57 minutes and the decisive goal arrived.

Dickson's power took him into the box as he readied to shoot from a tight angle he was barged from the ball.

Shouts for a penalty but Dickson kept his composure, pulling the ball back across goal as he tumbled and with keeper Whitehouse stranded at his near post; Shawn Beveney was on hand to imperiously sweep the ball home.

Two minutes later the same striking duo combined to tear a gapping hole in the previously impervious Chatham defence, Dickson playing the ball in, Beveney chesting the ball past his marker before swaying past the keeper but snatching at this opportunity, lifting the ball over the net yawning before him.

A fierce volley on the turn from Denness tested Lewington but a comfortable gather stamped out the danger.

Dickson might have ended his mini-goal drought soon after, cutting in from the left but an angle shot blocked by the keeper's feet.

A tense end game, few chances as Chats tried in vain to find a route back into the game only to founder on the Hamlet's rock solid rearguard.

The game was dying like a woodman's fire when a raft of chances in the final minutes raked the fires.

A cheeky chip from Dickson on the edge of area failed to deceive Whitehouse.

Seconds later Dickson set up substitute Sol Pinnock, but a moment's hesitation with the goal at his mercy and Whitehorse was prostrate at his feet to block.

Last moments, a corner, Beaney squirmed for space to lay the ball for Pinnock who made space to pull a low shot back across the keeper but again Whitehouse was on his toes diving to clutch the ball on his line, but all in vain as the final whistle signalled victory.

DHFC: Chris Lewington; Jason Turley (Capt); Nicolas Plumain; Cedric Meeko; Lewis Tozer; Justyn Roberts; Eniola Oluwa (Sol Pinnock 74); Kenny Beaney; Shawn Beveney (Daniel Jones 86); Chris Dickson; Phil Williams (David Moore 25) Subs not used: Matt Dean, Jamie Coyle Attendance: 226 Officials: Referee: Mr Adam McIntyre (Camberley, Surrey) Assistant Referees: Mr Peter Georgiou (Wandsworth, London) & Mr Mark Williams (Barnes, London) Goalscoring: 1-0 DHFC Shawn Beveney 57th minute