|Date:||Monday 01 August 2016|
Hendon were made to pay the price for not respecting ball and keeping possession when they were overrun by a very keen, young Dagenham & Redbridge containing a number of players desperate to persuade watching manager John Still that they were worth places in the Daggers' squad.
There were two members of the Dagenham squad familiar to Hendon in that their fathers were with the Greens in the 1992â93 season, and both scored too. Leo Donnellan, was the son of one of the brothers, who played in the Dons' first team, while Tyrique Hyde's father, Micah, was a member of the youth and reserve team after leaving Ridgeway Rovers (where he had been a team-mate of David Beckham) and before going on to a long Football League career with - among others - Cambridge, Watford, Burnley, Peterborough and Barnet.
Dagenham were quick to chase the ball and they forced Hendon to play from much deeper than they really wanted. It meant that Berkley Laurencin was kept busy for long periods, though the accuracy the Daggers' front two was not quite of the standard of the approach play.
That changed in the 27th minute when Hendon tried to play the ball out of defence, but the pass towards to Omar Vassell was errant. Quickly seized on by Aaron Greene, he passed the ball forward to Donnellan, who took a touch, beat a defender and fired low into the bottom corner.
When Hendon tried to attack, going down the hill, Neither Niko Muir nor Kezie Ibe got any change out of Harly Wise and Sergio Uyi. Spencer McCall, in the first half, at least, was also kept quiet and Hendon were limited in the numbers they could commit going forward.
Things went downhill quite quickly in the second half, though there was a hint of good fortune about the second Dagenham goal. It came from the penalty spot and the decision to award it was undoubtedly the only one the referee could give.
However, Dave Diedhiou's high foot came only because as he tried to clear the ball and slipped on the rain-soaked surface. Although it was neither careless, nor intentional, it was dangerous, which probably explained why the referee didn't even lecture the defender. Frankie Raymond took the spot-kick and made no mistake.
The Greens' response was a good spell and it showed their attacking capabilities. First Mayo Balogun had a chance, but his shot was well saved by Lewis Moore. From the corner, McCall had a chance, but Moore made an even better block to deny him.
Three minutes later, the Hendon defence was opened up again and this time it was Hyde who strode through and he beat Laurencin.
This was the signal for Hendon to make the majority of their changes, but, almost immediately the Daggers scored their best goal of the night. Although they again received the ball quite cheaply, the through ball which released Victor Zapata was outstanding.
The striker raced onto the pass, timing his run to beat the offside trap immaculately and was left with a clear run at goal. Two touches later the ball was in the back of the net and it was 4-0, with a fear for Hendon fans that the scoreline might get out of hand.
Instead, it was Hendon who finished slightly the stronger. Dagenham's changes certainly weakened them, but the Greens showed laudable spirit in continuing to take the fight to the Daggers.
In the 77th minute, McCall struck the top of the crossbar with a powerful shot. Two minutes later, Aaron Morgan got behind the visitors' defence and his drilled effort was well tipped aside by Moore.
With a little more than five minutes remaining, Hendon got on the scoresheet. A good passing move just outside the penalty area was continued with a neat ball towards the penalty spot.
First to react was Morgan and his shot gave Moore absolutely no chance of making save. In a competitive fixture the goal would have been considered a consolation, but this was much more proof that Hendon will continue to try doing things the right way, all the way to the final whistle.
"We made too many mistakes tonight," said manager Gary McCann, "and we were punished clinically for them. We will learn from this and be better for it. If the players don't learn, they won't be around long!
"This was the reason why I wanted us to have a very strong preseason schedule. If we had included games against the AFC Hayes and other clubs from Step 5, these mistakes may not have been punished and we wouldn't have learned from them.
"Even so, I am disappointed to lose - I don't like losing any game, even preseason friendlies."
|13||Andre Da Costa|
|19||Khale Da Costa|