|Date:||Saturday 03 September 2016|
Hendon eased their way into the second round qualifying of the Emirates FA Cup with a 5-2 victory over Cheshunt at Silver Jubilee Park on Saturday afternoon. Two goals in the first nine minutes gave the Greens the perfect platform and, apart from five minutes either side of half-time, Cheshunt asked few questions of the home defence until it was far too late.
There were no changes to the Hendon starting line-up from the eleven against Dulwich Hamlet. Cheshunt, however, fell victim to the FA changes to regulations regarding suspensions, their two players dismissed last Saturday being suspended seven days after the offence instead of the previous 14.
Hendon forced a corner in the opening minute and scored from it. The ball was partially cleared before a shot from the edge of the box seemed to be going in, but the final, feathery touch from Karl Oliyide made absolutely certain.
A defender, lolly-gagging by the opposite post, ensured there was no question of offside.
Cheshunt's defending remained lax as Hendon enjoyed plenty of possession down the flanks, both Chris Seeby and Mayo Balogun complementing Finbarr Robins, Oliyide and Niko Muir. The result, in the ninth minute, was a second Hendon goal.
It came down the left side, with Balogun and Oliyide combining. Joe Clemo could not stop them, and when George Pullen came across from left back to help, Balogun went past him with ease. The angle was tight, but Balogun's drive flew past Michael Gooch, just inside the far post.
And the bad news for Cheshunt continued three minutes later when playmaker Tom Bruno went down in injured midway inside the Ambers' half. After a brief period of treatment, he was led, disconsolately, off the pitch, to be replaced by Liam Hope.
The former Enfield Town striker has enjoyed huge success against the Greens in the Ryman League, but as a striker. Playing as a midfielder, Hope was nowhere near as effective and he rarely got into dangerous positions.
Despite watching their team being in complete control, Hendon's fans remained nervous and they craved a third goal. They nearly got their wish when Oliyide diverted a header from Seeby, but Gooch made a superb full-length save.
The third goal didn't take much longer to arrive. It was Muir, making a mazy run from the wing into the penalty area, who was the creator, and it was Oliyide who got the decisive touch.
Ibe really should have made it 4-0 when he stretched to reach a drilled ball across the penalty area. It was not the easiest of chances, but the miss was spectacular, the ball flying high and wide of the goal.
The final few minutes of the first half were alarming for Hendon as they seemed to switch off. In the 44th minute, Billy Jones struck the outside of a post with an angled drive.
Two minutes later, Michael Kalu tried his luck with a snapshot at the near post and it required a save from Brendan Norris. From the corner, no one was close to Joe Kizzi, who powered a header into the net.
When the half-time whistle blew, it was Cheshunt, trailing 3-1, who had the positivity. With the ever-strengthening wind at their backs and kicking down the slope, all they needed was an early goal and they would be right back into it.
In truth, the lifeline of an early second goal rarely looked likely to arrive. Alfie Young and Luke Tingey have played together once before, against Dulwich, and they continued to look an assured partnership, denying Jones, Kalu and the veteran Jason Hallett clear sights of goal.
For all the qualities of the defensive and attacking players, the match-winners for Hendon were in the centre of midfield, where Kevin Maclaren was outstanding in breaking up play, and solid and sensible in passing to open team-mates. Almost as good was Spencer McCall, whose energy further forward gave open options for creating danger.
The three-goal lead should have regained after 58 minutes when the Greens were awarded a penalty. Before a free-kick could be curled into the penalty area, the referee had warned players from both teams about the unsightly shenanigans which blight every set piece.
Cheshunt defenders didnât listen and as both Seeby and Tingey ran towards the ball, they were unceremoniously upended. The foul on Seeby was the more obvious and the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot.
There was not a single sign of dissent from the Ambers, more players frustrated at their team-mates' indiscipline. However, they were saved by Gooch, who guessed correctly and parried McCall's spot-kick. Kizzi beat McCall to the rebound.
If that was the turning point Cheshunt were looking for, they didn't take advantage of it. In fact, Hendon had to wait only four minutes for the fourth goal.
Balogun and Oliyide again worked well down the left and when the ball was drilled across the penalty area, Ibe lost his marker and applied the finishing touch from a few yards out.
Hallett, a hat-trick hero in the preliminary round victory over Basildon United, had two openings. The first was a run which ended with a fine kick-save by Norris; the second was a long range shot, which struck a defenderâs boot and rolled slowly to the goalkeeper, who made a comfortable save.
The Ambers' inadequate defending led to a fifth Greens goal in the 70th minute. Once more, the full-backs were beaten too easily and when the ball came into the middle of the penalty area, the centre-backs werenât close enough to their markers. Profiting on this occasion was Muir, who slipped the ball past Gooch.
Hendon made three substitutions, replacing Robins, Olyide and McCall with Keagan Cole, Andre Da Costa and Sam Murphy. Ibe was then denied a clear run at goal by a cynical grab from Kizzi. It was on the edge of the centre-circle so too far out for it to be considered an obvious goalscoring opportunity, so the defender saw yellow, not red.
Ibe himself was cautioned for kicking the ball away, lifting the ball over Gooch towards goal, but it was long after a whistle had been blown for offside against him. His protest that he had not heard the whistle was futile.
As the game moved into the final minutes, Cheshunt got a second consolation. The Greens failed to clear a corner and Kizzi applied the final touch, but there were few celebrations from the visitors.
Hendon's reward for beating Cheshunt is a trip to fellow Ryman League Premier Division club Dulwich Hamlet. The two teams drew 1-1 at Silver Jubilee Park on Bank Holiday Monday, Spencer McCall's early penalty being cancelled out by Gavin Tomlin on the hour mark. Dulwich defeated Pagham 3-0 in the last round.
|15||Sam Murphy||for 10 , 76|
|16||Keagan Cole||for 7 , 69|
|17||Andre Da Costa||for 8 , 76|
|19||Khale Da Costa|
|14||Liam Hope||for 8 , 19|
|15||Kai Heather||for 3 , 70|