|Date:||Saturday 29 October 2016|
Hendon's interest in the FA Trophy was the unsurprisingly brief encounter expected when a team in 21st place travels to the unbeaten division leaders. The disappointing exit was made more acute by the first-half dismissal of Casey Maclaren for two cautions and the loss, through injury, of Chris Seeby.
The Greens had few options for change following the defeat at Burgess Hill, but Luke Tingey did come in for Gradi Milenge in defence while Finbarr Robins started at Omar Vassellâs expense further forward. Oliver Sprague was named on the bench but he, like Dave Diedhiou, was not used. though Milenge, Vassell and Kezie Ibe did come on.
For most of the first 20 minutes, Hendon looked good. Their possession was good and they asked questions of the Leiston defence - which pretty much always came up with the required answers. There was one good chance for Spencer McCall, but he failed to take it.
The game then changed irrevocably midway through the first half when Hendon conceded a free-kick and failed to deal with it well enough, conceding a corner. There were three chances for Hendon to clear the ball away from the danger area, but they weren't taken and Matt Blake made the Greens pay with a header into the net.
After 30 minutes, Seeby was injured in a challenge and was reduced to little more than a passenger when he returned from the sidelines. In the meanwhile Casey Maclaren got involved in a verbal spat with Seb Dunbar which resulted in both players receiving yellow cards.
It was Dunbar's first, but Maclaren's second, so the Greens were left to play the final hour with 10 men. And Dunbar was provider for the second Leiston goal, just before half-time.
His long ball was superbly brought down by Matt Blake, though Hendon defenders were slow to deal the danger. Blake needed no second bidding, and his drive past Billy Collings flew into the net for a spectacular strike.
Things got worse for the Greens just before half-time when the limping Seeby could not effectively clear a ball into the penalty area and when it fell to Christy Finch, he rifled a shot through a crowd of players into the net.
Before the second half started, Vassell took over from Seeby, a like-for-like swap.
Hendon's attempts to get back into the game early in the second half were thwarted by Blues goalkeeper Jake Marsden. First he produced a good save to tip the ball over the crossbar from a Robins shot.
Marsden did even better when McCall struck a free-kick goalwards. The goalkeeper was able to tip the ball against the crossbar and the rebound didn't give Hendon the chance to follow up.
Just before the hour mark Dunbar set up Finch for his second goal. The striker did well to hold off his defender before beating Collings.
Leiston substitute Adam Blades came close to getting a fifth when he drilled a shot towards goal. This time, however, Collings produced a superb save.
Ibe and Milenge came on midway through the second half, replacing Keagan Cole and Robins, respectively. But it was at the other end where most of the action continued to take place.
The final goal came three minutes from the end of normal time. Gareth Heath - one of six players involved in the Trophy tie four years ago only (only Casey Maclaren of the Hendon 16 had been involved in 2012) - slotted home after being set up by Blades.
|14||Leon Ottley-Gooch||for 3 , 69|
|15||Adam Blades||for 9 , 66|
|16||Jake Hutchings||for 2 , 59|
|6||Casey Maclaren||s/o, 31|
|12||Kezie Ibe||for 10 , 66|
|14||Gradi Milenge||for 11 , 73|
|15||Omar Vassell||for 2 , 46|