|Competition:||Isthmian League Premier Division|
|Date:||Saturday 24 September 2016|
Hendon produced one of their disappointing performances as they were well beaten by their bogey team, Enfield Town, at Queen Elizabeth II Stadium on Saturday. For the second time in five seasons, the Greens conceded six to the Towners, and they have failed register a single goal in their last three visits.
Alfie Young was unavailable, while Kevin Maclaren and Spencer McCall were rested, giving starts to Mayo Balogun, Finbarr Robins and Casey Maclaren. The Greens changed their formation, but found themselves with too many square pegs in round holes for the system to work effectively.
Enfield have struggled to find the target this season, though they felt better about themselves after getting a pair at Staines in midweek. Not in their wildest dreams would the half-dozen they managed against the Greens to be the least they deserved.
In fact, they thought they had scored after eight minutes when Harry Ottaway followed up after Berkley Laurencin had parried a powerful shot from Tyler Campbell. The striker was behind the defensive line when the first shot was drilled goalwards, and became actively offside when the ball came back off the goalkeeper and he netted the rebound.
Hendon's only effort of note in the whole of the first half came in the 21st minute, a Casey Maclaren header from a Luke Tingey long throw going just wide of the post.
Enfield's first goal came in the 23rd minute, a rasping rising drive by Percy Kiangebeni following a corner. Hendon's marking, after the ball had been flicked on, was non-existent.
If the Hendon defending had been poor for the first goal, it was dire for the second, three minutes before half-time. A long ball found Samir Bihmoutine in about 20 yards of space, Khale Da Costa having failed to track back to cover the run.
Bihmoutine controlled the ball and as Tingey and Chris Seeby sprinted across to cover the danger, the ball was rolled back into the middle of the area. The side-foot from the unmarked Kier Dickson was perfectly placed to beat the hopelessly exposed Laurencin.
The Hendon dressing room was a very unhappy place and there were some harsh words said. As a result, the Greens made their three substitutions before the resumption, Ollie Sprague, Robins and Da Costa the men to make way, with Keagan Cole, McCall and Kezie Ibe, respectively, the replacements. In truth almost any one of the 10 outfield players could have been sacrificed.
Two minutes into the second half, Hendon caused a problem in the Enfield defence. Ibe had a half-chance, but McDonald blocked his effort, setting up McCall in the process. McCall shot towards an almost unguarded goal, but a defender threw himself in front of the ball and blocked it out for a corner.
It didn't really matter which Hendon players were in the defensive line; they all had afternoons to forget. In the 55th minute, either Tingey or Laurencin should have dealt with a long ball, but neither did enough and Dernell Wynter stuck out a foot to direct it into the net.
Three minutes later, Ottaway found himself unmarked in the middle of the penalty area and tried a spectacular scissors kick. Laurencin blocked this effort but the striker was able to get back to his feet and roll the ball into the net before a defender reacted.
Hendon then were given a lifeline, which they again failed to utilise. It came from a penalty, rather harshly awarded for handball after the ball had bounced higher than the defender expected.
McCall struck the ball well enough, but it was too close to the dive of McDonald, who made a good save. The rebound was blocked, Hendon slow to take the next shot after the spot-kick had been pushed aside.
Ricky Gabriel, who had forced a good save from Laurencin earlier in the half, was not to be denied in the 65th minute. A spare man at a corner, Gabriel was able to steady himself before making it 5-0.
The Towners made their three changes between the fifth and sixth goals, Campbell, Ottaway and Billy Crook making way for Micky Parcell, Tony Mendy and Tom Collins, respectively. The feeling was this a way of resting key players for battles later in the season.
With 14 minutes of normal time remaining, Enfield hit their sixth goal, Dickson getting his second goal after more kamikaze defending by the Greens. There were remonstrations on the field amongst Hendon players but the arguments didnât get out of hand.
With five minutes to go, things managed to get even worse for the Greens. Ibe seemed likely to get on the end of a long ball downfield, but he pulled up lame with what looked like a hamstring injury. The veteran striker, in some distress, limped off, leaving Hendon with 10 men.
The two minutes of additional time were mercifully generous, given two injuries, four goals, three substitutions and a caution in the second half. Enfield were happy with their afternoon's work; Hendon couldn't wait for the end to come.
|14||Tony Mendy||for 10 , 69|
|15||Tom Collins||for 6 , 71|
|17||Mickey Parcell||for 7 , 65|
|11||Khale Da Costa|
|12||Spencer McCall||for 3 , 46|
|14||Keagan Cole||for 7 , 46|
|17||Kezie Ibe||for 11 , 46|