|Competition:||Isthmian League Premier Division|
|Date:||Tuesday 24 January 2017|
Hendon were denied the chance of a second home League victory of the season as the weather caused the match against Billericay Town to be abandoned ten minutes before half-time.
Fog had been a concern for the referee before the match kicked off, but it had lifted sufficiently for it to start. The visitors made the better start and Hendon, after the trauma at the weekend, were unsurprisingly a little tentative.
A tactical change after five minutes changed the shape of the Hendon team and the game turned immediately in the Greens' favour.
In the 11th minute, Sam Murphy and Keagan Cole did well to dispossess Isaac Layne and Murphy then delivered a pinpoint pass to Matt Ball. With a neat turn, Ball moved past the nearest Blues player, looked up and saw Marcel Barrington making an angled run.
Ball's pass was inch perfect, behind the closest defender and perfectly into Barrington's path. A neat turn took Barrington into a good shooting position, but he saw Reis Stanislaus arriving in a more central position.
Once again, the pass was right on the money and Stanislaus wasted no time in blasting the ball past Jack Gidden into the roof of the net. It was a superb move and the finish matched the quality of the build-up.
For the next 20 minutes Hendon were, in the main, on top. There was one hairy moment when a short backpass from Quba Gordon was not cleared well by Berkley Laurencin, but the goalkeeper was able to save the returning 30-yard shot from Layne.
Gordon, Elliott Brathwaite and Arthur Lee had all made telling defensive clearances when called into action defending set-pieces and Dave Diedhiou, in the middle of the park and Elliott Charles, further forward, were willing runners and recipients of clearances.
In the 27th minute, Lee made powerful contact at the other end, but his header from a Murphy corner went wide of Gidden's goal. Three minutes later from another Murphy corner, Lee made no mistake, his header being just too high for former Hendon favourite Ollie Sprague to clear.
At this point, the fog suddenly started to become much more pervasive and, within a couple of minutes, visibility went from adequate to poor. In the 34th minute, Hendon cleared the ball for a corner, but the referee could not see his assistant on the Townsend Lane side of the ground.
He ran over to his assistant and they (apparently) had a brief discussion before deciding to suspend play for "5-10 minutes". It was, without doubt, the correct course of action and the players and match officials trooped off into the dressing rooms.
After 10 minutes, the three officials, Gary McCann and a Billericay coach came out. One of the assistants was sent out to run to the far touchline, but he disappeared into the fog before he had passed the far edge of the penalty area.
He later admitted he had run some zigzags before returning to the four men standing by the near side of the pitch. There was only one possible outcome: match abandoned.
There was relief for Billericay, though manager Craig Edwards joked afterwards, "I knew we were going to win 5â2 and, on a blank sheet of paper, showed how he had drawn up the masterplan to achieve it.
As for Mr McCann, he said, "That is just typical of the luck we have been having. We were really good and thoroughly deserved our two-goal lead.
"As much as I was pleased with the way that we had gone forward, I was even happier with the way we defended the few set plays Billericay had. We won every challenge in our penalty area.
"For the last 30 minutes, it was as well as we have played in the past few months. There is plenty that we can build on from that, but now we have to make it really good performance for the full 90 minutes."
|16||Andre Da Costa|