|Competition:||Isthmian League Premier Division|
|Date:||Saturday 28 January 2017|
Hendon suffered another hugely frustrating defeat as Wingate & Finchley turned the only moment of real quality into three points at Silver Jubilee Park. This was not, by any means, a classic, indeed turgid would not be too harsh a description of the fare.
After the excellent 35 minutes in the abandoned game against Billericay, it was very surprising that there would be even two changes, with Luke Tingey and Karl Oliyide taking over from Matt Ball and Marcel Barrington - key contributors in that curtailed contest.
Going uphill in the first half there was nothing of note in the first 15 minutes. Then a ball from Keagan Cole picked out a run from Elliott Charles.
He had got in front of Claudiu Vilcu, who had no hesitation in pulling down the Grenada international before he could cause a problem for Shane Gore. As Charles did not have control of the ball, the foul could not be considered denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, so a yellow card for Vilcu was the right decision.
Reis Stanislaus took the free kick, 28 yards out, and although he got the height, dip and angles correct, Gore produced a fine flying save. The corner came to nothing.
A foul at the other end of the pitch after 23 minutes nearly brought the Blues a goal. The low strike took a small deflection, went past the defensive wall and was then touched goalwards by Sean Cronin. His attempt, however, was directed straight at Berkley Laurencin.
The next good chance went Hendon's way and Oliyide really should have done better in a one-on-one with Gore. Set up by Charles, Oliyide dithered, and then overstruck his attempt to take the ball around Gore so that he had little angle - and a couple of defenders on the line to beat - for strike on goal.
Out of nothing in the 42nd minute, Wingate & Finchley won the game. It started with a shot from the edge of the penalty area which Laurencin made a real hash of saving.
The ball squirmed behind him, but the goalkeeper was able to stop it from crossing the goalline. His clearance was not the best, barely reaching the halfway line.
Cole waited for the ball to arrive and Tanasheh Abrahams beat him to it, and headed it forwards. It bounced down and allowed the full-back to look up to see Laurencin barely making an attempt to get back into position.
It made up Abrahams' mind and he let fly, on the volley from 45 yards. His strike was true and, too late, Laurencin realised the danger. Laurencin did get a hand on the dipping shot, but could do no more than help the ball into the net.
A half-time lead for the Blues was barely deserved, but the quality of the game had been sadly lacking. Unfortunately, the first half proved to be better than the second as the Blues cannily took the pace out of the game and a plethora of cheap free-kicks ensured there was no continuity to the play.
Wingate & Finchley enjoyed one spell of concerted pressure, just before the hour mark, but they found Quba Gordon and Elliott Brathwaite in determined mode and neither Rob Laney nor Reece Beckles-Richards had clear sightings of goal.
When Hendon started to get better possession, neither Tingey nor Arthur Lee were able to get forward with any regularity and there was little from the midfield, where Dave Diedhiou and Sam Murphy were particularly quiet.
With around 20 minutes remaining, Gordon - who had picked up a slight knock - and Cole were replaced by Ball and Barrington. Almost immediately, Barrington made a dangerous run into the penalty area, played a one-two with Stanislaus, but his shot was well saved, at close range, by Gore.
Kezie Ibe was introduced with 10 minutes of normal time remaining and suddenly Hendon looked altogether more dangerous. Ibe was denied well by Gore and another scramble rather summed up the Hendon afternoon, as there was no electric lime shirt close to the ball as it rolled across the edge of the six-yard box.
Hendon certainly deserved a draw from the game, but they had done nothing like enough to earn all three points. Their failure in front of goal, however, ensured that they picked up no points and thus dropped into the bottom two of the division.
|12||Kezie Ibe||for 10 , 80|
|14||Matt Ball||for 8 , 73|
|16||Andre Da Costa|
|17||Marcel Barrington||for 4 , 73|
|14||Ryan Sellers||for 10 , 87|
|15||Luke Ifil||for 7 , 63|