|Competition:||Isthmian League Cup|
|Date:||Tuesday 13 September 2016|
Hendon went out of the Alan Turvey Ryman League Cup sponsored by Robert Dyas after losing after a penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 draw at Silver Jubilee Park. It was the second consecutive penalty shoot-out exit for the Greens in this competition, and third in five seasons - all at home and at three different venues.
Three days after the fractious League encounter at Imber Court, and with FA Cup ties for both four days hence, neither team was prepared to risk too many players for the middle one of three games in eight days. The upshot was that both teams made seven changes, keeping their numbers 4, 5 and 10, with Hendon also retaining Niko Muir and the Police on-loan goalkeeper Nathan Baxter.
As in the game at the weekend, the away team took an early lead from a set-piece, but there was no controversy about the Police opener. It was an 11th-minute long throw-in that the Hendon defence failed to deal with and the ball was bundled over the line from close range by Matt Lane.
Having played without a striker in the game on Saturday, the Blues had two in their line-up, former Hendon favourite Elliott Charles and Richard Pacquette, whose father Henry played for the Greens in 1980 and 1981. Their veteran presence caused a few problems for Alfie Young and Luke Tingey, but they were mainly some distance from the Greens penalty area.
The Greens gradually got back into the game and began to exert pressure on the Met's young defence, though Khale da Costa found his pace almost matched by Mekheil McLaughlin. Behind the front two of Karl Oliyide and Muir, Keagan Cole and Sam Murphy provided the energy in central midfield, while Dave Diedhiou had the holding role.
In the 16th minute, Muir was denied by a superb save from Baxter. The goalkeeper thwarted da Costa nine minutes later, but it would not be long before he was beaten.
Hendon's equaliser came in the 33rd minute and although it was very well taken, it was actually quite simple. A through ball released Muir, who controlled the ball, sprinted past Luke Robertson, and slammed the ball past Baxter.
For the second half, Hendon made their two planned changes, Oliyide and Muir being replaced by Casey Maclaren and Andre da Costa, leaving the Greens without any genuine strikers.
Maclaren has played as a lone striker before and he wasted two excellent chances to give Hendon the lead, first heading wide from a good position, then being thwarted by Baxter in a one-on-one.
Hendon would not be denied, however, and when Ollie Sprague challenged Elliot Taylor for a high bouncing ball, the defender delivered a two-handed shove in Sprague's back. The penalty decision could hardly be disputed and only the offender showed reaction - and that was probably out of frustration at his own folly.
The penalty-taking responsibility was given to Sprague. His effort was nearly saved by Baxter, who guessed correctly, but could not get down to all the way as the ball sped under his body.
Both teams were happy to pass the ball around but the defences remained on top. Midway through the half, another former Hendon player, Jerome Federico, replaced Charles.
In the final 10 minutes, Mayo Balogun took over from Omar Vassell, while the Police sent on Orlando Smith in place of Jordan Johnson-Palmer. The latter substitution proved to be decisive within a couple of minutes
With six minutes to go, Hendon gifted the Police an equaliser. A ball went through towards Laurencin, who had sprint out of his goal to reach it before Smith.
The goalkeeper's attempt to clear the spinning ball failed, as it seemed to bounce over his foot. Smith followed up and had an empty net into which he rolled the ball.
Smith nearly scored a winner, too, as he drilled a powerful drive from outside the penalty. The ball crashed off the underside of the crossbar, clearly stayed on the field of play and Hendon escaped.
Will Salmon was the last substitute, coming on for Steve Sutherland, this after veteran appeared to have pulled a leg muscle but bravely continued for another ten minutes.
The final whistle signalled a penalty shoot-out, the competition having done away with extra-time some years ago.
Hendon went first and Murphy made no mistake. Pacquette followed him, but Laurencin made a fine diving save.
Sprague tried to repeat his earlier success with Hendon's second attempt. He tried to go the other way, but Baxter read his intentions and made a very comfortable save.
Federico, Tingey and Smith all were successful, leaving the shoot-out level at 2-2 after three attempts.
Diedhiou stepped up for Hendon's fourth attempt and it was it was a huge disappointment, underhit and lacking in direction to such an extent that Baxter would have had to dive full-length away from the ball to have been beaten. That gave Lane the chance to put the Blues on top, which he did.
Andre da Costa was then charged with the responsibility of keeping the shoot-out alive. His strike was firm, confident and well-directed, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
Taylor, the villain of the piece when he conceded the second-half penalty, stepped up and drilled his spot-kick. Laurencin got a very firm hand on the ball, but there was just too much power and it bounced into the net to give the Police a second round tie against Corinthian-Casuals.
|11||Khale Da Costa|
|12||Andre Da Costa||for 10 , 46|
|14||Casey Maclaren||for 9 , 46|
|16||Mayowa Balogun||for 2 , 80|
|12||Will Salmon||for 6 , 86|
|15||Orlando Smith||for 10 , 81|
|16||Jerome Federico||for 8 , 69|