|Date:||Saturday 15 October 2016|
Hendon's Emirates FA Cup adventure came to its expected end at Meadow Park, Boreham Wood, on Saturday afternoon. The full-time (or semi-full time, as they train only three days - 5â6 hours each day - per week) players were simply more efficient, faster in thought, action and deed, than the Greens.
With Chris Seeby suspended, and Dave Diedhiou failing a late fitness test, the two full-backs were Omar Vassell and Dale Binns, his first match in six weeks and he replaced Mayo Balogun. Kevin Maclaren returned at the heart of midfield in place of Diedhiou.
From the beginning, Hendon were facing a big struggle. A free-kick from Bruno Andrade was blocked and his second attempt flew inches over the crossbar with Berkley Laurencin at full stretch.
In the eighth minute, the Greens worked a half-opening and there was shooting room for Niko Muir. His effort had power, but no accuracy and went high and wide of the target.
Two minutes later, Hendon failed to deal with a throw-in and were soon made to pay. The ball was passed to the dangerous Morgan Ferrier, who had far too much space to turn and advance on goal.
No defender came out of the line to shut him down, so Ferrier tried his luck with a 25-yard attempt. Laurencin didn't stand a chance as the ball crashed into the net and Wood had to comfort of an early goal.
Hendon had a chance to hit back quite quickly, but when Muir tried another shot, a brave block by Mark Ricketts took the ball away from the goal. Then, when a mishit backpass was too short for Grant Smith, a defender got another touch to deny Karl Oliyide a chance to equalise.
Shortly afterwards Ferrier fired the ball against the underside of the crossbar with a strike that was more powerful than the one with which he scored earlier in the half.
The ball bounced down and Laurencin gathered. Everyone looked to the assistant referee, half-expecting his flag to be raised to signal a goal. However, he ruled that the whole of the ball had not crossed all of the line, so Hendon escaped.
Hendon's best chance of the game came in the first minute of additional time at the end of the half. Great work from Muir created space for himself close the goalline on the edge of the six-yard box.
His low cross was met by Casey Maclaren, flicked the ball towards the goal. The save from Smith - England C's (Non-League) goalkeeper was absolutely magnificent as he somehow kept the ball from crossing the line. How that might have changed the game.
Before the second half started, Ferrier came out early, with the Wood physio. There was clearly a problem for the prolific striker and Greens tormentor and he underwent a brief fitness test. He seemed to be happy, the Wood management and medical team less so so, Angelo Balanta took over from him.
Not as powerful as Ferrier, but probably a step quicker and more tricky, Balanta caused different problems for the Greens. And he almost added a second goal with a powerful shot, after 54 minutes, that flew just wide of the post.
Alfie Young and Arthur Lee were kept at full stretch by Balanta, Andrade and the equally dangerous Anthony Jeffrey and Daniel Uchechi.
Oliyide, who had been doubtful for the game with a slight injury, was unable to continue midway through the second half and, barely a minute after Finbarr Robins had replaced him, Boreham Wood were 2-0 up. It was a hugely disappointing goal for Hendon because the low ball into the middle of the penalty area, should have been dealt with by either Lee, or Laurencin, or Binns.
Laurencin, who probably should have gone for the ball, shouted, "Away!", Lee froze, and Binns reacted more slowly than Andrade, who knocked the ball into the net from barely a yard out.
In the 73rd minute the Greens made their last two changes, Spencer McCall and Binns making way for Sam Murphy - making his 100th Hendon appearance - and Aaron Morgan.
Boreham Wood made their last two changes when Kenny Davis and Aaron Kuhl coming on for Adriano Moke and Uchechi.
Hendon should have had a penalty in the last few minutes, their best spell of the match, when a through ball was rolling towards Smith, who gathered it under no pressure. This was only because Matt Paine had bundled over Muir as he sniffed a half-chance. Muir would almost certainly not have reached the ball, but he was bundled off his feet by player not making any attempt to touch it.
In the 88th minute before Morgan produced a wonderful piece of skill to burst through three startled defenders. His attempted shot was, as with so many others, blocked by a white shirt before Smith needed to make a save.
Then, in the first minute of added time, Boreham Wood added a third goal. It came with Hendon overcommitted to attack and there was a three-on-two break. Vassell couldn't get close enough to Balanta when the ball was crossed to the far post and the substitute took a touch before rolling the ball inside the post.
|11||Andre Da Costa|
|12||Finbarr Robins||for 10 , 65|
|16||Sam Murphy||for 3 , 74|
|17||Aaron Morgan||for 7 , 74|