Match Report

Wingate & Finchley
R Bray
S McCall
Match details
Competition: FA Cup
Date: Saturday 02 September 2017
Attendance: 298

Hendon remain in the Emirates FA Cup thanks to a late Rian Bray goal after trailing for almost all of the second half. After the performance against Harrow Borough five days earlier, this was a hugely disappointing game from the Greens.

The replay against Wingate & Finchley after the 1-1 draw at Silver Jubilee Park on Saturday afternoon will be on Tuesday night, 5 September, at the Maurice Rebak Stadium, Summers Lane, kick-off 7.45 pm.

Unsurprisingly, there were no changes to Gary McCann's starting eleven, and the bench was strengthened with the addition of Cameron Currie and goalkeeper Montel Joseph. Neither they, nor Michael Corcoran or Ollie Sprague were used.

Wingate & Finchley started the game better and had a chance after four minutes. A Spencer McCall free-kick went a long way through the penalty area before it fell at the feet of Marc Charles-Smith, whose slightly scuffed shot was nonetheless well parried by Tom Lovelock before a Greens defender hacked the ball clear.

After the first 15 minutes, Hendon began to take more control and they had three chances in six minutes midway through the period. First to have an opening was Niko Muir, but he was denied by Shane Gore, who was quickly off his line, and he blocked Muir’s attempt with legs.

After 22 minutes, Gore was at full stretch to tip aside a powerfully struck, curling free-kick from Matt Ball. The corner was rather wasted by Ball and Keagan Cole, who couldn’t deliver the ball into the danger area.

Three minutes later, the best opening of the half fell to Reis Stanislaus, who tried to drive the ball just inside the far post but was wide of the upright. He really should have put the ball on target and forced Gore into making a save.

All that Wingate & Finchley offered - apart from mazy runs from Reece Beckles-Richards - were drives from distance. None, however, troubled Lovelock, but two strikes did bounce off the Batten Stand before landing in the park behind the goal.

The second half was less than a minute old when the deadlock was broken. Beckles-Richards cut across from the wing and fell over the dangling leg of Dave Diedhiou.

Twelve months ago, Hendon's free-kick expert was McCall and Wingate & Finchley turned to him for this set-piece. McCall's strike was powerful and accurate, bending just inside the far post with Lovelock a mere spectator.

For the next 30 minutes, Hendon huffed and puffed, but never looked like blowing the Blues' house down. Although Jake Eggleton and Sam Murphy started to make inroads down the flanks, when the balls were crossed into the penalty, they found Sean Cronin a pillar of strength in the middle of the back-four.

It would be wrong to criticise Wingate & Finchley for their tactics. It may not be pretty to watch, but cup-ties are not beauty contests and as the Blues proved if the game-plan worked, why change it.

Four minutes after Casey Maclaren had replaced Cole, Rob Laney forced a save out of Lovelock with a looping header. The ball was too straight and although Lovelock was at full-stretch above his head it was a routine save.

Wingate & Finchley's lone striker Charles-Smith barely won a contest with Arthur Lee and Bray and he was replaced by Afolabi Obafemi for the final 15 minutes. Obafemi, too, found openings impossible to find and when offered the chance of quick counter-attack, the Blues opted for more methodical approaches.

As Hendon's level of desperation grew, Kezie Ibe came on for Stanislaus and Ashley Nathaniel-George replaced Diedhiou. Maclaren, Zak Joseph and Muir all had shots, but they did not require any work from Gore.

With three minutes remaining, Hendon won a free kick and sent everyone except Lovelock and Ball, the taker, into the danger area. The Blues just about dealt with the danger but the clearance found a green shirt and the ball was quickly curled back into the penalty area.

Bray had stayed forward and he made the extra man in attack. No defender went to cover him as the ball came in and Bray rose majestically, before planting a powerful header in the corner.

Having got back on level terms, Hendon really should have gone on to win the tie without the need for a replay. With seconds remaining, a ball was crossed from the right wing and Ibe controlled it neatly before rolling it across the penalty area to the unmarked Nathaniel-George.

It was a great opening and Nathaniel-George may well have become an instant hero with a strike on target. Instead his shot flew across the face of goal and narrowly missed the far post.

Report by David Ballheimer : Not to be reproduced without prior permission


This match was sponsored by Roger Harrison
The matchballs were sponsored by Roger Harrison
The match programme was sponsored by Roger Harrison

Match Highlights

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Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Tom Lovelock  
2 Jake Eggleton  
3 Sam Murphy  
4 Dave Diedhiou  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Arthur Lee  
7 Keagan Cole  
8 Matt Ball  
9 Reis Stanislaus  
10 Niko Muir  
11 Zak Joseph  
12 Casey Maclaren for 7 , 68
13 Oliver Sprague  
14 Michael Corcoran  
15 Kezie Ibe for 9 , 74
16 Montel Joseph  
17 Ashley Nathaniel-George for 4 , 84
18 Cameron Currie  

Wingate & Finchley

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Shane Gore  
2 Ola Williams  
3 Nathan Mavila  
4 Joe Kizzi  
5 Sean Cronin  
6 Ahmet Rifat  
7 Luke Ifil  
8 Spencer McCall  
9 Marc Charles-Smith  
10 Reece Beckles-Richards  
11 Rob Laney  
12 Ben Pattie  
14 Afolabi Obafemi for 9 , 76
15 Kweku Lucan  
16 Joe Sharpe  
17 De'Reece Vanderhyde  
18 Ben Reynolds  
19 Franco Saviano