Match Report

Hendon
1-4
Leatherhead
A Nathaniel-George
R Sotiriou, D Gallagher, T Derry, J Midson
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Tuesday 30 January 2018
Attendance: 181

Hendon had no answer to a powerful, confident Leatherhead team, who scored within the opening minute and never looked likely to relinquish their advantage. The Greens' performance rather matched the weather - a night of pouring rain, starting just before kick-off, and continuing for most, but not all, of the evening

Sam Murphy, Harly Wise and Zak Joseph came into the team at the expense of Jake Eggleton, Luke Tingey and Josh Walker, the latter two being substitutes. Also on the bench was Dave Diedhiou, but he was not used.

The match had a dramatic opening as Leatherhead forced a corner within 30 seconds. When the ball came in, a goalbound header was parried by Corey Addai, but Ruel Sotiriou, on his debut - on loan from Leyton Orient - was perfectly placed to knock home the rebound from a couple of yards out.

Both teams boasted potent attacks with Jack Midson, Tom Derry and Sotiriou causing problems for the Greens' Murphy, Liam Gordon, Rian Bray and Arthur Lee, while Hendon set Ashley Nathaniel-George, Joe White, Joseph and Niko Muir on Sean Clohessy, Dan Gallagher, Chris Arthur and Lee Minshull and, in the main it was the rearguards who won the day in the first half.

Leatherhead had a moment of good fortune after 15 minutes when Gallagher was short in a back-pass to Zaki Oualah. The goalkeeper won a tackle but the ball ricocheted across the 18-yard-box but no green shirt could divert the ball towards the unguarded net.

White did have a shot from just outside the penalty area, after 27 minutes, but a defender threw himself in front of the effort and made a good block. From the corner, Hendon played it short and when it was intercepted, the Tanners launched a quick counter-attack.

Scrambling defenders did just enough to defuse the danger, but it was a scoring opportunity badly wasted.

Out of nothing, in the 40th minute, Leatherhead doubled their lead. The Hendon defence seemed to have dealt with an attack, but the ball came out to Gallagher, and he took a couple of steps forward before lashing a swerving, dipping 25-yard drive.

Addai seemed to be well placed to make the save but he could not keep the ball out. Had the shot been fired going down the slope, it would probably have cleared the crossbar, but uphill, the ball went just the bar.

Hendon's ability to turn things around meant that a two-goal deficit was far from insurmountable. However, two goals in two minutes before 55 minutes were up meant that this was not likely to happen.

In the 51st minute, Sotiriou did brilliantly down the left side. He cut inside, seemed to side-step the goalline, while keeping the ball in play, and his low cross was turned into the net by Derry.

A little more than a minute later, the game was definitely out reach. A ball out of the Hendon half found only an ecru shirt and it was returned towards the Hendon half.

The ball landed at the feet of Midson, who looked up and saw Addai was a distance off his line. The striker did all he had to in lifting the ball over the back-tracking goalkeeper and he was turning in celebration even before the ball entered the goal.

It is credit to Hendon that they continued to try and get back into the game. The Greens did score an outstanding goal in consolation midway through the second half.

There didn't seem to be much on as Nathaniel George got the ball a few yards from the angle of the penalty area on the left side. Beating two or three defenders as he ran across the pitch, Nathaniel-George waited till he got a sight of goal and his strike flew into the top corner, crashing off the stanchion beyond Oualah's vain dive.

Another goal might have made it interesting, but it was not to be. Hendon did make a couple of changes before the resumption, Keagan Cole replacing Casey Maclaren and Walker taking over from White, but they could not make a major impression.

There was one good chance which fell to Muir after 77 minutes. The striker worked his way clear of Minshall and had only Oualah to beat. However, the goalkeeper was off his line very quickly and he made a good save with his legs.

Nathaniel-George tried to repeat his magic after 80 minutes, but this time a defender deflected the ball away. Wise tried his luck from long-distance with a free-kick but his wait for a first Hendon goal went on.

Channing Campbell-Young was the last Hendon substitute. He took over from Joseph for the final half-dozen minutes of normal time.

Hendon's last noteworthy attempt came when Walker had a shot, but it flew over the crossbar. And whilst Hendon continued to huff and puff without blowing the Leatherhead house down, the Tanners offered a constant threat on the counter-attack.

In the end, the Greens can have no complaints about the result because Leatherhead were more than good value for their three points.

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

Sponsors

The matchballs were sponsored by Peter Dean
The match programme was sponsored by Chris Harte

Hendon

Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Corey Addai  
2 Sam Murphy  
3 Liam Gordon  
4 Harly Wise  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Arthur Lee  
7 Ashley Nathaniel-George  
8 Casey Maclaren  
9 Joe White  
10 Niko Muir  
11 Zak Joseph  
12 Josh Walker for 9 , 66
13 Luke Tingey  
14 Dave Diedhiou  
15 Channing Campbell-Young for 11 , 84
17 Keagan Cole for 8 , 66

Leatherhead

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Zaki Oualah  
2 Sean Clohessy  
3 Daniel Gallagher  
5 Lee Minshull  
6 Aron Pollock  
7 D'Sean Theobalds  
8 Niall McManus  
9 Tom Derry  
10 Jack Midson  
11 Ruel Sotiriou  
14 Chris Arthur  
12 Reece Williams-Bowers for 11 , 81
15 Jerry Nnamani  
16 Tom Richards for 14 , 74
17 Nathan Wood for 10 , 87

Match Highlights

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