Match Report

Hendon
4-1
Billericay Town
N Muir 2, J Walker 2
J O'Hara
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 24 March 2018
Attendance: 462

'Ricay Butchered by Rampant Dons

Amidst reports of turmoil in the Billericay camp, with several key players leaving the ground before kick-off and manager Glenn Tamplin also departing Silver Jubilee Park midway through the second half (a planned early getaway for a business trip according to the club), the title favourites were soundly beaten by an impressive Hendon side bouncing back from a midweek defeat at Staines.

After an even start, Hendon went closest to opening the scoring, with Ashley Nathaniel-George's long-range effort saved superbly by Jack Giddens. Billericay went close soon after, a decent shot from Billy Bricknell being spilled by Tom Lovelock, although his defenders were able to clear. Lovelock was also involved in the next chance for the Essex team, misjudging the bounce of the ball and palming it to Billy Bricknell whose overhead kick sailed over the bar. Zak Joseph went close for the Dons, his fine strike hitting the bar after being set up by some excellent play by Ashley Nathaniel-George, before Niko Muir’s cross flashed across the 'Ricay box, no-one able to connect for Hendon.

The rest of the first half was an even affair, although it was marked by increasing levels of tetchiness and petulance from both sides. Calum Butcher was booked for Billericay after a very agricultural challenge on Hendon's Luke Tingey, soon followed by Hendon's Niko Muir who allegedly brought down Butcher, the Billericay player certainly making the most of the minimal contact. Dean Inman was booked for Billericay for speaking in an untoward way to the referee before the resultant free kick was taken.

There was then the very real possibility of further punishments from the referee. Firstly, the Billericay players were vehemently demanding sanctions against Joseph for what was claimed as the use of an elbow, although the referee deemed the contact to be accidental. The next player to count himself lucky was Butcher, who could easily have received a second yellow for a robust foul on Nathaniel-George.

With the game poised at 0-0, Tamplin made two changes at the break, Adam Cunnington and Jake Robinson coming on for Bricknell and Daniel Waldren.

As the second half unfolded, Hendon began to exert themselves and were soon rewarded with the opener, Muir converting from the spot after Giddens brought down Joseph in the box. The 'Ricay keeper received a yellow card and Muir notched up yet another goal for the Greens, sending the keeper the wrong way. In the resultant passage of play, Joseph picked up a needless booking, after becoming furious about a throw-in decision and hurling the ball away.

The prolific Muir doubled the lead soon after, a corner dropping to him in the six-yard box. A smart turn and shot doubled the lead, his superb reactions making the Billericay defense look statuesque.

The effervescent Josh Walker made it three minutes later with a wonderful curler that crashed into the top corner. Giddens didn't even try and save the shot, instead reacting with a bilious tirade against his defenders for their lackadaisical attitude in letting Walker's run and shot progress without a great deal of defensive intervention.

Tamplin reacted to going 3-0 down by bringing on Jamie O'Hara before vaulting the pitch side railings and walking out of Silver Jubilee Park, which was hosting a record attendance for a Hendon game.

The introduction of ex-Spurs player and reality TV stalwart O'Hara saw the visitors create a more sustained period of pressure that created a number of shooting opportunities. Hendon manager Gary McCann made a couple of changes to try and preserve the supremacy of the Greens, Jake Eggleton replaced Michael Corcoran and Matt Ball taking the field to replace Zak Joseph.

As the end of the game loomed, O'Hara reduced the arrears with a sweetly struck free kick. There was then a prolonged stoppage after Cunnington was injured attempting to convert a Billericay cross, his facial injuries forcing him to exit the game, leaving 'Ricay to conclude the game with just 10 men.

As injury time progressed, Walker found the final flourish for Hendon, slotting home after some neat approach play and what appeared to be a foul on a Billericay defender.

This convincing victory sees Hendon remain firmly in the hunt for a play-off place, while Billericay - in a woeful run of form - drop to third. While fatigue could be a factor in Billericay's disappointing performance, this should take nothing away from a superb performance from Hendon.

McCann said that "after Tuesday's disappointment, we needed a focused reaction and we got that with a strong performance that totally merited the 4-1 score line. I'm very proud of this young group of players."

Report by Bryan Roberts : Not to be reproduced without prior permission

Sponsors

This match was sponsored by Cyrus Cooper
The matchballs were sponsored by Bryan Roberts
The match programme was sponsored by Big Muriel & ScreenTEC Print Essentials

Hendon

Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Tom Lovelock  
2 James Hammond  
3 Arthur Lee  
4 Luke Tingey  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Dave Diedhiou  
7 Ashley Nathaniel-George  
8 Michael Corcoran  
9 Zak Joseph  
10 Niko Muir  
11 Josh Walker  
12 Matt Ball for 9 , 79
13 William Murphy  
14 Jake Eggleton for 8 , 74
15 Casey Maclaren  
17 Malachy McGovern  

Billericay Town

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Jack Giddens  
2 Joe Kizzi  
3 Kevin Foley  
4 Josh Urquhart  
5 Dean Inman  
6 Sam Deering  
7 Danny Waldren  
8 Matt Paine  
9 Billy Bricknell  
10 Calum Butcher  
11 Ricky Modeste  
12 Jake Robinson for 7 , 46
14 Liam Hughes  
15 Robbie Evans  
16 Jamie O'Hara for 4 , 65
17 Adam Cunnington for 9 , 46