Under 21s News, 2008/2009

Saturday 06 December - Copland 6 Hendon 2

A pretty bleak weak for Hendon Under-21s ended with a 6-2 defeat at Copland and the news that joint manager Graham Bourne had been forced to resign for personal reasons. The bare 11 took on Copland in the Cherry Red Books Middlesex County League Division One (Central & East) on Saturday and they were very disjointed in the first half, trailing 5-0 at oranges. But a stern team talk and a change of formation led to a great improvement in the second half, a period which Hendon actually won 2-1. Darren Turner cut into the deficit early in the period and, soon after Copland had added a sixth goal, Michael Roche scored Hendon�s second. But there was far too steep a mountain for Hendon to climb to get back into the match. Manager Eamon Finn said, "We were very poor in the first half. We made a number of positional changes in the second half and we were much better. My man of the match was midfielder Bedel Guei, known as Jay Jay. He never stopped working."

Posted at 19:00

Saturday 29 November - Hendon 2 North Greenford United Social 6

Hendon Under-21s went out of the Jim Rogers President's Division One Cup of the Cherry Red Books Middlesex County League, losing 6-2 to North Greenford United Social at Chase Lodge on Saturday lunchtime. A combination of injury, illness and suspension, the first two coming after Thursday night's training session, resulted in only 11 players being on duty for this cup-tie and although they didn�t play well, Hendon conceded all but one of the six goals in the final few minutes of each half, when tiredness was setting in. North Greenford opened the scoring after 10 minutes but Hendon drew level with a goal from Darren Turner midway through the first half. The score stayed that way until the final couple minutes of the period, when North Greenford struck twice. Early in the second half Michael Roche reduced the arrears and there really wasn't much in the game until North Greenford were able to make some changes and their fresher legs made all the difference adding three goals in the final quarter.

Posted at 19:00

Saturday 22 November - FC Assyria 3 Hendon 1

Hendon Under-21s produced a hugely disappointing performance in going down 3-1 at FC Assyria on Saturday afternoon. They made the perfect start with a goal from Simon Connaughton after just three minutes, but Assyria were level after 17 minutes and took the lead a couple of minutes before half-time. Thirty minutes into the second half they added a third goal and never looked like relinquishing their lead. "This was terrible," admitted an angry joint manager Graham Bourne. "After we scored, we never looked like getting another goal. In fact I don't think we had another shot on target in the last 87 minutes. We had no ideas, no fluency and no pattern to our play."

Posted at 19:00

Saturday 15 November - Hendon 0 Stonewall 2

Hendon Under-21s good recent run came to an end at Chase Lodge on Saturday as Stonewall deservedly won 2-0 in the Cherry Red Books Middlesex County League Division One Central and East. The opening goal came in the first minute of the second half and it was followed by another midway through the period. "They shut us down and never let us play," was the succinct judgement of joint manager Eamon Finn. "We didn�t play well, but we weren't allowed to. They were very well organised and knew our strengths and weaknesses. My man of the match was Alan Bolger, who never stopped working and didn�t want to come off the pitch a loser."

Posted at 19:00

Saturday 08 November - Blue Marlin 1 Hendon 3

Hendon Under-21s had to do it the hard way to overcome Blue Marlin in the Cherry Red Books Middlesex County League Division One (Central and East). With the victory, Hendon took over at the top of the table, a superb performance from a club playing two divisions lower last season. Blue Marlin were under pressure for much of the first half, but they defended well and were dangerous in attack. Just before the half-time break, they opened the scoring and went to oranges clinging onto a narrow lead. It took just seven minutes of the second half for Hendon to draw level, Darren Turner taking advantage of the conditions to curl a corner directly into the net. After 65 minutes, the Greens took the lead with a goal from Alan Bolger. Blue Marlin had a great chance to draw level with 15 minutes to go when they were awarded a penalty, but Tom Bullock produced an excellent save to preserve Hendon's advantage. Two minutes from time, Hendon made the game safe when Dean Roper grabbed number three. "We had to work very hard for the win," said joint manager Graham Bourne. "What was very pleasing was that one of our Under-18s Conor Newman stepped up for his debut at this level and he did very well. But my man of the match was skipper Simon Connaughton."

Posted at 19:00

Saturday 01 November - Hendon 3 Copland 1

Hendon Under-21s overcame conceding an early goal to run out good winners against Copland in the Cherry Red Books Middlesex County League East and Central Division at Chase Lodge on Saturday afternoon. Copland took the lead after 12 minutes, but hendon drew level with a goal from Darren Turner seven minutes before the break. In the second half, Hendon turned the screw and took the lead on the hour mark when they profited from an own goal. And the victory was confirmed in the final minute when Turner got his second of the afternoon. "Copland are a very good team and we had to work hard to get the victory," said joint manager Eamon Finn. "We showed good commitment and eventually we came through. My man of the match was central defender Gerard Edy. He was solid as a rock in the middle of the defence."

Posted at 19:00

Saturday 25 October - Wilberforce Wanderers 1 Hendon 4

Hendon Under-21s produced an excellent performance to win 4-1 at Wilberforce Wanderers in the Cherry Red Books Middlesex County League East & Central Division on Saturday afternoon. It was a tight contest in the opening minutes, but Hendon made the breakthrough with a superb free-kick from Alan Bolger after 26 minutes. A minute before half-time, Hendon doubled their lead when a delicate chip from Darren Turner dropped perfectly and bounced into the net. Two minutes after the restart Wilberforce hit back and reduced the arrears. But, just past the hour mark, Hendon restored their two-goal lead when Michael Roche swooped on a rebound and banged it into the net. Five minutes from time, the points were wrapped up when Takku Matsuyama headed home a corner. "We had to battle very hard today," said joint manager Eamon Finn, "but we came through. Our strength was in midfield, where Simon Connaughton and Alan Bolger were our best players and Bolger was my man of the match."

Posted at 19:00

Saturday 11 October - FC Baresi 0 Hendon 3

Hendon Under-21s picked three more points in the Cherry Red Books Middlesex County League Division 1 (East & Central) with a 3�0 victory at FC Baresi. However, in the week following the game, FC Baresi withdrew from the league and the three points were deducted from Hendon's total. Having dominated most of the game, they finally made the breakthrough with a goal from Darren Turner after 66 minutes. Although still in control, the result was in the balance until the 86th minute, when Timi Solako doubled the Greens' lead. And the victory was made absolutely certain, two minutes later, when Michael Roche - an unused first-team substitute last week - grabbed a third goal. Joint manager Graham Bourne said, "This was a very good performance. They are not a bad team, but we limited them to just one shot at goal in 90 minutes. In the first half we were completely on top and did everything but score. My man of the match was Takku Matuyama."

Posted at 19:00

Saturday 20 September - Hendon 3 Sloane 4

Hendon Under-21s led three times against Sloane in their Cherry Red Books Middlesex County League Division One Central & East fixture at Copthall Playing Fields on Saturday. They could not, however, hold onto any of their advantages and eventually lost 4-3. Alan Bolger's opening goal was cancelled out by Sloane before Glenn Garner made it 2-1 at half-time. Once more Sloane equalised, only for Garner to grab his second and Hendon's third. But they couldn't hang on and Sloane not only equalised again, but they grabbed a late winner too. "Our defending was very poor today," admitted joint-manager Eamon Finn. "We gave them four goals. My man of the match was the one defender who put in a good performance, Jake Manzi."

Posted at 19:00

Saturday 13 September - St Johns Arsenal Deaf 3 Hendon 5

Hendon Under-21s, promoted two divisions from last season into the Cherry Red Books Middlesex County Football League Division One Central & East, made a winning start to the campaign with a hard-fought victory over St John's Arsenal Deaf at the White Hart Lane Community Sports Stadium. They were made to work very hard for everything they achieved, starting with the opening goal from Michael Roache after 12 minutes. The scores were level after 27 minutes, only for Glenn Garner to restore Hendon's lead four minutes later. This advantage lasted a mere three minutes and the teams turned around all-square. Eleven minutes after the restart, Hendon conceded a penalty which was converted. It took 15 minutes for Hendon draw level, Garner grabbing his second of the afternoon. Hendon made a rod for their own back when Dan Roper retaliated to a sly challenge and pushed over his assailant and was red-carded after 72 minutes. Nonetheless, two goals in the last couple ofminutes gave Hendon the victory. Garner it was who gave the Greens their third lead two minutes from time and, with almost the last kick of the match, Garner made it a personal four-timer. "We had to play very well to win," said joint-manager Graham Bourne. "Our opponents played some really good football, much better than anything we saw last season. One of their players was a full international for Cyprus and a few others have represented England's Deaf national team. I am sure they will be right up there this season, and we did well to beat them. Glenn Garner was man of the match."

Posted at 19:00

Thursday 28 August - Hendon 4 Green Dragon 1

With their league season rapidly approaching, Hendon Under-21s put in a much improved performance with a 4-1 win over Green Dragon at Belstone FC despite going a goal behind early on/

Despite the general improvement, the first 15 minutes from Hendon was very poor with passes going astray and as a result the Dragons took the lead in the 10th minute when the defence was caught out. However, the recovery began soon afterwards and in the 22nd minute Glenn Garner scored the equaliser with a well directed free kick that left the Dragons keeper stranded.

Three minutes later Hendon were in front, a lead they would then not squander. Garner was sent clear down the right hand side and he sent in a superb cross which was converted by Takku who was running into the box at speed. It was a very well executed goal.

The remainder of the first half saw Hendon gradually take control of the game. That control continued throughout the second half and Garner made a run into the penalty area and fired home a fine shot across the keeper and into the far corner of the net in the 53rd minute.

Twenty minutes into the half, Garner was denied his hat-trick when his shot hit the post, and Michael Roache's follow up effort rebounded to safety off the crossbar. However, five minutes later Roache did make it onto the scoresheet when he beat his marker to slot the ball home clinically.

The remainder of the game was played out without event, and Hendon held on for a comfortable win.

Joint manager Graeme Bourne was very happy after the game saying "That was a vast improvement on last week. We were horrible for the first quarter of an hour, but in the second half we played like we know we can."

Posted at 22:00

Thursday 21 August - Hendon 3 Greens United 4

Hendon Under-21s continued their pre-season preparations with a game against Greens United, played at the excellent facilities at Belstone FC near Radlett. It was very much a game of two halves as Hendon ran out into a 3-0 lead in the first half, before losing the game 4-3.

It was a lively start to the game, with United having the better chances, but in the 11th minute Hendon took the lead courtesy of last season's leading scorer Glenn Garner. Two minutes later the lead was doubled when Garner struck again.

In terms of possession the game was even, but Hendon always looked more likely to score, and their defence repelled the United attacks although Greens did hit the woodwork with a fine shot in the 24th minute. Twelve minutes later it seemed that Hendon were out of sight after Darren Turner scored with a superb effort reminisent of James Bent's goal for the first team against Dartford.

At half-time Hendon made a number of changes, replacing established players with some trialists and the difference showed as Greens came back into the game. Their first goal came after just three minutes of the second period when they converted a spot kick, and two minutes later the ball was given away by the Hendon midfield and Greens broke through to score.

On the hour mark, Greens were level as they took advantage of some more poor defending, and with twenty minutes to go they completed the scoring. Hendon had a couple of chances to restore parity, but were unable to find the back of the net with Greens defending in numbers.

Despite the result, joint managers Graeme Bourne and Eamon Finn will have been able to learn a lot from the game. They are in action again next Thursday evening at Belstone FC, the game kicking off at 6.30pm.

Posted at 22:00

Saturday 09 August - Boreham Wood Reserves 1 Hendon 2

Hendon Under-21s opened their preseason campaign with a trip to play Boreham Wood's second string on their all-weather pitch at Meadow Park. The Greens, who have been promoted two divisions to play in Division One Central & East of the Cherry Red Books Middlesex County League in 2008-09, were given a severe test by the Wood, but they came out on top, winning 2-1.

With a large number of triallists and new players as well as the core of last season's squad, the joint managers Graham Bourne and Eamon Finn had the difficult task of finding a good combination. It worked pretty well, with the midfield coming up against some very experienced players.

The first goal arrived in the 44th minute, and it was one of the newcomers who scored, Darren Turner netting after some excellent approach play.

As is often the case in first friendlies, the Hendon team in the second half was much changed, but they continued to set the pace. Simon Connaughton, a big contributor last season, continued where he left off, adding the second goal 16 minutes after half-time.

Boreham Wood gradually fought their way back into the game and they got their reward with a goal after 72 minutes. The Hendon defence stiffened and although there were a few alarms, they were able to hang on for the victory.

"I am very pleased with the work-out," said Mr Finn, "especially the way the midfield worked."

Mr Bourne added, "We learned a lot today and after watching them play this afternoon, I know there are some players that we can let go.

"We have been promoted two divisions and I am really looking forward to the new season. It is going to be very tough, but I dont think you can learn much if you are winning by seven and eight goals regularly."

Posted at 19:00