Under 18s News, 2015/2016

Sunday 24 April - St Albans City 1 Hendon 3 - Part 1

What spirit! What character! Hendon dug deep, as the Tigers have done innumerable times before since their foundation as 8 year olds, to grind out what unbeknown to them was a famous, title-winning victory. Reduced to 10 men, for the last 50 or so minutes, after one of their players of the season defender Oliver Achille was red carded, the team battled itself to a standstill repelling the eagerness and persistence of a St. Albans outfit desperate to finish their season with a win. Unflinching in the tackle, well organised in their defensive block the boys were running on empty by the end.

None of this had seemed likely after the first 43 minutes. The good ship Hendon was sailing serenely towards a final 3 points, beginning the game with studious passing through midfield and leveraging the flanks to pin back St Albans deep into their own half. Zak Miles curled over early on and on the other flank Kareem Bandaogo was inducing nervous concern for the home backline. In the 16th minute Jordon Spearman advanced before releasing his right winger into space high up the pitch. Quick feet neutralised his marker before Bandaogo swung in a delicious cross to the back post where Nyv Bogaire, rising highest, nodded the ball down and James Flint, charging up in support on the edge of the 6 yard box, rammed the ball in. 0-1

Hendon were comfortable and looked to double their advantage. Zak Miles almost did so after one of his mazy, almost wandering runs bewitched several defenders and summoning up all his energy he finally cut back inside to shoot but was not able to find the requisite accuracy with his right foot blast, to crown what would have been great solo goal. Amply rewarding Hendon's superiority a second goal arrived in the 34th minute. An Alex Ward free kick swung to the back post was looking harmless but a St Albans defender, failing to recognise this and also the exhortations of his teammates to 'leave it', headed the ball back into the danger area. Lurking 15 yards out, centrally positioned, Nyv Bogaire arrowed a left foot volley into the bottom corner. 0-2

As half -time neared Hendon transitioned from complete control to susceptibility as they were increasingly undone by a penchant to overplay unnecessarily at the back. In the 41st minute the ball was surrendered cheaply and St Albans forged a path to the bye line on their left. The centre missed everyone except the opposite winger who, striking hard and low at the back post, was wheeling away celebrating only to look back in astonishment to see the hitherto unemployed Edgar Paxi-Cato fling himself across the width of his goal to make an unbelievable stop. (Right up there with your best of the season Cat!)

The frisson of excitement from this remarkable action was still resonating as the game-changing incident occurred in the 43rd minute. Calm possession play by Hendon near their left touchline, on halfway, was brought to an abrupt end as Carlos Simeon couldn't decide what to do with the ball quickly enough and was robbed. Springing quickly up the pitch Simeon's defensive partner Oliver Achille was exposed by a sharp through ball and as their striker turned on goal the referee adjudged the interference that sent him tumbling to the ground sufficient for the award of a penalty. Compounding the woe the ref, almost reluctantly, raised a red card.

The penalty went in, 10 men, 1-2.

Half time: St Albans 1 Hendon 2.

Now the contest was alive and St Albans were swarming like yellow vested hornets. Within the first 5 minutes of the second half they contrived to miss a header from under the bar, slammed a good chance over, forced Jordon Spearman into a tremendous block and slid a ball across the 6yard box that no one was quick enough to convert. Near post attempts, after good wide play on both flanks, whistled into the side netting and as the corner count rose Hendon needed to be resolute to repel St Albans considerable aerial threat.

Hendon's hope was to catch the home team on the break and in the midst of this pressure, in the 56th minute, James Flint, Ryan Kukoyi and Kieran Warren extricated themselves from defence into attack to free Nyv Bogaire. Flying away from the cover he kept his composure to plant the ball under the keeper, sparking rapturous celebrations. Now with something concrete to hold onto the boys cranked up their resolution and concentration. Reacting to Manager Campbell's tactical adjustments the lads redoubled their efforts and fell into an obdurate defensive shape. St Albans, as one would expect, monopolised the ball but determined - at times desperate - defending, more Bank of England keeping by EP-C and some wayward finishing preserved Tigers' breathing space.

Running down the clock, Hendon deployed keep ball tactics to their advantage, but by then many of the boys had been reduced to near walking pace anyway. Like 5 hour marathon runners limping down the Mall, Hendon struggled over the line as the ref called time on the match and the league season.

Final score: St Albans 1 Hendon 3

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 24 April - St Albans City 1 Hendon 3 - Part 2

12.35 pm: The end of the game was tinged with sadness as the players, warming down, absorbed the impact of their physical efforts and the knowledge that their fate had been taken out of their hands by bureaucracy to be settled somewhere else in North London as Barton Rovers were surely cementing their accession to the play-offs at bottom of the table Wingate & Finchley.

14.26 pm: Mobile phones from Islington to Watford were illuminating bringing news of a Miracle at Summers Lane! Wingate and Finchley had produced an inspired performance to disarm Barton. A reportedly extraordinary game was won 4-1 by the home team to save Hendon the agony of missing out on the league title by virtue of simply having played fewer games before the April 24th watershed (ironically our outstanding match was against Wingate and Finchley).

Commendations to Wingate and Finchley for their professionalism in playing hard right to the season's end. Well done too to Barton Rovers on a fine campaign - good players and good management. But most of all congratulations to Hendon who, in adversity, displayed the qualities of champions fighting hard for their manager, their club and themselves. A band of brothers .

To all those who have contributed, well done boys

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Ben Jerreat ,Johnie Scott, Ryan Kukoyi, James Flint, Ricardo Campbell de Leon, Jeremie Agholor, Alex Ward, Nyv Bogaire, Kareem Bandaogo, Keagan Cole, Jeffrey Gyamfi, Zak Miles, Joe Patrick, Joash Nembhard, Gillyane Silva, Carlos Simeon, Kris Gecaj, Junior Okeke, Oliver Achille, Kieran Warren, Fabio Viel, Jack Cassen, Harry Riley, Jordon Spearman, Dominic Short, Lanre Lapido and Calum Cheshire

Coaches Ben Bukowski and Aarun Woodhouse have played their part but the weightiest congratulations and respect is due to Richie who, often alone in the dug-out, has manfully shouldered the heavy burden of marshalling these considerable, but in some cases, not always reliable resources! Witness 'The Mystery Of The Missing Strikers' away at Enfield and Barton.... On occasions he could have taught my grandma a thing or two about making 'a silk purse out of a sow's ear' as he managed to squeeze the most out of a team that was occasionally fulfilling fixtures down to 11 or 12 (not all fit !) men. Richie has also been instrumental in helping to steer 6 players into Gary's first team squad and get 6 boys to have represented Middlesex County FA .

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Ryan Kukoyi, James Flint, Jeremie Agholor, Alex Ward, Nyv Bogaire, Kareem Bandaogo, Zak Miles, Carlos Simeon, Oliver Achille, Jordon Spearman,

Subs: Harry Riley, Kieran Warren.

Report by Daley Thompson

Posted at 21:59

Monday 18 April - Hendon 5 Bedfont Sports 2 - Part 1

Turbo-nutter game of football!!! Two expansive teams expressing themselves with similarly progressive passing styles produced a magnificent match at Silver Jubilee Park on a perfect evening, far from the fog bedevilled conditions of the previous Monday

Bedfont started assertively, asking unfamiliar questions of Hendon, as they used a 3-4-3 formation that sought overloads in wide areas. Initially chasing shadows Hendon finally got hold of the ball long enough to create a chance after some individual excellence by winger Zak Miles who turned outside his marker before exploding a left foot shot, athletically saved by Bedfont's debutant keeper. This seemed to inspire Hendon who began to salivate at the prospect of pressing Bedfont's rearguard high up the pitch. Stealing possession on numerous occasions Hendon started to fashion clear chances. In the 20th minute a deep corner was headed back into the centre by Joash Nembhard and Zak Miles nodded marginally over the bar from 6 yards. Reward for the pressure came 2 minutes later. More coherent passing in midfield issued the ball to Jordon Spearman who darting between two players advanced at pace towards the box. Exchanging a 1-2 with Nyv Bogaire, as he entered the box to find space for a shot, Spearman tumbled under contact from one of Bedfont's massive central defensive sentries. Appearing at first uninterested in the home appeals, the referee's attention was drawn to the flag of his assistant and a penalty was controversially awarded. Jordon Spearman stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way. 1-0

Recuperation of the ball quickly in the midfield areas was a launching pad for numerous Hendon attacks, turning Bedfont's formation against them: play being swept continuously into the relatively unattended wide areas. Exemplifying this sea change was the manner of a close call for Bedfont. Hendon won the ball in their own box. All four members of the defence played their part in retaining possession of the football, before on the right Jordon Spearman snapped the ball into Nyv Bonaire’s feet on halfway. Shifting the ball first time into acres of space in the left back area, Kareem Bandaogo skated onto the pass and his beautiful low cross narrowly eluded the cavalry arriving in the 6 yard box.

The fluency of Hendon’s play was threatening a second goal and it came in the 34th minute. A rare, misdirected pass placed over the top by Ryan Kukoyi failed to meet its intended target but was made good by Nyv Bogaire's speed and perseverance. Shepherded across the box, having taken control of the ball, Bogaire bought some time on the right edge of the area with some tricks before deciding to utilise Jordan Spearman, supporting him from behind. Spearman, also couldn't find space for the cross so he in turn backheeled the ball again to Nyv Bogaire. Seeing a small gap Bogaire jinked left, then right, into the penalty area and finally gaining half a yard he sent in a firm, low centre which was met emphatically at the back post by a booming left foot shot on the slide, by Zak Miles. Fantastic patience, fantastic goal. 2-0

Bedfont's early promise had diminished to the point that a speculative, albeit well hit, 30 yarder was their best effort of the first half as Hendon enjoyed almost uninterrupted hegemony. Oliver Achille struck a mighty 40 yard crossfield ball from right to left onto the left boot of Zak Miles who volleyed first time to the marauding Alex Ward but a picture book goal was prevented by the keeper's alertness. Not to be denied Hendon scored again in the 42nd minute. Gillyane Silva outmuscled an opponent in midfield and Ryan Kukoyi picked up the loose ball. The instant, 30 yard left footed pass sent the ball soaring like a well hit 7 iron, while it dropped and 'sat down' like a wedge, into the path of Zak Miles who had spun and run beyond his marker. Reacting quickest, Miles beat defender and goalkeeper to the ball to lift it into the net. 3-0.

As satisfying a first half as the boys had produced since the 'blitzkrieg' away at Aldershot in November.

Half time: Hendon 3 Bedfont 0

Posted at 22:00

Monday 18 April - Hendon 5 Bedfont Sports 2 - Part 2

Manager Campbell would have taken time to remind their team that Bedfont would still be dangerous, filled as they are with quality practitioners and with a history of fightbacks from unpromising positions. Fortunately, the managerial wisdom was heeded as Hendon again hit the straps from the off. It was no surprise that after a spell of controlled football the twin defensive peaks of Joash Nembhard and Oliver Achille started another attack, the ball manipulated via Gillyane Silva, Ryan Kukoyi and Alex Ward to Kareem Bandaogo whose early ball sent Nyv Bogaire running, onside, into the inside -right channel. Cutting back and wrong -footing his opponent in one movement Bogaire elected to shoot early from 20 yards, with dramatic dividend, as the ball ripped by the keeper's outstretched left arm into the top corner. More outstanding football. 4-0, 56 minutes.

If this was good the next goal, on the 65th minute mark, was arguably even better, distinguishing itself by its simple beauty. Quick-fire passing through the left hand side of midfield brought subtle one or, at most, two touch interventions from Harry Riley Joash Nembhard, Ryan Kukoyi and Alex Ward before the ball became the property of Nyv Bogaire midway into the Bedfont half. Freed to turn into space by the speed of the passing that preceded it, Bogaire - now facing goal - quickly scanned his options and ushered the ball into a huge gap where Kareem Bandaogo was romping clear like a Grand National winner. Galloping onto the ball, Bandaogo's toe got there before the keeper's hands and prodded the ball home. As a Bedfont supporter concurred, it was ' like a knife through butter! 5-0

'High' on the celebrations Hendon were reintroduced to reality within 60 seconds as one of Bedfont's giants strode through the pitch like Gulliver redefining the myth of his conquest by the Lilliputians. Powering through several inconsequential challenges he scored from just inside the area with an excellent left foot finish. 5-1

Enjoying their best spell of the game as Hendon 'idled,' taking football 's equivalent of a 'comfort break', Bedfont hit back well and resumed the poise and movement with which they had started the match. In the 80th minute a fine curled ball picked out a run from midfield by Bedfont's star performer Ciaran Brown and drifting beyond a slightly static defence he cushioned the ball on his chest and then lifted the ball past Edgar Paxi-Cato with an air insouciance.

Bedfont kept pressing and indeed may have gained greater consolation, but on the night Edgar Paxi-Cato's handling would have gained a stamp of approval from the Royal School of Midwifery! Aching limbs, after 2 games in 24 hours (and for some 3 in just over 48!!!), meant that the final whistle was welcomed by all those in green shirts.

Final score Hendon 5 Bedfont 2

When the boys play like this you wonder how they ever manage to lose! It would be invidious to pick out one player as the team was the Man of the Match. After early tactical uncertainties the lads got to grips with the nuances of their opposition. The defence of Jordon Spearman, Oliver Achille, Joash Nembhard and Jeremie Agholor were perennially on the front foot, aggressive in the contact areas and constructive in possession. Midfield was vulpine! Hunting down the man with the ball in packs, Gillyane Silva, Ryan Kukoyi and Alex Ward continually won their battles and launched play at short and long range: the ball radiating at all angles around the pitch; the midfielders first and foremost seeking to move the team into any space from which they could inflict damage. Key, in equal measure, was the pressure high up the pitch to disrupt the composure of Bedfont's back 3. Nyv Bogaire deserves especial credit for this and when he was removed late on it showed. Bogaire never gave the Bedfont markers a second's respite and their engagement made room for Kareem Bandaogo and Zak Miles to create carnage in wide areas.

Naturally the pace abated after the 5th goal and some substitutions robbed the team of a little of its earlier fluency but that is in no way a detriment to the lads that came on : more an acknowledgement that the game was won and after the weekend's physical exertions , energy levels had begun to dip. As a squad, in the last 2 games, Hendon have delivered back at the level that characterised the brilliant autumn charge of 13 straight wins. Ironically, Bedfont were clearly our most tactically subtle opposition of this season. Fluid in their movement and comfortable in their mastery of ball and possession Bedfont played their part in a blinding evening’s entertainment. Hopefully Hendon can wrap up their season with performances of the same brio and calibre as last night. Well done lads!!!!

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordon Spearman, Joash Nembhard, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Gillyane Silva, Ryan Kukoyi, Alex Ward, Kareem Bandaogo, Zak Miles, Nyv Bogaire,

Subs: Fabio Viel, Kieran Warren.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 21:59

Sunday 10 April - Barton Rovers 3 Hendon 1

On an day where Manchester United couldn't navigate a bridge in Finsbury Park, Jordan Spieth was monstered by the 12th hole at Augusta, Hendon were hit themselves by gremlins that transformed the result of this top of the league clash! A game almost totally controlled by Hendon was lost on 3 dreadful goals; 2 utter gifts in the first half and the third a penalty conceded by an injudicious tackle early in the second.

Where did it go awry?

All the indicators were green early on as the boys played well with a high wind at their back. In the 7th minute Jeffrey Gyamfi twisted and turned, breaking through two tackles and looked to have great chance but cut back inside 10 yards out inviting a block. The difficult conditions were putting accuracy at a premium but in the 17th minute a great move stitched together between Ryan Kukoyi ,Jeremie Agholor , and Nyv Bogaire released left back Agholor on a rousing run that ended with a powerful drive, on the angle 6 yards out, that flashed over. 5 minutes later some great chest control from Ryan Kukoyi allowed him to eventually manipulate the ball into a shooting position 25 yards out and his shot brought a fine save by the home keeper, who at full stretch pushed the low drive away.

A goal was seeming inevitable....

When it arrived it was at the wrong end!!! Nothing looked on as a high ball was knocked over Fabio Viel's head. Hesitating slightly as he weighed up his options the right back finally decided to play the ball back to keeper Paxi-Cato. As the ball made its way back towards goal, pirouetting on the crusty surface EP-C went to launch downfield only to make minimal contact, the ball falling to a surprised forward who scored. 1-0

Responding immediately Zak Miles was teed up by Jeffrey Gyamfi but again the keeper was well positioned to save, before Hendon - nearly shooting themselves in the foot again - overplayed at the back allowing a one-on-one which the forward smashed wide. For Barton this was a mere appetiser as a gap the width of the M1 dual carriageway appeared through the central defence and the ball was tucked home 2-0

Hendon returned to monopolise possession but could not turn it into goals. Their best chance fell in the 40th minute to Kieran Warren who was played in by a magnificent reverse pass by Alex Ward, but closing in on goal he tightened his angle and though the shot was well struck the keeper spread himself to save again. Right on half time Ryan Kukoyi gate-crashed the penalty box and though the first bit - chest control to find space - was great, the second bit - the shot - was not of nearly the same standard and the keeper stopped again.

Half time Barton 2 Hendon 0

Hendon came out to play upwind and uphill in the second half but seemed determined. Kieran Warren fashioned a half chance and some dangerous crosses started to come in from the right. Out of the blue in the 52nd minute a loose pass in midfield eventually granted the Barton left winger the ball and as he danced on goal he was hampered from behind, falling to the ground with the reward of a penalty. Despatched. 3-0

Nearly immediately after a long ball exposed some of Barton’s frailties, Kieran Warren nipped in to score. 3-1. This position could have been enhanced two minutes later as an excellent Kieran Warren run should have led to a second goal, but the pass to either Alex Ward or Nyv Bogaire waiting for a tap-in, was just too long in coming. Hendon toiled hard, working up and back to try and retrieve the game. Alex Ward hit a 30 yard thunderbolt which was inches too high, before Oliver Achille was adjudged to have pushed as he hit the bar from a header after a corner. In the last 5 minutes Barton's best effort of the game curled just over the crossbar from the box's edge before Hendon's woe was compounded by a wrist injury for combative midfielder Joe Patrick. Get well soon Joe! The game was concluded by the ref with the score standing at Barton 3 Hendon 1

This was a setback, which only the next few weeks will determine how terminal. Again the boys performed well over the 90 minutes the opposition manager declaring at half-time 'How on earth are we leading this (!?)' but those twin imposters, fragility at the back and not enough potency in the box, undid the Green's pretensions. There were some good performances; Jeffrey Gyamfi and particularly Alex Ward played well in midfield and Jeremie Agholor stuck to his task well but the clinical nature of the football that dismantled all and sundry in the 3 and a half months before and after Xmas has been shrouded by some uncertainty. To be fair this is nothing that all team's don't go through (who saw Barcelona looking toothless at Sociedad!?) but the boys are unaccustomed to disappointment. Suck it up lads, you're still quality! Use this experience to finish the season hard.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Fabio Viel, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Ryan Kukoyi, Joe Patrick, Jeffrey Gyamfi, Kieran Warren, Jordan Spearman, Gillyane Silva, Zak Miles.

Subs Alex Ward

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 03 April - Enfield Town 0 Hendon 0

A frustrating result from what was a thoroughly decent performance leaves the season on an exciting knife-edge with crucial matches to come against Barton and Broxbourne to determine the destination of the league title won splendidly last season. Shorn of all 5 of its strikers Hendon deputed Joe Patrick to play in an unfamiliar number 9 role and began in sprightly fashion. Play quality was good with movements progressing down each wing; the only issue being the final ball. The referee offered Hendon a hand in the 34th minute as an innocuous incident from a corner was spotted and penalised by a penalty. Claiming the ball, Kieran Warren's preparedness seemed to indicate confidence but the penalty struck right-footed was at a height the keeper would have welcomed and he saved, tipping the ball wide.

The sting drawn from Hendon, the latter stages of the first half evened up, although the keeper Edgar Paxi-Cato was barely extended as his back-four were generally in command.

Half-time: Enfield 0 Hendon 0

If anything, Hendon were even more dominant in the second half, pushing the ball around well. The fly in the ointment was Enfield ’s number 2 who had an exceptional game but even his part-pooper performance could not totally suffocate Hendon's attacks. Oliver Achille blazed just over the bar after a corner had failed to be cleared , then a few minutes later Jeremie Agholor weaved past 4 challenges on a 40 yard run then, as he entered the box, he passed into Joe Patrick who looked to get a slight bobble as he smashed the ball over the bar from 12 yards out. Another corner, into the last 20 minutes was almost squeezed in by Oliver Achille but when the ball broke Joash Nembhard's piledriver skewed over the bar. The introduction of Alex Ward re-sharpened Hendon's attacking edge and when he hassled a mistake out of the left back he hastened onto the short backpass and steered it beyond the outrushing keeper, only to see a covering defender beat him to what would have been a tap-in.

As the game moved into its 90th minute Hendon came again down their left flank and James Flint artistically helped the ball into the left wing channel onto a run by Ryan Kukoyi. Delivering with unerring accuracy and, more importantly first time, Kukoyi’s cross was perfect and met with a tremendous right foot volley by Kieran Warren that ripped into the back of the net via the underside of the bar. A winning goal? As the boys celebrated a stray linesman's flag caught the referee's attention. An eternity of discussion followed as the ref originally looked fairly disinterested in the call, but eventually the dreaded finger pointed away from the centre circle and towards the point of the supposed offside. The disappointment was palpable, made worse by the assessment of some neutrals who were adamant that the goal was legal and should have stood. Time ran out on the efforts to craft any more chances and amidst some rancour the game finished,

Final score: Enfield 0 Hendon 0

Hendon will see it initially a 2 points lost. Rarely under any threat the defence were excellent with Joash Nembhard inducing calm and adding strength to the unit, while Calum Cheshire had a great debut at right back. With the exception of 20 minutes in the later stages of the first half midfield featuring another new boy Jeffrey Gyamfi held the upper hand and it was only up top where, despite neat approach work, the team toiled. Of course, the missed penalty, had it gone in, would have changed the game but the disappointment was that notwithstanding this it was a match the lads should have won 3 times over. A day of 'what could have beens' but who knows if ultimately it may be looked at as a point gained?

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Fabio Viel, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Joash Nembhard, Ryan Kukoyi, Joe Patrick, Kieran Warren, Jordan Spearman, Gillyane Silver, James Flint.

Subs: Alex Ward, Jeffrey Gyamfi, Calum Cheshire.

Posted at 22:00

Monday 21 March - Staines Town 2 Hendon 0

2 early goals undid Hendon, at the impressive Wheatsheaf Park, in this top-of-the-table battle. Strikes in the 10th and 17th minutes decided an even match in which Hendon had enough chances to have changed the destiny of the title race. Finishing proved the difference.

The game began at a breakneck pace and as early as the 4th minute Staines progressed down their left got the ball across the box but the striker's left foot hit lacked vigour. Kareem Bandaogo served notice of his intention with a run from halfway which visibly disturbed the home rearguard. Staines opened the scoring in the 10th minute as an unnecessarily conceded free kick with little danger evident, gave Staines 's dead ball specialist McAllister a chance to drive the ball in from wide. Which he did. Initially looking too deep, the cross found the centre-forward Haile who arched his back to power in a great header which went in off the underside of the bar. 1-0

Hendon's response was very good, immediately creating an opportunity for a leveller. Keagan Cole, who was marked closely all night, held the ball up then turned to flick the ball to Junior Okeke. He returned the compliment with a balletic backheel before the cross from the left came in to be met by Kieran Warren, coming off his wing to nod from 8 yards but straight at the Staines keeper. There were some storming moves: Ryan Kukoyi's driven pass into Okeke's feet was laid off to Jordon Spearman who at full pelt exposed the Staines left but no one could get on the end of his low cross which, with difficulty , was cleared. Things worsened in the 17th minute as a defensive clearance turned into a good ball, forcing Jeremie Agholor back towards his own goal. Surprised by the searing pace of his opponent he was momentarily outflanked and the winger took his opportunity to cross. Amazingly the low centre connected with his teammate, number 10 who in acres of space scored with comfort. 2-0. Where was everyone???

Stunned by these sucker-punches Hendon wasted no time in reacting. Kareem Bandaogo whizzed past his man like he was a traffic cone but having run 40 yards, from an acute angle he slashed wide of the goal when a more prosaic lay-off to Junior Okeke or Keagan Cole may have been better. Chief tormentor Bandaogo nearly reached a ball over the top but keeper Churchill kept his composure to prevent a goal. Comfortably on top Hendon were playing a little more direct than is customary, using Junior Okeke's physical presence as a pivot. In the 31st minute a carbon copy of several moves saw him flick the ball on to release Keagan Cole but despite noticing the keeper well off his line his attempted lob was dragged wide. Warming to their task a tremendous move of guile and pace, involving Cole, Bandaogo, and a terrific overlapping run and cross by Jeremie Agholor found Junior Okeke sprinting towards the near post but he glanced just too high. Before the break there was still time for a beautifully delivered free kick by Keagan Cole to be met forcefully but beyond the top corner, by debutant Joash Nembhard.

Half time: Staines 2 Hendon 0

Bar the lack of vigilance for the goals and the failure to score ourselves Hendon had not done a lot wrong. Sent out with attacking intent Keagan Cole pulled a ball to his right and hit his shot early but the keeper was well positioned. Not long after Okeke and Cole combined again and though it was a stronger hit again Churchill was equal to it. Around the hour mark the game hit a lull and as an attacking force Staines re-entered the contest with 2 great chances within 3 minutes. First, a free kick fell to 3 men and they contrived to get in each others way before spooning the ball over the bar. Then another surefire goal was wasted from in front of the posts when it looked easier to score! Into the last 15 minutes with the game becalmed Staines failed again to hit the target after their wide right man had foraged successfully to win the ball back deep in Hendon's half - his shot ripping into the side netting. Hendon's efforts were becoming more sporadic but Kareem Bandaogo continued to look dangerous coming in from wide left and twice he unleashed vicious strikes that dented adjacent advertising boards but not Churchill's clean sheet. Manager Campbell rolled the dice and threw on second neophyte Jeffrey Gyamfi, who was involved in Hendon's best move of the second half. Gyamfi linked with Ryan Kukoyi and the ball was quickly conveyed to Keagan Cole in the middle of the Staines half. Interchanging with Junior Okeke the ball was slipped to Kareem Bandaogo on the left edge of the area. As he toyed with his full back, Jeremie Agholor created the overload on the outside and having received the ball he sent it in low to Okeke whose 12 yard shot with his left foot was turned away high by a terrific save by Staines's keeper. Till the end there were bits and pieces but the longer the half went without the catalyst of a goal the further hope receded and eventually the referee had seen enough.

Final Score: Staines 2 Hendon 0

Two good teams contested an interesting game. Rare in that both lined up in a now unfashionable, more or less 4-4-2 shape, the space in midfield made for a fast, open game particularly in the first 45 minutes. The early damage changed the nature of the game and led to an excess of frenetic Hendon play, which may have negated the precision the team deploy when at their best. Despite this Staines acknowledged that Hendon played the more aesthetically pleasing football but this is scant consolation as its goals that win matches, not artistic impression. Few players emerged without credit after a hard-working effort to retrieve the deficit. Jordon Spearman had another very good game and Joash Nembhard played a highly promising debut, shepherding the defence skilfully and showing decent positional perception. Elsewhere Jeremie Agholor, Ryan Kukoyi and Junior Okeke were prominent in their desire to carry the fight to the bitter end.

With two games to go, at home to Northwood and Bedfont the boys can still aim to finish in second and the last game could be quite something if Bedfont need a win to stay in the hunt for the title, but with a gap before these games its a chance to recharge the batteries, refine the work at the back and sharpen the toolkit of the forwards.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Joash Nembhard, Ryan Kukoyi, Joe Patrick, Kieran Warren, Kareem Bandaogo, Junior Okeke, Keagan Cole.

Subs: Fabiio Viel, Jeffrey Gyamfi.

Report by Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 20 March - Potters Bar Town 2 Hendon 3

These two teams produced an entertaining game that saved its best for an incredible denouement. Lots happened at the Pakex Stadium and Potters Bar will count themselves unfortunate to lose, while at the same time Hendon would have cited a miscarriage of justice had they not got back onto the M25 without the 3 points.

Potters could have raced into a 12th minute lead after a mix-up allowed a home striker in and Edgar Paxi-Cato had to make a great plunging save. This assumed greater importance as Hendon took the lead in the 20th minute. A well crafted move built up down the left and after Zak Miles had punched a ball into the feet of Keagan Cole, he turned to his right and fed Ryan Kukoyi 10 yards to his right. Letting fly with his nominally weaker right foot from 25 yards the keeper could only parry and alert Kareem Bandaogo reacted first to stab in the rebound. 0-1

Inside a minute a wonderful Johnie Scott run and cross was headed inches wide by Harry Riley who'd stolen, unmarked into the 6 yard box. Potters Bar disputed the lead and looked to have equalised only to be thwarted by Jordon Spearman's heroic clearance off the line. Hendon were playing some fine football, illustrated perfectly by a smashing second goal in the 35th minute. A flowing crossfield movement opened space for Kareem Bandaogo in the inside right berth. His one touch pass found Harry Riley who on the half turn rolled an angled ball onto a waspish run by Keagan Cole, whose right toe did the rest. 0-2

Potters responded with a lovely bit of skill from their left winger who popping up on the right, went on a 'mazy' that took him past several players on an odyssey that led him to 3yards out where he was denied by EP-C. Right before half-time Potters bemoaned their luck again as a free hit from 12yards hit the inside of the post before the ball was finally scrambled clear.

Half time: Potters Bar 0 Hendon 2

Keen to kill the contest, Keagan Cole was only a Dennis Healey eyebrow away from Kareem Bandaogo’s teasing cross and this pair were linking articulately spelling constant trouble for the defence. Punctuating this supremacy a Potters freekick again necessitated a goalline rescue act by Jordon Spearman. EP-C was also active to make a super save from 10 yards as his goal was being rushed by a Potters striker. As the game became attack v defence Kareem Bandaogo, looking puffed out by his exertions eschewed running to hit a 30 yarder which was centimetres over. The game was meandering to its close, with Potters management beseeching their boys to keep going for a consolation, when in the 88th minute Hendon let down their guard and were punished as a low shot made it 1-2.

Unnecessary panic spread and from the next attack a corner flighted into a box populated with everyone including the home keeper, ended with a partial clearance that was whacked back low from 18 yards and speared into EP-C’s goal. 2-2. Mayhem.

Shell-shocked Hendon restarted for the 2nd time in 2 minutes as the game entered injury time. Now the panic beset Potters and a rushed clearance was controlled by Ryan Kukoyi he passed to Harry Riley who in turn released the ball forward and somehow the defence parted allowing Keagan Cole to drive through. He cut back across the covering defender onto his left foot and though he delivered a shot that was straight it was too much for the keeper as the ball came off his flailing arm and lodged apologetically in the net. 2-3 Hurrah! The final whistle blew 30 seconds later. What a finish!

Final score: Potters Bar 2 Hendon 3

Wow! Hendon pulled a match out of the fire that should never have caught alight. Despite a makeshift line-up when they found their rhythm Hendon were, in spells, pretty good. Stepping up massively as a centre back 5' 9" Jordon Spearman was exceptional and worthy of his Man of the Match accolade: reading the game well, competing ferociously in the air and distributing the ball with real quality. Not to mention his two clearances off the line, he was immense. James Flint at right back gave a fine performance as did Zak Miles on the left wing. Goalkeeper Edgar Paxi-Cato was superb, depriving Potters on a number of occasions with magnificent agility. It was a vital win and evidence of the old Tigers spirit, which will be needed in the season's run in.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jeremie Agholor, James Flint, Ryan Kukoyi, Joe Patrick, Jordan Spearman, Zak Miles, Kareem Bandaogo, Harry Riley, Johnie Scott, Keagan Cole.

Subs: Oliver Achille.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 16 March - Wea;dstone 3 Hendon 0

Now we know what it feels like! For years we've taken on all comers; often bigger, stronger and this season, older and been serial victors. Not tonight. Receiving some of their own medicine a ravenously hungry, young Wealdstone team put our boys to the sword. Outthought, outfought and outplayed....

No portents of this result were evident from the opening minutes even though Wealdstone's perennially troublesome number 11 smacked the right hand upright within 3 minutes. In fact Hendon looked assured on the ball, moving it smoothly and Kieran Warren on the right wing was seeing a lot of the ball, getting in some decent crosses, albeit the outcomes were uneventful.

The problem was, when the attacks broke down, Wealdstone were able to convert defence into attack far too easily. With Wealdstone players running often 20-30 yards, unmolested, from the back into midfield, it was exposing a defence that, cowed by the pace of the irritant number 11, had dropped off deeper to compensate.

This became the pattern of the first 35 minutes: Hendon carefully piecing together studied attacks, only to be squandered by poor awareness of better placed teammates, or worse, unconvincing dribbling preceding a lack of desire to rectify the situation. This led to the whole team being stretched: midfield sucked out of position and the back line under concomitant pressure. So Wealdstone got in on the counter regularly. In the 28th minute Edgar Paxi-Cato rescued a dangerous situation with a fine save and a few minutes earlier was almost beaten after clever work from our' mate' no 11.

In the 36th minute Wealdstone took the lead. Dallying when a shot, cross or pass could have been effected, Keagan Cole was robbed and the ball was propelled quickly up the pitch down the left. There was still much to do when the ball reached our 'friend' in the 11 shirt but he controlled competently and shifting the ball to his left swung languidly sending the ball hurtling over EP-C into his top corner. 1-0 Excellent goal.

Half time Wealdstone 1 Hendon 0

Chastened by the scoreline, Hendon looked business-like following the resumption. A move involving Fabio Viel, Gillyane Silva and Ryan Kukoyi parcelled the ball up for Nyv Bogaire on the left flank and his pace allowed him to get in a low cross which was held well by Junior Okeke but he may have made a better decision than to shoot with the supporting Keagan Cole well placed to level the scores. Critical. One minute on, in the 54th minute, a long free kick was flicked on and as a home forward went to control he tumbled over Oliver Achille's leg for a mildly contestable penalty. Scored. Wealdstone 2 Hendon 0

Bad became worse 5 minutes later as a simple ball over the top opened up the defence and the no 11 (again) scored with aplomb. 3-0

Hendon almost got an immediate reply after a good move when Ryan Kukoyi combined with Nyv Bogaire, who used the unselfish decoy overlap of Jordon Spearman before servicing Keagan Cole who curled in a cunning cross toward Junior Okeke who, on the stretch, toe-poked millimetres wide. Okeke's influence added muscularity to the attack and he might have fashioned a goal from a difficult angle. As hope was evaporating on the sands of time the temperature, on a bitterly cold night, rose after a double booking by the ref as claim and counter-claim followed an off-the-ball incident. Trouble initially averted, the Wealdstone protagonist was diplomatically shifted from left back to right wing by his coach to save further repercussions. Within a minute, for reasons known only to himself, the same player elected to hack at a Nyv Bogaire - in full flight but harmlessly positioned - to rubberstamp a solitary walk back to the changing room for exclusive use of the bath and toilet facilities...

Hendon had some chances against the 10 men, Keagan Cole getting a couple of decent shots off but, in truth, the closest thing to a goal was a renegade Wealdstone raid in the last minute that was thwarted by EP-C's plunging save.

Final score Wealdstone 3 Hendon 1

Worst performance of this season: defeat can be absorbed but at times this looked like a capitulation. Up front the lads looked toothless particularly in the first period and failed to stop the launching of attacks. Midfield lacked shape and had gaps riven through it, and the unfortunate ' beneficiaries' of what was going on ahead was the defence who kind of looked in control, until they weren’t! Everyone can have a bad day in the office but how can a team so good hardly force a save from the keeper in 90 minutes? A return to collective responsibility is required - the minimum acceptable standard is everyone' running about' and committing themselves to compete. Remember Aldershot, Camberley x 3, Ashford Town , Northwood and even the stirring efforts v Hayes & Yeading and Staines ? That was football! Come on boys, you know what to do... you’re still probably the best 'footballing' team across the South but you've got to sweat to earn the right to strut your stuff...

Lets be having you!!!

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Fabio Viel, Ryan Kukoyi, Gillyane Silva, Joe Patrick, Jordan Spearman, Nyv Bogaire, Kieran Warren, Keagan Cole.

Subs: Kareem Bandaogo, Carlos Simeon, Harry Riley, Junior Okeke.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 13 March - Hendon 3 Wingate & Finchley 1

Hendon recorded a victory of importance in the local derby. Given an early lead, what looked like it might be a comfortable afternoon became hard labour, as Wingate were gifted an equaliser in the second half and only two goals in the last 15 minutes took the points.

The detail? Eager to banish the memory of the 'Enfield Aberration’, Hendon started very well passing crisply and moving forward at speed. Nyv Bogaire's pace troubled the Wingate defence stretching them long and wide. Oliver Achille almost opened the scoring with a firm header that escaped over the bar and Zak Miles warmed the keepers' hands after an incisive interchange. A goal seemed imminent and it arrived in the 14th minute Nyv Bogaire, breaking free from his marker, driving at goal and ramming the ball through the keeper. 1-0

Not long after Joe Patrick had the ball in the net but was flagged offside. Meanwhile Wingate were neat but unthreatening, often 'over-gilding the lilly'. However, they crept back into the match and came perilously close to equalising. A free kick 35 yards out was flighted in and eluded the reach of Edgar Paxi-Cato, the ball hitting the post and fortunately as a surprised forward failed to get a decisive touch it rebounded off Carlos Simeon to go for a corner. Hendon's play became a little stodgy and by half time it was an even contest.

Half time: Hendon 1 Wingate 0

Wingate carried on where they left off and their muscular centre forward was requiring some careful handling by Oliver Achille and Carlos Simeon. As it appeared the game was settling down Wingate received the tonic of a penalty in the 64th minute. Pretty much self-inflicted there were 3 errors in the composition before a ball returned to the edge of Hendon's box spun up and brushed Carlos Simeon's hand, the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Sending EP-C the wrong way the striker brought parity to the score. 1-1

Tails up Wingate nearly went in front but EP-C turned a 25 yard free kick over the bar. Hendon's own attack was spluttering, with supply to Nyv Bogaire inconsistent and the final ball into the box of non-merchantable quality. Help, however, was on hand from substitute Kareem Bandaogo. Terrifying his marker (and his mates!) with his high speed raids he skated past 4 men in a 40 yard run from the left but from a desperately acute angle the keeper's outstretched leg denied him. Then in the 75th minute a decisive moment arrived. Intricate passing between Fabio Viel and Jordon Spearman cleared a space and Ryan Kukoyi forced a first time ball into the feet of Kareem Bandaogo on the right edge of the box. The Hendon centre forward then set off on a cross country run traversing the pitch pursued by defenders. Finally arriving on the left wing having stopped occasionally on the way to display some footwork from his 2016 catalogue, Bandaogo, decided the time was right to regain his breath and passed to Zak Miles. In contrast to the preceding complex artistry, Miles simply wrapped his left foot around the ball and crossed onto Nyv Bogaire's head which delicately floated the ball into the corner of the net. 2-1

Hendon’s play regained its certainty and subdued their deflated opponents. Runs from deep by Jordon Spearman and Jeremie Agholor hurt the opposition as did more Benny Hill runs from Kareem Bandaogo! The intrepid nature of the football seemed to rub off on Nyv Bogaire who demolished Wingate's right side 4 minutes from time with a searing run and his cross was shinned home from an unpromising angle by Joe Patrick. 3-1

Game, set and match!

Final score: Hendon 3 Wingate 1

Not the best performance but one that bristled with determination and desire from the point that Wingate equalised. The team had passages of fine play, notably in the first and last 15 minutes of the match. Ultimately it was the extra injections of pace all over the pitch that won the game, allowing Hendon to switch gear when it was necessary, to break Wingate's resolve, which was not inconsiderable.

Good win.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Carlos Simeon, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Fabio Viel, Ryan Kukoyi, James Flint, Joe Patrick Jordan Spearman, Nyv Bogaire, Zak Miles,

Subs: Kareem Bandaogo, Harry Riley, Ben Jerreat.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Monday 07 March - Hayes & Yeading United 5 Hendon 4 - Part 1

Four goals, a fightback and nearly a funeral! A game that had everything ended with Hendon a whisker away from completing an amazing comeback.

Only insufficient force in a Joe Patrick toe-end prevented the realisation of a 5-5 draw with the last kick of the game, after a rip-roaring comeback from a 4-1 half-time deficit. The boys would have deserved the point as they pushed last season's champions all the way.

Drama seemed as far-fetched, in the first 25 minutes, as a bet on Leicester to win the league back in August! Not a lot was happening as both defences were largely untested, until some poor tracking back allowed the home right back to advance and dragging the Hendon organisation out of shape his low cross reached a forward , who neatly sidestepped his marker before sliding the ball past Edgar Paxi-Cato. 1-0

Losing concentration, Hayes and Yeading doubled their lead. Danger man Dylan Kearney exploited lax play by receiving the ball wide, driving in on goal and comprehensively beating EP-C, nutmegging him at his near post. 2-0

The Hayes and Yeading hit-man inflicted more misery 2 minutes later as his 30 yard free kick flew in, with Hendon's players pointing the finger at each other, indicating - as if the score wasn't sufficient evidence - that something wasn't right ... 3-0

Hendon's penetration was spasmodic and minimal but a teasing run by Kieran Warren to tee up Keagan Cole for a decent near post effort, fleetingly reminded the home defence why they were there. That reminder became all the more relevant when the same two players combined to bring the score back to 3-1, as a fine ball by James Flint released Warren and his quality cross was met by Cole for a well worked goal. 3-1.

Seconds after it was nearly 3-2 as a quick throw-in by James Flint caught everyone napping bar Keagan Cole but in failing to hit it early the best chance went and by the time Kieran Warren finally shot the keeper was able to make a comfortable save low to his right. This was to prove expensive as a minute later in first half injury time Ryan Kukoyi, dutifully positioned, intercepted a cross but as he cleared the ball, he seemed to inadvertently 'play' the man, who went to close him down. The referee seemed totally disinterested in the appeal but his assistant benevolently interjected persuading his colleague that a punishable offence had been committed. From the penalty spot Kearney stepped up to complete his hat-trick. 4-1

Half time:

As they left the pitch shell-shocked two Hendon players were involved in what might be termed euphemistically as 'a difference of opinion'! With the debate looking like it may go beyond the proportions of a particularly belligerent edition of Question Time several teammates played the mediating Dimbleby role, diffusing the tension sufficiently for everyone to make it back to the changing room, for the half-time cuppa, in one piece!

Posted at 22:01

Monday 07 March - Hayes & Yeading United 5 Hendon 4 - Part 2

This explosion, of what I believe artists refer to as 'creative energy,' seemed to galvanise Hendon who, after receiving some half-time 'hair-dryer treatment from Manager Campbell and Coach Bukowski, were, to a man 'fired-up.'

Introducing a tactical as well as attitudinal change Campbell's men were on the front foot from the off and Keagan Cole almost immediately reduced the arrears. Substitute Junior Okeke's physical presence was unnerving Hayes and Yeading and it was not a great surprise when a goal arrived. A pass by Ryan Kukoyi was rapped into the feet of Keagan Cole. Turning to deliver an adroit defence- splitter Cole's ball set Okeke off on a muscular run that took him beyond the cover and the goalkeeper before he tapped into an empty net. 4-2.

Rumblings of a fightback were now evident and they may have reached seismic proportions had Kieran Warren's 55th minute cross gone in rather than hitting the bar. Hendon were now winning the 50-50s and second balls they were runners-up to in the first half. Spaces in the wide areas were opening up and a dancing run by Johnie Scott who, AGAIN, had a MASSIVE game at left back provided a chance for a near post diving header by Junior Okeke which passed the far post by millimetres. Hayes and Yeading were on the ropes but showed their durability with a rogue uppercut that again wounded Hendon. A corner from the right was well delivered and met by an emphatic close range header by their centre-half. 5-2

Two questions of Aristotelian depth troubled footballing philosophers after this goal: why was no one marking the big man; and how was it admissible for young Kearney to be able to bring his "experience" to bear, impeding our keeper at the corner by trampling all over his toes, without it being deemed an infringement ? Deep man, deep...

That should have been that. Not against our lads it wasn’t. Although the Hayes and Yeading number 10 hit the outside of the post with a raking 20 yarder, Hendon in the shape of Oliver Achille and Jeremie Agholor were now mastering the brilliance of the toe-stepping, erstwhile bottom pinching number 9, who began to indulge in some faintly undignified moaning. The back door now shut, the team poured forward. After a class Joe Patrick flick Kieran Warren was unable to get enough purchase on his shot. In the 75th minute Keagan Cole and Junior Okeke's hold-up play carved out a chance and as the ball fizzed across the goal Kieran Warren turned it in at the back post 5-3

Pinned to the ropes Hayes and Yeading were looking groggy and there were further scares for them before a penetrating crossfield ball by Keagan Cole found Jordon Spearman. Skinning his full back for the umpteenth time he got to the bye line and though the ball bounced at an unruly height Junior Okeke hooked the ball up and over the keeper's outstretched arms. 5-4 with 7 minutes to play.

The game assumed a pattern: Hayes and Yeading would clear long, would be beaten aerially to the punch and Hendon would launch another raid. Every time they entered the last third a goal looked likely. Kieran Warren spurned a great position with an underhit cross and Johnie Scott sent in another fine ball that heart-stoppingly escaped everyone. As the referee took the game into its last minute of injury time Hendon were given a free-kick. On their left just inside home territory Keagan Cole took the ball and as the opposition either complained of the award, or watched the ball, Hendon's number 10's awareness enabled him to respond to a call from quick-thinking Ryan Kukoyi who, astonishingly given the stage of the game, was at top speed as he broke enemy lines from deep tearing into the left hand side of the box. Electing to cross rather than shoot from a tightening angle he delivered perfectly, the cross's weight coinciding with the arrival of Joe Patrick. The Hendon midfielder's determination got him there and from 4 yards his toe forced the ball goal ward. Simultaneously, arriving though was H&Y's covering defender who, showing equal determination muffled the prod - just enough to stop the ball crossing the line, which allowed his keeper to gratefully place his hands on the ball stilling the presumptuous Hendon celebration of a goal that would have capped an extraordinary fight back.

It was all too much for the ref who decided that his money didn't cover any more excitement and the final whistle left the score at Hayes and Yeading 5 Hendon 4.

Defeat always hurts but the second half showed Hendon at their best; a team capable of thrilling football that nearly ran the hosts to submission. Hats off again to Dylan Kearney who with hat-tricks in both games was the difference despite, ridiculous as it may seem, being well shackled on the night by towering performances by Oliver Achille and Jeremie Agholor. The full back pairing of Viel and Scott both were terrific. After a structurally poor first half the reshaped midfield with Ryan Kukoyi and Joe Patrick at its axis recovered to outplay their counterparts the longer the game went. Junior Okeke's addition up front gave an excellent target for his teammates, with Jordon Spearman particularly benefitting from the extra space afforded Keagan Cole with the two up top.

Hayes and Yeading are a good side and played well to their strengths. A measure of the seachange in the match was exemplified by the exhortations of their terrific coach. In the first half he provided clear technical direction and encouragement of trust in his game plan. By the mid stage of the second period he had been reduced to quality lines to his players, like 'You’ve given them your lunch, why don t you give them your dinner money as well!

Best of luck to you for the Jeff Ritson Middlesex Senior Youth Cup final next week.

For Hendon the aim till the season's end must be to play as they did in the second half, get the squad tight and together, to stay in contention in the Ryman and challenge for another EJA title and above all to make themselves proud as they could undoubtedly feel after their Stakhanovite effort .

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Fabio Viel, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Johnie Scott, Ryan Kukoyi, James Flint, Joe Patrick Jordan Spearman, Keagan Cole, Kieran Warren,

Subs: Junior Okeke.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Monday 29 February - Camberley Town 1 Hendon 3

'From Johnie Scott in the West to Fabio Viel in the East an Iron Curtain descended across the Hendon back four' Paraphrasing Sir Winston Churchill is appropriate for a stoic, defensive performance that was the leitmotiv for a win at an opponent that had held both Hayes and Yeading and Staines on their own turf. Testimony to the ongoing excellence of the defensive unit that included the tremendous, central duo of Oliver Achille and Jeremie Agholor; keeper Edgar Paxi-Cato was largely untroubled except for an agile tip over from a free kick in the first half and some 'bending-down duty' to pick the ball out of his net in the second, after he was comprehensively bypassed from the penalty spot in the 64th minute.

Underpinned by such stolidity Hendon held the whip hand for most of the 90 minutes. On the quarter of an hour mark great work by Joe Patrick gave Kieran Warren the space to slip Nyv Bogaire in behind enemy lines and latching onto the oblique pass he lifted the ball over the keeper but past the far post. Midway into the half with his third attempt on goal Harry Riley smoked a 25 yard free kick that the keeper stretched to tip over. A minute later Nyv Bogaire's speed was again too much for the home defence and from his cutback Kieran Warren's firm hit struck his own player with a goal looking favourite! The exercise in frustration continued as other half chances came the way of Riley and Bogaire before Ryan Kukoyi displayed some dazzling skill and good appreciation of his teammates to first confound two players then play a slick 1-2 that forced a corner. Slung deep, Oliver Achille rose well and nodded down but Joe Patrick swivelling quickly couldn't quite get the right contact to open the scoring .Ditto for Ryan Kukoyi who, in the 42nd minute advanced on goal but hit the keeper with his right foot 15 yarder after a sharp, short corner move between Harry Riley and Kieran Warren had created the chance. Right at the end of the half Camberley came close to scoring as a long right wing cross was met at the back post and as it was returned low a richochet from a Hendon defender looped the ball just over the bar.

Half time: Camberley 0 Hendon 0

Coach Bukowski may have struggled generally to make himself heard over the House Music in the home dressing room but whatever was said hit the spot!

Within 3 minutes Hendon had a 2 goal lead!!! Complicit in their own downfall twice, the first goal followed a woefully short backpass reached by Nyv Bogaire, who headed the bouncing ball past the keeper. As he motioned to tap in he was pulled down as Camberley’s stopper desperately sought to retrieve the situation. Getting up to take the penalty Bogaire's shot was not wide enough but although the keeper effected a good stop the Hendon centre-forward reacted quickest to dive headlong to net the rebound. 0-1.

Confusion reigned again 2 minutes later as a massive block tackle sent the spinning ball Hendon's way and attracted the keeper from his goal to clear. Again Nyv Bogaire was too rapid and once he got to the ball first he lofted it goalward. Making sure the lob crossed the line Harry Riley touched the ball in from 2 yards out. 0-2

After this breathless start to the second half Camberley, to their credit, made a game of it. A strong 20 minute spell included some coherent pressure football and it looked occasionally like the home side had smuggled a 12th man onto the pitch! In the 64th minute the pressing finally told as a storming burst into the box was apprehended by Jeremie Agholor who looked crestfallen at the referee's decision to grant a penalty. Crunch! 1-2

Camberley began to see some joy, particularly on their flanks but each cross was manfully repelled by head, foot or other legal impediment. Redressing the balance slightly a brilliant Jordon Spearman run down the left burnt off the defence and the sharp cross at chest height sufficiently threw out Kieran Warren's co-ordinates for him to handball from 5yards, when a header looked a scoring option. Desperately seeking to put the match to bed, Camberley again aided the process with acts of charity that had us checking whether they were sponsored by 'Save The Children'! From their own throw-in the would-be recipient first was mesmerised then mummified temporarily as the ball reached a startled Nyv Bogaire. Doing everything right, cutting in on his favoured right foot and composing himself, a goal looked certain, until he slashed the ball wide.

All tension was ended though in the 81st minute as Bogaire, unabashed by his miss, turned the Camberley defence and laid the ball back to Harry Riley. Watching the ball right onto his toe, negating the crusty, uneven surface, he struck perfectly a shot of ridiculous power that the keeper barely saw. 1-3

There remained time for one glorious cameo of outrageous footwork from the latest Kareem Bandaogo 'Collection. 'This skill was a first, even for an observer of football over 40 something years: the speed and dexterity was such that a panel of Dynamo, Penn & Teller and Cristiano Ronaldo would have been unable to determine what and how it was done ! The poor left back was looking one way on the Tuesday, for a man and ball that had gone the other way on the Monday!

Final score: Camberley Town 1 Hendon 3

A quality victory over obdurate, persistent opposition. Again reduced in number by injuries, unavailability and a first-time, first team call up, the boys, galvanised on the night by Coach Bukowski, were to a man, 'on it'.

Due respect has already been paid to the magnificent defensive unit, but in front of it Joe Patrick and Ryan Kukoyi were like a pair of Venus flytraps and besides their recuperative powers - particularly in the first half - when they moved up a gear it was difficult for Camberley to stay with them. Menace abounded from the front players (once they remembered 'flicks' are for Christmas, passing is for life!). Overall, they had too much pace and movement to be subdued for long. Nyv Bogaire, in particular, ran himself silly and showed character to shrug off the disappointment of missed chances to lead the forward effort brilliantly.

In fact character defined the performance and there were many 'leaders' out on the pitch; cajoling, encouraging and at times admonishing, to get the last drops of effort from everyone. On a decent evening of football again we were presented with excellent officials of unfailingly good nature. Equally quality were the home parents, who are the leading contenders for 'Friendliest Support Of The Year'

Three points, well won. Next match at home to Enfield Town on Sunday March 6 2016

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Fabio Viel, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Johnie Scott, Ryan Kukoyi, Joe Patrick, Harry Riley, Jordan Spearman, Kieran Warren, Nyv Bogaire,

Subs: Kareem Bandaogo.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 24 February - Hendon 1 Hayes & Yeading United 4

Hendon and their Conference level visitors served up another treat of a match for those at the Silver Jubilee on a night so bitter that it was a miracle that all the spectators survived the 90 minutes! The action on the pitch was hot though and a game a lot closer than the score suggests was ultimately determined by some concussive finishing by Hayes and Yeading.

Chief executioner was their number 9 Dylan Kearney who hauled his team back from a goal down with a hat-trick and a performance that kept Hendon at full stretch for the whole game. The portents for a terrific match were evident early as an end to end start could have brought reward for both sides. Hendon edged ahead in the 16th minute when Jordon Spearman timed well a charge forward and linked up with Kieran Warren whose simple but astute assist found Joe Patrick 12 yards out who scored in style. 1-0

Manager Campbell would have extolled the virtues of consolidating the lead and 'keeping it tight ' after the goal; but in accordance with the current bleatings of Louis van Gaal, within 3 minutes, Murphy's Law' prevailed. Chasing down one of a number of speculative long balls upfield Kearney got to it first and taking on his marker slipped inside with a clever deception before touching and hitting, from 25yards, a shot of uncompromising power and swerve. 1-1

Only 6 minutes later Hayes and Yeading hit the front as a surefooted move opened up space again for their number 9, who had been waiting unmarked for what seemed a geological time period, to slide the ball wide of Edgar Paxi-Cato. 1-2

In keeping with the spirit in the team the disappointment catapulted Hendon straight back and some artful play involving Gillyane Silva and Kieran Warren provided the ball for Keagan Cole to bend in a pinpoint cross that Joe Patrick thrashed over on the volley. Cole was proving bothersome to the visitors' defence and having received a throw in from Nyv Bogaire he galloped away from two defenders but his shot, from an acute angle, was blocked. At the other end the Hayes and Yeading forwards also looked dangerous and it took a magnificent sliding block by Johnie Scott to prevent a widening of the deficit after some slick play. A 25 yard free kick singed EP-C s fingers and from the corner H&Y nearly got in at the back post, the header flying marginally wide.

Half time: Hendon 1 Hayes and Yeading 2

Manager Campbell would have been positive after the first 45 but that optimism was severely punctured within 50 seconds of the restart. Possession was ceded cheaply deep in their own half and the turnover momentarily unbalanced Hendon who were slow to close. Hayes and Yeading exploited it beautifully with, Kearney again running down the side, cutting in and as the defence and keeper prepared for the shot he classily squared for a teammate to slide the ball over the line. 1-3

Now a longer road back, Hendon started the journey at a sprint. An elaborate spell of passing led to Keagan Cole slipping in Joe Patrick who couldn't find a firm enough left foot finish. Directly from the ensuing corner the clearance eventually found its way to Keagan Cole who juggled the ball from his chest onto a fulminating right footed drive which was heading into the top corner from 25 yards until the keeper got a fingertip to it. Knocking repeatedly on the door Hendon were playing with belief and quality. Particularly down the right, where Kieran Warren and Jordon Spearman's joint enterprise was creating difficulties for H & Y, a goal always looked possible. Great positions, however, weren't maximised on a number of occasions, as Warren and the other flankman Kareem Bandaogo showed pace and great trickery but the final ball flattered to deceive.

Hope evaporated with 15 minutes to play as Gillyane Silva slipped in midfield and picking up the pieces the nearest Hayes and Yeading player advanced from deep and launched a 35 yarder that Edgar Paxi-Cato tipped on the underside of the bar but it landed from his perspective, the wrong side of the line, the officials correctly signalling a decisive goal. 1-4

Hendon refused to wither and a tremendous Kieran Warren run bedazzled his marker and a great goal was denied by the keepers ' foot down low. Hayes and Yeading rode out the storm and finished the game well, confidently passing and moving, before the excellent ref called the game off for the final time.

Final score: Hendon 1 Hayes and Yeading 4

Positives in a 1-4 defeat? After the last-gasp disappointment against Staines Hendon again performed with gusto, guts and great skill. Undone by not one but two 'worldies' the lads never gave in and were worth several more goals themselves. The difference was the finishing. Respect to Hayes and Yeading's top class marksman Kearney who notched a trio of goals and displayed a lot of quality and experience; while interestingly, he managed to combine respectful compliments on his marker's play with a metrosexual predilection to a bit of bottom-pinching in full view of the main stand!!!! Oo.... er missus!

Defensively, faced by a formidable opponent, who to be fair had good support from elsewhere, Hendon were decent in most phases of the game. Jordon Spearman, Johnie Scott and particularly Oliver Achille had fine individual games. Midfield was a competitive area and Gillyane Silva and Joe Patrick largely had the better of the exchanges supported in the first half by Ryan Kukoyi and in the second Harry Riley. Kieran Warren was excellent working hard up and down the flanks and when he stayed high Keagan Cole was a constant menace to the H&Y rearguard. Injuries crucially undermined Hendon as Ryan Kukoyi and Nyv Bogaire, who gave everything down the left flank, were immobilised and others were just about holding it together. That's football. Hayes and Yeading were a good side but again Hendon were punished for not taking more of their chances.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Johnie Scott, Ryan Kukoyi, Gillyane Silva, Joe Patrick, Nyv Bogaire, Keagan Cole, Kieran Warren,

Subs: Fabio Viel, Harry Riley, Kareem Bandaogo.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 21 February - Hendon 1 Wormley Rovers 0

You can keep your 3-4 thrillers - this is what winning league titles is really all about ...

Raw entertainment of the type witnessed in the Staines game is all well and good but success in any walk of life is determined by the ability to go beyond mere deployment of skills and to be capable of accessing reserves of character and belief when up against it. Depleted team, a succession of injuries, preposterous wind and obstinate, dogged opposition provided another searching examination for Hendon.

A game of fine margins was won with an 83rd minute goal by Kieran Warren who, from Dominic Short's well weighted aerial pass, made capital from a rare defensive mistake to bear down on goal and despite not making entirely clean contact, he guided the ball unsaveably to the keeper's right. 1-0

Until this point it had been an attritional exercise. Hendon had, as in most games, been in control largely from the outset but probing rather than penetrating. Highlights were minimal. Oliver Achille headed over in the 16th minute; Kareem Bandaogo and Jeremie Agholor, by turns, launched solo raids that promised more than they delivered and there were two long range hits from Harry Riley. That, broadly, was that.

Half time: Hendon 0 Wormley 0

The trench warfare continued after the break. Increasingly encouraged by their parity Wormley showed greater ambition and a belting 66th minute long ranger was indicative of their amplified belief. As was a tilting in the territorial balance, which was causing a sense of trepidation as the game entered its last 20 minutes.

As 0-0 became more probable than not, Hendon roused themselves to try and break the stalemate. Fabio Viel took the initiative, aggressively winning possession before hitting a scorching right footer from 30 yards that the keeper was waving goodbye to, had it been inside the far post. With 15 to go a fantastic move from right to left involving Kieran Warren, Kareem Bandaogo, Joe Patrick and Dominic Short ended with Jordan Spearman up from left back getting off a shot well saved by the keeper. Harry Riley let fly with another effort but Wormley's goalkeeper was well positioned. The pressure finally told. Warren's goal was rapturously received as much with relief as euphoria.

Immediately after the goal, as Hendon tried to see the game out, an exchange handbags occurred which the referee tidied up by issuing 3 yellow cards. Once everyone's concentration had returned to the football Kieran Warren was again released on goal but on this occasion with his second goal and a chance to close the game beckoning, he doubled back and the chance went.

The referee had seen enough and the 3 points were secured.

Final score: Hendon 1 Wormley 0

An important victory, extending the boys' lead at the top of the league. Defensively the play was better from set pieces and the clean sheet should breed further confidence. Positionally and individually the back four performed well. Elsewhere despite it being a struggle everyone did just enough against a Wormley side, chastened by the early season defeat in the return fixture, that were grimly resolute and capable of some good football as they showed in periods in the second half.

1-0 - a regular score in last season's double winning campaign-is a great result and Manager Campbell will hope to build on this fortitude.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Fabio Viel, Jeremie Agholor, Nyv Bogaire, Gillyane Silva, Joe Patrick, Harry Riley, Kareem Bandaogo, Kieran Warren,

Subs: Dominc Short.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 17 February - Hendon 3 Staines Town 4 - Part 1

The impressive constructs of the newly renovated Silver Jubilee Park hosted a top of the table clash that had more twists and turns than a good Agatha Christie novel. Topped and tailed by goals in the first and last minutes of the match, it was a great exhibition of football played with power, pace and at times, high quality.

The match ignited after only 45 seconds when Hendon, who had started the game with only 10 men (due to the late arrival of a player designated in the starting line-up!) appropriated the ball and Nyv Bogaire's ingenuity in striking from 35 yards was almost rewarded but the ball hit the inside of the post . Reacting fastest, Keagan Cole capitalised by joyously scoring from the rebound. 1-0

Staines, after recovering from their early shock, responded furiously and forced a number of set pieces. An 18th minute corner provided a great chance but the free header went wide. Reclaiming the ball almost immediately another break on their left brought an excellent chance for Staines but the winger's cross-shot passed just beyond Edgar Paxi- Cato's far post. Their tide of forward momentum provided a great opportunity from yet another corner but it was a case of ' too many cooks spoil the broth' as three Staines men contrived to get in each others way! With more pressure on his goal than was strictly healthy, Paxi- Cato was happy to pouch the ball on his line after a Staines man was granted another free header from 8 yards.

A recurrent theme that would fatefully resurface later.....

Hendon though were ever-dangerous and Nyv Bogaire's intricate footwork and pass almost put Zak Miles in. Harry Riley, as he does, used minimal space to rifle in a shot that stung the keepers' hands from 30 yards. As the game moved into its last 5 minutes Hendon unnecessarily gave away a throw in, midway into their half. Recovering their positions uncharacteristically slowly, the collective reaction was slack as the ball returned to play and a jinking run into the right corner of the box by the Staines right winger ended with a firm, if not venomous, hit to the near post, the ball sneaking into the corner. 1-1

The goal scalded Hendon into immediate retribution and Gillyane Silva, who again had been rumbling around midfield to great effect, made a penetrating run deep into enemy territory and only a hasty clearance prevented what would have been a very takeable chance for either Messrs Cole or Bogaire in the centre. No matter. From the ensuing corner the ball eluded everyone in the middle but was picked up by Keagan Cole. Facing away from goal 12 yards out he made a run that seemed to last longer than the 'Mousetrap', first heading away, then turning back in a wide arc, eventually beating a defender with sleight of foot and although his first effort at the target was repelled, he persisted and from the most unpromising of angles he somehow battered the ball past Staines keeper Churchill. 2-1

There was still time for a terrific Staines effort from 20 yards that marginally eluded the far post.

Half time: Hendon 2 Staines 1

Posted at 22:01

Wednesday 17 February - Hendon 3 Staines Town 4 - Part 2

Like a number of games, Hendon stormed out of the blocks at the start of the second half. Clever interchanges between Nyv Bogaire and Keagan Cole gave the latter a great chance but his snap shot lacked the necessary anger or direction. Cole, who led the line well all night, next was able to engineer space for a header from a corner but Staines's stopper again did well. Even more invitingly a Cole shot, spilled by the keeper, fell to Zak Miles and when he was denied the ball fell again to Cole who blasted over the bar from 6 yards. Hendon were dominating midfield, snaffling possession early thus suffocating Staines' attempts to break forward and in the 51st minute they fashioned another wonderful chance. Joe Patrick who was influential, spooned a cross ball in from the right and coming in behind the advancing Staines defensive line Nyv Bogaire threw himself headlong at the ball. Steering it smartly back across goal from 12 yards, keeper Churchill was beaten but agonisingly so too, by inches, was his far post. At the tail end of this maelstrom, with the vociferous (and occasionally amusing) Staines bench nearing total apoplexy Staines re-entered the contest. Garnering the ball and launching it quickly into the inside left channel their forward controlled at speed and sprinting beyond Hendon's optimum opportunity to apprehend him, before he entered the box, he struck low and hard for a fine goal in the 56th minute . 2-2

As I reached for a sedative the rollercoaster dipped and turned again in the 60th minute as Hendon restored their lead. Minimal space down the left failed to concern the lads as the ball, via a number of swift passes, found Keagan Cole midway into Staines territory. He protected the ball, laying it quickly to left back Johnie Scott, who instantly swept the ball cross field to his right. Although not necessarily finding its intended target Nyv Bogaire's speed made good the pass and collecting the ball centre field 30 yards out he feinted and turned towards goal. The feint opened up space and his pass seized upon it, connecting to the run of the indefatigable Joe Patrick whose force of will got him to the ball first and he lifted it over the oncoming keeper. Great goal. 3-2

Staines refused to take it lying down and the ball flashed several times across the Hendon box with their bench loudly questioning why there was no one to apply a finishing touch.

The referee was being kept busy as the tension rose and a number of yellow cards were issued in an effort to retain law and order. Critically, in one of the many intriguing foot battles Hendon won a foul but in the aftermath of what was a 'nothing scrimmage' the ref spotted an off the ball offence and had no hesitation in giving Zak Miles his second yellow card in a 2 minute period. That firmly put the 'Cat Among The Pigeons'. Hendon now faced over 25 minutes with only 10 men. Double punishment followed within 3 minutes as a left wing Staines corner drifted to the back post and although the Staines header hit the post the ball rebounded back into the goal, crossing the line before it could be cleared. 3-3

Undeterred Hendon came again, making light of the numerical disadvantage. Suddenly a number of chances came their way as the 10 Greens raised their game with an impressive level of skill and commitment. Keagan Cole had a fine opportunity but hit the keeper. Glovesman Churchill was then fully extended by Nyv Bogaire's goalbound header and minutes after, Gillyane Silva's buccaneering surge from midfield just lacked a finish. The next opportunity, probably the best of all, fell to Nyv Bogaire. A Staines corner was cleared and Keagan Cole held up play on the halfway line before servicing the run of Joe Patrick, who taking the ball spotted Bogaire haring down the middle. The pass was perfect and set the Hendon winger free but, slightly veering left he was closed down quickly by the keeper who made a smothering save and Bogaire was unable, from a prostrate position, to get enough purchase to force home the rebound.

Staines were also having moments to have this observer looking for something stronger than the sedatives as they came close in the 81st and 84th minutes. Yet another cross ball was missed by everyone, then a fine move that looked sure to bring a goal was kept out by the sheer collective willpower of Carlos Simeon, Jordan Spearman, and keeper Paxi-Cato.

The referee had long since signalled the game's final minute when a Hendon free kick was wasted and allowed Staines a final rush downfield. An unnecessary infringement halted their progress and for one last time Staines midfield schemer McAllister delivered the free kick. Slung deep to the far post, a couple of players were left unattended. Headed down and across the goal the ball escaped Hendon's defenders and was turned in at close range by a Staines forward to send his team wheeling away in wild celebration. 3-4. The final act was written, a point dramatically surrendered... 'And then there were none.'

Final score: Hendon 3 Staines 4

A wonderful game. In many ways a great performance. Not a single player had less than a 7/10 game and in Joe Patrick and the staggering Gillyane Silva Hendon had two of the game's top performers. The defence were aggressive and very good in open play while threat existed wide and up top in the shape of workaholic Nyv Bogaire and a mature centre forward display by Keagan Cole. Why it wasn't sufficient was down to what League managers describe euphemistically as 'details'.

Inattentiveness from corners and cheap goals conceded when on top, cost the boys. But if the team replicate this level of intensity game- in game-out they’ll be all right. For their part Staines showed magnificent resilience to come back 3 times and commendable ambition to keep going for victory after a second half when both teams could have been excused for accepting a point. Overall a magnificent evening's entertainment and to paraphrase one Staines parent 'It doesn't get better than watching your boy play in a match like that. Almost makes work bearable!'

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Johnie Scott, Nyv Bogaire, Gillyane Silva, Joe Patrick, Harry Riley, Keagan Cole,

Subs: Fabio Viel, Kareem Bandaogo.

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 10 February - Ashford Town (Middx) 0 Hendon 1

Clean sheet, 3 points, job done.

Hendon returned to winning ways with a victory more conclusive than the scoreline might indicate. The lads started perkily, with Gillyane Silva prominent and his electric combination with Kieran Warren hinted at the best of the Tigers. The impression that the boys were up for it was confirmed in the 10th minute by an adventurous run by right back Fabio Viel, an incursion rudely interrupted by a couple of unfussy hacks that brought Hendon a free kick. Stepping up, Harry Riley hit the resultant free kick off the bar with the keeper waving the ball goodbye. As Hendon tightened their grip Oliver Achille headed over, before a Nyv Bogaire's brilliant run and cross somehow eluded Gillyane Silva in front of goal.

Ashford summoned a riposte midway through the half from a swerving 25 yard free kick that was close enough to persuade Edgar Paxi-Cato that a dive was in order. Two minutes later, Ashford’s left winger reached a long ball before Hendon's keeper and a massive sigh of relief was virtually audible as the ball spun towards the empty net but just beyond the post. This interruption to Hendon's pre-eminence was halted by a magnificent move involving Fabio Viel, Kieran Warren Gillyane Silva and Keagan Cole that had it finished in a goal would have been a work of art. Eventually the Ashford dam was breached in the 42nd minute with a goal of stunning simplicity. Keagan Cole got on the ball and moving left he impishly nutmegged a defender and rolled the ball out into the path of Nyv Bogaire who accelerated past his startled marker , the cut back perfectly met by Harry Riley whose left foot shot swept past the keeper from 10 yards out. 0-1

A satisfactory first half came to a close: Ashford 0 Hendon 1

Consulting my notes after the game they bore an eerie similarity to the pattern of recent matches. Chance. Missed, Chance. Missed. Chance.....

Best to capture the litany in chronological order

50th minute: Keagan Cole released Nyv Bogaire but to no avail.

51st minute: Gillyane Silva purloined possession in midfield and romped forward. Able either to pass in a colleague or shoot he opted for the latter, cloaked the shot with the outside of his foot and permitted the keeper a straightforward save from a hugely promising position.

53rd minute: Harry Riley's eye- of- the- needle pass encouraged Junior Okeke into space behind the home defence. Smartly rounding the keeper to score into an empty net Okeke somehow contrived to miss the target!

55th minute: Keagan Cole's enticing free kick was met by Okeke’s head but though contact was good, direction was wayward and Ashford escaped again as the ball flew over the bar.

60th minute: Kieran Warren shimmied to the bye line and pulled the ball back to Junior Okeke who, though he had taken up a great position with an aggressive run to the near post, couldn't control his shot. Over again...

63rd minute: More excellent Hendon approach play down the highly productive right flank and the low centre travelled right across goal without friend or foe laying a boot on it; until it reached Harry Riley arriving at the far post. Surely a goal beckoned as Riley, one of the premier ball strikers in the squad got the ball on his favoured left peg. Remarkably, he failed to catch the shot sweetly but was still unfortunate to see his effort cleared from the line by a recovering defender.

There was more but I guess you've got the picture.

This profligacy, which proved expensive in our only defeats of this season, meant that going into the last 5 minutes the tension ramped up a notch, as Hendon defended the ridiculously thin 1-0 lead. And this margin for error was almost wiped out as a near post corner was well attacked by an Ashford player whose header was firm and heading for the top corner at the far post. Edgar Paxi-Cato, whose work had been routine but faultlessly conducted, took off like Superman in a hurry and diving high to his right not only reached the ball but caught it perfectly in two hands. Quality keeping and catching reminiscent of Clive Lloyd, the ex West Indian cricket captain (ask your Dads lads!)

If this was not enough excitement Hendon literally fell over themselves to offer Ashford another chance at an equaliser. Two slips in defence allowed centre forward Mpiana the chance to race clear and had his shot found the corner rather than tailing away from goal, it would have undone a whole evening's good work. Mercifully the referee blew for full time, the 3 points finally under lock and key.

Full time: Ashford 0 Hendon 1

Make no mistake, it was an important win, after recent results. In patches there was some brilliant football but the crucial performance indicator was the clean sheet. Defensively, there was an improvement in the duelling at close -quarters and as the team sought to build from the back, particularly early on , distribution from Fabio Viel, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon and Johnie Scott, was much better than the Ashford United game. Behind the back four Edgar Paxi-Cato was at his commanding best.

Midfield was the bastion of Gillyane Silva who bossed the central areas with his power and mobility, until he was shuffled by Manager Campbell into the right back position, where he had a similarly impressive game. As the changes were wrung to eke out the last drops from the depleted squad Johnie Scott's move into midfield was equally productive, as he expertly managed the game with intelligent, quick passing. Up front, Hendon generally kept their opponents at full stretch as the amount of chances would testify. The wide men, Kieran Warren and Nyv Bogaire particularly, had their opposing numbers in a regular state of turmoil. Ashford, ironically given their good home record, were less threatening than in the two previous encounters at Hendon this season but they plugged away gamely. Despite this, any kind of decent finishing by Hendon would have brought a handsome victory.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Fabio Viel, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Johnie Scott, Nyv Bogaire, James Flint (c), Gillyane Silva, Harry Riley, Kieran Warren, Keagan Cole,

Subs: Jeremie Agholor, Junior Okeke.

Posted at 22:00

Thursday 04 February - Ashford United 2 Hendon 1

Groundhog Day....! For those unfamiliar with Bill Murray's classic 1993 film, the main character was involved in events that took on an eerily similar feel, repeatedly echoing those that had gone before. Hendon could have been cast in the lead role! A la Hornchurch, Concord, Conquest and NPL the boys again dominated large tranches of the game, creating enough chances to have won 2 matches but were undone by 2 excellent, counter-attack goals, in which irresolute defending was complicit.

Like the previous defeats this season, of which all but one have been in Cup fixtures, Hendon began reasonably well, and without passing the ball particularly crisply, looked comfortable. Half chances for James Flint and Keagan Cole, were the best either team had to offer. In the 36th minute that changed. A corner that was cleared came out to Keagan Cole, whose presence on the left flank had attracted defenders out of position. Angling a ball further toward the bye-line Ryan Kukoyi's driving run took him into space and from there he curled a sublime left footed cross, first-time, onto the head of Oliver Achille, who'd made ground to meet it and send the ball hurtling into the top corner. 1-0

6 minutes later Nyv Bogaire who had started to buzz effectively between the lines, capitalised on a poor throw-in and rolled in Keagan Cole. Time seemed to stand still as Cole roared in on goal but he slightly scuffed his shot to allow the keeper to save. The importance of this multiplied, right before half-time, when a Hendon move broke down as the ball was forwarded to Cole, limping from his previous effort. A succession of sharp passes unlocked the Greens' left side and when the ball was switched back into the box their centre forward steadied himself and scored with a shot that lacked direction but cleared keeper Ben Jerreat's grasp. 1-1.

Half Time: Hendon 1 Ashford 1

Injuries forced Manager Campbell's hand at the break; this, and the late equaliser ensuring Ashford would have been the happier camp. Incited to put the disappointment behind them Hendon motored early on in the second half. The recovered Keagan Cole held off a marker after being found by Nyv Bogaire but his shot was saved. In the 50th minute another great chance fell Hendon’s way, Cole this time the provider but Jordan Spearman's shot lacked the necessary authority to beat Ashford's terrific glovesman. Folly was followed by punishment as some underweight tackling in midfield allowed Ashford to get the ball wide and from a superb teasing right wing cross two players were allowed to gang up on the far post and one of them nodded firmly down to score. 1-2

Response was bright and immediate. Nyv Bogaire was antagonising Ashford’s right back with his direct running and the hosts resorted to some crude 'momentum-killers' that yielded yellow cards for 2 miscreants. The fear had manifested itself after Bogaire had run through half the defence to end one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Again the keeper won, denying what would have been a memorable goal, with his feet. Hendon still were calling the tune, their play forcing Ashford back. However, there was some unusually imprecise approach work. An exception to this was a lovely move that flowed across then up the pitch through the simple passing of Fabio Viel, Ryan Kukoyi and Johnie Scott, who fired a proper ball into Junior Okeke's feet. Rolling the defender, as he managed to do on several occasions, Okeke sprinted forward and from 20 yards let fly with his right foot. Scorching high across the keeper he got a strong hand to turn the ball away for a corner.

With a quarter of an hour to go Ashford was struck by a bizarre sending-off. Having just been booked, one of their workaholic midfielders was beckoned to take a rest. Leaving the pitch to appreciative applause the player took off his shirt to reveal a decent abdominal rack, only to find that the referee, acting to the letter rather than the spirit of the law, was revealing a second yellow card!!! Expelled to the changing room his was not the only night dented by the impromptu striptease, as the waiting sub had to be hastily sat back on the bench since the full compliment of replacements could no longer be used!

Reduced to 10 Ashford dug in. It was a test of Hendon's ingenuity but unfortunately they became too quick to go forward and forced the play. Indeed the threat at the other end was more prevalent and 3 times Ashford nearly scored a match clinching goal. The boys replied with a couple of speculative efforts from Nyv Bogaire and Junior Okeke but neither could find the target. Hendon created one last chance as Kieran Warren's cross was met by Okeke 's half volley that eluded the angle of post and bar but this was the final scene, the referee blowing for Ashford victory.

Final score: Hendon 1 Ashford 2

Well done Ashford, who collectively gave everything. Thanks too to the catering ladies who brought out copious amounts of pizza and garlic bread! Best of luck for the final. The local support also created a great atmosphere and deserve credit for a spontaneous moment of levity late in the second half. When Manager Campbell, exhorted greater effort from one of his players, shouting 'This is football, it’s not a pantomime', the crowd behind him answered with a perfectly orchestrated chorus of ‘Oh yes it is!!!'

Hendon lost a game that customarily they win- concentration deficiencies at both ends undermining the effort to reach the final. Enough said by the fact that their keeper was the Man of the Match and was the busier custodian by a significant margin but in a game of this magnitude you dice with death if clear chances aren't converted. There were some fine Hendon performances: Fabio Viel, Ryan Kukoyi and Keagan Cole played well, while Nyv Bogaire was dangerous when he got the ball in wide positions. Up top stand-in striker Junior Okeke also showed some nice touches. Manager Campbell's work now will focus on bringing the finishing back to its sharpest and returning the defensive line to the steeliness that brought the EJA League double home last season. Lets hope there are no further repeats this season. All plenty to reflect on during what was a 90 mile homeward journey, with my vehicle's occupants either snoring, passing wind or doing Maths A-Level homework !!!

Ben Jerreat, Fabio Viel, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Johnie Scott, Nyv Bogaire, Ryan Kukoyi, James Flint (c), Zak Miles, Keagan Cole,

Subs: Carlos Simeon, Harry Riley, Kieran Warren, Junior Okeke.

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 31 January - Concord Rangers 3 Hendon 1

Time to see how good we can really be!

Hendon were beaten after a brave fightback that was millimetres from wrestling a 3 goal deficit away from an extremely motivated Concord outfit. With 8 minutes remaining and at 3-2 down Harry Riley picked up the ball in midfield and instinctively struck a 30 yard shot of such purity and ferocity that the ball had passed Concord's imposing keeper before he could move. Arcing and swerving in the air it looked certain to bring the equaliser, that would surely have tipped the momentum decisively in Hendon's favour. Instead, cruelly, the epic strike rapped the inside of the post and escaped being converted on the rebound. A relieved Concord saw out the remainder of the match, while Hendon could only ask themselves how had it happened...

Hendon had been in early control, decent possession characterising the exchanges. On the quarter of the hour a drilled Fabio Viel free kick found Oliver Achille's head, unmarked on the penalty spot but his guided header was not quite strong enough to beat the keeper's full length dive to his left . The sense of calm in the Greens' play was exploded by the concession of 2 goals within a 3 minute period, midway through the half.

A harmless diagonal cross ball was initially collected by Edgar Paxi-Cato, but the ball spilt, in the windy conditions, falling to a Concord forward. Initially surprised he controlled the ball and stepped inside to his right before hitting a full-blooded shot that went in off the underside of the bar. 1-0

In the next attack , in the 25th minute , another diagonal ball found Concord's buzzy left winger, who brought the ball down and shot in one (pleasing!?) movement, the ball again aided by the wind as it went over the keeper. 2-0

Chances to reduce the deficit were relatively few, as the boys cleared their heads but Nyv Bogaire, released by a perceptive Joe Patrick pass, was free through the middle but taking the shot early he missed the target from 18 yards out.

Half time: Concord 2 - Hendon 0

Visibly pumped for the second half Hendon started well but within 3 minutes had shipped another goal. Space too easily appeared on the Hendon right and when a low cross came in it was palmed out by Edgar Paxi-Cato but only into the path of the Concord centre forward who set himself and scored from inside the 6 yard box . With many opportunities to prevent it, this was a very bad goal. 3-0

Now a very long way back, Hendon immediately forced a reply as Harry Riley's vicious inswinging corner induced panic and the ball fired off a defender into his own net. 3-1. Concord began to look a little nervous and in the 65th minute their trepidation intensified as another Harry Riley delivery was spot on and his corner pre-empted a mad scramble from which Nvy Bogaire scored with an improvised backheel. 3-2

From there on Concord were hanging in, physically hurting and revolving substitutes to squeeze the max from their resources. They had a great chance to make the game safe but Edgar Paxi-Cato made a superb save with his legs to deny a Concord striker. Then came the Harry Riley humdinger. Had that gone in, one sensed Hendon would have had enough of a spiritual headwind behind them to have won the tie. Unfortunately it wasn't to be - Essex opposition again proving the team's nemesis. Well done Concord on an excellent disciplined performance - all the best for the rest of the competition.

Full time: Concord 3 - Hendon 2

If the boys can restore their usual class to the undoubted fighting spirit then a return to winning ways should be around the corner but the secret, as shown through our long unbeaten run, is collective desire and the appreciation that, for all our individual quality, the team is the star.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Fabio Viel, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Johnie Scott, Ryan Kukoyi, James Flint (c), Jordan Spearman, Zak Miles, Nyv Bogaire, Keagan Cole,

Subs: Carlos Simeon, Harry Riley, Dominic Short.

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 17 January - Hendon 1 NPL Youth 3

The quest for a 6th County Cup final in 8 years ended as Hendon succumbed to defeat at the hands of Twickenham based NPL. Chances squandered and slips in defence characterised the loss on a day that had a slightly haphazard feel to it from the moment that a key broke, locking the team out of their changing room after its warm-up!

The lads looked a little wooden early on and NPL were quick to seize the advantage. In the 14th minute a slip, as he turned to cut out a 'nothing' ball, left Jeremie Agholor trailing in the wake of the right-winger and he used the space to run in on goal and fire home a powerful shot. 0-1

Improvement followed for Hendon. Keagan Cole's flick header following a corner eluded the far post and Johnie Scott's introduction almost reaped dividends when his twisting run nearly created a tap in chance forcing a desperate clearance. It was no great surprise when, in the 23rd minute, a move of grace brought an equaliser. Ryan Kukoyi procured the ball and his pinpoint pass through midfield found Johnie Scott in space. Easing the ball wide immediately to Kieran Warren, support was provided by overlapping full back Jordan Spearman. Using that run as a decoy Warren cut inside then slipped a beautifully weighted ball into the path of Keagan Cole's angled run, and steadying himself he calmly beat the keeper with a deft finish. 1-1

Hendon enjoyed a dominant spell till half time. Johnie Scott and Kieran Warren made another chance for Cole, which, under pressure, he smashed into the side netting. In a similar movement, another Cole shot was hit missing at the near post before James Flint continued the pattern striking into virtually the same piece of side netting when well positioned. So much action was that piece of netting seeing some parents offered to nip down to the far end to move the goal a foot to the left, in the hope of guaranteeing some goals!

Johnie Scott backheaded over from close in before a glorious moment of improvisation from Keagan Cole in the last couple of minutes of the half, saw him shoot from 40 yards having appropriated the ball from a dawdling defender. The strike was perfect but unluckily hit the face of the bar and stayed out. Bar the early torpor Hendon had been in the ascendancy and goalmouth scares for Edgar Paxi-Cato were minimal.

Half time: Hendon 1 NPL 1

Straight from the kick off indecisive play led to NPL raiding and only a smart Jordan Spearman block prevented a goal. Two minutes later an unnecessary aerial infringement gifted NPL a free kick just outside the Hendon box. The 25 yard left foot inswinger lacked venom but the ball wasn't cleared and seemed to die in front of EP-C. It ducked under his body to give NPL the lead. 1-2

Again Hendon had to rouse themselves and Keagan Cole climbed well to head a Jordan Spearman cross but was denied by a decent save. Generally on top, Hendon were damned by their final ball. A brilliant run by Nyv Bogaire ended with a high cross when a low ball may have exacted greatest reward. A super dummy by Johnie Scott and a fine ball set Keagan Cole racing but although he got there first his powerful shot was too high. Next Jeremie Agholor mirrored Nyv Bogaire's earlier left wing run, but regrettably the cross again failed to find a Green shirt. NPL were defending well and were starting to give the impression of greater confidence, a sense supported by their creation of two chances within the 69th minute. A skidding 25 yarder went perilously close, before a golden chance was blown by a panicky finish.

As the game entered its last 10 minutes Hendon threw men at the issue and this shaped the events of the 81st minute. Johnie Scott, who d had an industrious game, propelled a fantastic cross from the left wing towards Keagan Cole who was pulling into space at the back post. His touch and goal record raised optimism as the ball dropped onto his right foot but uncharacteristically the cross got away from him. Cleared immediately down the pitch NPL won the ball and moved dangerously down the right wing and when the ball was pulled back the NPL centre forward collected, waited for a midfielder to run past him, slipped him the ball and then ran away to celebrate as his teammate slid a right foot shot past Edgar Paxi-Cato. 1-3

The breakaway goal flattened the game and induced some unusual indiscipline from within the Hendon ranks, an example of which led to a red card for Keagan Cole after a second bookable offence. Using the space afforded by playing 10 men NPL almost scored a 4th goal, the post denying a curling effort, but the sting had been well and truly drawn from the match by the time the referee blew for full time.

Hendon 1 NPL 3

To lose a semi-final is always galling, especially as the game was there to be won. NPL were disciplined, organised and their communication at the back was exemplary but Hendon failed to hurt them when they had the chance. Much was lost through the twin demons: running with the ball aimlessly, too far and too often, allowing the opposition to regain its shape and cover space; and the inaccuracy of the final pass and shot. It was instructive to recall that the Hendon goal came from the closest example of the team playing at its best; crisp, quick passing spreading the play at speed using weight of options and running off the ball to create the opening.

Now the team and Manager Campbell will think about how they can start another run and return themselves to maximum efficiency. Well done again to NPL and we wish them luck for the final.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Jeremie Agholor, Zak Miles, Nyv Bogaire, James Flint (c), Ryan Kukoyi, Kieran Warren, Keagan Cole,

Subs: Joe Patrick, Johnie Scott, Gillyane Silva, Fabio Viel.

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 13 January - Hendon 5 Camberley Town 2

Deprived of nearly a full team of players through injuries and unavailability 11 man Hendon passed a searching test of character against a very good Camberley side. Comfortably beaten in the League Cup in early December Camberley Mk2 were excellent: more creative, more energetic and brimming with belligerent aggression all over the pitch. During the first 25 minutes Hendon had plenty of possession, but in a distinctly Man United sort of way they were bereft of quality in their delivery and powder puff in their 'finishing'. Camberley came closest to breaking the stalemate as one of their midfielders took aim from 20 yards and looped his shot over keeper Edgar Paxi-Cato. Beaten through the flight 'The Cat' could only watch as the ball hit the face of the crossbar and fell to a lurking forward who despatched the rebound. Cries of celebration were stilled as the scorer was rightly flagged for offside.

Slightly woken from their slumber Hendon conceived a couple of half chances from which Nyv Bogaire and Kieran Warren couldn't trouble the keeper, whose biggest issue seemed to be avoiding freezing to death from cold and ennui! After such a colourless half Hendon would have accepted a scoreless draw at the break but into the final minute this 'ambition' was smashed. Camberley were not pressed hard enough in the midfield and the subsequent ball forward exposed a corridor to the left side of Hendon's defence. Exploited by a sharp run, the resultant cross was met by a weak defensive header which dropped invitingly at the feet of the visitors' right winger and after taking an age to get the ball onto his left side he scored with a half hit shot that seemed to go in in slow motion. 0-1

Not a vintage half.....

Half-time: Hendon 0 Camberley 1

Manager Campbell hustled back to the makeshift changing room knowing that medical work was required. By contrast to the sumptuous attacking play of Sunday's performance, in which the finishing was surgical in its efficiency Hendon now looked in need of a 'Crash' team to resuscitate it. Returning to the pitch early the weather was now as miserable as the first half display and had EP-C not tumbled to his right to make an exceptional full-length save keeping out a meaty 25 yard hit, immediately after the resumption, then the mood could have darkened further.

2 minutes later though, Kieran Warren teased his full back and his flashing cross at midriff height was flapped at by the keeper who was unable to pouch the greasy ball and Nyv Bogaire was on hand to level the score. 1-1

The gas ignited, finally Hendon were on fire and their renewed vigour was rewarded in the 56th minute. Jordan Spearman, who was taking every opportunity to raid forward from right back, supported Kieran Warren and when the ball was laid back he sent a first time cross towards the back post. Camberley's defence in their eagerness to clear got in each others way and Nyv Bogaire reacted like lightning to take advantage from 8 yards out. 2-1

Hendon looked like they might sweep over the horizon but Camberley gradually cleared their heads and in the 70th minute they broke quickly, exploiting a canyon of space in the home back line but the crisp left foot drive cannoned off the post with EP-C totally stranded. If Hendon had been warned then they were remarkably slow on the uptake, as the spirited visitors launched another raid, encouraged by the fact Hendon were temporarily down to 10 men. Two precise passes ripped a hole through the defence, which was still reorganising itself, and profiting from the chasm through the middle Camberley's centre forward calmly steered his shot past EP-C. 2-2

Around 19 minutes still remained and the 11 men of Hendon looked to be fraying. Tired legs were cramping and with Camberley justifiably buoyant, an away win was beginning to look a strong possibility. At the apogee of their pressure, in the 79th minute, Camberley won a corner. Slung in at pace it was heading toward the goal when the referee's whistle sounded to indicate he’d seen an offence. Nano-seconds later the ball hit the back of the net. Vociferous objections to the disallowed goal fell on deaf ears. A vital moment.

Inside 90 seconds Jordan Spearman again ventured forward and twisting and turning deep into Camberley territory he crossed low into the box. Rolling behind Nyv Bogaire who was positioned at the near post, the ball fell obligingly into the path of Zak Miles, coming in off the opposite wing, and he gleefully crashed home a tremendous right foot shot. Amazingly, 3-2.

Floored by this goal against the run of play, the tide rose over Camberley heads 3 minutes later as a brilliant one-two between Kareem Bandaogo and Kieran Warren eased the Hendon right -winger into a position to put in a low cross from which Nyv Bogaire converted for his hat-trick. 4-2.

The game had completely turned and was effectively over.

To add insult to injury, Joe Patrick, who had become increasingly involved the longer the evening went was instrumental in another charge at the now disconsolate Camberley defence. Finding Kieran Warren with a deft clip forward the Hendon winger pirouetted, having controlled the cross and although it looked like he may have taken too long to get his shot off he eventually lifted a right footed strike beyond the keeper's right hand, the ball swerving into the top of the net. 5-2.

All arguments had been put to rest.

Final score: Hendon 5 Camberley 2

Another extraordinary game, less for the football but more for the remarkable turnaround. Nyv Bogaire gave a demonstration in the art of being in the right place at the right time and took all his chances with aplomb to first breathe life back into the match, then to lay the grounds for its victory. Johnie Scott was terrific as a surrogate left back and from the other flank Jordan Spearman was dynamic - never looking like the same man who had suffered from a debilitating knock in the first half. Elsewhere, Kieran Warren and Zak Miles ran themselves to a standstill, at times literally, while captain Ryan Kukoyi, stood strong throughout the match, exuding belief and exhorting teammates to greater effort to get the game won. Manager Campbell could be proud of how all 11 in green fought relentlessly, many overcoming physical difficulties to see the game out. Even late-arriving sub Fabio Viel was unfit to participate; although he still made the effort to get to the ground, albeit on one leg via the number 183 bus!!! Team spirit rules ...

Luck played its part and excellent Camberley will play a lot worse and win but the overall desire in Hendon’s second half performance was difficult to deny.

Character 1 Fatigue 0 ...

Team: Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Johnie Scott, Ryan Kukoyi (c), Joe Patrick, Nyv Bogaire, Zak Miles, Kareem Bandaogo, Kieran Warren. Subs: Fabio Viel.

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 10 January - Hendon 8 St Albans City 4 - Part 1

Happy New Year... and what a welcome to 2016! A ripsnorter of a match that bobbed and weaved like Muhammed Ali in his prime. St Albans would go home reflecting, with a degree of justification, that they could have got something from the game. Which will sound weird considering that at half-time they were 4-0 down! 12 goals were scored at a rate of 1 every 6 minutes 45 seconds from the time of the opener in the 5th minute to the final strike of the goalfest in the 86th!!! Strap yourself in to (re-)live the rollercoaster...

5th minute - A short corner worked between Zak Miles and Kieran Warren was the prelude to a cross which the keeper could have claimed but for his teammate, who headed tamely away and in the ensuing melee Oliver Achille swung his right boot to score low. 1-0

8th minute - Some good probing play by St Albans outside the Hendon area was decorated by a lovely, chipped through pass to the centre forward whose run on goal was interrupted illegally by Edgar Paxi-Cato, flying from his goal. Clear penalty. Stepping up to level the score the St Albans right winger's shot lacked authority and Paxi-Cato redeemed himself, guessing right and diving right to make the save.

The next 20 minutes contained plenty of cut and thrust. Hendon came close through a delightful, dinked effort by Keagan Cole but chances were abounding at the other end. Enterprising St Albans hit the bar in the 20th minute and forced two good, full length saves from EP-C, whilst also managing to miss 3 more gilt edged chances with the goal beckoning! Every time they got the ball danger threatened.

30th minute - Football being football St Albans profligacy was punished, and by a goal of gobsmacking brilliance. Centre back Carlos Simeon pinged a 40 yard cross field ball from defence out to the right touchline where Kieran Warren's agility allowed him to control using his chest before looking up and planting another 40 yard diagonal ball over the head of the visitors right back. Mastering the ball instantly on the run, Zak Miles swept clear and ruthlessly stroked the ball home in one languid movement. Unplayable!!!!! 2-0

37th minute - Johnnie Scott's persistence on the left wing preceded a cross that had 'Head Me In' stamped all over it. Nyv Bogaire, rising in the middle, did just that. 3-0

42nd minute - Jordan Spearman released himself from right back and capitalising on some inattentive defending he strode in to smash a right foot shot low into the far corner. 4-0

The interval arrived with everyone stunned.

Half time: Hendon 4 St Albans 0.

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 10 January - Hendon 8 St Albans City 4 - Part 2

Strangely, there was still the sense of the match remaining 'on' despite the emphatic scoreline. Indeed, the roller-coaster got moving immediately again in the 2nd half.

48 minutes - The recurring pattern finally cost Hendon. Sloppy defending led to a St Albans player scoring at the second attempt from 10 yards. 4-1

51 minutes - Johnnie Scott's through ball played quickly and with perfect weight encouraged the keeper from his goal but Kareem Bandaogo proved too quick and sitting the St Albans stopper on his pants he tapped into an empty net. 5-1

54 minutes - The pattern continued. Sloppy defending led to a St Albans player flashing in another goal. 5-2

58 minutes- Can I shock you? Sloppy defending, this time from the left flank presented St Albans with a scoring chance which they gratefully and emphatically accepted. 5-3

Where would it end? St Albans were now running with even more intensity and purpose and spreading an aura of nervousness around the Silver Jubilee.

64th minute - the trepidation subsided as Keagan Cole, sent free by Harry Riley made the ball levitate steeply, as if by magic, to utterly confound the bemused keeper. 6-3

72nd minute - Revelling in the space Hendon were now enjoying, Harry Riley played a glorious reverse pass which shredded the St Albans defence and allowed Keagan Cole to again bear down on goal. Taking a touch to steady himself he then despatched the ball like a blur into the roof of the net. 7-3.

81st minute - A breathtaking exchange of ball and bodies on the left wing ended with Jeremie Agholor, coerced into space by Keagan Cole's flick, driving to the bye line and crossing low and hard to the near post, where the perpetually mobile Johnnie Scott finished from close in, for a thoroughly deserved goal. 8-3

86th minute - Almost fittingly, given their massive contribution to the entertainment, St Albans scored the final goal of the afternoon, a decent move creating the space for an unerring finish. 8-4

Full time: Hendon 8 St Albans 4.

More happened over the course of the match but the physiological need to eat and sleep before next Sunday precludes the inclusion of anything bar the facts in the account of this astonishing match!

After half a dozen goals it is difficult to analyse overall, but there were probably two, uncontroversial conclusions.....

St Albans were the most impressive attacking team we’ve faced this season: positive, pacy, with a good deal of craft they caused our normally rock-solid defence no end of headaches.

At the other end Hendon's sometime wastefulness was replaced, in this game, by finishing so clinical that the boys should have been wearing white coats and surgical masks! There were a range of tremendous goals headed by the second of the afternoon, a goal of such majesty that it would be hard to top at ANY level.

A month of stern tests has begun and Manager Campbell will hope the defensive slips were a mere aberration and that the forwards continue with their mercilessness until season's end.

Team: Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Jeremie Agholor, James Flint (c), Ryan Kukoyi, Keagan Cole, Nyv Bogaire, Zak Miles, Kieran Warren.

Subs: Joe Patrick, Johnie Scott, Kareem Bandaogo, Harry Riley.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 21:59

Monday 14 December - Hendon 2 Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2 - Part 1

More drama at Silver Jubilee Park as a game that looked safely under lock and key almost slipped into the abyss before goalkeeping heroics from Edgar Paxi-Cato spared Hendon's blushes. Drama had seemed far from likely as Hendon raced into a 2-0 lead within 21 minutes and memories turned to what had, in the end, been a decisive victory over Ashford in the league back in November. On that evening Ashford had caused not inconsiderable disturbance, twice taking the lead by virtue of their excellent attack before being comprehensively overhauled in a fine second period by the Greens. As Hendon scored their second in the 21st minute, after a free kick was untidily cleared straight to Keagan Cole whose concussive strike speared beyond the keepers right hand, the only disturbance Ashford seemed set to register was that made by their giant, mobile amplifier that they wheeled into the changing rooms, having deafened their coach driver/Chairman on their hour and three-quarter journey!

Hendon had garnered the lead four minutes earlier, somewhat against the run of play, as Gillyane Silva teed up Carlos Simeon following a short corner. Unable to fashion a shot himself, Simeon laid the ball off unselfishly for Zak Miles to thump a low shot in with his left foot from 18 yards. So 2-0, so far so good, especially as the boys were far from their percussive best. Nyv Bogaire nearly added to the score, Ryan Kukoyi drove over and Keagan Cole exposed the Ashford defence twice only to be denied by the keeper, with one of the chances followed up by Kieran Warren whose floated return effort missed its target. Warren passed up a gilt-edged chance in the 34th minute after a brilliant curling cross from the left wing by Zak Miles took out the defence and keeper and should have left a facile task to increase the lead, but the Hendon right winger failed to bundle the ball in. Signs of what was to come were evident at the end of the first period. Edgar Paxi- Cato who had made a fine early stop was called upon to make a formidable leap to his right to keep out a 25 yard free kick. Just before the break an Ashford corner was cleared off the line and the rebound was forced away by some desperate defence.

Half time: Hendon 2 Ashford 0

Ashford now entered the drama, stage left. 5 minutes into the second half indecision in the home defence encouraged the ever-dangerous Ashford centre-forward Isaac Mpiani to turn inside Carlos Simeon in the box and squirt his left foot shot under Paxi-Cato. 2-1. This mini-revival would have been crushed at birth had Oliver Achille's 30 yard free kick gone in, rather than hitting the top of the bar. As Hendon reassumed a semblance of control some magical Keagan Cole footwork supplied an opening for Zak Miles but he blazed over the bar. A similar outcome visited an attempt from Keagan Cole after a tremendous ball from Oliver Achille had bisected the Ashford defence and connected with Kieran Warren's penetrating run and subsequent cross.

Ashford were not going away. Their perennial nuisances, Mpiani and his henchman Keagan Stewart, were unnerving the Hendon back 4. Mpiani hit a 20 yard shot that was deflected just over the home bar and the nervousness in Hendon's play was palpable. It was no real surprise when in the 79th minute Ashford scored an equaliser. A sharp thrust down the right flank, which should have been better dealt with, saw an enticing chipped cross headed home by the Ashford left winger who had got goalside of his marker. 2-2

Uncomfortable moments followed for both sides as each sought the goal that would win the tie. Real chances were at a premium though as frenetic pace, rather than quality, ruled up until the final whistle.

Full time: Hendon 2 Ashford 2

Posted at 22:00

Monday 14 December - Hendon 2 Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2 - Part 2

Agreed before the start, since local regulations prevented the normal 30 minutes extra time, the game went straight to a penalty shoot-out. Now it was down to two keepers and 10 penalty takers. With Hendon in to bat first the drama unfolded as follows.

Pen 1. Keagan Cole, drove to the keepers right. Scored! 1-0

Pen 2. Ashford's taker elected to go to Edgar's left. EP-C's footwork was electric and his panther like agility was rewarded as he pawed the shot away. Saved! 1-0 Hendon.

Pen 3. Ryan Kukoyi went low and hard to the keeper's right, as he took off to his left but the ball eluded the post. Missed! 1-0 Hendon.

Pen 4. Ashford's 2nd taker opted for power but inadequate direction betrayed him as Edgar threw himself to make the stop. Saved! 1-0 Hendon.

Pen 5. Kieran Warren stepped up and roofed his right foot shot, the ball beating the keeper's desperate flailing. Scored! 2-0 Hendon.

Pen 6. Pressure optimal, keeper unbeatable, the Ashford player decided to blast his way to goal. Smashed high over the bar the pressure had won. Missed! Hendon 2-0.

Pen 7. The responsibility fell to defender Oliver Achille to win the match and he coolly obliged with a dismissive wave of his right foot. Scored! 3-0

Penalties: Hendon 3 Ashford 0

Hendon were through to the semi-finals.

Once the emotion had subsided, the facts needed consideration. Ashford were excellent: well led on and off the pitch and for parts of the game - early in both halves and late in the game - were the better side. Hendon appeared to suffer from some complacency after getting such a positive start and unusually, a number of players individualised the match far too much; running up blind alleys, ignoring better placed team mates and overplaying in key scoring situations. As a consequence the team was some way off its best. However, they fought hard throughout and ultimately won, to continue the long winning run. Manager Campbell will reflect on a game that could have got away but didn't and much of the credit for that goes to the exploits of Edgar the Saviour!

Next match is at home in the EJA Cup v Concord Rangers on Sunday December 20th.

Edgar Paxi- Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Joe Patrick, Gillyane Silva, Ryan Kukoyi (c), Keagan Cole, Nyv Bogaire, Zak Miles, Kieran Warren.

Subs: Fabio Viel, Johnie Scott, Harry Riley.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 21:59

Sunday 06 December - Hendon 3 Barnet Azzuri 1

In FA Cup parlance, the encounter against Barnet Azzurri was a banana skin waiting to happen, a la last year's surprise expulsion at the same stage against Potters Bar. The ingredients were all there. Local derby, opponents well enough known personally to dull some of the edge from our boys, vociferous support from an away following that expected little but a fun afternoon and 100% commitment from their team, and above all a well-prepared Azzurri outfit with some very good players.

Clearly proficiently drilled by their management Azzurri majored on not leaving space by pointlessly pressing and shrank back into a 4-5-1 shape designed to frustrate Hendon and stay in the game until the latter stages. What Hendon needed was an early goal and Nyv Bogaire's 2nd minute shot from outside the area almost provided it, pressing the visitor's keeper into his first save of the afternoon. Thereafter the game had a 'phoney war' feel to it. Hendon meandered through periods of almost total possession but were so bereft of attacking intent that one half expected to spot Louis van Gaal in the dug-out! As the misplaced passes and poor distribution decisions mounted up Hendon nearly conjured the lead when Keagan Cole and Johnie Scott provided some brighter football and Nyv Bogaire was just unable to connect with a cross to the back post. In the 24th minute Jeremie Agholor disturbed Azzurri's organisation bursting past a number of players on a 50 yard run that ended with a left footed shot well stopped by the keeper, who was beaten shortly after but only after being unfairly molested from a free-kick, an act seen and penalised by the referee.

As half time beckoned Kareem Bandaogo attacked the box from the right wing. Attempting to nutmeg the Azzurri left back Bandaogo executed the first stage but as he sought to collect the ball the line of his run was blocked and he fell from the impact. The referee was in no doubt, later asserting that anywhere else on the pitch it was a foul, and pointed to the spot accordingly - a decision most felt was fortuitous. Banged home authoritatively by Keagan Cole, the 44th minute penalty sent Hendon in a goal up.

Half time: Hendon 1 Barnet Azzurri 0.

Manager Campbell would have re-iterated the need for a better tempo in the second half and his chat seemed to do the trick as Hendon bristled with intent from the outset. Immediately, Nyv Bogaire's darting run and pass allowed Keagan Cole a look at goal from 25 yards and his right foot shot brought the keeper to make a good diving save low to his left. In the next attack, in the 47th minute, Harry Riley's pass was taken on by Nyv Bogaire who hurdled two challenges on the left wing, at speed, before approaching the bye line and floating over a tantalising cross, which was too high for the keeper to collect. As the ball fizzed from his gloves Kareem Bandaogo arrived at the back post to expertly head down and across the goal for 2-0.

Forced out of their defensive shape Barnet responded well and 10 minutes on created a good chance with a fine cross by their number 11 failing marginally to be met by Azzurri number 7 Luke Duckworth. The game belatedly had the feel of a Cup tie and with Azzurri having nothing to lose there was more space all over the pitch. Jeremie Agholor almost punished Azzurri after another adventurous run from deep that was only halted by a heavy tackle on the edge of the 18 yard area. Hendon themselves were losing some shape and midway through the second half, when the ball was given away cheaply Barnet launched a counter attack that culminated in an early delivery from their right wing, which was adroitly met by their centre forward who steered the ball confidently beyond Edgar Paxi-Cato. 2-1

With the game back in the balance the combativeness of the players increased and the on-pitch temperature cranked up a couple of degrees. The general edginess was exemplified 8 minutes from the end when an innocuous clash between Azzurri’s number 4 and Kris Gecaj ended with some unnecessary primary school-like pushing and shoving. Teacher, with a flourish of his red card, sent both boys back to their parents with instruction that neither should be allowed out again for a few weeks.

Reduced to 10 v 10 for the final minutes, the game was poised on a knife edge with Barnet clinging to hope of sending the match into extra -time. Despite a prevailing, slight sense of nervousness Hendon won a corner entering the last 5 minutes. Out on the right hand side, Harry Riley took the corner short to Kareem Bandaogo who returned the ball to him as he moved in from the touchline. With space ahead crowded Riley responded to the call of Ryan Kukoyi who was positioned in support 30 yards out, right of centre on the pitch. Receiving the ball, he danced inside a challenge with the drop of a shoulder before the midfielder looked up and unleashed a banging left foot shot that arrowed into the top corner leaving the keeper grasping thin air; the ball ricocheting out of the goal as it hit the stanchion as the spectators, realising a tremendous goal had been scored, broke into spontaneous and appreciative applause. Great goal. Take a bow son! 3-1

As important a strike as it was quality, the goal assuaged any remaining Hendon insecurities, which would have been stilled further as Kareem Bandaogo brilliantly ran through the middle and skated round the keeper only to see his shot at the open goal cleared by a magnificent chase and goalline slide by Azzurri's game central defender. Right at the end Azzurri almost forced a consolation when an excellent free kick was unable to be kept down from 4 yards and this was the last action as the referee whistled to signal the accession of Hendon to the Middlesex FA County Cup semi-finals.

Final score: Hendon 3 Barnet Azzurri 1

After so many top drawer performances recently there was an element of After the Lord Mayor's Show, but the boys still did enough. Azzurri played well with their policy of containment but maybe with more ambition earlier, they may have taken advantage of the Greens not being at their best. Probably best remembered for Ryan Kukoyi's brilliant goal the banana skin was averted and Manager Campbell and his squad can look forward to a semi -final while their next game gives them the opportunity to reach the same stage of the Ryman League Cup with a home tie against Ashford Town on Monday December 14.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Fabio Viel, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Jeremie Agholor, Johnie Scott, Nyv Bogaire, Ryan Kukoyi, Joe Patrick, Keagan Cole,

Subs: Kris Gecaj, Harry Riley, Kareem Bandaogo.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 02 December - Hendon 3 Camberley Town 1 - Part 1

Lots was going on before this cup tie. Off the pitch Manager Campbell had several headaches caused by a number of absentees due to illness and injuries.

Camberley made a legitimate nuisance of themselves by taking the lead in the 11th minute. Your correspondent was in the toilet at the time so the account of the goal is second hand but from an unimpeachably reliable source! (Apparently) a long ball induced unease into the central defensive axis of Oliver Achille and Carlos Simeon and led to some urbane behaviour straight out of the 1940's British version of the manual 'How to Be A Gentleman',

'After you Ollie old boy ...'

'No after you Carlos, I insist'.

Neither of them went and the chance was taken by Camberley's striker who, failing to observe any niceties, additionally benefitted from keeper Ben Jerreat erroneously assuming that the shot was going outside, rather than inside, the post. 0-1

Sparked into life, Hendon equalised within 6 minutes. Nyv Bogaire reacted quickest to a loose ball 10 yards into the Camberley half. Gaining possession he loped forward into space and switching the ball from his right to his left side he hit a dipping shot from 25 yards that caught the keeper slightly off his line. Great goal. 1-1.

Hendon were now cooking like Mary Berry! Kieran Warren started to dazzle and from his right wing cross Keagan Cole nearly scored. As momentum gathered Cole changed pace in the inside left position and an electrifying burst took him past 3 men to the bye line. His left foot cross was perfect but from under the bar James Flint, who’d made up a lot of ground, somehow couldn't convert. Bigger and bigger holes were being carved into Camberley's fortifications, particularly on their left as Jordan Spearman and Kieran Warren were combining like the Two Ronnies in their pomp! From one such combination Warren's brilliant slaloming run should have brought the second goal but the finish was no laughing matter, the keeper's feet stopping Hendon taking the lead. Time and again Warren evaded the clutches of his marker and after a scintillating move of precision at pace, involving Nyv Bogaire , Jordan Spearman and Keagan Cole, he hit another shot again repelled by the keeper's feet.

As half-time drew near Hendon finally grabbed the advantage. A high, dropping ball was absorbed by the delightful chest control of Keagan Cole facing away from goal 40 yards out. Deciding nothing better was on he turned and powered past his startled marker and spotting a gap between centre half and right full back Cole headed for the space. Entering the area he hardly broke stride before despatching a violent low left foot shot from 12yards that was hit just too well for the keeper. Another fantastic goal. 2-1

The relief in the ground was tempered slightly as Camberley reminded everyone of their underlying threat, but their striker's smart turn and shot snapped just past Ben Jerreat's far post.

Half-time: Hendon 2 Camberley 1

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 02 December - Hendon 3 Camberley Town 1 - Part 2

After the resumption Hendon looked to finish the game quickly. Zak Miles's dribble from the left wing into the area, nearly did just that, but the shot lacked sufficient power. As Hendon built up another head of steam a long ball up to Keagan Cole was masterfully taken down as the Greens' number 10 rolled his assailant and having got goal side he scampered into the box, took dead aim but fired his cross- shot inches wide of the post. With Cole enjoying his equivalent of the 'Harry Riley Second Half' as 'that' performance at Wealdstone is now referred to, it wasn't long before he was juggling the ball over defenders and a sublime passage of high end skill culminated in him hitting a 25 yard shot that whistled just wide .

It was really one-way traffic and while Hendon weren't at their liquid smooth optimum they were in commanding form. Too quick and powerful in midfield, where Gillyane Silva and James Flint's recuperative powers were to the fore, the forwards were getting plenty of chances to put the game to sleep. In the 63rd minute Jordan Spearman, now playing as an auxiliary right winger, issued a clever ball behind the defence that Nyv Bogaire ran onto but he pulled the chance wide. 3 minutes later sub Kareem Bandaogo's disco-like shuffle twisted and turned the right side of Camberley's defence inside out but with the goal at his mercy he blazed high over the bar as he attempted to put a hole in the netting.

A 1-2 between Keagan Cole and Jordan Spearman would have brought a classic goal but again the finish lacked the requisite accuracy, so Camberley hung on. Indeed within a 5 minute spell Camberley had 2 chances to have equalised against the run of play. First, a cross from the right was punched by Hendon stopper Ben Jerreat but it was more down than away and as it fell to a Camberley forward the spectators awaited the bulge of the net. This expectation failed to account for the heroic efforts of Oliver Achille who threw himself prostrate, like a green shirted Emily Pankhurst, in front of the ball and diverted the shot to safety. Shortly after a very neat and tidy piece of play offered up a chance from 20 yards that a Camberley midfielder struck just wide of the right hand upright.

Fortunately these cameos were a mere interruption of Hendon's hegemony. Another thrilling move was concluded by flying full-back Jordan Spearman eluding censorship on the right flank and whipping over a beautifully weighted cross that just glanced off Nyv Bogaire's head with a goal beckoning had contact been firmer.

The clincher finally arrived in the 82nd minute and what a beauty it was. Keagan Cole, who by now was strutting around like Harry Styles, broke towards the Camberley goal and released a pass of perfect weight and timing. It rolled into the path of Kareem Bandaogo, who had he been a road car would have been in court for excessive speeding. Flashing past his opponents at such pace the draught could be felt in the stands, he latched onto the ball and shaped to shoot past the advancing keeper. At the last minute Bandaogo elected to roll his foot over the ball several times, sitting the surprised keeper on his pants and the sheer audacity and perfection of his manoeuvre left him an open goal into which he walked the ball. Showmanship on a grand scale! 3-1

That was that.

Full time: Hendon 3 Camberley 1

Another win and, a performance of entertaining moments, rather than the sustained brilliance of, say, the first 45 at Aldershot . Except for the early stages around the time of Camberley's goal, Hendon always looked the stronger outfit. Again the defence were outstanding, deserving due respect for a collective effort that sucked the life out of Camberley's lively strike-force. The versatile Johnie Scott must also get enormous credit; filling in at left back he got better and better the longer the game went and his aggressive defending subdued a potentially dangerous customer on Camberley's right flank . Respect too for Camberley’s players and parents - an unfailingly good-natured crew, who cheerfully (and unsuccessfully) tried to haggle down the £3.00 admission fee but generously held up their hands to applaud the football from our lads. Lets hope it didn't take you 2 hours to get home!

Like many games this season chances were created in abundance; testimony to the speed, creativity and hard work that allows the boys to surgically open up the opposition. On this occasion the 3 goals were sufficient but it would be more reassuring if the ratio of goals to chances crept up. Manager Campbell, would sleep well again tonight as the anxieties of the late withdrawals and the illegitimate footwear saga recede into the distant memory.

Next match Middlesex Cup at home to Barnet Azzurri on Sunday, 2pm kick off.

Ben Jerreat, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Johnie Scott, Fabio Viel, Gillyane Silva, James Flint (c), Keagan Cole, Nyv Bogaire, Zak Miles, Kieran Warren

Subs: Fabio Viel, Kris Gecaj, Harry Riley, Kareem Bandaogo.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 21:59

Monday 23 November - Aldershot Town 2 Hendon 4 - Part 1

To use an old adage: 'it was a game of two halves.' Ferrari-like in the first half, Ford-like in the second, Hendon eased themselves over the line to stay top of the table. On a pristine surface, lovingly prepared by the remarkable 96 year old groundsman at the homely surroundings of Godalming FC (apologies for my gatecrashing of a board meeting taking place in the kitchen!), Hendon donned a cloak of invincibility during an opening 45 minutes that would rival the very best performances the team have ever put together over the years.

The boys produced a masterclass. Commanding at the back Fabio Viel, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon and Jeremie Agholor were unbeatable. The indefatigable engine room trio of Nyv Bogaire, Ryan Kukoyi and Joe Patrick procured ownership of the midfield, whilst the forward line of Jordan Spearman, Keagan Cole and Zak Miles created a world of discomfort for their opponents. Confidence was boosted as early as the 3rd minute when pressure from the front forced a loose pass, seized upon by Ryan Kukoyi. Laying the ball quickly forward to Joe Patrick, he in turn adroitly found Jordan Spearman on the right flank. Wasting no time Spearman sent in a devilish cross that was misjudged by an Aldershot defender inconvenienced by the early delivery and Zak Miles joining play from his left wing position finished with a well-controlled volley into the bottom corner. 0-1

1 became 2 in the 10th minute as Hendon's effervescence overwhelmed their opponents again. Jordan Spearman's persistence won a corner and Zak Miles was called upon to provide an inswinger. The ball was perfect and Nyv Bogaire profited, rising steeply amongst a scrum of bodies to nod firmly home. 0-2

The lads were running amok despite Aldershot stretching every sinew to rein them in. As an example, Ryan Kukoyi captured the ball in midfield stopping dead an Aldershot manoeuvre. Kukoyi shuttled the play forward to Zak Miles whose beautifully weighted first time ball sent Keagan Cole into space on the left flank. Fantastic footwork by Cole bewitched his marker before a low cross forced some fantastic defending by the Shots' number 5 (not for the first time,or last !) to prevent a certain 3rd goal, as Nyv Bogaire and Jordan Spearman awaited a tap-in. The reprieve was temporary. In the 28th minute after missed chances for Zak Miles and Nyv Bogaire, Hendon won another corner, this time on their left. Entrusted again to Zak Miles the execution was perfect; dropping the cross onto the forehead of Oliver Achille, who still had much to do, but his forceful contact magnificently spiralled the ball into the top corner for his 7th goal of the season. 0-3

Hendon's vivacity was uncontainable and Keagan Cole stung the keepers' hands from distance. As a precursor of later travails Aldershot did make a break which threatened to reduce the arrears. The hard-working number 7, Brandon Lewington, who throughout the night had the mother of all battles with Jeremie Agholor, struck a curling right foot shot that hit the cross bar and induced enough panic for Oliver Achille to try and clear whilst on his knees! Home hopes for a late first half rally were quashed as Hendon scored a fourth goal that symbolised their magnificent first 45. Oliver Achille, whose distribution from the back was of the highest class, oozed calm as he rolled the ball forward. Possession was assumed by Jeremie Agholor and Ryan Kukoyi, who kept the ball moving by passing quickly back to Oliver Achille. He hit a penetrating ball to Zak Miles, who despite losing his footing managed a challenge that looped the ball into the air. Keagan Cole darted in to contest the aerial duel, which he won and meeting the dropping ball he set off left to right before despatching the ball wide to Jordan Spearman. The pace on the pass encouraged the Aldershot left back to believe he might win the ball but Spearman's deft touch took it away from him on the outside. Sensing numbers flying into the box Spearman's right foot cross was curled to the near post where Nyv Bogaire appeared like a blur diving horizontally to plant a header into the net. 0-4. Sensational goal, sensational half.

Half time: Aldershot 0 Hendon 4.

Posted at 22:00

Monday 23 November - Aldershot Town 2 Hendon 4 - Part Two

The boys received an appreciative ovation at half time while Aldershot looked shell-shocked. Sport being sport though the 15 minute recess altered the chemistry of the match, for which there may have been a number of reasons:

1) With the job, more or less done it was difficult for the boys to maintain the same intensity.

2) Fatigue began to creep in as the team had played only 24 hours earlier

3) Aldershot presumably having received what euphemistically may be referred to as a strong 'geeing -up' from their management displayed passion, pride and pace as they sought to salvage some positives from the game, by winning the second half.

...or

4) Maybe, we just didn't play very well!

Whatever, it was a markedly different feel to the second half. Notwithstanding this, twice before the 55th minute Hendon may have gone 0-5 to the good. Joe Patrick slapped a 25 yard shot of serviceable quality on target, which the keeper did well to field cleanly before, shortly after, a brilliant sliding tackle by Ryan Kukoyi that retrieved the ball into Hendon custody gave Jordan Spearman the chance to hit a piercing pass low toward Keagan Cole. His impudently subtle flick wrong-footed the Shots' defence and Nyv Bogaire accelerating from midfield latched onto the ball but to the surprise of everyone hit his shot into the side netting. That would surely have killed any Aldershot pretensions. As it was they enjoyed a 20 minute renaissance from the hour mark. Particularly in wide areas Aldershot began to get some joy and in the 64th minute a fine move ended with their tricky left winger bringing a good save from Edgar Paxi-Cato to stop the well hit shot from 18 yards. Aldershot's next attack, three minutes later, paid dividend. A ball over the top was contested by Carlos Simeon and Shots' number 9 Ben House. Getting there first House looked to clip the ball across goal but the ball struck the Hendon centre half at very close quarters. As the referee prepared to wave play on his assistant signalled that his interpretation was that it was a handball. Questionable... The penalty once given was slotted without fuss by the workaholic House. 1-4

Aldershot's reaction suggested they assumed the goal was no more than a consolation but 5 minutes later the home contingent grew a little more excited after one of a number of cheaply conceded free-kicks offered Aldershot the chance to load up in the box. The ball was swept in and the hitherto rock-solid defensive organisation crumbled as a red shirted forward had oceans of space to steer a soft shot past Edgar Paxi-Cato from 10 yards out. 2-4.

The temperature raised a few notches and it got a little tasty as tackles flew in and Hendon's zen-like calmness was replaced by some early stage panic symptoms. These may have been exacerbated had what looked like a worthwhile shout for an Aldershot penalty been upheld. It was surprising it wasn't given too, as the assistant on that side seemed preternaturally disposed to prosecute any perception of a Hendon misdemeanour. Meanwhile the near official had a great game and had, in the first half, correctly flagged offside an Aldershot goal that may have revived the home team much earlier. In the 77th minute Aldershot's resurgence almost received more encouragement as a free-kick from 20 yards flicked the top of the bar when 6 inches lower would have brought the score back to 3-4 .Phew!

The tempest eventually blew itself out around the 80th minute as Aldershot finally seemed to resign themselves to being beaten by the sands of time. Hendon re-emerged from their battle bunker and asserted a measure of control that brought two late chances to put a final gloss on proceedings. Ryan Kukoyi parcelled up an opportunity for Keagan Cole with an exquisite 30 yard ball that dissected the Aldershot defence. Cole's fantastic run wasn't quite matched by the finish which he dragged wide. Late on, Kieran Warren sprinted into the box and shot low down but the keeper blocked; from the ricochet Jordan Spearman looked favourite to put it in but he was stymied by weight of numbers and as the ball was laid back Gillyane Silva, powering forward from midfield, struck a right foot shot that looked sure to go in but hit one of several defenders guarding the line. The frenzied action was completed as the ball dropped from the defender's chest to the feet of Keagan Cole who managed an air shot and the ball was eventually scrambled to safety. After what felt like an interminable amount of injury time the excellent ref brought the game to a breathless end.

Full time: Aldershot 2 Hendon 4

All things considered (ie points 1-3 above) it was a brilliant win. Football of the highest order was played against a decent Aldershot outfit in which numbers 5, 7 and 9 wore their shirts with great distinction. Hendon's performance was all the more pleasurable for the excellence of their teamwork. Silk mixed with steel meant no challenge was shirked and once the ball was won every player revelled in their ability to express themselves. The result, some mesmeric patterns and non-formulaic, winning football.

The show now moves back to another tough assignment next Wednesday December 2nd at home to unbeaten Camberley Town in the Ryman League Cup 2nd round.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Jeremie Agholor, Fabio Viel, Joe Patrick, Ryan Kukoyi (c), Keagan Cole, Nyv Bogaire, Zak Miles,

Subs: Kieran Warren, Gillyane Silva,

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 21:59

Sunday 22 November - Hendon 5 Cheshunt 0

Hendon reinforced their position at the top of the EJA Herts division with a victory of a run-of-the-mill nature at a cold Silver Jubilee Park . With winter nipping away at the toes Hendon generated plenty of first half heat but took nearly 30 minutes to break the deadlock. Fleet of foot and quick of mind the first 25 minutes brought no measurable reward but by then Jeremie Agholor had hit the bar with a cross, Kris Gecaj had gone close and Harry Riley even closer.

Strangely the opening goal in the 26th minute emanated from a rare Cheshunt break; the ball intercepted by Carlos Simeon, who carried the ball for 20 yards before he sprayed a ball to right winger Jordan Spearman. Hurdling one challenge and outpacing another Spearman approached the bye line and crossed low, a delivery met purposefully by Kris Gecaj at the near post. 1-0

Pressure intensified on the Cheshunt goal and although the post was hit and a looping Kris Gecaj header was helped onto the bar the second goal came via the right boot of Jordan Spearman, lifting the ball cheekily into the top corner from 15 yards after a protracted spell of pinball in the penalty area, following Johnie Scott's run and cross. 2-0

Hendon radiated confidence, fusing passages of sedate possession with fleet footed combinations using the width of the pitch to destabilise the Cheshunt fortifications. Oliver Achille struck a barnstorming drive just too high and the Cheshunt defence was on red alert as a wave of attacks flooded towards their goal. Sustained backs-to-the-wall defending was punctured eventually by a third goal created by Kris Gecaj, boring his way through the middle. Although a Cheshunt foot ended his progress the breaking ball was latched onto by Harry Riley who swerved a banana shot with the outside of his left foot around a defender and the keeper's left hand. 3-0

Half time: Hendon 3 Cheshunt 0

In truth the second half was like a Red Nose Day charity football match, lacking shape and intensity. One half expected Gordon Ramsay to appear in his kitchen whites! Of substantive note there was little. Worth recording was a 48th minute strike by Kris Gecaj, who ran onto a slide rule pass by Joe Patrick and noticing that the keeper was quick to leave his line he lobbed him with consummate ease. 4-0.

Moments later, looking for his hat-trick Gecaj was released by Nyv Bogaire and he crashed a fulminating drive from 20 yards that rattled the crossbar.

The remainder of the match was an exercise in Hendon over-elaboration, which manifested itself in errant decision-making and lack-lustre finishing. As the game degenerated as a spectacle in the biting conditions Oliver Achille provided the final piece of joined-up football. Rampaging around in midfield he danced his way forward and fed Zak Miles, whose shimmering dribble created disarray. Playing the ball back from an angle in the box Miles's pass was towards Harry Riley who was in full stride, but he cleverly stepped over the ball, leaving Achille in space 15 yards out, from where he controlled the ball and rammed it home fiercely for the defender's 6th goal of the season. Go Big Man! 5-0

Final score: Hendon 5 Cheshunt 0

3 more points collected with a more than satisfactory result. Another clean sheet was recorded for Edgar Paxi-Cato and his defensive team of Joe Patrick, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, and Jeremie Agholor. Their hard-working Mums will again be pleased at one less item to wash! With another match only 24 hours away less energy could have been expended had there been fewer 'lone wolf ' attacks that ignored simpler and better options which would have doubtless provided more goalscoring opportunities but, c'est la vie.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Jeremie Agholor, Johnie Scott, James Flint, Kris Gecaj, Harry Riley, Ryan Kukoyi, Joe Patrick,

Subs: Zak Miles, Nyv Bogaire

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 15 November - Wealdstone 1 Hendon 6

Wet underfoot, windy overhead.... it was Wealdstone (again)! After the wild-goose chase of the week before Hendon's players and parents, all over North and East London, were up unnaturally early on Sunday morning eagerly crowding around their mobile phones awaiting definitive imperial confirmation from deepest Harrow, where a(nother) last minute pitch inspection was taking place. Declared 'on', the Middlesex County Cup game proceeded on a surface that was part mud, part quicksand - but it was fine, a throwback to the days before sports administrators and Health and Safety combined to outlaw the possibility of football in all bar the most perfect conditions.

Ultimately comfortable, the progress to the last 16 was only confirmed deep into the second half as a welter of late goals finally overwhelmed the plucky yeomanry of Wealdstone. The potential of a cup shock had been raised as Wealdstone swept into the lead on the quarter of an hour mark. An intended outswinging corner by Wealdstone's busy number 15, moved left to right on the gale and deviating in the air wildly the ball dropped over the head of the bemused Hendon keeper Edgar Paxi-Cato to go in directly. 1-0

At this stage Hendon were somnambulistic with Wealdstone pumped by their unexpected lead, tackling and chasing with relish. The home team's elation was muted after 21 minutes when Hendon's first move of note brought an equaliser. Precise passing on the right led to Joe Patrick combining with Jordan Spearman whose flashing low cross was turned in 6 yards out by Nyv Bogaire. 1-1

Asserting a degree of control despite playing into the headwind Hendon could have taken the lead, as a delicious piece of skill by Keagan Cole - lifting the ball over an opponent's head before meeting it on the other side - unfortunately lacked a sufficiently ruthless finish. Soon after Cole eased a perfectly weighted ball to release Johnie Scott but the keepers' legs kept out the left footed shot. A similar opening, this time from the right, presented Jordan Spearman with a chance but his shot hit the side netting.

Half Time: Wealdstone 1 Hendon 1

After the huffing and puffing (literally) of the first half Hendon assumed the advantage of both slope and wind. Manager Campbell made a pivotal decision, introducing Harry Riley into the midfield. Inside 3 minutes he made his presence felt delivering a beautiful free kick that Johnie Scott headed over. Freed by Nyv Bogaire's short pass Riley then forced a fine save from the keeper, before his corner, fizzing across the box was unbelievably missed by friend and foe alike, when a goal seemed certain. As the Riley show continued a superbly struck 59th minute free kick from 30 yards hit the post with the keeper beaten. Was it to be 'one of those days'?

Moving into the last 20 minutes the excellent referee awarded Hendon another free-kick, again about 30 yards out but marginally more central than the previous one. Stepping up, Riley rifled in a left foot shot with a similar trajectory, but this time its flight was just under the bar and it flew in. Fantastic goal 1-2

Wealdstone's obduracy shattered, Hendon poured forward. Thoroughly enjoying himself Harry Riley thrashed a 20 yarder just over before providing an inch perfect corner for Oliver Achille to score, his now customary goal, with a close range header in the 82nd minute. 1-3

Within 90 seconds a progressive move down the right featuring astute hold-up play by Keagan Cole and an energetic run and cross by Jordan Spearman ended with the centre deflected into the path of Nyv Bogaire who did the rest. 1-4

Perked up by this, Nyv Bogaire used his pace to unhinge Wealdstone out wide and although his cross was just too high for Johnie Scott in the middle, Keagan Cole retrieved the ball and rolling it back unselfishly to the ubiquitous Harry Riley the resultant delightfully clipped cross was met emphatically by Nyv Bogaire's firm header at the far post. 1-5

The Harry Riley gala performance continued as another left foot rasper would have brought a further goal but for a tremendous tip over by the keeper. Moments later Keagan Cole produced a defence-shredding surge of pace that neutralised 3 defenders but his deliberate, curling finish just missed the far post. In the dying embers of the game some wrecking-ball tackling by Joe Patrick saw him wade through several challenges. After the ensuing bagatelle with the ball bouncing off various players, it finally landed at Patrick's feet 12 yards out and he buried the opportunity with a low right footer.

Final Score: Wealdstone 1 Hendon 6

Given the 'proper Sunday league' conditions and the spirited display by Wealdstone it was a decent win. Embellished by the late goals the score eventually reflected the nature of the game but that is not to discredit Wealdstone, for whom their defence and goalkeeper had excellent games and their number 9 had a great scrap with Jeremie Agholor, who had to be at his impressive best to subdue the Wealdstone man's considerable efforts. Those football historians amongst you may recall the Stanley Matthews Final of 1953; here we had the Harry Riley Second Half, during which nearly everything he touched came off! Good on you H...

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Jeremie Agholor, Johnie Scott, James Flint (c), Keagan Cole, Nyv Bogaire, Fabio Viel, Joe Patrick,

Subs: Harry Riley, Ryan Kukoyi

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 04 November - Hendon 5 Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2 - Part One

Bonfire Night Eve brought fireworks to the Silver Jubilee Stadium as Ashford rolled into town to contest a thrilling match! As per recent performances Hendon started like a house on fire, procuring possession and raiding rapaciously. In the first 6 minutes Nyv Bonaire could have, and Keagan Cole should have scored from incisive breaks. An early hint of Ashford insurgence was, however, provided after only 8 minutes by their own breakaway, initiated by resistance ring-leader, centre forward Isaac Mpiane whose cross-cum-shot forced a goalline clearance from Jeremie Agholor.

After some penalty box skirmishing Keagan Cole almost opened Hendon's account but his shot was blocked and ricocheted to Zak Miles on the left hand side of the penalty area. His tantalising low centre was inches beyond the ambit of the stretching Gillyane Silva 6 yards out. Ashford’s response was immediate; skilful manoeuvring of the ball through passive Hendon resistance in midfield allowed right winger Mason Roseboom a shot which he sent just over. As play swung to the other end again a wonderful passage of one touch passing between Jeremie Agholor, Zak Miles, Ryan Kukoyi and Nyv Bogaire plotted an opening for Keagan Cole whose fierce shot brought a plunging save from the keeper and agitated a defender into a panic-stricken clearance that dropped just over his own bar! On 25 minutes Nyv Bogaire beautifully controlled a ball dropping from height and in one movement turned to hit a 25 yard sparkler that rocketed just over the bar.

Two minutes later Hendon's defensive edifice was blown asunder by a grenade tossed up the pitch by Ashford. Cast in the Guy Fawkes role, Ashford’s support striker Trad Otman latched onto a long ball through the middle, ineffectually defended, and he smuggled it beneath Edgar Paxi-Cato, Hendon's protector-in-chief. 0-1

Roused by the rifling of their dominion Hendon fought back furiously and Keagan Cole came close to firing an equaliser but his cross shot was pulled wide of the right hand post. Within a minute Cole had made amends. Nyv Bogaire's devastating turn of pace outstripped the right side of Ashford's defence. Squaring the ball appetisingly across the box Kieran Warren, not for first or the last time, looked certain to score but his shot was blocked by an Ashford footsoldier. Fortunately it fell to Keagan Cole who wielding his right foot with lethal intent smashed the ball home low and hard. 1-1 after 32 minutes

Parity was restored. Only fleetingly, however, as inside two minutes another simple ball exposed a gap between Carlos Simeon and Jeremie Agholor exploited fully by one of Ashford's troublesome arch-conspirators, number 7 Mason Roseboom, who finished with aplomb to regain the lead for his side. 1-2.

Ashford's defiance nearly translated into a more commanding lead as the third member of the mutinous forward trinity, Keegan Stewart was granted the amount of space that would have disturbed a sufferer of agoraphobia, but he shot too high to exact retribution.

As Hendon strove to get level the last action of the first half saw Zak Miles at his mercurial best ambling by his marker to detonate a left foot cross shot that would have found the top corner but for the intervention of Ashford's keeper Aiden Bishop.

Half time: Hendon 1 Ashford 2

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 04 November - Hendon 5 Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2 - Part Two

Contrasting emotions existed as the players retired for a well earned break. Ashford would have been delighted at their efficiency in front of goal, their application to the task and of course, their lead. Manager Campbell, hurried away thoughtfully, no doubt rueing more wastefulness in the box, while composing the requisite words of wisdom needed to effect a change in the game.

5 minutes into the second half an Ashford attack was half cleared and Nyv Bogaire midway inside his own half was involved in a foot race as the ball approached the touch line. Scintillating pace got him to the ball first and, characteristically aware, he responded to a call from Keagan Cole to deliver an inch perfect curving right foot pass, which arced beyond the Ashford left back and exposed their left sided central defender. Threatening behind, Cole had timed his run perfectly and though he looked 3rd favourite behind the advancing keeper and his marker, he nicked between them and toe poked the ball into the net from just inside the area. 2-2

Now ablaze, Hendon looked to go for the jugular. Ryan Kukoyi, picking the ball up in the centre of the pitch ripped a hole through the midfield with a driving run creating space for Nyv Bogaire who skated underneath a robust effort at a shoulder charge by the now overworked left back, the wonderfully named Tommy Fright, but his pull back to the near post was drilled agonisingly wide by Keagan Cole.

With the portcullis at the back now being effectively drawn down by Jeremie Agholor and Carlos Simeon, Guy Fawkes and his merry men up front were starved of meaningful service and they became more deployed adding to the weight of numbers trying to stop Hendon's relentless forward movement. On the hour Joe Patrick intercepted a misplaced Ashford pass midway in his own half and first time swept the ball low and hard up to Keagan Cole in the centre circle. One touch to control, the second despatched the ball wide to Kieran Warren who was on the gallop. Receiving the ball on the right flank he advanced to some 40 yards from goal before he elected to flight a superb angled ball over the defensive line to be met memorably at the far post by the buccaneering run of Joe Patrick who’d continued his sortie from left back to finish with a magnificent right foot volley from 12 yards. A sensational goal. 3-2

Minutes later, the now rampant Hendon manufactured another clear chance. More excellence from Nyv Bogaire and a typically mazy dribble by Zak Miles teed up Keagan Cole who lofted wide. Hendon's play entered a spell of percussiveness that was proving impossible to subdue and when another bout of sharp passing involving Kieran Warren, Zak Miles and Nyv Bogaire created an opening for Keagan Cole he instantly wrapped his right foot around the ball from the penalty spot to hit a banger into the top corner for his hat-trick. 4-2.

Ashford's insurgence was virtually crushed: the light behind their game plan extinguished by the confluence of Hendon's effervescence and the fatigue borne of their gargantuan effort in the first half. Kieran Warren, one to directly benefit from the extra space, three times in 10 minutes should have netted. Twisting and turning he freed himself before lifting over; clean through he contrived to spoon over Joe Patrick's majestically weighted pass and after a phenomenal double one-two with Keagan Cole a goal that would have brought the house down was denied by the keeper’s stop. In the midst of this one way traffic Keagan Cole almost added a 4th goal to his personal tally after another first-class combination between Kieran Warren, Zak Miles and substitute Kris Gecaj. Ironically after the regal brilliance of some of the football the 5th goal in the 86th minute was notable for its comedic value. Ashford's keeper, electing to clear long downfield hit a lower than desired trajectory which nearly decapitated Kieran Warren, who had routinely gone to close down. While Warren was in a state of semi-consciousness from the blow, he achieved what he had been manfully trying to do all evening as the ball looped from his cranium over the keeper and into the net! 5-2

Ashford were finally hung, drawn and quartered.

Final score: Hendon 5 Ashford 2

After the 10 man win at Northwood, this was another type of examination passed by Hendon. The lads were unaffected by the half-time deficit to a very useful and determined Ashford outfit and came out to deliver an impressive second half performance. The defensive aggressiveness lacking in the first half was implanted after the break, as Jeremie Agholor joined Carlos Simeon in central defence to severely restrict the wriggle-room of the dangerously willing Ashford number 9. Jordan Spearman and Joe Patrick, coming off the bench to step in at left back, had great battles with Ashford's 11 and 7 respectively - a triumvirate of arguments that needed to be won to truly suppress the rebellion. Crucially, defending on the front foot not only denuded Ashford of their venom but allowed midfield in which deputy captain Ryan Kukoyi and Nyv Bogaire were absolutely outstanding, to initiate wave after wave of attacks. As ammunition abounded it was left to the forwards to maximise their opportunities and in the second half, Kieran Warren and hat-trick hero Keagan Cole, aided and abetted by Zak Miles finally lit the gunpowder to crown an explosive win.

Credit again to Ashford and a mention also for the referee Andrew Williams: permissive but firm, a clear disciple of the use of common sense - a model for some of his Premier League counterparts? I doubt it, but you never know.

Manager Campbell left a satisfied man, pleased with both performance and the three points that keep the boys at the top of the early season table.

Next match away at Wealdstone in the Middlesex Cup on Sunday November 8

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Oliver Achille, Carlos Simeon, Jeremie Agholor, Ryan Kukoyi, Kieran Warren,Gillyane Silva, Keagan Cole, Nyv Bogaire,Zak Miles,

Subs: Harry Riley, Fabio Viel, Joe Patrick, Johnie Scott, Kris Gecaj.

Posted at 21:59

Thursday 29 October - Northwood 0 Hendon 2

Good at times, backed against a wall at others, reduced to 10 men for nearly 40 minutes and on a night of high winds and near incessant rain, this was a proper game! Gorging themselves on 20 goals, amidst champagne performances, in their last 3 matches, this was the other side of football; the side on which collective belief and deep reservoirs of team spirit are forged; as hard yards, relentless desire not to yield and disciplined attention to the job won Hendon 3 valuable points.

The story began with what looked to be a continuation of the recent dazzling displays. In the first 5 minutes Keagan Cole had nutmegged an opponent to create space for a nonchalant finish when maybe something less subtle may have been more effective. Three minutes on and Kieran Warren, playing in an unaccustomed left wing role due to absentees, tangled up two defenders with a characteristic jinking run before firing over from 25 yards. Remuneration for the early enterprise arrived on the quarter of an hour mark. Gillyane Silva powered through a tackle and slowing the pace looked inside for support. Opting to lay the ball square his pass caught his intended target, Keagan Cole, unaware. Hesitating momentarily, Cole seemed to realise late the ball was within his compass and at pace set off to win it, 25 yards out centre field. Applying the after-burners he reached the ball first and ran right to left pursued by Northwood defenders, who now sensed danger. Cole turned right with a devastating further burst of acceleration that took him into the box, from where he unleashed a left foot piledriver that was still rising as it scorched in between the angle of post and bar at the keeper's near upright. Another magnificent Hendon goal, 0-1

Nyv Bonaire, Cole's accomplice up front began to get in the game and for the next 20 minutes tortured the Northwood rearguard. A run of searing pace deserved better but he was unable to varnish his hard work with a finish. Another jet-heeled piece of play out on the left flank ended with Bogaire's intelligent pull back finding Jordan Spearman but his left foot shot rose inches over the bar.

Interrupting Hendon's control Northwood's first real riposte almost brought a well-worked equaliser in the 27th minute. A lovely weighted straight ball was met by a well-timed angled run which took the Northwood centre-forward clear on goal. His low shot looked good but Edgar Paxi-Cato's right foot saved the situation. Invigorated by the oxygen of this rare chance Northwood created a similar opening minutes later, again necessitating agile and alert keeping from Paxi-Cato to protect his side's advantage. These scares jolted Hendon back into life again. Neat hold up work by Keagan Cole was embellished by Nyv Bogaire's combination play that allowed Jordan Spearman to join the attack, but his well hit shot was marginally high once more. Before half time there was yet another unaccepted chance for Spearman, who was kept company by Gillyane Silva and Nyv Bogaire, all of whom could have increased the lead. When the 45 minute whistle went it all felt fairly routine.

Half time: Northwood 0 Hendon 1

Early second half exchanges continued in the same vein with Northwood being kept at a distant arm's length. Then in the 53rd minute the game turned controversially. Jeremie Agholor shepherded a ball out of play, proving too muscular for a Northwood forward who was trying hard to keep the ball in. Unbalanced by their endeavours the pair fell in a tangle of arms and legs. Perception and reality became divorced as Northwood saw ill-intent in an innocuous swinging boot caused by the contact of the two players and their subsequent tumble. A melee ensued. When the altercation had subsided Agholor was adjudged to be guilty of foul play and was shown a red card. On his birthday, the incredulous player disconsolately trudged back to the changing room leaving Hendon's 10 men with close to 40 minutes to survive.

Now the anti was raised. Northwood were suffused with bullishness on the bench and testosterone on the pitch. Running and challenging with double the power it seemed they now had 14 men. Red shirts clamoured for the ball and Northwood played some decent high-pressure football. Each attack was met by obdurate collective resistance. Always a foot, or a head, a tackle or an interception frustrated the home advances. No one shirked their duty as, appropriately being an RAF base, Northwood resorted to an aerial bombardment to break Hendon's resolve. Header after header cleared danger, the dark hair of Oliver Achille outstandingly prominent.

On the break Jordan Spearman, galloping clear had a great chance on his left side, but maybe mindful of his earlier misses tried to manipulate the ball onto his right foot but by this time the window of opportunity had firmly closed. The clock seemed to have stopped as Northwood sent forward their defensive artillery at the slightest encouragement. Hendon remained steadfast. Reflecting the tension in the game, rather than the severity of the offence, Ryan Kukoyi joined Oliver Achille in the referee's notebook.

In the 89th minute a Hendon long throw down the left was allowed to reach Jordan Spearman who guided it into the path of Keagan Cole. Sensing his chance Cole darted to his left and in the same movement smashed an unanswerable shot beneath the keeper from an acutely unpromising angle. 0-2

Game, set and match!

Final Score: Northwood 0 Hendon 2

Jubilation at the final whistle was fully justified. There were obviously the 3 points, but even more important was the Hendon satisfaction in the manner of the victory after such a testing examination of their physical and mental determination. Heroic performances abounded. Gillyane Silva was indefatigable from first to last, in the middle of the park; midfielder Joe Patrick, filling in at left back, was tremendous; while Ryan Kukoyi, as the heat reached its highest, recovered from a colourless first half to enjoy a storming second period. Keeper Edgar Paxi -Cato was calmness personified on the night and the back five as a unit were awesome, covering space and anticipating danger better than at any time this season. Upfront the bold raiding of the Greens' forwards, Messrs Bogaire, Warren, Cole and Spearman, individually and in concert always kept Northwood at full stretch. Towering above giants though was central defender Oliver Achille. Unbeatable in the air, impassable on the ground - he was absolutely awe-inspiring.

Manager Campbell’s post-match brandy and coke was welcome succour after an evening of tension, in which his boys had done him and the club proud. As a post-script, the crestfallen Jeremie Agholor and his defensive partner Carlos Simeon were both serenaded by their teammates on the occasion of their 17th birthdays. Congratulations all round lads- as a show of character that was as good as it gets.

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 25 October - Wormley Rovers 0 Hendon 6 (Part 1)

Another brilliant performance by Hendon was illuminated by some sensational goals, as the boys stormed to the top of the league table. Catapulting out of the traps from the kick off the quality in the display rarely abated, save for a period of 'show-boating' in the second half, after which the boys resumed their swaggeringly dominant football.

The portents were ominously positive as early as the 4th minute. Oliver Achille climbed above the home rearguard to get a header in, after Jack Cassen had kept Kieran Warren’s corner alive. The goalbound header evaded the keeper but was nodded off the line. No matter. 2 minutes later Ryan Kukoyi's raking ball cross field released Johnie Scott, who teased a cunning, lofted left footed pass towards the box. Flicking from the head of a defender at full stretch the ball dropped into no man's land just outside the area. Approaching, somewhat diffidently, Junior Okeke initially looked like he would be beaten to the loose ball by either his teammate Kieran Warren or a nearby defender, so it was a surprise to everyone as he languidly swung his right foot to cleanly rifle in via the left hand post. 0-1

In the next attack of substance on 11 minutes, Junior Okeke and Keagan Cole expertly exchanged positions carving out a clear channel of space. Cole needed no second invitation to fill it, scampering through on goal like a hare pursued by defensive hounds. Looking like he was going to pull the trigger with his right foot he forced the keeper and two defenders to desperately throw themselves in the line of the expected shot, but they were dumbfounded as the Greens' number 10 slammed on the brakes, transferred the ball with a drag of his right boot behind his standing foot and having totally changed direction and succeeded in opening up the entirety of the goal he lifted the ball impudently into the unprotected net. A goal of magnificent ruthlessness and imagination, reminiscent of the grainy footage of Best, Law or even Greaves (check 'em out on YouTube lads, if you're interested in a tutorial on finishing!) 0-2

Completely neutered by their opponent's opening salvo Wormley struggled to gain any semblance of influence on the game, their only efforts being of a long range nature. Relatively content with their fast start Hendon settled for a spell of containment but the mischievous front four of Warren, Cole, Okeke and Scott carried an ever present menace. Tacit threat became direct danger for Wormley in the 37th minute, as Jack Cassen retrieved Kieran Warren's cross and when the ball fell 15 yards out in a central position to Keagan Cole the outcome was inevitable : the ball despatched firmly with the aid of a deflection beyond the slightly unbalanced goalkeeper. 0-3

Before half time Hendon thought they had scored again as Johnie Scott slid the ball into the path of Ryan Kukoyi's thrusting left flank burst and although his pull back eluded a number of players it eventually found Gillyane Silva approaching the box. His 20 yard shot was miscued into the path of Junior Okeke, whose quick -thinking, back-heel beat the keeper but was flagged offside by the linesman.

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 25 October - Wormley Rovers 0 Hendon 6 (Part 2)

Immediately from the restart Kieran Warren's searching cross from the right was met meatily by Junior Okeke's head but the keeper displayed excellent agility to tip over. Minutes later, Jeremie Agholor appropriated an intended Wormley pass forward and from the halfway line his turbocharged dash took him past all the home cover but his left foot shot was kept out by the outstretched hand of the overstretched keeper. Next, Joe Patrick provided a light- hearted interlude. Evidently a keen student of the Rugby World Cup Joe snatched at a left foot shot that was more Dan Carter than Jamie Vardy, sending the ball sailing miles over the high protective netting behind the goal!

In the 55th minute, the comedy was replaced by a thriller as Junior Okeke gathered the ball with his back to goal and proceeding to roll his marker he set off on a spellbinding 40 yard run that increased with pace the longer it went, before he applied a sublime slide-rule finish low to the keeper's right. 0-4

There then followed 5 minutes or so of what could be called ‘Strictly Come Dancing' stuff: all sequins, frilly collars and fake tans but straying from the requisite high levels of professionalism, which is the true foundation of Tigers' football. Reined in by Manager Campbell the boys recovered their poise and purpose, looking much the better for it. Normal service resumed, Ryan Kukoyi, found by Kieran Warren's unselfish pass, sent a 30 yarder just beyond angle of post and bar; before a tremendous passing move between Keagan Col , the assertive Gillyane Silva and Joe Patrick, freed the latter, who would have been disappointed not to finish off what would been a masterpiece as he was foiled by Wormley's no 1. The keeper's save was only the prelude to a quite electrifying strike 2 minutes later in the 79th minute. From a free kick 30 yards out left of centre, having shown his mettle in training, Oliver Achille was entrusted with the strike, ushering away with confidence more obvious candidates. The bravura was amply rewarded as the centre half delivered a deadly concoction of pace, power and curl to put the ball into the postage stamp: that spot in the top corner where all players know that even the best keepers can't do anything about. Wonder strike. 0-5

By now the space afforded (or earned, depending on how one looks at it) was being used to cut huge swathes through the opposition with football, redolent of the now ancient masterclass from the great Leeds United, when they dismantled Southampton 7-0 in the 1971/2 season (again, check it out if you weren't around at the time - breathtaking!) At the apogee of the demonstration a spell of protracted keep ball was thrillingly concluded by a killer pass, lifted over the defence by Keagan Cole, into the run of Ryan Kukoyi who buried his left foot shot mercilessly between the legs of the advancing keeper. 0-6.

The curtain fell on the show with the final score: Wormley 0 Hendon 6.

The squad, missing a number of players, deserve copious credit for their performance. Keeper Paxi-Cato looked assured, communicated well and made a fine late save to protect his clean sheet; full backs Jordan Spearman and Jeremie Agholor kept their shape well, helping to give greater solidity to a defence in which Oliver Achille and Jack Cassen - enjoying his best game of the season - were imperious .Gillyane Silva showed the muscular intent of a club bouncer but the touch of a midwife in centre midfield, while his partner Ryan Kukoyi gave an all-round midfielder's display of the highest order. Out wide Kieran Warren treated his full back to a chastening morning and on the other wing Johnie Scott, returning from injury, was his usual bright and intelligent self. Gilding the work of this group the front two were first-class. Junior Okeke, on his first full outing, was terrific, leading the line with strength and subtlety, drawing murmurs of admiration from home spectators. Alongside him Keagan Cole, in a rich seam of form, scaled hugely watchable heights of creativity. Joe Patrick, notwithstanding his oval ball moment, played simply but effectively, using the ball well and showing some lovely touches. Last but not least, Ricardo Campbell de Leon introduced to suffocate the space on the Wormley left, did just that. Reliable in the air and safe on the deck his opponent barely got a kick.

In the face of this quality certain Wormley players showed fantastic application, none more so than the defensive (!?) number 9, who blocked and tackled himself to a standstill and the keeper, who made several super saves. For Manager Campbell, with another away fixture this week and a tough November programme ahead, the work is to maintain this period of devastating form and to train on to improve even further.

Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jordan Spearman, Jack Cassen, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Kieran Warren, Ryan Kukoyi, Gillyane Silva, Johnie Scott, Keagan Cole, Junior Okeyke,

Subs: Ricardo Campbell De Leon, Joe Patrick, Nyv Bogaire, Carlos Simeon

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 21:59

Sunday 25 October - Young Greens top of both leagues

Having hit top spot in the Ryman Youth League on Wednesday, the under 18s are also now top of the Eastern Junior Alliance as well.

This morning they ran out 6-0 winners at Wormley Rovers, with three goals in each half. The scorers were Keagan Cole and Junior Okeke who scored two goals each, with Oliver Achille and Ryan Kukoyi also finding the back of the net.

A full report will appear here soon

Posted at 13:00

Wednesday 21 October - Hendon 6 Wealdstone 1

Inventive, incisive and irresistible...

That was the incontrovertible conclusion to be drawn from an excellent victory as the Greens contested their first Ryman league match since early September. From 1-11 the team was in perfect synchronicity from the first whistle. Defence showed the long-called for aggression in contact areas, attacking the ball positively and fairly; midfield was balanced, hungry and creative, revelling in constructively using the ball, while the front line were perpetual motion, interchanging positions with alacrity and eviscerating their opposition with rapid-fire passing movements.

In this mood it was clear Wealdstone would be hard pressed to quell Hendon's exuberance and within the first 5 minutes ace marksmen Nyv Bogaire and Keagan Cole broke free but on each occasion the keeper battled unfavourable odds to make fine saves. Less surprisingly given recent history, two clear headed opportunities, from well-flighted corners, were passed up. Wealdstone's dam was busted in the next meaningful attack in the 8th minute. Zak Miles careered into the box and smoked a left footed shot that the keeper got a hand on but after Nyv Bogaire had an abortive attempt blocked it fell to Kieran Warren to claim the opening goal . 1-0

The tide continued to flow inexorably toward the visitor’s goal as the football built towards its zenith in terms of aesthetic quality: the boys relaxing into easy possession, the ball radiating to and from all angles, punctuated by rapier thrusts of coruscating penetration. It was brilliant to watch. Inevitably the lead doubled in the 16th minute as Keagan Cole went through and although his initial shot was blocked Zak Miles, catching up play, slammed in a shot that looked destined to go in but for the heroic effort of a defender throwing his body in the line of fire. Rebounding from what looked suspiciously like the 'crown jewel' area of the defender's anatomy Nyv Bogaire reacted first to end the pinball (!) with a hooked shot. 2-0

Hendon’s play, if anything, gathered even more intensity with players hurrying to retrieve lost possession then swarming forward in numbers. The beauty of the football was its sheer simplicity. This was no more evident than in the next 2 goals that arrived around the half hour mark. First, another Zak Miles run and cross was missed by the now-recovered central defender and eventually collected by Kieran Warren. With his direct avenue to goal closed he unselfishly laid the ball back to Ryan Kukoyi, who having side-stepped a defender, icily steered his left foot shot into the bottom corner from 16 yards. 3-0

4 minutes later a move of sumptuous grace brought the 4th goal. Initially involving a switch of play out of defence by Oliver Achille, the ball was conveyed at speed to Kieran Warren whose early low ball was met by a deadly one-touch finish by Nyv Bogaire sprinting like a ravenous greyhound through the centre. 4-0

As the half was coming to a close an excellent team passing movement was concluded with a 1-2 between Ryan Kukoyi and Keagan Cole, whose superb drive from the edge of the box was still sizzling as it hit the back of the net. 5-0

The referee brought an end to this tremendous 45 minutes, which represented the most consistently fluent performance of the season to date. 5-0. Take a bow lads!

Half time: Hendon 5 Wealdstone 0.

Understandably with the match, to all intents and purposes, already won the second half was lower key. Credit Wealdstone for sticking to their guns and gamely trying to gain some recompense for their evening's endeavour. They duly gained a consolation goal in the 74th minute, the seeds of which were sown by an injudicious sprint beyond the limits of his area by Hendon keeper Ben Jerreat. Upending a Wealdstone striker when it appeared that Carlos Simeon was in control of the situation, Jerreat picked up a yellow card for his intervention. After the resultant free kick was virtually caught by a stray hand in the defensive wall, from the ensuing penalty the keeper nearly redeemed himself but was just beaten into the bottom right hand corner by the perfection of the strike by Wealdstone's hard-working Liam Brannagan, who returned the score to 6-1.

Wealdstone's goal was an island of opportunism in an ocean of Hendon profligacy. Beginning from the 46th minute when the excellence of Jordan Spearman's marauding run couldn't be matched by his finish; and running through to the 92nd minute in which Kris Gecaj, having controlled a delightful cross by Kieran Warren saw his right foot shot from close in smothered, Hendon spectacularly squandered a hatful of chances. One 5 minute spell alone, immediately after Wealdstone had 'poked the bear' by converting their penalty, saw Hendon fritter away four great opportunities. Keagan Cole, again generally sparkling, danced through but although his flick beat the keeper it fractionally also bypassed the far post. Nyv Bogaire repeated the feat from a similar position and moments later Jeremie Agholor's lung-busting run having commandeered possession near the halfway line ended with disappointment as his left foot shot was tipped to safety by the keeper .

The quartet of chances in this mad 5 minutes was completed by a fine instinctive hit from the left boot of Oliver Achille, which forced a super save from Wealdstone keeper Kester Page, who had an outstanding night.

Achille, by this stage, was in the mood as it was he who had extended Hendon’s half -time lead in the 64th minute, being the benefactor of a smart, short corner routine that permitted him time and space 15 yards out to hammer home a low, right footed drive that evaded a panoply of limbs. 6-0. Other chances too numerous to report, had come and gone by the time the game finished.

Full time: Hendon 6 Wealdstone 1.

When the 90 minutes was over Manager Campbell and his squad could reflect on what was a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying performance, with the sheer brio of the first half evoking the true nature of the Tigers at their best. Interesting to note, particularly for first -time spectators, that the boys have played with similar authority and percussiveness in all but one of the games they weren't able to win; the difference here being the ruthlessness of the finishing to establish a concrete winning lead by half-time, rather than the single goal advantages that had kept outplayed opposition still in the match. A blueprint for future encounters?

A cracking night's football which was well worth the admission money that some never paid (come on folks, football clubs don't run themselves: remember the old gag, 'How do you get to be a millionaire? Start as a billionaire, then buy a football club!'

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 18 October - Hendon 8 Chase Side 0

Hendon welcomed Chase Side to Silver Jubilee Park as the team embarked on the first stage of a journey they hope will take them to their 6th FA County Cup final in 8 years. This comfortable victory should not detract from a gallant effort by the visitors who ply their trade in the Mid Herts Rural League. Prepared to chase, challenge and work to the end Chase Side also had the Man of the Match, in their goalkeeper who produced save after save: one of which, from Keagan Cole's shot from close in, was stupendous.

Eccentric finishing and the woodwork, which probably earned itself a new coat of paint after repelling 5 Hendon efforts, combined with the keeper's tremendous shot-stopping prevented a cricket score. Goals, which took some time to come, eventually issued forth from a broad range of sources and in a variety of different ways, as the football veered between pedestrian and pulsating. The catalogue was thus:

21 minutes: Joe Patrick opened the scoring turning in a rebound from inside the 6 yard box after Zak Miles had re-diverted Kieran Warren's deep cross. 1-0

38 minutes: Zak Miles having hit the post saw the ball deposited in the net by Kris Gecaj doing what comes naturally from point blank range. 2-0

43 minutes: as Manager Campbell implored his team to try and establish a more imposing half-time lead Joe Patrick, embarking on more blue-collar activity, pressed hard and charged down the keeper's intended clearance before having the presence of mind to square the ball to Kieran Warren for what had become an unmissable opportunity. 3-0

Half time: Hendon 3 Chase Side 0

61 minutes: ending a shapeless first 15 minutes in the second half Nyv Bogaire, having struck the bar earlier, subtly spooned a header up and over the stranded defenders and keeper. 4-0

70 minutes: a gloriously flighted, angled ball from left to right from Keagan Cole positioned some 15 yards outside the box , exposed the Chase Side back line allowing Harry Riley to find space in the box that he used adeptly, cushioning the ball, before firing it in with a left foot volley. 5-0

74 minutes: Another Hendon attack scissored through the visitors rearguard, with a perceptive pass by Harry Riley finding Nyv Bogaire who bulged the net to the keeper's right 6-0

82 minutes: As Manager Campbell rang the personnel changes the ever-present James Flint gathered the ball in the centre circle. Sensing space around and in front of him he stepped forward and applying the throttle motored toward the heart of a defence that parted obligingly, allowing him to reach the edge of the box from where he surgically despatched the ball into the bottom right hand corner. Excellent goal. 7-0

86 minutes: Released from his defensive duties for a cameo up front Oliver Achille cantered about to good effect; his huge stride inconveniencing the tired defenders. Benefitting from the unselfish work of his team mates, sharp passing involving Keagan Cole, Jordan Spearman, Harry Riley and Nyv Bogaire ended with Achille polishing off the move with a firm shot to register a rare but excellent goal that exemplified how easy the game can look when everyone plays for each other rather than for themselves. 8-0

Final score: Hendon 8 Chase Side 0

Before, between and after these goals the Hendon players could all have increased their personal goals outputs. Indeed had Oliver Achille not taken the mantra of 'defending from the front' a little too literally there would have been a 9th goal but his eager intervention to touch the ball over the line, as Keagan Cole's rolled shot was destined for the back of the net, rendered him offside and the goal illegitimate!'

Performance-wise, Keagan Cole came from the bench to again remind everyone of his wonderful talent, coaxing the ball around the pitch effortlessly and nearly scoring with an audacious chip, delivered with gorgeous disguise, which rebounded from the bar. Another 'Rabona'- style pass, right foot crossing behind left, perfectly executed into the path of Zak Miles, drew admiring applause as players and spectators alike appreciated a skill that straddled showmanship with effective, high quality football. On that note it would be remiss not to mention some magical footwork from a Chase Side midfielder who 3 times in quick succession hoodwinked the close attentions of Hendon players!

Ryan Kukoyi's work was less spectacular but his velvety smooth passing and movement carried out Manager Campbell's blueprint of the 'small-sided game' to the letter. Hardly wasting a single ball he was unlucky not to find the net with a woodwork-repelled left-footer in the first half. Zak Miles, who was another in the 'I- hit- the -woodwork' gang, enjoyed a very profitable first half often bewitching his opponents with his jet-heeled runs, while Fabio Viel unleashed into midfield during the second period made a tenacious and enterprising contribution, which included raising the ire of the ref who rather harshly booked him!

Defensively the clean sheet was very welcome with Jordon Spearman, Carlos Simeon, Jack Cassen, Oliver Achille and Jeremie Agholor performing tidily. Keeper Edgar Paxi-Cato, doubtless desperate to join in and express himself - on an afternoon where serious, custodial action was limited - produced a devastating double drag back in his own 6yard box, to the bafflement of 2 wrong-footed forwards, before calmly rolling the ball forward like it was an everyday manoeuvre! Who says there are no characters in football any more!?

Report by Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 11 October - AFC Hornchurch 2 Hendon 1

Lightning struck again as Hendon departed the EJA League Cup in similar circumstances to the reverse in the Middlesex Senior Youth Cup - control gained, control lost and a winning lead overturned...

Playing unbeaten Hornchurch the lads showed a pleasing early authority, finding their men well and releasing runners into threatening positions. Keagan Cole rounded the keeper but his pull back could not be finished by Kieran Warren. Nyv Bogaire warmed the keepers' hands with a meaty hit from 18 yards, while a brilliant move, started by Ryan Kukoyi's beautiful ball cosseted over the right back and invitingly centred low by Johnie Scott, was tantalisingly close to finding Kieran Warren’s run at the back post. After such concerted pressure it was no surprise when a Hendon goal arrived in the 24th minute. A corner by Kieran Warren went deep and Keagan Cole enterprisingly returned the ball into the danger zone. Oliver Achille rising steeply headed toward goal and saw his attempt tipped onto the bar but the rebound landed opportunely onto the forehead of Nyv Bogaire to score from 2yards for his 7th goal in 4 games. 0-1

More chances came and went before sloppiness began to infect the Hendon play. Over-dribbling and some confused decision -making were the symptoms. The result: after a needless and weak surrender of possession in midfield the ball was smuggled up the pitch, exploiting an absence of cover in the defensive right hand channel and maximising a 3 v 2 situation, a winger scored with a volley from a pass lofted beyond Oliver Achille. 1-1.

Keagan Cole nearly restored the lead with a powerful drive after a crafty wall pass move, but at the other end Hornchurch almost sneaked in front after an unnecessarily conceded corner was headed off the line by Jordon Spearman.

Half Time: Hornchurch 1 Hendon 1

Hornchurch started the second half very well, displaying their own passing qualities and penetration from the freshly -introduced number 10 and the renascent number 17 at full back. 17 sashayed through some lightweight resistance on the left side to smash just wide, while some nifty footwork from 10 brought a good save from Edgar Paxi-Cato. Just as it seemed that Hendon had seen off Hornchurch's best efforts a free kick, wastefully dropped short of the waiting attackers, was despatched up the pitch and again making the most of space along the right flank, number 10 skated away from Carlos Simeon and deposited the ball into the net 2-1 .

Hornchurch went into overdrive and could have extended their lead. Number 17's storming run and shot was fingertipped onto the bar by Paxi-Cato, and soon after a run and cross that dismantled the Hendon defensive ramparts was missed from in front of goal by number 10 .Taking this as a cue to fight back Hendon redoubled their efforts. Ryan Kukoyi was too high with a 25 yard drive and Nyv Bogaire’s jinking run just lacked a finish. As the pressure on the home goal intensified, within a 2 minute spell, Keagan Cole twice spirited himself into a pocket of space in the area; the first header looping over, the second, a better chance, could not beat the keeper. Manager Campbell threw on more strikers and Kris Gecaj made an immediate impact cutting in from the left, where he added weight and power, to unleash a 25 yard right foot shot, well fielded by the keeper .

Jeremie Agholor went on one of his trademark runs down the left and his cross looked certain to unlock the defence but Kieran Warren somehow couldn’t turn the ball in. As the game moved into the final 5 minutes Kieran Warren, again working hard, had a great opportunity to drag the game into an extra half hour. Closing down the keeper he blocked the attempted clearance and as it ran across the box, from 15yards he seemed certain to score, but in hesitating the chance was lost. Hendon fought to the end but after a flying header by Kris Gecaj passed over the bar the referee's whistle beat the boys' attempts to draw level.

Final score: Hornchurch 2 Hendon 1

Currently the team is being punished for momentary lapses at the defensive end and its inability to open up the significant leads the general play deserves. The boys played some quality football that forced the home bench into frantic tactical readjustments but when the second goal, that may have stilled the Hornchurch spirits, didn't come they gained heart and showed themselves to be a very tidy side. Best of luck to Hornchurch and a commendation too for an excellent referee (who reads these columns!) - a good bloke and a sound official! For Hendon, the performances and on pitch efforts are worthy of better results and some minor readjustments to positional play and the restoration of the normal cutting edge up front will see a return to the status quo ante .

Match report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 07 October - Conquest 4 Hendon 3 (a.e.t)

Not often does this correspondent find himself lost for words but the manner of this result confounded comprehension. Twice Hendon led only to be hauled back, undone by avoidable errors and clinical finishing, before themselves coming from behind to take the game into extra-time, which concluded with the ultimate sucker-punch of a last minute goal. How, oh how, did it come to that?

Hendon started the match on the front foot, working hard all over the pitch to assume the ascendancy. An early headed opportunity fell to Carlos Simeon but he failed to make substantive contact with the goal gaping. Control of the match was justly compensated in the 34th minute as a Zak Miles's free kick was nodded back at the far post by Jack Cassen and Nyv Bogaire reacted fastest to record a 6th goal in 3 games with a neat header from close range. 0-1. At this stage it would be fair to say Conquest would have had few causes for optimism as Hendon were well on top, but two minutes before the break they hinted at their potential, as their centre forward scuttled into the box and his left foot shot drew a fine save from Edgar Paxi-Cato.

Half time: Conquest 0 Hendon 1

The first 5 minutes were surreal. Hendon fashioned 4 great chances in that time and the game should have been effectively over. Nyv Bogaire shot wide, Zak Miles released on the left smashed over, a splendid move finished with a Miles cross and a Bogaire diving header from point blank range which the goalkeeper somehow kept out and Kris Gecaj could not convert after a good run. The iron law of football....? If you don't kill the game when you re on top.... You know the rest. 5 minutes later a long hopeful ball, to the hitherto well shackled Conquest number 12, was allowed to bounce and his rapid movement and right foot thump from 16 yards brought the equaliser. 1-1

Hendon were not deterred by this reverse but came strong again. Nyv Bogaire's run into the box was impeded and the referee pointed to the spot. Kieran Warren, who all night worked prodigiously hard, accepted the responsibility and scored low to the keeper's right. 1-2.

Pouring on the pressure Hendon created a match-defining chance. A move of poise down the left and a jinking run by Zak Miles offered up a great chance for Kieran Warren but from inside 6 yards his left foot shot hit the underside of the bar. Kris Gecaj spurned another presentable opportunity, then a linesman's flag ruled out an effort that did finally enter the goal. Conquest were struggling to cope but another lofted ball from the centre of the pitch found the ball clearing Jack Cassen and although Carlos Simeon appeared in control, a combination of legitimate pressure and a couple of illegitimate tugs by the, now busy, number 12, led to possession being turned over and a snap left foot shot snaked into the corner of the net. 2-2

Tails up, Conquest were starting to believe despite them continuing to concede more chances - a clear header for Keagan Cole from a Jordan Spearman cross could have edged Hendon ahead again - when into the last 10 minutes a free kick induced confusion and in the melee a Conquest boot, swung lustily sent the ball goal-ward but diverted from its path by a deflection the shot wrong-footed the keeper to find the goal. 3-2.

Time evaporating Hendon came again, as did the chances. Keagan Cole and Nyv Bogaire especially looked capable of dragging the game back as Hendon counter-intuitively played some patient football through the midfield and stretched the play wide. 3 minutes from time a move from left to right involving Jordan Spearman, Kieran Warren and Gillyane Silva led to Ryan Kukoyi, who been admirable all evening, letting a shot go from 25 yards and although misdirected, it was controlled instantly by Keagan Cole and despatched with confidence. 3-3 Extra time had been salvaged it appeared, but not before yet another Conquest break, funded completely by Hendon’s lackadaisical defending, forced Edgar Paxi-Cato into a tremendous double save.

Final score at 90 minutes Conquest 3 Hendon 3

With spectator's dinners all over the South and North West of London, burning to a cinder the extra 30 minutes was slightly more even. Conquest were displaying some neat work and looking always for the quick break. Hendon continued to look more like breaking the deadlock and from the naked eye looked to have a very strong call for a penalty as Kieran Warren's run and control was curtailed by an untidy challenge from behind that was not in the same post code as the ball. Amazingly referee and linesman were unmoved. In the second half of extra time with the game still being played at pace Nyv Bogaire and Keagan Cole, linking impressively, had chances to fire the Green's ahead but couldn't find the required finish. As extra time entered its final minute Conquest were gifted the ball unnecessarily and sent in a spiralling cross to the back post. Unattended, a forward looked to score with a header but it was beaten out by the flailing Edgar Paxi-Cato but as the keeper slipped to the ground the ball, still in play, was forced over the line past the desperate covering players for what was the decisive 7th goal. 4-3. The final whistle blew seconds after.

Final score after extra time: Conquest 4 Hendon 3

Speechless! Hendon's performance, generally of good order, should have been comfortably too strong for opposition, who although fit and willing were hanging on for much of the game. Enough chances were created to have won a month's worth of matches and anyone present to witness the first half would not have believed that the Hendon defence could have coughed up 4 goals in the remainder of the match. Across the team there were some good performances. Rarely has Kieran Warren worked so hard up and down the right flank, offering support deep and threat further forward. Nyv Bogaire was again a one-man energy station, while Ryan Kukoyi had a storming match breaking up attacks and distributing the ball with metronomic consistency. Normally these kind of contributions along with the solid work of the rest of the team would be enough to close out a victory but ruthlessness in both boxes wins matches. A return to last season's frugality, when so many matches were won 1-0, is the aim of Manager Campbell and Coach Ben Bukowski, which coupled with sharper finishing in front of goal, should prevent reoccurrences of this match's undeserved and painful denouement.

Match report by Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 04 October - Hendon 5 Potters Bar Town 1

Rather a curious 90 minutes at the Silver Jubilee! Potters Bar, who last season were our nemesis as they knocked us out of the County Cup and then deprived the boys of an undefeated league campaign, rode confidently into town but would have left wondering how they ended up on the wrong end of a heavy scoreline.

Any possession count would have held a roughly 50-50 balance but the Potters were punished by two early goals of wonderful execution, inattentiveness at a set piece just after the break and two late breakaways that embellished the result. Potters Bar's bewilderment would have been exacerbated by the frustration of having two absolutely certain penalties denied them in the last 10 minutes; the first incident occurring with the score at 3-1 and a decision which, had it been made by the referee, may also have occasioned a sending off for skipper James Flint as he made an honest, but desperate attempt to prevent the away team from halving their deficit. The second shout, with effectively the game over in the last few seconds was less consequential but Carlos Simeon's hand looked to have clearly interrupted the flight of a shot but again the referee waved play on.

The goal highlights unfolded thus:

15 minutes: A long ball into space, deep into Potters Bar territory was chased enthusiastically by emergency centre forward Nyv Bogaire, who was looking third best in the race, as he was joined in pursuit by his marker and the goalkeeper, chasing from his area to try and make a clearance. Bogaire's athleticism, in the face of unfavourable odds, was rewarded as, extending his right leg, he got a toe to the ball in advance of his assailants and from a wide position 30 yards out he floated the ball into the unprotected net. 1-0

19 minutes : Decent Hendon play had pinned Potters Bar back and a ball worked forward found Nyv Bogaire just inside the area . His path to goal blocked he unbalanced two defenders with a step- over before transferring the ball from right to left and half turning, all in one movement. That done, in a quicksilver flourish he nonchalantly despatched his left foot shot into the bottom corner. Magical striker's goal! 2-0

50 minutes : An infringement 35 yards out to the right of the penalty box was penalised and from the resultant free kick Harry Riley's quality delivery was met at the back post by Nyv Bogaire's run and downward header. A wonderful hat-trick. 3-0.

75 minutes: Potters Bar urged on by their supportive management, continued to show their spirit which was met with the encouragement of a goal as a shot from the edge of the box could not be gathered by stand-in keeper, Johnie Scott, and the spillage was gobbled up on the rebound by a Potters forward. 3-1

85 minutes: The dust had barely settled on the first penalty incident when another ball into space behind the back four attracted the attention of the game Nyv Bogaire. Again sprinting clear of his markers with a searing burst of pace he got to the ball first, outpaced an attempt to derail him and bore down on goal. Electing to square the ball rather than to shoot Bogaire’s pass set up Kieran Warren to run the ball home with relish from 5 yards out at the back post. 4-1

88 minutes: With Potters Bar now looking understandably forlorn Kieran Warren breaking up the pitch found Kareem Bandaogo on the halfway line. Surprising the defender at his back with a sharp turn and an explosion of pace, Bandaogo powered towards the box. Pace, again was the key as he motored into the area and having out-run all the covering defenders, he bloodlessly finished with a firm right foot cross shot from 12 yards. 5-1

Between these highlights the game meandered. Maybe the unseasonal warmth in the October sunshine robbed the players of some of their energy but much of the second half was soporific, with Hendon misplacing an abundance of passes and not for the first time this season guilty of some questionable decision-making. However, when things were good, mostly in isolated spells in the first half, they were very good and there was some lovely controlled football, with the work of James Flint , Kieran Warren, Joe Patrick and, of course hat-trick man Nyv Bogaire, especially prominent. No doubt Potters will justifiably point to the penalties that weren't awarded but, after getting the benefit of some big calls in the two encounters of last season, it may just have been a case of the old adage, that in the long run decisions even themselves out.

Overall, given the recent results against Potters Bar it was a fine win and a memorable day for the undisputed Man Of The Match Nyv Bogaire, who promoted to lead the attack by Manager Campbell responded with the 'perfect ' hat-trick - the opportunistic right footer, the left foot beauty and the deft header- all evidence of a sharp footballing brain on a quick footballing body. Also in the special mentions column, due respect must be paid to Johnie Scott, who yet again underlined his value to the team stepping in as goalkeeper at the very last minute. Congratulations Nyv! Well done Johnie!

The three points leave Hendon with a 100% record in the EJA Herts league to date.

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 30 September - Wealdstone 1 Hendon 3

After the disappointment of the FA Youth Cup, Hendon returned to winning ways with a competent and at times expansive performance. Aided and abetted by a fast start, unlike the previous two outings at Broxbourne and Beaconsfield, Hendon bolted from the traps and inside the first minute some crisp passing and movement inconvenienced the home team but Nyv Bogaire shot tamely when well positioned. Around the pitch Hendon were first to every ball, facilitating an easy fluidity conducted though the midfield of Gillyane Silva and Ryan Kukoyi, supplemented by subtle assistance from Keagan Cole dropping off the front. Principal beneficiaries were widemen Nyv Bogaire and Zak Miles, who were receiving the ball with pleasing regularity. Hendon's play had returned to carrying its customary articulation, which was pushing the home side back deep into their own half. A Kris Gecaj snap shot from the edge of the box was marginally too high and as the one -way traffic continued only diligent defending was keeping Wealdstone’s parity. This was broken in the 14th minute as Carlos Simeon, stepping out of his role in centre defence, where he had looked exceedingly comfortable alongside partner Jack Cassen, intercepted a forward pass and galloped downfield, outpacing a number of opponents with a deceptive change of gear. Entering the area he tried to shoot but his miscue ricocheted back to Kris Gecaj, whose low left foot cross shot was turned in at the far post by Nyv Bogaire. 0-1

The goal had the impact of fuelling Hendon confidence even further and a rearrangement involving a switch between the positions of Keagan Cole, who went up top and Kris Gecaj, if anything, increased the command. Impressive play was emanating from everywhere as the team played as a collection of cohesive cells. All over the pitch, individuals, pairings and triumvirates were winning their battles and a second goal looked inevitable. Arriving in the 22nd minute, it exemplified the penetrative Hendon play. Two quick passes in midfield allowed a sharp crossfield pass to find Nyv Bogaire in an advanced position on the right. Bamboozling his full back (not for the first time) with fleet footwork he tried to cross but although his first effort was blocked his second attempt, a pull back to the near post, was met by Keagan Cole, once again showing his poacher's instinct as he prodded home via the underside of the bar. A cursory glance at the assistant referee to confirm the ball had crossed the line received ratification and Hendon were two to the good. 0-2

Hendon seemed to have an iron grip on the game and may have added to their lead as they mounted more dangerous attacks with tormentors in chief continuing to be Zak Miles and Nyv Bogaire in the green pastures out wide. The home team's response was to make an astute tactical substitution and the tempestuous start for Hendon began to blow itself out. Gradually Hendon's work was becoming embroidered with less definitive end product and Wealdstone, clearing their head from the concession of the two goal disadvantage, began to start finding some passes and holding up the ball better in forward areas. Few shots were underpinning pretensions to a comeback but Hendon’s defence was starting to invite pressure on itself with some inattentive play at the back. The last 15 minutes of the half featured enough defending that a late arrival to the ground could have been forgiven incredulity at the comfortable scoreline in Hendon's favour. Manager Campbell would therefore have been quietly relieved to hear the half time whistle to administer some wisdom to a team that had begun to slightly drift off message.

The half time tea and biscuits coupled with some management bon-mots steadied the ship and Hendon's early work, save for a fleeting chance for Wealdstone, exhibited a resumption of the control and dominance of the first 30 minutes. Kris Gecaj shot wide and then brought a tumbling stop by the keeper while a terrific, sinewy Zak Miles run, took him past 4 opponents into the box but he pulled his shot beyond the far post. Voracious work in the middle of the pitch, as Wealdstone struggled to get their play up the hill against the considerable autumnal wind, was providing the platform for continued Hendon joy in wide areas. Jeremie Agholor was compounding Wealdstone's angst, punching holes down their right side with his trademark bulldozing runs and one pull back from the by-line required a desperate intervention to deny a clear scoring opportunity. His next incursion in the 58th minute was more fruitful, supplying a chance for Kris Gecaj but although the keeper and his defence effected a fine block the ball sat up for Nyv Bogaire to drive the ball into the ground from 6yards and the bounce took it into the net. 0-3

Hope apparently evaporating, Wealdstone continued to play football; resisting the temptation to either shut up shop and quietly accept their fate, or to start slapping the ball up the pitch and trust on a lucky break. As it happened they did get one! Errant judgement by the erstwhile, largely unemployed keeper Edgar Paxi-Cato gave defender Carlos Simeon the ball under pressure just outside his own area. Aggravating the situation, Simeon was dispossessed and in recovering conceded a corner on the Wealdstone right. Despite plenty of men back defending, the ball eluded those at the near stick, reactions of those in the centre were too slow and the ball made its way almost apologetically to the back post where amidst a scramble it was stabbed home by a Wealdstone forward 1-3

Although Wealdstone were back in sight, they never really hinted at having sufficient energy or belief to close the gap further. Piqued by the concession of the goal Hendon upped their game, revitalised by a couple of substitutions. Joe Patrick buzzed about to good effect and Johnie Scott's introduction for an excellent but tiring Zak Miles, brought renewed composure to the left flank. One of several good movements down this side was almost concluded spectacularly as Gillyane Silva, who had provided a consistently swaggering presence in midfield, laid the ball into the path of Ryan Kukoyi who 'buttoned' a left foot strike of uncommon power from 25yards that rocketed millimetres wide of what would have been an early contender for 'Goal of the Season' Underlining Gillyane Silva's exceptional performance, minutes later, his strength took him to the edge of the box but his well struck, slightly deflected shot hit the bar and was cleared to safety.

Late on, a little laxity in the central-left defensive corridor proffered a Wealdstone winger a chance which he wastefully screwed wide. This proved to be the last action as the referee closed the game cementing the Greens passage to the next round.

A far better performance by Hendon featured some very good displays. Man of the match was Gillyane Silva, who was as good off the ball in his fetching and carrying as he was assertive

Posted at 22:00

Monday 21 September - Beaconsfield SYCOB 2 Hendon 0

A tough baptism awaited Hendon on their debut appearance at Youth Cup level. Playing against a Beaconsfield outfit, from the Allied Counties Youth League East division, who were determined to make the maximum of their home advantage, Hendon found the going hard on an abundantly grassy pitch not conducive to their passing style. From the outset Beaconsfield were at full tilt, sliding into tackles, inconveniencing the man on the ball with their persistent hassling and attacking the aerial ball with relish. Hendon didn't help themselves, abandoning their normal precepts to play into their opponent's hands by hitting far too many aimless, long balls, gobbled up ravenously by a muscular back four.

Beaconsfield's early sharpness granted them an opening in only the 3rd minute, but Edgar Paxi-Cato stood big long enough to force the home forward's shot away for a corner. The pressure on Hendon continued, much of which was self-imposed. Nervousness seemed to paralyse their play and the boys were making a profession of giving the ball away. Inevitably, as Hendon were forced onto the back foot, the result was a succession of fouls for which the referee awarded several free-kicks around the penalty area. Beaconsfield were pretty profligate with these, testing the fortitude of the lead roof on the stand more than the goalkeeper, but one 20 yard strike on 25 minutes was athletically caught by Paxi-Cato plunging low to his right.

Beaconsfield's almost total domination was punctuated by sporadic ventures forward by Hendon and an instinctive turn and shot from 20 yards by Kareem Bandaogo nearly stole the lead. A move of promise, soon after, failed at the last after James Flint's diagonal lofted ball had freed Kieran Warren in the opposition area but he couldn't quite control it. In general though the pattern of Beaconsfield hegemony continued up to the half time break, their industry impressive. Just before the recess they almost broke the deadlock as some skilful wing play brought a low cross from the left which went beyond the despairing boot of the opposite winger sliding in at the back post.

Manager Campbell would have been delighted to have been level at half time, given the balance of play. Reminding the team that the game was still there to be won and imploring them to play their game, the impact seemed immediate after the resumption. Quicker to the ball, resolve stiffened in the tackle there were glimpses of Hendon’s customary rhythm. Beaconsfield, for the first time, were finding it more difficult to apply pressure on the ball. However, the early second half mini-revival was exposed as a mirage by Beaconsfield opening the scoring on 51 minutes. Frustratingly, it came from a Hendon throw-in near their own corner flag. With support too far from the thrower Beaconsfield wrestled back possession, which was interrupted illegitimately by a Hendon foul. Whipping the ball in from left to right a header from the penalty spot flew past Edgar Paxi-Cato, whose task was not made easier by shouts of "keeper's ball" from the home support behind the goal, which caused his defence to stop and make no attempt to clear the ball . Not exactly fair play lads ... 1-0

After Hendon's promising start to the second half the goal reassured Beaconsfield, who reassumed their rudimentary but effective game based on getting the Greens onto the back foot, forcing a slew of free kicks and corners. Generally the defence were solid as they faced these set pieces but behind them Paxi-Cato made some wonderful saves. One left-handed stop to deny a bullet near post header was world-class and he embellished his work with a fingertip save from a rasping drive and a full length dive that stilled the expectant cheers of the 'Corinthians' behind the goal!

Hendon, while nowhere near their best, were never out of contention and it was noticeable that Beaconsfield's rearguard looked uncomfortable when faced with any intricate, individual or collective, movement. Kareem Bandaogo provided the former with a superb, twisting run that bewildered a number of defenders but opting for power rather than placement his shot blazed past the angle of post and bar.

Into the last 20 minutes the exchanges became increasingly fractious as Hendon became desperate for an equaliser. The referee was compelled to produce his yellow card several times to officially censure some overly-eager, mistimed tackles by Hendon, and a combination of gamesmanship and cynicism by Beaconsfield: characterised by a number of their physically well-developed lads mysteriously spending rather more than a healthy amount of time on the floor, as they attempted to protect their lead. From a free kick awarded, for what was not an isolated instance of shirt-pulling, Harry Riley's inswinging free-kick was close enough to elicit an anguished cry from Carlos Simeon, who incorrectly thought the cross-cum-shot had brought a leveller. Hendon came even closer with 10 minutes to play as another free kick, from virtually the same spot, by Jordan Spearman was met powerfully by the head of Oliver Achille, who with the goalkeeper powerless, was unlucky to see his effort hit the inside of the post and spin across the goal rather than into it.

Amidst a number of tough challenges from both sides an innocuous aerial battle between Oliver Achille and the Beaconsfield number 9, unbelievably was deemed as foul play and the referee brandished a red card to bring an end to the centre half’s evening. This decision did little to instill a sense of calm into events that finished acrimoniously: a second Beaconsfield goal, 3 minutes from time, from a fine left-footed hit on the run, was almost a superfluous post-script.

Full time Beaconsfield 2 Hendon 0

There was no disguising the disappointment of this defeat. The FA Youth Cup was hoped to be a showcase for the team's talents and an opportunity to come up against Category One academy opposition in the later rounds. The reality is that you gotta earn the right. Beaconsfield deserved their win but the real sickener was that even as below par as the team were Hendon still had it in them to get a result. Indeed having weathered the opening half it was galling that Beaconsfield scored just as Hendon were showing signs of warming to their task and we can only wonder what may have happened if Achille's header had gone in...

Manager Campbell will need to regroup but it's worth noting that the team until this season have never lost a game before January since its inception in 2007! The team will have learned lots from this experience, amongst others: all opposition are now aware of us; when playing away we need to be competitive, combative and prepared for gamesmanship; and most importantly, we must be on it mentally and physically from the off in every match.

Match report by: Daley Thompson.

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 13 September - Broxbourne Borough 1 Hendon 3

This was one, extraordinary afternoon at the V&E Stadium; made all the more so by the sheer ordinariness of much of the football on display. No one could have predicted the bizarre finale that brought a Houdini like escape for Hendon.

It was 1-0 to Broxbourne as the game entered its last 5 minutes. Metaphorically, the bookies had long since stopped taking money on a home win as Hendon’s response to the scoreline was toothless; some players even betraying signs that they thought the result beyond salvation. No punch up top, little cohesion in the middle and impoverished passing from the back were the inglorious characteristics of a performance that seemed to be quietly grinding to a pointless halt. Bad became worse, as Jordan Spearman, one of the few who till then was emerging with any credit, failed to adhere to the clear edict set out pre-match by the referee and was instantly shown a red card for directing at the linesman what may euphemistically be called 'industrial language'. 10 men, 5 minutes to play and 1-0 down!

What happened next defied logic. The corpse breathed again. Roused by the sending-off the players began to fight back. On 86 minutes Gillyane Silva's strength won a 50-50 leaving an opponent on the ground in the Hendon half. Ryan Kukoyi and Harry Riley artfully exchanged the ball giving its recipient, James Flint time and space in centre midfield. His lofted pass over the central defenders encouraged Kieran Warren to run beyond them and his speed got him to the ball marginally before both the centre-back and the goalkeeper, who collided. Keeping his balance and presence of mind Warren nodded the ball to his left and half-volleyed it past the despairing cover. 1-1

As the team celebrated there was a sense of the energy and assurance returning, and incredibly within two minutes the blossoming belief was vindicated. Forgetting their numerical disadvantage the boys won the ball and drove forward. Gillyane Silva advancing at speed slipped the ball to his right from where a revitalised Kieran Warren bent in a wicked cross that was just too high to be met by the runners in the middle. Harry Riley kept the ball from running out of play on the opposite flank and creating a yard of space for himself he delivered an inch perfect cross back into the box towards an adroitly leaping Kris Gecaj whose magnificent header crashed into the net via the left upright. 1-2. Cue pandemonium.

Broxbourne, unsurprisingly, now looking at the spectre of defeat, were shell-shocked. On and off the pitch the temperature had risen off the scale, when Hendon’s fightback reached its crescendo with the game entering its final minute of normal time. Kieran Warren was injudiciously manhandled as he shielded the ball, contact the referee deemed a foul. Placing the ball 25 yards out at the angle of the box Harry Riley’s viciously curled, left footed free kick arrowed into the top right corner. Two goalkeepers wouldn't have stopped it.... 1-3

A miracle had come to pass in Hertfordshire!

Only the Lord knows how the game reached this fever pitch, the first half being an exercise in tedium. At one point, Manager Campbell unusually exasperated, demanded from the touchline, 'raise your game, you're boring me!' We all knew what he meant...!

Goalmouth drama was limited. An early Oliver Achille header might have been better directed, while the best chance of the half fell to Kieran Warren who contrived to lob his shot wide of the post after being released by the best pass of the match, from Carlos Simeon. Broxbourne had themselves offered little and the work of Hendon’s keeper Edgar Paxi-Cato had been routine and administrative in its nature until the 35th minute. A ball over the top tempted the glovesman from his line but his indecision in collecting the bouncing ball was worsened by a collision with a Broxbourne forward which left the referee with little option but to point to the penalty spot. Calmly despatched from 12 yards Broxbourne took a lead that hitherto had seemed highly unlikely.

Emboldened by their unexpected bounty, Broxbourne may have doubled the advantage within 3 minutes but for the never-say-die defending of Carlos Simeon. Despite the odds being stacked against him he managed to get his body in the way on the goalline to stop what looked a certain 2nd goal after the Broxbourne centre-forward had waltzed round Paxi-Cato. Half time 1-0

Entertainment was still of a watered-down variety in the second period but Broxbourne several times nearly enhanced their control of the match. A flashing drive whistled past Edgar Paxi-Cato’s post, and then a superb long-ranger rattled his bar with the keeper comprehensively beaten. Most controversially, home cries of celebration were strangled as the referee took issue with the legitimacy of a challenge that had enabled a Broxbourne forward to head home a near post, right wing corner.

Little had troubled the home goal in this period. The best of not much was a muscular run and shot by Gillyane Silva which missed flying in at the far post by millimetres. With so little threat it had appeared that Hendon’s race may have been run. Until the events of the crazy last 5 minutes...

Final Score: Broxbourne Borough 1 Hendon 3

Winning 3 points in these circumstances was less a bonus, more a medium-sized lottery win! Disjointed in all areas, the over-propensity to hit long, often straight balls - (when did that become our game???) - undermined the movement and angles that opposition normally find more difficult to counter. Suffice to say it was the poorest performance of 2015 by some way. All said, credit must be given to the boys for having enough stamina and heart to claim the points. At 1-1, with so little time remaining, most teams would have been satisfied to have got out of jail and taken the point. Manager Campbell's exhortations after the equaliser went in made it clear that, even with 10 men, he wanted to go for the jugular and this adventure was spectacularly rewarded. Two new players Kris Gecaj and Harry Riley, whose second half performance won him Man of the Match, scored the decisive goals, which should have an impact even greater than the three points. Many unlikely Tigers' victories over the years have been built not just on great players playing well, but on an unswerving determination to never give in, a total belief that anything is possible and in even the most difficult of circumstances, absolute trust in each other.

At Broxbourne on Sunday the new squad created a piece of its own legend.

Match Report by: Daley Thompson

Posted at 22:00

Sunday 06 September - Hendon 2 Barton Rovers 1

Tension, nerves and a nail-biting finale! Not the hoped for return for Hendon in defence of their EJA double crown but nevertheless, a win is a win is a win. Lack-lustre pre-match preparation signposted a sluggish start to the match as Barton’s quick movement threatened to overwhelm the home team. Stoic defence from the central partnership of Carlos Simeon and Jeremie Agholor prevented the worst from happening but it took a sprawling save from Edgar Paxi-Cato for parity to be maintained in the first 10 minutes.

After weathering this period Hendon emerged from their torpor and by the midpoint of the half Manager Campbell, having shuffled his line -up, would have been slightly more satisfied. The improvement was highlighted by a number of close shaves. Kareem Bandaogo, introduced from the bench, revitalised the attack and after a mazy dribble he cut in from the right flank and clipped the post. Joe Patrick couldn't make capital from two clear chances from corners and there were some really good opportunities that were scotched by the over-indulgencies of the Greens' strikers. At the other end it was a similar tale as Barton's skilful front six demonstrated a tendency to over-elaborate, nullifying the impact of attacks that could have posed the Hendon defence serious questions. On 25 minutes another of these attacks was building but after deceiving 2 players with a twisting run the Barton player was ensnared by a firm and well-timed tackle by the industrious James Flint. Launching the ball forward into the centre -circle the recipient, Joe Patrick, helped the ball on first time from left to right into open space behind the defence. Reaching the ball first Kareem Bandaogo played the dream ball for a centre forward: low, with precision and early. Kris Gecaj arriving first in the centre could hardly miss. 1-0

Barton looked woebegone to have yielded the lead and the shock was redoubled within five minutes as a booming ball over the top was again captured by Kareem Bandaogo. Skating away from the cover he drove in from wide and kidding the keeper that he would repeat the cross ball that created the first goal and using the resultant window of space left vacant at the near post, he fired home a low right foot shot. 2-0.

By half time Barton could have rightly felt hard done by. They had provided the majority of the coherent football on display and without having had loads of shots on goal they had bristled with intent.

The second period followed a similar pattern. Barton maintained their thrusting attitude and pushed an extra player from midfield higher up the pitch. This facilitated the variation of a longer ball and it brought its reward just on the hour mark. A long, diagonal from a midfielder, in time and space, soared over the head of Carlos Simeon. Without sufficient cover behind, the Barton number 14 was able to collect the ball on the edge of the box and cutting back onto his right foot he curled a beautiful shot high past Edgar Paxi-Cato. 2-1

Now sensing the chance of a comeback Barton threw caution to the wind. Increasing pressure was the result as the tricky Barton forwards time and again tried to puncture the Hendon defence, only to be repelled by a series of blocks and tackles. The unseasonably warm weather was also taking its toll on a group depleted by a string of early injuries, not to mention the lingering effect of the attritional 'Battle of Bedfont' in the Ryman Midweek Youth League on Thursday evening. A number of times Barton were just one step away from an equaliser and their number 9, unfortunately for him, battered one close range shot over, then shortly after headed unopposed, harmlessly beyond the goal from a corner.

Providing some respite, Youel Emmanuel showed the odd nice touch but it was the muscular presence of Kris Gecaj that almost closed the game out; his powerful run and persistence took him into the box but from an acute angle, with no real support, he took the shot on and was unlucky to see it cannon from the post. Generally wasteful play was now bedevilling Hendon and this wasn't helped by some erratic decision-making and distribution from the back. Exemplifying the loss of clarity, having beaten off a Barton attack, Hendon raced clear in a 4 v 1 situation yet contrived to frivolously squander the ball without even managing to get a shot off; a goal that would have surely tied up the match! As the game lurched into its final minute a petty foul, unnecessarily gifted Barton a free-kick. The ball was lifted into the box and eventually fell to the number 9 again, who appeared to get stage fright at his chance to secure a point. His miskick from 10 yards with the defence spread-eagled confirmed the points for Hendon. The excellent ref blew a final whistle that was greeted with relief by all of a Hendon persuasion.

Final score: Hendon 2 Barton Rovers 1

Perspiration rather than inspiration won these 3 points There was some good football - notably the work involved in the two goals - but it was a day in which the defence deserve praise, overworked as they were for much of the game. Manager Campbell will look at the game as evidence that the team needs to be ready to produce its best from the off otherwise repeats of this twitchy 90 minutes - against a very tidy Barton outfit - will be commonplace. On the other hand, more pleasingly, there was continued evidence on display of the old Tigers spirit of fighting through adversity and showing the character to record a 'W' when playing nowhere near their best.

Match report by: Daley Thompson.

Posted at 22:00

Thursday 03 September - Bedford Sports 3 Hendon 1

After the previous week's relatively comfortable victory Hendon went toe to toe with last season's divisional runners up, in a rumbustious encounter at Bedfont's well appointed stadium. On a lush pitch the two sides produced a treat of a match that vacillated almost by the minute and contained more incident than could normally be expected in a month’s worth of football!

Hendon started brightly, the ball spirited across the pitch with speed and accuracy. Quality distribution from the back was cajoling the best from the players further up the pitch with centre halves Jack Cassen and Carlos Simeon consistently playing forward early with precision, into midfield and wide areas. Hendon looked dangerous but without a goal to reward their early brio. Bedfont were themselves, easy on the eye as they played principally on the break. From a raid forward, in the 13th minute the ball was fed into the feet of their number 9, who from the outset had shown himself to be an excellent player. Dropping deep away from the attentions of his marker he coaxed a ball into the box to be met by a run from midfield by their number 8, who having reached the ball first chested it past Edgar Paxi-Cato before calmly opening the scoring.

Stung by this, Hendon offered a sterling riposte. Kareem Bandaogo struck a shot wide and followed that soon after with a powerful surge and hit that he just failed to control. Meanwhile Bedfont’s danger man sheared through the Hendon rearguard and smashed a low shot that spiralled over the bar to safety from Paxi-Cato's left boot. Hendon’s wingers Zak Miles and Kieran Warren were looking dangerous and just on the half hour a typical piece of trickery by the latter won a free kick. Jordan Spearman stepped up and despite being over 30 yards from goal arced a tremendous, right foot shot with top spin which moved from the keeper's left to right and dipped under the bar to level the scores.

The goal precipitated some fantastically expansive play as the defenders, now getting to grips with the Bedfont 9, were spreading play with accurate cross field balls and the midfield trio of Joe Patrick, Ryan Kukoyi and James Flint were winning the centre-ground battle. Inexplicably the tide turned in the half's last 5 minutes. Squandering possession several times near their own goal Hendon became their own worst enemy! From one gift a goal looked certain but Carlos Simeon covering behind his goalkeeper made an astonishing full stretch, goalline clearance. From another, more absent-mindedness handed the home team a clear sight of goal but from 8 yards the ball was blazed over.

Acting decisively Manager Campbell tactically re-ordered the team looking to subdue the influence of Bedfont's striker. Initial signs were good as Hendon pushed back the home team. In the first minute after the resumption a Zak Miles shot was pawed over the bar. Not long after Kareem Bandaogo steamed past 3 players but pulled his shot wide and Kieran Warren, who had another fine game working in combination with Jordan Spearman on the right flank, sent in a low cross to which no green shirt could apply a touch. Critically, as it would transpire, at the zenith of Hendon's spell on top Kieran Warren's dribble from deep drew a foul that many spectators thought was a penalty. While the referee acknowledged the infringement he deemed it outside rather than inside the area, mirroring a similar marginal penalty decision in the first half that failed to go Hendon's way. Frustratingly in neither case did the free-kick that was awarded provide any sense of justice as the strikes at goal were fruitless.

Bedfont had appeared to be wearying when on 62 minutes the game changed again. The home number 9 had been undergoing his least conspicuous period as James Flint, dropping deeper into an quasi man-marking role, had muted his influence but momentarily he broke from his shackles, long enough to meet a perceptive, short straight ball slid in from midfield, with an angled run that took him behind the defence and his instant right foot shot bulged the net high to the keeper's left.

Ironically this was the striker's last kick as he hobbled from the pitch with what looked like a muscle injury. Hendon's response was again vigorous. Playing the ball earlier and a little more directly sheer will drove the team forward and it forced several great chances to equalise. Keagan Cole unnerved the keeper in the air but the ball went wide, then some last ditch blocking denied Kareem Bandaogo. From the resulting corner Keagan Cole had a header repelled but Jack Cassen appeared to net the rebound as he nodded from 4 yards past the keeper only for a the ball to be hooked off the line. Encouraged, Hendon went again and another high speed movement on the right saw Joe Patrick beat his marker to strike a perfect low cross. Johnie Scott approaching from the left-wing threw himself at the ball but despite getting there first the normally reliable goal poacher could only screw the ball wide. Breathing a massive sigh of relief Bedfont started to use profitably some of the space afforded by Hendon chasing the game. In the 75th minute they decisively took advantage with a goal of utter simplicity. Two quick passes freed a Bedfont midfielder into acres of space and the through ball threaded between a slightly unbalanced defensive line, allowed the substitute striker to run on goal unchallenged and biding his time he slipped the ball under Edgar Paxi-Cato.

Hendon's shape had by now become somewhat arbitrary and Bedfont created a chance from which they hit the bar when it seemed easier to score. Committed to saving the game Hendon kept trying to go forward and they almost reduced the arrears with a flashing drive by Keagan Cole but finally they acknowledged the dying of the light and the game finished with Hendon disappointed and Bedfont relieved.

This was a top quality match with play at times, particularly in the first half, reaching a very high standard. Hendon would reflect on their inability to make the most of some decent spells of superiority but this merely serves to emphasise the credit due to Bedfont for some ruthless finishing. Paradoxically the performance was better overall than in the win the week before. The defence, in which Jordan Spearman had a terrific match at right back, confirmed what constructive footballers they are. Midfield's purpose and coherence threatened to overwhelm their counterparts, especially in the first half and the penetration up front and wide was exciting to watch. Despite coming up short in the quest for the 3 points there were lots of positives. There were also 'details', duly noted and to be addressed by Manager Campbell and his staff, which once corrected will bring rich dividend in the games to come.

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 26 August - Hendon 3 Aldershot Town 0

The under 18s made their Ryman Youth League debut this evening in successful fashion, beating Aldershot Town 3-0 at Silver Jubilee Park.

It was an entertaining game with both sides playing good passing football, and it was the Greens who took the lead in the 5th minute when Joe Patrick finished off a fine move.

Hendon had the best of the first half, keeping the Shots in their own half of the pitch, but were just missing the cutting edge in the box. Zak Miles and Jeremie Agholor were particularly impressive down the left hand side.

The Greens continued in the same vein in the second half, and doubled the lead in the 55th minute when Kareem Bandaogo blocked a clearance from the Aldershot keeper and ensured that the ball found the back of the net.

Hendon continued to create chances, with Ryan Kukoyi and Patrick working well together to create one particularly good effort, whilst Kris Gecaj saw the ball just run away from him just after he had entered the fray from the bench.

The final goal came two minutes from time when Keagan Cole set up Gecaj to complete the win and cap an excellent team performance.

Team : Edgar Paxi-Cato, Jack Casson, Ryan Kukoyi, James Flint, Oliver Achille, Jeremie Agholor, Joe Patrick, Fabio Viel, Kareem Bandaogo, Kieran Warren, Zak Miles. Used subs : Keagan Cole, Junior Okeyke, Kris Gecaj. Unused subs : Johnie Scott, Harry Riley.

Posted at 22:28

Wednesday 29 July - League Cup draw

The league cup draw has been made and in the first round we will be away to Wealdstone, with the game scheduled for Wednesday 16th September.

Posted at 17:39

Thursday 23 July - League fixtures released

The Ryman League have released the fixtures for the Ryman Youth League, and the opening fixture will be a home game against Aldershot Town on Wednesday 26th August.

All home games will be played at Silver Jubilee Park on Wednesday evenings, with the day of away games varying depending on our opponents.

The full fixture list can be found by clicking the fixture link above.

As well as the league, the Under 18s will be taking part in the FA Youth Cup, Ryman Youth League Cup and the Middlesex County Youth Cup.

Posted at 17:17

Friday 03 July - FA Youth Cup draw

The FA Youth Cup draw has been made today, and we have received a bye in the Preliminary Round. In the First Qualifying Round we will travel to Beaconsfield SYCOB during the week commencing Monday 21st September.

Posted at 11:54

Tuesday 16 June - First friendly arranged

The under 18 side, who will be playing in the Ryman Youth League this season have arranged their first friendly of the summer. They will face AFC Dunstable at Silver Jubilee Park on Friday 21st August, kicking off at 7:00pm

Posted at 22:58