Hendon's FA Cup adventures - Part 4

Greensnet Editor
Wed 31 Oct 2012, 08:23

In today's final part of our look back at our previous FA Cup adventures, we start with games that our current management team will remember very well.

1996 saw the club reach the first round for the first time in 8 seasons, and the reward was a trip to Cardiff City who won 2-0.

The following year, having beaten St Albans City in the fourth qualifying round, Leyton Orient came to Claremont Road. In front of 2,241 spectators Colin Simpson scored twice for us to take the tie back to Brisbane Road. The replay, which had the second half broadcast live on BBC Radio Five Live, saw us pick up our second win over league opposition. Gary McCann and Freddie Hyatt were involved in the build up to the goal, and when John-Simon White crossed the ball, Junior Lewis was able to head the ball home. Gary then went on to put in a superb performance in goal to ensure that the job was completed. The reward was a little bit disappointing, being a return to Cardiff City. This time we got on the scoresheet thanks to Naseem Bashir, but the Welsh side ran out 3-1 winners.

We kept our good FA Cup form up the following year, this time entertaining Notts County, then managed by Sam Alladyce, at Claremont Road with 1,627 in attendance. Following a goalless draw at home, and then the original replay being called off due to thick fog in Nottingham, the league side won the replay 3-0, but had to wait for over an hour to break the deadlock.

We made it four appearances in four years in 1999, with the first round seeing us travel to Bath City. Goals from Dominic Gentle and Bontcho Guentchev seeing us progress. Blackpool were our opponents in the second round, and so we travelled to Bloomfield Road. Blackpool won 2-0, but
not before they had been given an almighty scare when Bontcho Guentchev hit the bar. Our reward had we made it through would have been a trip to Arsenal. Oh what might have been! One of the memories that will live with the author of this piece is seeing so many Blackpool supporters wait for the Hendon players to leave the field, giving them a standing ovation as they did so.

That was to be our last appearance in the competition proper until two years ago in 2010 when we travelled to Chelmsford City. In a thoroughly entertaining game Jamie Busby scored twice, but the Essex side ultimately won 3-2.

And so we come to this season, and our trip to Aldershot Town. Will we make history once again? We'll find out in a few days time.