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Match Report

Hendon
5
Wealdstone
4
Date:
Tuesday 13 December 2005
Competition:
Middlesex Senior Cup
Attendance:
103
Venue:
Hendon

Match Report

Hendon reached the quarter-final of the Middlesex Senior Cup and set up a tie away at Southern League Premier Division Northwood in late January after defeating Wealdstone 5-4, incredibly the second time the Greens have beaten these opponents by that score this season.

Byron Bubb, who had made such a difference against AFC Wimbledon at the weekend, came into the side at the expense of on-loan Ben Hudell, while Jeff Campbell took over from Danny Murphy and Andy Cook came in for the unwell Dave Hunt.

Wealdstone suffered an early blow when full back Lee Holland limped off with a hamstring injury and Luke Smith entered the fray after just 11 minutes. It wasn't long before he was celebrating his team taking the lead.

In the 15th minute, attacking at pace on the break, Wealdstone's front two of Jermaine Beckford and Richard Jolly combined well and Beckford scored pretty much as he pleased. It was start reminiscent of the Ryman League encounter at Chestnut Avenue in August.

The pattern continued over the next half-dozen minutes too, because Hendon hit back to equalise very quickly. Wealdstone failed to deal with a corner and when the ball fell to Ricci Crace, he struck a low shot through a crowd of players and the unsighted Glenn Jackson could only help the ball into the bottom corner.

Four minutes later, the goalkeeper could have no such excuse as Hendon took the lead. A long ball from Campbell invited Blaise O'Brien to chase downfield with Robin Tucker. Jackson came off his line to deal with the danger, but Tucker headed the ball past him before the pair collided. The ball rolled into the net for an own goal.

That was the end of the scoring in the first half, but not the entertainment. Both teams squandered excellent chances to score, probably the worst miss being by Cook, who needed only solid contact with a fiercely driven cross to make it 3-1. Instead his tentative nod at the ball barely deflected it.

Another quick burst of scoring saw both teams add to their tally without changing the complexion of the game. First to strike was Beckford, again finishing off a quick break with a confident finish in the 52nd minute.

Two minutes later, O'Brien's pace again caused consternation in the Wealdstone defence and Lee Chappell's desperate attempt to clear the ball succeeded only in rolling it into the path of Bubb, who steadied himself before rolling the ball into the largely unguarded goal.

Losing possession was becoming all too prevalent for both sides and it meant chances on the break were coming at regular intervals, albeit with ones for Wealdstone looking much more dangerous. And, in the 68th minute, when a wayward piece of control was snaffled up by Ross White, he sent the ball out to the right wing and when it was crossed into the middle, Jolly finished off and the scores were again level.

Amazingly that was the end of the scoring in normal time. Wealdstone looked the more likely winners, but the Hendon defence just about held out. Given the nature of this heated local rivalry, it is surprising that the referee had no need to even show a yellow card until stoppage time at the end of regulation, showing one to each team following the game's only nasty foul.

A minute into extra time, Wealdstone should have taken the lead when Beckford planted a free header wide of Dave King's goal, with the goalkeeper hopelessly exposed. It proved a costly miss.

Hendon's decisive goal came in the 93rd minute and in highly controversial fashion. O'Brien set up James Burgess for a shot, but it was rather wayward. However, Ross Pickett, on for Crace, diverted the ball off the underside of the crossbar and into the net. To the naked eye, Pickett looked to be at least four to five yards offside.

The assistant referee, however, had a different version. He explained that moments after Burgess shot, the Wealdstone defence suddenly sprinted upfield and left Pickett all alone but nevertheless onside and able to give Hendon the lead. The visitors were having none of it, and a couple of players at least were fortunate not to receive cautions for their dissent.

They were still unsettled by this goal when they allowed another one, this time a superb piece of play from the Greens. A quick interchange of passes midway inside the Wealdstone half created an opening and Bubb stole through the gap before driving a low shot past Jackson.

The game, which had been open all evening long, became even more so as the teams tired - it was Hendon's fifth match in 11 days and Wealdstone's second extra time in a week. It meant even more chances came at both ends, only to be squandered. King produced a superb save to deny Beckford in the 107th minute, while O'Brien should have done much better when clear three minutes later.

In the 115th minute, Wealdstone got the lifeline they craved. Substitute Phil Turner, who had only been on the pitch for ten minutes, cut in from the left wing and tried an early shot. James Parker attempted to block the shot but managed only to leave King slightly unsighted and the goalkeeper's clumsy attempt at a kick-save never looked like stopping or diverting the ball.

With the spectre of a penalty shoot-out looming if the Hendon defence slipped up again, they Greens rearguard finally stepped up and showed some solidity. In the final few minutes, all they allowed were a couple of harmless crosses and two shots which were easily blocked.

"This may have been really good for the neutral spectators here," said manager Gary McCann, "but for us in the dugout it was a nightmare. We were as bad as we have been in defence, but equally as good in attack. I'm just pleased that we got through."

Report by David Ballheimer

Hendon

1
Dave King
2
Iain Duncan
3
Byron Bubb
4
Mark Cooper
5
James Parker
6
Steve Good
7
James Burgess
8
Jeff Campbell
9
Ricci Crace
10
Blaise O'Brien
11
Andy Cook
12
John Frendo
14
Ross Pickett
15
Danny Murphy
16
Adilson Lopes
17
Danny Julienne

Match Events

Luke Smith replaced Lee Holland
12''
Jermaine Beckford
14''
18''
Ricci Crace
21''
Dave King
Jermaine Beckford
52''
53''
Byron Bubb
Josh Cooper replaced Carl Ashton
58''
Richard Jolly
68''
84''
Ross Pickett replaced Jeff Campbell
84''
Danny Julienne replaced Jeff Campbell
93''
Ross Pickett
94''
Byron Bubb
Phil Turner replaced Graeme Montgomery
105''
110''
Adilson Lopes replaced Andy Cook
Phil Turner
115''

Wealdstone

1
Glenn Jackson
2
Lee Holland
3
Lee Chappell
4
Ross White
5
Robin Tucker
6
Carl Ashton
7
Kenny Beaney
8
Graeme Montgomery
9
Jermaine Beckford
10
Richard Jolly
11
Gary Burrell
12
Luke Smith
14
Louis Lancaster
15
Josh Cooper
16
Phil Turner