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Match Report

Worthing
1
Hendon
1
Date:
Saturday 18 March 2006
Competition:
Isthmian League Premier Division
Attendance:
394
Venue:
TBA

Match Report

Hendon left Worthing with a point that would have been gratefully accepted before the game on Saturday afternoon, but which was again scant reward for domination. It is now three consecutive Saturdays that Hendon have merited all three points, only for anaemic finishing to cost them a point. Those six points would have seen the Greens clear of 19th place.

Daniel Mead's surprise return to Hemel Hempstead signalled a recall for Iain Duncan in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up. Adilson Lopes to his spot as a substitute, while Dave King also had to be content with a place on the bench - in place of the departed Danny Julienne - as Rikki Banks was preferred between the posts.

The Victor Gladwish Stadium weather varied significantly; at the Woodside Road end, where the sun shone brightly in the faces of fans and the wind was blocked, it was a warmish spring day; everywhere else, the wind ensured it was more like midwinter.

Hendon elected to have the Arctic blast at their backs in the first half and although they didn�t make full use of it, they nonetheless made a better fist of it than the Rebels did after the break. Chuck Martini twice had to go down low to his left to save from Dave Hunt and Blaise O'Brien, but neither player got the cleanest of contacts on their shots.

Midway through the half, Hendon took a rather fortunate lead. Awarded a free-kick for a foul by Andy Lutwyche on Andy Cook, Charlie Mapes floated the ball towards goal. Ross Pickett got himself in a great position to head for goal, but he was beaten to the ball by Worthing skipper Marc Cable, who flicked it perfectly into the roof of the net with Martini no more than a spectator.

The Dons should have pressed on from there and continued to put pressure on the now very uncomfortable Rebels back line. A drop kick from Banks bounced out for a goal-kick, then he put one on target and Martini was at full stretch to catch the ball as Pickett vainly tried to get a flick.

In the 38th minute, Hendon won a free-kick in another dangerous position. Incredibly, given the earlier success, Mapes decided to go for a short pass and the ball was not only hurriedly cleared, but it set up a half-chance for Worthing, with Tarkan Mustafa leading the charge, which was cleared at the expense of a corner. The Hendon bench was not best pleased at the waste.

Worthing finished the half with three excellent goalbound efforts, all of which were well saved by Banks. First Steve Slade - three years removed from starting for Queens Park Rangers - drove a shot towards the top corner that was tipped aside. Then Shaun Grice saw his effort pushed clear, before veteran Conference striker Stafford Browne watched Banks dive to hold onto his strike.

Hendon should have extended their lead two minutes into the second half, when Hunt again got himself into a great position. He was again denied by Martini from a shot that could have carried much more venom.

In the 55th minute, Worthing got back on level terms. For all of Banks' heroics before half-time, he has to take full responsibility for the underhit goal-kick which Browne caressed into the path of Danny Davis, who needed no second bidding to lash the ball into the roof of the net. Gifted an equaliser, Worthing failed to take advantage. All too often the final ball was overhit or runners were caught offside.

The miss of the match came in the 67th minute and it was O'Brien who was left holding his head in hands. Mapes released O'Brien, who was being tracked by Lutwyche until he fell down.

With only Martini to beat, O'Brien had the time and space to pick his spot. The goalkeeper anticipating a shot moved to his right, offering O'Brien all of the left side of the goal. O'Brien, however, went for precision, aiming at the inside of the post and he put the ball a yard the wrong side of it.

It was cruelly suggested that maybe it was Hendon's band of fans, particulary six teenagers who sang loudly throughout the afternoon - and gave great support - trying to suck the ball into the net who caused the miss because they were ten yards to that side of the target.

Darren Watson replaced Pickett for the last 20 minutes but he could not force a breakthrough. Both teams also forced a succession of corners in this period, but neither was able to do much with the opportunities.

"Once again, I cannot fault the commitment, desire and passion of the players," said manager Gary McCann. "They gave me everything, but we just cannot get the result our efforts deserve."

Report by David Ballheimer

Hendon

1
Rikki Banks
2
Lee O'Leary
3
Iain Duncan
4
James Parker
5
Mark Cooper
6
Marc Leach
7
Dave Hunt
8
Charlie Mapes
9
Ross Pickett
10
Blaise O'Brien
11
Andy Cook
12
James Burgess
14
Adilson Lopes
15
Darren Watson
16
Dave King
17
Takumi Ake

Match Events

22''
Rikki Banks
Danny Davis
55''
Andy Alexander replaced Steve Slade
70''
71''
Darren Watson replaced Ross Pickett
Sam Francis replaced Sam Rents
86''

Worthing

1
Chuck Martini
2
Tarkan Mustafa
3
Sam Rents
4
Ben Andrews
5
Marc Cable
6
Andy Lutwyche
7
Danny Davis
8
Jamie Lawrence
9
Steve Slade
10
Stafford Browne
11
Shaun Grice
12
Andy Alexander
14
Marc Knee
15
Paul Rogers
16
Sam Francis
17
David Leaver