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Hendon ended Tuesday night still looking for their first Ryman League points of the season, but there was certainly plenty of hope after the way the Greens battled against a very strong Fisher Athletic side, who showed just why they are many people's favourites for the Premier Division crown this season.
For 25 minutes, Hendon were put under extreme pressure by the pace and movement of the experienced south Londoners. And it was no surprise that they fell behind in that time.
In the 18th minute, a well-worked right-wing corner move ended with Leroy Griffiths getting in between a number of Hendon defenders and his deflected header ended up in the net. It was the least Fisher deserved for their previous enterprise.
Gradually Hendon began to get into the game and, in the 28th minute, Ross Pickett was distinctly unlucky to shoot over the bar from a clever Hendon free-kick by Kieran Gallagher. The chance would have been significantly easier had Fisher goalkeeper James Pullen been a little slower off his line.
The equaliser came a couple of minutes later. A cross from Gallagher was destined for one of the incoming James Burgess or Rob Courtnage, until Chris Piper knocked the ball out for a corner.
Gallagher hit the corner low, towards the near post, but Chris Piper failed to make contact as he swung his boot at the ball. It rolled into the path of John Frendo, who wasted no time in lashing the ball into the roof of the net.
Unfortunately, Hendon couldn't remain on level terms until the interval, but it took a special goal to break the deadlock, and effectively, win the game. Chris Piper broke up a Hendon attack midway inside his own half and set off on a mazy run. He beat a number of would-be tacklers, played a one-two with his brother Lenny, and slipped the ball past Dave King, off the inside of the far post and into the net.
In the second half, Hendon posed a number of questions of the Fisher defence, but in the main, they had all the answers to them. In the 65th minute, Frendo again took advantage of a tiny slip by the Fisher defence and his effort beat Pullen, but not the well-placed Ben Walshe on the goal-line and he hacked the ball clear.
In the last few minutes, after Youness Nabil and Marvyn Watson had replaced Gallagher and Eugene Ofori, Hendon had one final chance. Frendo's long-range drive didn't have the combination of power and placement to beat Pullen who was able to make a low save.