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Hendon returned to winning ways in preseason as they overcame a stern challenge from Enfield Town at the Goldsdown Ground, Brimsdown, on Thursday night.
Although the Greens conceded their first-ever goal to the Town in five games between them, they had enough quality to bounce back to win, although by the time the winner came, Enfield were down to ten men.
The starting line-up contained a number of trialists - including Ossie Zort, Ricky Brown, Carl Hunt and Andrew Judge, and, for a few of them, the level required was just a little beyond them. The first half was quite even, but Enfield Town finished the stronger, with a couple of chances going begging.
It was a much stronger Hendon team that started after the break and it did not take long for the Greens to think they had been given the chance to take the lead. In the 52nd minute, substitute John Frendo broke into the penalty area and was brought down by Jon Stephenson.
The referee originally pointed to the penalty spot, but then saw his assistant flagging for an earlier offside decision, so he reversed the free-kick, giving it to Enfield Town.
They made very good use of it too, because the ball was fed down the right side and when John Morgan crossed it into the penalty area Richard HOWARD lost his marker and glanced a header low past Dave King into the bottom corner.
Hendon hit back almost immediately. Enfield conceded a free-kick just outside their penalty area and this time there was no reversal of the decision. Keiron GALLAGHER stepped up and curled a superb, unstoppable shot into the net off the near post inches below its angle with the crossbar.
Both teams had chances to score, with Enfield Town probably feeling more aggrieved about their failure to take a couple of excellent ones.
With seven minutes remaining, a bad challenge on Bradley Brotherton caused the Enfield Town player to get up looking for revenge. Eugene Ofori placed himself between Brotherton and his assailant and tried to act as peacemaker. All he got for his troubles were first a punch then mouthful of phlegm as the enraged Brotherton spat at him.
This led to further square dancing and when the music stopped, the referee took a report from his assistant and said to him, "I have seen it; I have got him; he's gone." Despite remonstrations from players of both sides, the official would not be swayed and Brotherton was shown a red card.
Two minutes later, a speculative shot from Gallagher should have been easy for substitute goalkeeper Kalata to deal with. However, he rolled over the ball and it slipped from his grasp. Frendo's attempt was blocked, but OFORI's follow-up hit the back of the net.
"After this game, I will be limiting my squads to no more than 16 players," said manager Gary McCann. "I wanted to look at a few more trialists today and I have learned a lot."