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Match Report

Harrow Borough
2
Hendon
3
Date:
Monday 30 August 2010
Competition:
Isthmian League Premier Division
Attendance:
235
Venue:
TBA

Match Report

Hendon made it two wins out of four and became the first Ryman Premier side to reach the ten-goal mark when they came from 2-1 down to beat Harrow Borough in a tempestuous match at Earlsmead on Bank Holiday Monday.

Make no mistake, the better team won, but Borough players, officials and supporters were left seething as the Greens converted two penalties in the final twelve minutes and the home team had no less than six players cautioned over the course of the game.

The match official might have realised it was not going to be his day when Nick Jupp, the Harrow goalkeeper, walked onto the pitch wearing almost identical kit to Hendon's new away strip - silver shirts with black shorts and socks. The keeper had to change his shirt after the pre-match handshakes. But he didn't delay proceedings because a damaged net at the clubhouse end took almost five minutes to be repaired.

When the match finally started, Hendon had Casey Maclaren back for his seasonal reappearance after sitting out a suspension (Dave Diedhiou made way for him), while Fabion Simms was named as a substitute for the first time, though he was not used.

And the Greens (Silvers?) made a perfect start, taking the lead inside four minutes. Lubomir Guentchev chased a ball right to the goal-line, on the edge of the penalty area, doing well to reach it before Kwasi Frempong.

There seemed nothing on, at least in the eyes of Jupp, whose advice to Frempong was, "Leave him - he's going nowhere." Frempong didn't leave him, but Guentchev still managed to make space for an inch-perfect cross. The ball floated over the out-of-position Jupp and was met with an almost free header by Aaron MORGAN, who had got in front of Dean Marney. He guided the ball into the net from the edge of the six-yard box.

Former Hendon favourite Dean Green was the first Borough player to fall foul of the referee, picking up a yellow card for a nasty-looking late challenge Eddie Munnelly as he was making a clearance. Some referees might have considered it a challenge worthy of a red card, but Green nonetheless saw yellow.

He was followed into the book, late in the half by Morgan for kicking the ball away at a free kick, albeit one conceded by another Hendon player, close to where Green had offended.

By the time Morgan was in the book, Hendon might have been three more goals to the good. First Kevin Maclaren had a powerful drive deflected away by a Harrow defender and the rebound was struck wide of the target.

Then Belal Aite-Ouakrim ran onto a through ball from Casey Maclaren, was too strong for Wayne Walters, but failed in his attempt to take the ball around Jupp. He might have been better served trying a shot from 15 yards.

In the 36th minute, Aite-Ouakrim was unlucky to hit the top of the crossbar after a superb piece of control took the ball from waist height and past the oncoming Jupp in one motion. Unfortunately for him, the ball was just too high to roll into the net and his touch too strong to stay below crossbar height.

These misses proved very costly because, in the last of three minutes of stoppage time, Borough equalised. A throw-in from the left wing was not dealt with and when the ball bounced down, Troy HEWITT was completely unmarked as he hooked the ball past Berkley Laurencin into the roof of the net.

Nine minutes into the second half, a late challenge on Michael Peacock by David Ijaha left the young defender lying on the ground in agony. The referee allowed play to continue for a several seconds before he stopped play. After Peacock limped from the pitch, he was able to resume a few seconds later, play resumed with a Hendon free-kick. Ijaha received no sanction and the free-kick came to nothing.

In the 55th minute, Harrow replaced both Green and Lewis Cook with Rocky Baptiste and Dean Fenton, respectively. A minute later, Borough were breathing a sigh of relief as Guentchev outpaced Frempong, but just failed to keep the ball in play.

In the 64th minute, Guentchev again tried his luck against Frempong and this time was able to keep the ball in play - or would have, had Frempong not shoved him unsubtly towards the advertising hoardings behind the goal. Although appearing to be in a good position, the referee either didn't see the Frempong commit the foul, or decided the contact was incidental.

On the bench, Hendon manager Gary McCann complained long and loud about the lack of a penalty and received a lengthy lecture from the referee. And his mood only got worse eight minutes later when another non-decision, this time in the other penalty area, went against Hendon.

A poor back-pass was cleared only for a corner on the Harrow right. When the ball was played in towards the near post, James Parker got in front of his Harrow opponent but seemed to be shouldered in the back as he attempted to clear. The ball ran loose and when the ball was played back into the penalty area, MARNEY had a free header from 10 yards hitting the roof of the net with power. In years gone by, Hendon would have fallen apart, probably lost their discipline and conceded more goals; but this appears to be a mentally stronger outfit and they set about getting back into the game.

In the 75th minute, Parker broke up a Harrow attack on the half-way line, and set off downfield. Two quick passes saw him reach the penalty area, where he knocked the ball past Ronayne Marsh-Brown. Jupp came off his line and Parker knocked the ball past him.

Jupp advanced off his line and lunged at Parker who went over without any contact between the two players. The referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Jupp was first to react, shoving Parker into the ground while Marsh-Brown followed up. Lee O'Leary tried to act as peacemaker and was struck by the irate full-back himself. After consulting with his assistant the referee showed both Marsh-Brown and O'Leary yellow cards.

Having escaped any sanction for the penalty or his reaction to the decision Jupp then avoided a third for his gamesmanship as he twice walked into his goal to take a drink. If he was trying to put off GUENTCHEV, he failed miserably, because the penalty was struck firm and true, high above and beyond the goalkeeper's dive.

Two minutes later, Fenton also went into the referee's notebook, this time after a trip on Aite-Ouakrim. The free-kick didn't trouble Jupp. Almost immediately, Mariusz Serwin replaced the tiring Aite-Ouakrim.

With four minutes of normal time remaining, Hendon were awarded a second penalty, and again Harrow players were furious at the decision. A dead-ball was hit to beyond the far post, where Serwin jumped with Wayne Walters. The Harrow captain, on the wrong side of the attacker, successfully put off Serwin by pulling him back with both arms around the forward.

The referee had a perfect view of the incident and, after a moment's hesitation pointed to the spot. Walters' reaction was first to vent his frustration on an advertising hoarding, then to deliver a mouthful of invective at the referee, for which he received a yellow card.

GUENTCHEV, meanwhile, waited quietly and patiently for the referee to allow him to take his second penalty. The ball was struck with the same confidence and precision as the first and Jupp's dive, in the other direction, made the spot-kick look even better.

Danny Dyer came on for Morgan as the game moved into the first of a niggardly five minutes of stoppage time. But there was still time for Craig Vargas to concede a free-kick just outside the Hendon penalty area, though Harrow could not profit from it.

A delighted McCann said, "The response by my players to conceding in first-half stoppage time and then in the second half to go behind 2-1 was absolutely outstanding. In the past, my teams, in the face of this adversity, would have fallen apart; we would have conceded a lot more goals and lost our discipline. But now we have a greater mental strength and it came through.

"I must say that Hendon totally deserved to win the game, but it took two big decisions to turn it our way.

"I spoke with Lubo yesterday about pressure and how to handle it. And, boy, did he come up trumps. They were two excellent penalties, when it really mattered."

Report by David Ballheimer

Hendon

1
Berkley Laurencin
2
Eddie Munnelly
3
Craig Vargas
4
Michael Peacock
5
James Parker
6
Kevin Maclaren
7
Lubomir Guentchev
8
Lee O'Leary
9
Aaron Morgan
10
Casey Maclaren
11
Belal Aite-Ouakrim
12
Danny Dyer
13
Matt O'Brien
14
Fabion Simms
15
Mariusz Serwin
16
James Reading

Match Events

4''
Aaron Morgan
11''
Mariusz Serwin replaced Unknown
Troy Hewitt
45''
Dean Fenton replaced Lewis Cook
55''
Rocky Baptiste replaced Dean Green
55''
Dean Marney
72''
79''
Lubomir Guentchev
89''
Lubomir Guentchev
90''
Danny Dyer replaced Craig Vargas
Leon Solomon replaced Kwasi Frempong
90''

Harrow Borough

1
Nick Jupp
2
Kwasi Frempong
3
Romayne Marsh-Brown
4
Wayne Walters
5
Dean Marney
6
David Ijawa
7
Lewis Cook
8
Danny Leech
9
Dean Green
10
Troy Hewitt
11
Ryan Watts
12
Rocky Baptiste
14
Leon Solomon
15
James Fraser
16
Dean Fenton
17
Kenta Nakashima