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Match Report

Maidstone United
2
Hendon
2
Date:
Tuesday 19 October 2010
Competition:
Isthmian League Premier Division
Attendance:
171
Venue:
TBA

Match Report

Hendon rose one place, to fourth in the Ryman League Premier Division table, on Tuesday night, but a late Joe Vines goal denied them the three points which would have put them just two points off top spot. That said, having completely dominated the first half, Maidstone United would have felt more than hard done by if they had been left pointless.

This was a special night for Hendon manager Gary McCann, his 304th match in charge, which when added to his 196 appearances as a player, meant he reached the 500 games plateau. And it was a little bit of a shame that the match had to be a low-profile one, away from home, with the FA Cup fourth qualifying round next on the schedule.

With Saturday's FA Cup tie looming large, there were a few changes to the Hendon starting line-up, with Casey Maclaren, Danny Dyer and Danny Wishart starting at the expense of Aaron Morgan, Lubo Guentchev and Kevin Maclaren.

As for bottom of the table Maidstone, they were playing for a new manager, former Gravesend & Northfleet Ryman League winning boss Andy Ford having taken over from Peter Nott only hours before kick-off. With Ford's reputation and experience, it was probably a good time for Hendon to make the long trip down to Kent.

That said, the Greens put in a poor first half performance. Whether it was the trip or the thought of a massive FA Cup tie four days later and the desire to avoid injury, or a mixture of both, Maidstone were on top for the opening 45 minutes and the Hendon management team was distinctly relieved to reach the interval trailing by only a solitary goal.

From a fifth minute corner, Jamie Peacock found himself in space but he failed to hit target from the edge of the six-yard box. Then a Kane Rice free-kick created a goalmouth scramble in which three Stones players failed to get a decisive touch.

The almost inevitable opening goal arrived after 24 minutes. A corner from Jake Hobbs reached Danny HOCKTON and he drove the ball past the exposed Berkley Laurencin.

And one almost became two when Adrian Stone strode through the indecisive Hendon defence, but with only Laurencin to beat, he fired wide of the target.

As the half came to an end, Hendon began to get a toe-hold in the contest. They had a chance to draw level when Jamie Busby had a chance on the edge of the penalty area, but he fired over the crossbar.

The Hendon dressing room was not a happy place at half-time as the management team delivered a few home truths. It certainly had the desired effect with the re-organised Greens - Kevin Maclaren taking over from skipper James Parker - started the second much more brightly.

Within a couple of minutes of the restart, Hendon almost drew level. However, Andy Walker made a fine double save, denying first Dyer then Belal Aite-Ouakrim, who was first to react to the rebound.

But it took only 10 minutes for parity to be restored. The Maidstone defence, now as jittery as the Hendon rearguard had been in the first half, failed to deal with a cross and the unmarked Casey MACLAREN made no mistake with a well-placed header past Walker.

Having conceded a goal, the Maidstone team now exhibited all the evidence of a team struggling for form and confidence. Two or three Hendon attacks looked very dangerous, but the final ball was just lacking. The Stones also suffered a blow when former Hendon favourite Jermaine Darlington limped off with an injury after 63 minutes.

Five minutes later, Aite-Ouakrim made another of his direct runs towards the penalty area. Tom Parkinson came across to deal with the danger, but succeeded only in felling the striker.

There was never any doubt about the validity of the penalty decision and it was left to Jamie BUSBY to do the honours from 12 yards. He made no mistake, coolly netting Hendon'€™s second goal.

Desperate to get something from the game, Maidstone made two more substitutions, taking off Hobbs and, surprisingly, goalscorer Hockton. On came Des Boateng and Ryan Andrews. Hendon also made a second change, Guentchev replacing Dyer.

With four minutes of normal time remaining, the Stones got the equaliser for which they been desperately searching. Colin Richmond delivered a free-kick which Peacock helped into the danger area and Joe VINES rose highest to knock the ball into the net.

And Maidstone could have taken all three points as the match see-sawed back in their favour in stoppage time. Both Stone and Richmond had great chances to grab a third Maidstone goal, but they could not take them.

"In the first half, we were as bad as we have been all season," said manager McCann, "and we could have been more than one down at the break. We gave the players a stern talking-to in the dressing rooms and if they had played like that in the second half we would have lost by three or four goals.

"But we came out with a much better attitude and deservedly took the lead on the balance of play in the second half. Then when we conceded the second goal, we might have lost it.

"It was a very difficult evening, what with the long trip down to Kent in the rush-hour and with the thoughts on the FA Cup on Saturday. But, given the way the two halves went, I don’t know whether I am pleased or disappointed to have come away with a draw. Certainly Maidstone will be a much tougher proposition in the weeks ahead.

"The good news is that we have not picked up any injuries tonight."

Report by David Ballheimer

Hendon

1
Berkley Laurencin
2
Jonathan Coke
3
Scott Cousins
4
Craig Vargas
5
James Parker
6
Jamie Busby
7
Danny Dyer
8
Lee O'Leary
9
Belal Aite-Ouakrim
10
Casey Maclaren
11
Daniel Wishart
12
Lubomir Guentchev
13
James Burgess
14
Aaron Morgan
15
Kevin Maclaren
16
James Reading

Match Events

Danny Hockton
24''
46''
Kevin Maclaren replaced James Parker
55''
Casey Maclaren
Ashley Ulph replaced Jermaine Darlington
63''
68''
Jamie Busby
Joe Vines
82''
83''
Lubomir Guentchev replaced Danny Dyer

Maidstone United

1
Andy Walker
2
Tom Parkinson
3
Jermaine Darlington
4
Joe Vines
5
James Peacock
6
Simon Glover
7
Jake Hobbs
8
Colin Richmond
9
Adrian Stone
10
Danny Hockton
11
Kane Rice
12
Ryan Andrews
14
Ashley Ulph
15
Ant Bodle
16
Des Boateng
17
Harry Lee