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Match Report

Billericay Town
2
Hendon
0
Date:
Tuesday 22 February 2011
Competition:
Isthmian League Premier Division
Attendance:
219
Venue:
TBA

Match Report

Hendon, despite a massively improved performance after the drubbing on Saturday, nonetheless departed from Billericay having suffered another defeat, this time 2-0. It was the second consecutive home game in which the Blues had won 2-0 with Cedric Ngakam and Benson Kpaka scoring, and in that order, too.

Unsurprisingly, there were numerous changes from the team which had been embarrassed at Lowestoft: James Reading, Daniel Sintim and Jamie Busby all came into the starting 11, at the expense of Berkley Laurencin, Jonathan Coke and Danny Dyer, respectively. John Fletcher moved into a full-back berth to allow Sintim and Brad Fraser to restore their central pairing which had looked so solid against Sutton United a week earlier.

With better finishing, and a little bit of luck at both ends of the pitch, the Greens might have been celebrating three points and the performance definitely merited at least one. Hendon's tempo, especially in the first half, was very good, though they were probably guilty of being too intricate and over-playing.

Unfortunately for Hendon, they found Ashlee Jones - whose only appearance for the Greens had been an 6-3 League Cup defeat at home to Leatherhead six years ago - in man-of-the-match-winning form. The goalkeeper made four excellent stops to deny mainly Belal Aite-Ouakrim, who, on another night, might have grabbed a first-half hat-trick from himself.

As it was, from just about the first time the Billericay attack asked serious questions of the Hendon defence they got all the answers they were looking for. It was 43rd minute corner which was played to beyond the far post. A header back across the penalty area was not dealt with by any defender and Ngakam needed no second bidding to slam the ball past Reading.

This late first-half goal, unsurprisingly, knocked back the already fragile Hendon confidence and Billericay started the second half far more positively. Ian Cousins and former Hendon youth-teamer Micah Hyde = who enjoyed a very long career in the full-time game, including a spell in the Premier League with Watford, after leaving Claremont Road as a 17-year-old - took control of the game.

In the 55th minute, an attempted clearance by Casey Maclaren was mishit and when the ball fell to a Billericay forward, he drilled it goalwards. Attempting to atone for his mistake, Maclaren threw himself in front of the shot and, a yard from the striker, blocked the ball.

It did strike him on the arm, but it was not raised far away from his body. Nevertheless, the referee still awarded a penalty and cautioned Maclaren. James Lawson took the spot-kick, but Reading made an excellent save from the powerfully-struck shot.

Seven minutes later, however, more slow reaction in the Hendon penalty area resulted in a second Billericay goal. A long throw-in was not dealt with well and Kpaka was fastest to react, shooting home.

For the next 20 minutes, Billericay looked likely to add to their lead, but Sintim and Fraser held firm. Hendon then lost Scott Cousins to an injury, while Dave Diedhiou and Lubo Guentchev were also replaced, Dyer, James Burgess and Bradley Ambrose, respectively, coming on.

Hendon tried desperately to get back into the match and they forced Billericay onto the back-foot for most of the last 10 minutes, but neither Aaron Morgan nor Aite-Ouakrim could breach the solid Billericay defence. In fact the best chance fell to Fraser, who had a great chance with a header from a corner, but he failed to put the effort on target.

Greens manager Gary McCann, said, "The last 72 hours have been very difficult and very long. The game tonight could not come around quickly enough for me.

"The performance tonight was possibly the most important thing, especially after what happened on Saturday. I was very pleased with the reaction of the players and the effort they gave me.

"I was very disappointed to lose the game, but on another day, another night, we might have got a result. Once again, we have come up against a goalkeeper on the top of his game. We certainly deserved to get something out of the game, but we made two mistakes in defence and were made to pay for them, while we had more than enough chances to have sewn up the game."

Report by David Ballheimer

Hendon

1
James Reading
2
John Fletcher
3
Scott Cousins
4
Casey Maclaren
5
Daniel Sintim
6
Bradley Fraser
7
Lubomir Guentchev
8
Dave Diedhiou
9
Aaron Morgan
10
Belal Aite-Ouakrim
11
Jamie Busby
12
Danny Dyer
13
James Burgess
14
Jonathan Coke
15
Eddie Munnelly
17
Bradley Ambrose

Match Events

73''
Danny Dyer replaced Scott Cousins
75''
James Burgess replaced Dave Diedhiou
81''
Bradley Ambrose replaced Lubomir Guentchev

Billericay Town

Squad unknown