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Match Report

Hendon
2
Margate
3
Date:
Saturday 19 March 2011
Competition:
Isthmian League Premier Division
Attendance:
164
Venue:
TBA

Match Report

Hendon and Margate played out a match at Vale Farm on Saturday that was as bizarre as it was entertaining and thrilling. The bare facts are that Margate won 3-2, but they achieved it despite conceding two penalties and having two men sent off, whereas Hendon had one player sent off and conceded what proved to be the match-winning spot-kick.

It must be said that this was neither a dirty game, nor one littered with bad challenges. In addition, not one of the major decisions was either particularly controversial or disputed vehemently by the offending party or parties and the referee got all of them exactly right.

The Greens were forced into a couple of changes from the team which drew with Lowestoft. Nick Morgan was recalled by Billericay, the emergency recall being permitted only for goalkeepers, so Berkley Laurencin came in.

James Burgess was another absentee, unavailable for a few days, while Lubo Guentchev and Aaron Morgan were given places on the bench, Kevin Maclaren, Danny Dyer and Brian Haule replacing them. There was also good news with the return of a fit Craig Vargas on the bench, this after missing two months with an ankle injury.

Those changes were minor compared to those at Margate. One squad player, Dan Subbs, left to join Maidstone, while manager Iain O'Connell was relieved of his duties the day before the game and three players, centre-half and skipper Craig Cloke, midfielder Wayne Wilson and striker James Pinnock, were in temporary charge.

Margate attacked Hendon from the kick off and nearly took the lead within 15 seconds when a 20-yard shot was fumbled by Laurencin and he recovered just in time to prevent the ball from dribbling over the line. With a crisis of confidence never far away, it was not the start he or the team wanted and, for the next few minutes, there was distinct jitteryness in the Hendon backline.

And, unsurprisingly, it took only until the eighth minute for Hendon to concede the opening goal. A long throw in glanced off the top of Dave Diedhiou's head and went into the middle of the penalty area where Cloke ran past James Parker and glanced a header just inside the far post.

Six minutes later, Jamie Busby misplayed a pass in midfield and it allowed Wilson to knock the ball into space behind the Hendon defence. Parker should have dealt with it, but hoped the ball would reach Laurencin without his intervention.

However, with Tom Bradbrook on his heels, by the time he realised that he would need to play the ball, he was off balance and the attempted pass to his goalkeeper was very short. Bradbrook got his foot to the ball and knocked it past the advancing goalkeeper into the empty net.

As bad as going 2-0 down was, things got even worse for Hendon in the 22nd minute when Dyer made a bad challenge on the halfway line. Margate players were incensed by the challenge, but the referee was quick to defuse a potentially fiery situation, leading Dyer away from the throng of players.

From side on, the feeling was a yellow card would suffice; from behind the goal, however, the red card shown by the referee was looked more appropriate. It meant that Hendon would have to play three-quarters of the match with only ten players.

In fact, although Margate enjoyed more possession over the next few minutes, the reorganised Greens soon began to counter the very direct style employed by the Gate. In the 40th minute, Hendon had their first real opening. Greg Ngoyi had the chance, but he was denied by Jamie Turner, who was off his line quickly to block with his legs.

At half-time, the Hendon management team reshuffled the troops, moving Dave Diedhiou into midfield and effectively played a three-man defence. Within seven minutes of the resumption, after a couple of half-chances were spurned, the Greens were back in the game.

Belal Aite-Ouakrim picked up the ball on the halfway line. Margate midfielders and defenders to a man stood off the tall striker and he did what he does best - run at the the defence. By the time the defence realised they were in danger, it was too late.

After shimmying past two blue-shirted players, Aite-Ouakrim played a neat one-two just outside the 'D' of the penalty area and suddenly, there was only one defender to beat. A neat body swerve later, only Turner could stop Aite-Ouakrim, and the big goalkeeper was left with no chance as the shot flew past him.

Buoyed by the goal, Hendon's confidence returned and the Margate defence was under constant pressure from Haule, Ngoyi and Aite-Ouakrim. And, in a near mirror image - Hendon scored their second-half goals around a minute earlier than the two Margate first-half ones - the Greens were level before the hour mark.

In the 58th minute a deep cross to the far post picked out Haule who was about to have an almost free header at goal, three yards from the target. Tommy Osborne, many inches shorter than the Hendon man, made a desperate move, palming the ball away from danger.

The referee instantly pointed at the penalty spot and the only question was whether he judged the offence denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity. He deemed it to be so and produced his second red card of the afternoon.

Busby, who had missed a potential match-winning spot-kick in the first fixture at Hartsdown Park, was again entrusted with the responsibility from 12 yards. He struck the ball hard and low and although Turner guessed correctly, Busby's strike was too close to the post for the goalkeeper to get even a hand on it.

But Hendon were, once again, quick to push the self-destruct button. Seven minutes later, Hendon forced a corner, which was played short. Scott Cousins' cross was too close to Turner, who caught the ball easily and immediately threw it out to Wilson, who was in space just outside the penalty area.

Shaun Welford was invited to chase a through ball with only Casey Maclaren for company. Maclaren had the better position but his attempted pass back to Laurencin was short and Welford latched onto it.

The goalkeeper tried to reach the ball first, but failed. He did, however, manage to force Welford wide and the striker needed to get the ball under control before he was able to turn and face the target. It also allowed a couple of covering defenders to get back to make Welford's task harder.

As Welford cut back towards goal, he first had to beat Laurencin for the second time. The goalkeeper was in no position to dive across with his hands, so he tried a sliding tackle. Whether he won the ball or not, Laurencin sent Welford sprawling and the referee again pointed to the penalty spot.

The match official, once more, was left to consider if this was an obvious goalscoring opportunity. He felt that a combination of the angle available to Welford and the presence of two defenders on the goalline were sufficient for him to show Laurencin a yellow card.

Wilson stepped up to take the penalty and he confidently sent Laurencin the wrong way. This was the third time this season that the Greens had fought back to equalise from 2-0 down only to concede the next goal.

The drama was far from over. In the 73rd minute, Kevin Maclaren played a one-two on the edge of the Margate penalty area. Maclaren controlled the ball 12 yards from goal but, before he could shoot, Pinnock slid in and brought him down.

As Pinnock received the yellow card, the referee, almost imperceptibly, smiled and shook his head, disbelieving what he was watching. Busby, attempting to score his 50th goal for the club, took the penalty, but after going in the opposite direction, was denied the equaliser by a magnificent save from Turner, who pushed the ball away from the target.

Less than a minute later, James Rogers tried to stop Hendon taking a quick set-piece on the right touchline and was cautioned. Then, 30 seconds after that, still unhappy at the merited cautioned he had just received, he made a silly challenge and the referee produced two more cards, one yellow and one red.

Margate were now left with 15 minutes to defend their lead with a numerical disadvantage. They resorted to a 6-1-1 formation, sending on Andrew Miller for Bradbrook. Hendon responded by replacing Haule with Morgan.

And Gate's nine men did just enough to hang on, led by the outstanding Cloke, who didn't lose a header when it mattered in either penalty area, and Turner, who organised the defence mangnificently and made three saves, though none particularly difficult.

But Margate did get one piece of good luck. In the 85th minute, Busby crashed a 20-yard shot off the inside of the post. Despite a host of green shirts inside the penalty area, the rebound bounced to a Margate defender who completed the clearance.

"You could say we played suicide football," said a frustrated Hendon manager Gary McCann. "We have forgotten how to win a game at the moment.

"We made too many mistakes defensively, especially in the first half. In the second half we created enough chances to win five games. If we had been enjoying some good luck, the ball from Busby’s shot would have hit the goalkeeper and gone in or landed at the feet of one of our players."

Report by David Ballheimer

Sponsors

Matchballs:
Robert Fraser
Mascots:
Finlay Fraser

Hendon

1
Berkley Laurencin
2
Dave Diedhiou
3
Scott Cousins
4
Casey Maclaren
5
James Parker
6
Jamie Busby
7
Danny Dyer
8
Kevin Maclaren
9
Greg Ngoyi
10
Belal Aite-Ouakrim
11
Brian Haule
12
Craig Vargas
13
Bradley Ambrose
14
Aaron Morgan
15
Eddie Munnelly
17
Lubomir Guentchev

Match Events

Craig Cloke
8''
Tom Bradbrook
15''
22''
Danny Dyer
52''
Belal Aite-Ouakrim
Tommy Osborne
58''
58''
Jamie Busby
Wayne Wilson
65''
Andrew Miller replaced Tom Bradbrook
75''
James Rogers
75''
81''
Aaron Morgan replaced Brian Haule
Dan Langiano replaced Shaun Welford
90''

Margate

1
Jamie Turner
2
Tommy Osborne
3
Curtis Robinson
4
Aaron Lacy
5
Craig Cloke
6
Sam Groombridge
7
Wayne Wilson
8
James Rogers
9
Shaun Welford
10
James Pinnock
11
Tom Bradbrook
12
Dan Hughes
14
Andrew Miller
15
Josh Winchcombe
16
Dan Langiano
17
Courtney Robinson