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Match Report

Hendon
0
Wealdstone
1
Date:
Saturday 09 April 2011
Competition:
Isthmian League Premier Division
Attendance:
251
Venue:
TBA

Match Report

Hendon suffered a second consecutive 1-0 defeat against Wealdstone in the Ryman League, going down to a narrow loss in the Vale Farm sunshine on Saturday afternoon. The match had a real end-of-season feel to it, compounded by the fact that both teams were exhausted, out of form and lacking in confidence.

The Greens made four changes to the starting line-up from the defeat at Cray Wanderers. Craig Vargas, James Burgess, Belal Aite-Ouakrim and Aaron Morgan came into the team at the expense of Kevin Maclaren (suspended), Greg Ngoyi (ineligible following a gentleman's agreement following his transfer from Wealdstone), Bradley Ambrose and Dave Diedhiou, the latter two being named among the substitutes.

Hendon came close to making a dream start in the fourth minute. Rakatahr Hudson made a break into the penalty area from the right side and suddenly found himself in front of goal. Although there were a couple of team-mates well-positioned, he was entitled to take the chance himself, but Jonathan North made a fine save.

Five minutes later, from a move not dissimilar to Hendon's, Callum Martin cut in from the right and fired a shot. James Reading got enough of a hand to the ball to push it wide of the far post, so the game remained goalless.

There was little of note in the next almost 30 minutes. Then, in the 37th minute, Hendon were awarded a free-kick just outside the edge of the Wealdstone penalty area. The Greens were given permission by the referee to take it quickly and Jamie Busby tried his luck. North tipped the ball over his crossbar, then berated the slow-forming defensive wall for not being alert to the danger.

Two minutes before the interval, Hendon had a fortunate escape when, following a goalmouth scramble after a Wealdstone corner, Wes Parker headed the ball goalwards. Reading was beaten, but Burgess positioned himself well and nodded the ball away from danger.

Five minutes into the second half, Hendon were awarded another free-kick on the edge of the Wealdstone box. Scott Cousins took responsibility for this one, but he effort was weak and was partially cleared by the Stones defence. When Morgan crossed the ball back into the danger area, it was cleared for a corner.

This, unfortunately for Hendon, came to nothing and a quick clearance allowed Wealdstone to launch a counter-attack. Although the initial danger was dealt with, the Hendon defence conceded a couple of corners, the latter of which fatally affected their winning chances.

The second corner was curled into the penalty area and no defender followed the run of Wes Parker, whose header went just inside the far post. The lack of cover at the far post was disastrous because Reading couldn’t reach the ball and it nestled in the bottom corner.

It was a rare defensive lapse on the afternoon, frustrating nonetheless for the Hendon management team, who had warned the players about losing concentration in their penalty area at set pieces.

But Eddie Munelly, Vargas, James Parker and Casey Maclaren rarely looked in great danger and Peter Dean, who has rediscovered his prolific scored touch since leaving the Greens last summer to return to the Stones, barely had a look-in all afternoon.

The problems the Greens faced was that the Wealdstone defence was equally miserly and very few chances came at either end. In the 72nd minute, Martin was denied for a second time by Reading as he again attacked from the right.

Diedhiou had already replaced Hudson at this stage and Hendon would make two more chances in the final 10 minutes, Ambrose taking over from Vargas and Albjon Blloku adding more forward firepower from midfield by coming on for Burgess.

There were just two good openings for Hendon, both of which fell to Aite-Ouakrim. The first, after 73 minutes, saw the striker produce a superb piece of skill to wriggle away from Alan Massey. He was facing the touchline when he did this and, upon turning, didn't realise he had time to not only steady himself but also, more importantly, getting his bearings right before shooting. The result was a mishit effort that went about 10 yards wide of the target.

The game became more open in the final few minutes as the players tired. Lee Chappell fired a shot wide of the post for Wealdstone before North produced the save of the match in the 81st minute.

Aite-Ouakrim again cleverly made space for a shot and this time, aided by a deflection off Darren Locke's heel, the ball was arrowing into the bottom corner. North, starting to move to his right, quickly turned the other way and made a sprawling block. He was quickest to react to the loose ball and pounced on it before Morgan was able to capitalise on the rebound possibility.

As Hendon pressed forward for an equaliser, they had to be careful not to get caught out at the back and a foul by Aite-Ouakrim might well have earned him a caution in the final minute. But the referee, Paul Forrester, who had a superb game - managing it in a way that both sets of players respected (and he kept his cards in pocket all afternoon) - limited himself to a brief lecture.

"This was a typical end of season game," said Hendon manager Gary McCann. "I told the players at half-time that one goal would settle it and it would come either from a loss of concentration or a moment of inspiration.

"Unfortunately, we didn't mark well at a corner and paid the price for it."

Report by David Ballheimer

Sponsors

Match:
National Cash Advance, Hendon
Matchballs:
Paul Foot & Doug Long

Hendon

1
James Reading
2
Eddie Munnelly
3
Craig Vargas
4
Casey Maclaren
5
James Parker
6
Rakatahr Hudson
7
Jamie Busby
8
James Burgess
9
Aaron Morgan
10
Belal Aite-Ouakrim
11
Scott Cousins
12
Barkley Miguel Panzo
13
Albjon Blloku
14
Bradley Ambrose
15
Dave Diedhiou
17
Dave Reading

Match Events

Wes Parker
51''
64''
Dave Diedhiou replaced Rakatahr Hudson
Denzil Conteh replaced Callum Martin
76''
80''
Bradley Ambrose replaced Craig Vargas
86''
Albjon Blloku replaced James Burgess

Wealdstone

1
Jonathan North
2
James Hammond
3
Alan Massey
4
Wes Parker
5
Darren Locke
6
Sean Cronin
7
Callum Martin
8
Kurtney Brooks
9
Gavin Massey
10
Peter Dean
11
Lee Chappell
12
Eddie Adjei
13
Sean Thomas
14
Denzil Conteh
15
James Duncan
16
Peter Martin