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Match Report

Hendon
3
Enfield Town
2
Date:
Tuesday 23 November 2010
Competition:
Middlesex Senior Cup
Attendance:
81
Venue:
TBA

Match Report

Hendon, although far from their best, were still too strong for a struggling Enfield Town team in the first round of the Middlesex Senior Cup at Vale Farm. The Greens will now travel to Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday 7 December. The game, it must be said, was very entertaining with both teams contributing equally to the fare.

The team was much changed from the one which had beaten Croydon Athletic 10 days earlier, with Scott Cousins and Craig Vargas returning after suspension and Eddie Munnelly coming in at right back. Jonathan Coke, Kevin Maclaren and Daniel Wishart were the three players to drop out.

Enfield Town, who went into the game on the back of six defeats in seven games, the worst run in club history, made a great start, opening the scoring in the eighth minute. The Hendon defence failed to clear a ball on the edge of their penalty area and when it fell to Daniel Jones he shot at goal. The ball took a huge deflection, giving James Reading no chance in the Hendon goal.

For the next 20 minutes, Hendon completely dominated. Both Cousins and Lee O'Leary were bundled over in the penalty area, only for their penalty appeals to be waved away by the referee and, on two other occasions, balls struck defenders on the hand inside the penalty area, though penalty awards for either incident would have been harsh in the extreme.

All that was lacking for Hendon to get back into the game was the right ball into the danger area. Rob Blackburne - despite his lack of inches = dealt more than competently with any cross that came close to him. His one save was a low plunging effort to keep out an acrobatic shot from Lubomir Guentchev, and the ball was probably just missing the target anyway.

The reward for the pressure came after half an hour. A corner was curled into the penalty area, O'Leary lost his marker - though the impression was that none had taken the responsibility - and planted a header past the exposed Blackburne.

Three minutes into the second half, a clever piece of skill from Casey Maclaren took him clear of the last defender. He flicked the bouncing ball over Blackburne, but didn't have time to check his bearings before heading the ball, the result being the ball went inches the wrong side of the post from a Hendon perspective.

The feeling grew that Maclaren was fated not to get him name on the scoresheet in the 58th minute. He again got clear of McKay and would have had only Blackburne to beat, had the defender not grabbed his shirt.

It was neither subtle nor unclear as the shirt became untucked from inside Maclaren's shorts; unfortunately, neither the referee nor his assistant saw it. Had a penalty been awarded, McKay's evening's work, almost certainly, would have ended significantly earlier than either he or his team would have wanted.

In the 61st minute a long diagonal ball from Danny Dyer was a bit too high and deep for Maclaren, but he chased it nonetheless. Maclaren was probably seven yards away from the ball, and a few feet under it, too, when McKay shoved him unceremoniously in the back.

This time the foul was spotted by the referee and he immediately pointed to the penalty spot, pretty much where Maclaren was lying. McKay was shown a yellow card and a couple of teammates were probably fortunate not to receive the same sanction for their protests. Just because Maclaren had no chance of the reaching the ball, it didn't change the fact that he was fouled, so the referee, having seen the offence, had no alternative but to award the penalty.

Jamie Busby had the responsibility of taking the kick and this was one of his best. Blackburne guessed incorrectly, but even if he had stood where the ball was struck, he would have done remarkable well to keep it out as it flew into the roof of the net.

Hendon made their first substitution midway through the second half, Brian Haule taking over from Munnelly. A minute later, Enfield Town were level. The Hendon defence dithered and Reading failed to deal with the ball, so Leon Osei banged it into the net.

Enfield then made two quick changes McKay, who was probably one foul away from a red card, was replaced by former Hendon man Mark Kirby, who had been dropped as a disciplinary measure by manager Steve Newing, and Adam came on for Richard Morton.

On an increasingly cold evening, fans were bracing themselves for another 30 minutes.Those fears were not realised, however, because Hendon found a way to win the game. Dyer attacked down the right and fed Guentchev, whose cross-come-shot took a deflection just away from Haule. The ball fell to Cousins, who shaped to shoot, committing Paul Campbell into a lunge towards him.

Cousins, instead, lifted the ball towards the penalty spot, a little behind Haule, but right into the path of the oncoming Busby. The midfielder doesn't get many goals with his head, but Busby's flying effort, his 12th goal of the season, was certainly spectacular. It's a shame no photographer was on hand to record the moment for posterity.

To their credit, Enfield Town refused to lie down and the final eight minutes saw end-to-end action. Over-committing to attack, the Towners left numerous holes at the back, but Hendon failed to capitalise. Town, meanwhile had two great chances to level things, but Liam Hope and substitute Volkan Calcalioglu both failed to hit the target from very close range.

"We didn't defend anywhere near well enough," said Hendon manager Gary McCann, "and, offensively, we wasted far too many chances.

"If we had been more clinical we might have hit double figures tonight. That said, we still scored another three goals, and we had three strikers out injured. That just shows where we are about at the moment."

Report by David Ballheimer

Hendon

1
James Reading
2
Eddie Munnelly
3
Craig Vargas
4
Michael Peacock
5
James Parker
6
Danny Dyer
7
Lubomir Guentchev
8
Lee O'Leary
9
Casey Maclaren
10
Jamie Busby
11
Scott Cousins
12
Dave Reading
13
Lee Scott
14
Fabion Simms
15
Brian Haule
16
Berkley Laurencin

Match Events

Daniel Jones
Leon Osei
30''
Lee O'Leary
61''
Jamie Busby
67''
Brian Haule replaced Eddie Munnelly
Mark Kirby replaced Craig McKay
71''
Adam Wallace replaced Richard Morton
74''
83''
Jamie Busby
Volkan Calcalioglu replaced Leon Osei
87''

Enfield Town

1
Rob Blackburne
2
Paul Campbell
3
Daniel Jones
4
Craig McKay
5
David Kendall
6
Lee Protheroe
7
Andy Jones
8
Richard Morton
9
Liam Hope
10
Leon Osei
11
Daniel Forward
12
Mark Kirby
14
Adam Wallace
15
Volkan Calcalioglu
16
Kemal Ozyasa