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Match Report

Whitehawk
1
Hendon
2
Date:
Saturday 09 October 2010
Competition:
FA Cup
Attendance:
178
Venue:
TBA

Match Report

Hendon reached the fourth qualifying round of the e.on-sponsored FA Cup after a narrow victory over Ryman League Division One South Whitehawk at the Enclosed Ground on Saturday afternoon. The reward for the Greens is a home tie against Wealdstone or Metropolitan Police, who drew at Imber Court at the weekend.

The Brighton club made Hendon work hard all afternoon, especially in the final 30 minutes, especially when young winger Jerahl Hughes, kept largely quiet for the previous hour, showed why former Ryman Premier champions Dover Athletic thought so much of him.

Although he was fit again, Michael Peacock was named to the bench with only Lubomir Guentchev and Daniel Wishart swapping starting and substitute roles from the team which had drawn at Bury.

The early pace was set by Whitehawk, who took advantage of kicking down the sloping pitch and having a strong wind at their backs. For all their possession, they put only effort close on target and that was a tame shot straight at Berkley Laurencin, who had earlier made a sprawling stop at the feet of Joe Gatting, the son of Brighton & Hove Albion FA Cup Final skipper Steve and nephew of former England (cricket) captain and Hendon centre-forward, Mike.

In the main, however, Gatting, a hat-trick hero against Burnham in the last round, and Ben Godfrey barely got a look-in against the excellent Craig Vargas and James Parker.

In the 14th minute a moment of indecision in the Whitehawk defence allowed Guentchev to run into space to meet Matt Hurley's misplaced clearance which bounced just outside the penalty area. He guided a header into the path of Belal Aite-Ouakrim, who slipped the ball past Alan Mansfield to give Hendon the lead.

Whitehawk have been prolific scorers in their first season at Level 4, but against Parker and Vargas, with Eddie Munnelly and Scott Cousins at full-back, supplemented by Kevin Maclaren in front of them, most of the attacks either foundered outside the penalty area or through balls were overstruck. Any time a cross did come into the danger area, Laurencin dealt with the danger with great confidence.

Hendon didn't get forward very often, but their attacks did carry more than a hint of danger. But the Greens' more defensive formation meant that Aite-Ouakrim was often foraging alone, assisted by late runs from midfield by Guentchev, Casey Maclaren, Jamie Busby and Lee O'Leary.

Apart from Jamie Brotherton replacing the injured Josh Jones for Whitehawk after 25 minutes, little of note happened in the middle 20 minutes of the first half. After 36 minutes, Cousins received a yellow card for a couple of careless challenges in the space of a minute and, barely 60 seconds later, Whitehawk were level.

Godfrey was challenged for the ball by Parker, who won the ball first time and appeared to do so a second time as Godfrey controlled it again. Fans close to the incident thought the defender had made a clean challenge and it was just outside the penalty area.

The referee - and, it must be said, Hendon players close to the incident - felt that not only was it a foul, it was inside the box, so a penalty was awarded. With the benefit of the video on the FA website - Whitehawk (and now Hendon) were being followed as part of the FA's Road to Wembley - the referee made a fine decision.

It may have been a soft penalty, but Hendon players didn't complain about the decision. Paul Armstrong stepped up and blasted the ball straight down the middle. As Laurencin dived, the ball made the top of the net bulge.

On the stroke of half-time, Kevin Maclaren also received a yellow card and it was to be just about his final action of the match. Before the second-half kicked off, maybe wanting to take advantage of the slope and the wind, Aaron Morgan was introduced to give Hendon more potency in attack.

In an interview for The Football Association website, Hendon boss Gary McCann called it a "masterstroke", and a goal less than three minutes into the period may back him up. In fact, it was the second attempt the Greens had put on the goal in the second half that produced what turned out to be the match-winner.

Ninety seconds after the resumption, Guentchev got the better of Darragh Ryan and curled in a first-time shot. The ball may have been going just inside the near post or destined for the side-netting, but Mansfield certainly couldn't have been certain of the latter scenario and he made a good save,

The corner was not a good one and it led to a half-break. Whitehawk committed quite a few players forward, but the ball was knocked forward to Parker in the centre circle. His short pass released O'Leary, who strode forward without a challenge from a Whitehawk player.

When he was 30 yards from goal, O'Leary, seeing a shooting opportunity, fired a stunning strike. As good as the effort was, the save by Mansfield, as the ball bent away from him, was better. The goalkeeper's fingertips pushed the ball against his right post, from where it flew across the goalline and struck the opposite upright. The ball bounced down and there was Morgan, in splendid isolation, to smack the ball high into the net.

Another shot from O'Leary, ten minutes later, required a save from Mansfield, but neither the strike nor the stop were as good as the earlier incident. As the game moved past the hour mark, there seemed likely to be only one winner and the Hawks' interest the FA Cup was about to come to an end.

At this point, however, Hughes stepped up. His first mazy run, after 62 minutes, forced Laurencin into a good low save down to his right. The corner was cleared without too much danger.

Three minutes later, Hughes did beat Laurencin with a shot, but the assistant referee's flag had already been raised for offside and the referee disallowed the goal.

But Hughes was far from done. His next run set up a chance first for Brotherton, whose shot was blocked by Laurencin. Casey Maclaren hacked the ball out towards the Hendon's left touchline, but it landed at the feet of Hughes, who took a touch and with most of the goal to aim at, chose a spot in the side-netting, to horror of home players and fans alike and the relief of the visiting contingent.

All the action - or almost all of it anyway - was concentrated at the end where Hendon were defending. In the 74th minute, Hughes had another run followed by a shot which Laurencin saved low down. A minute later, Hughes struck the top of the Hendon crossbar with an effort that dipped too late.

But then Whitehawk had a bit of an escape. A ball out of defence found Morgan, who burst forward, Armstrong tried to run with him, but there was only Stuart Tuck to deal with Aite-Ouakrim.

The Hawks' skipper cynically clipped the heels of the Greens substitute, who stumbled and, without fully regaining his balance, tried to feed Aite-Ouakrim who would have had an unchallenged run at goal with Tuck coming to cover Morgan's run. The defender got lucky and was able to intercept the pass and launch another attack, which ended with Gatting being denied by Laurencin. When the ball next went out of play Armstrong received a yellow card.

Unfortunately for Hendon, Morgan was injured in the challenge and he was replaced by Peacock.

Less than 30 seconds later, a through ball towards Hughes was overstruck and went out for a throw-in. Peacock trotted over to pick the ball up, but collapsed in agony. The throw-in was taken as Hendon physio Mark Findlay administered treatment to the stricken substitute.

The referee, showing excellent commonsense then stopped play to allow the stretcher-borne Peacock to be taken across the pitch and into the dressing room. The signalled the arrival of Danny Dyer, who thus substituted the substitute, who had substituted the substitute.

Playing with effectively five men in attack, Whitehawk pounded the Hendon defence. The Greens, however, had found a way to stifle Hughes, though Busby picked up a stoppage time yellow card after being carelessly caught in possession and fouling his tackler.

With three and a half of the four minutes of stoppage time expired, Busby turned with Karleigh Akehurst, was grabbed around the neck and wrestled to the ground. Busby rolled into Akehurst, causing the Hawks midfielder to fall over. The referee cautioned Busby again before producing the inevitable red card, which will see Busby miss the fourth qualifying round tie.

That red card, plus the possibly serious injury to Peacock were the only negatives in the match, which finished a few seconds after Busby had disappeared disconsolately down the tunnel.

"Our neat, passing football was well stifled by Whitehawk," admitted McCann. "But I thought we showed great grit and determination to hold onto the lead.

"Although I am little disappointed in the way that we played, the important thing is that we won and I am absolutely delighted to get through to the next round. We have a real belief amongst the players.

"I am hoping for a kind draw, which might give us a place in the first round of the Cup. I have got many very fond memories of the competition and it is one I have always loved to play in."

Report by David Ballheimer

Hendon

1
Berkley Laurencin
2
Eddie Munnelly
3
Scott Cousins
4
Craig Vargas
5
James Parker
6
Jamie Busby
7
Lubomir Guentchev
8
Lee O'Leary
9
Belal Aite-Ouakrim
10
Casey Maclaren
11
Kevin Maclaren
12
Mariusz Serwin
13
Danny Dyer
14
Daniel Wishart
15
Aaron Morgan
16
James Reading
17
Michael Peacock
18
Dave Reading

Match Events

14''
Belal Aite-Ouakrim
Jamie Brotherton replaced Josh Jones
25''
Paul Armstrong
34''
46''
Aaron Morgan replaced Kevin Maclaren
48''
Aaron Morgan
77''
Michael Peacock replaced Aaron Morgan
80''
Danny Dyer replaced Michael Peacock
Wes Tait replaced Stuart Tuck
81''
90''
Jamie Busby

Whitehawk

1
Alan Mansfield
2
Justin Gregory
3
Darren Ryan
4
Paul Armstrong
5
Matt Hurley
6
Stuart Tuck
7
Jerahl Hughes
9
Ben Godfrey
10
Joe Gatting
11
Josh Jones
18
Karley Akehurst
12
Darren Budd
14
Lee Jules
15
Wes Tait
16
Jamie Brotherton
17
Justin Harris
21
Ross Standen