Hendon advanced to the quarter-final of the Middlesex Senior Cup with a relatively smooth 5-1 victory over Hillingdon Borough at Claremont Road on Tuesday night. The Greens will be away to Wealdstone, with the tie scheduled for late January.
Paul Yates, Kieran Gallagher and Eugene Ofori came into the starting line-up at the expense of Paul Towler, Steve Forbes and Ricci Crace, respectively, with the latter two taking places on the subs bench. The Hillingdon line-up, managed by former Hendon reserve team and assistant manager Steve Ringrose, included two former youth-teamers Tobi Morrissey and Steve Hand, themselves sons of former first-teamers Pat Morrissey (another son Chad also played) and Gary Hand.
After a quiet opening, Hendon took the lead in the 14th minute when Steve BUTLER was quickest to react to a near-post free-kick and he side-footed the ball past Adrian Creamer. The lead could have been doubled on two or three occasions, but Creamer did well to deny Martin Randall and Eugene Ofori shot wide when Randall was better placed for a shot at goal.
The second goal arrived in the last minute of the half. Randall attacked down the left side, waited for Creamer to commit himself and slid the ball across the goal area to the unmarked Ofori. Having taken a touch to control the ball, OFORI looked up and fired the ball past Kevin Swift who had tried to cover the shot on the goalline.
One minute into the second half, Hendon were denied a penalty when Mark Cooper was brought down by Creamer as the defender took the ball past the goallkeeper. Referee Mr A Street ruled that the goalkeeper had made contact with the ball as he awarded a corner.
Hillingdon profited from this escape and enjoyed their best spell of the match, forcing Hendon into a more defensive mode. They scored the goal of the game in this period, too, in the 58th minute. Mark McGINTY ran onto a defence-splitting through ball and fired a fine dipping drive over David Hook.
Conceding a goal stirred Hendon into action and it took only 5 minutes before the 2-goal lead was restored. Dale Binns had just replaced Jamie Burgess on the left side - Iain Duncan dropped back into defence to allow Binns to operate in his favoured role - when an attack built down the right wing.
The ball was played into the penalty area and was not cleared properly. Two shots flew towards goal only to be blocked by a defenders. A third effort was brilliantly parried by Creamer, but he could not recover in time to deny YATES, who nodded the ball into the net.
Six minutes later, the Hillingdon defence cracked again. Under extreme pressure from Randall, Swift passed the ball back to Creamer, who had little alternative other than to pick it up because of the proximity of the two players. From a few inches inside the penalty area, the ball was knocked sideways to GALLAGHER, who curled a beautiful shot into the roof of the net.
Immediately, Crace replaced Randall and, 4 minutes later, Simon Huggett was given his debut when he came on for Jon-Barrie Bates.The Morrissey brothers and McGinty made way for Nick Rundell, Ryan Fenton and Luke Jackson as both teams rang the changes.
Hendon's superior fitness and speed of thought came through again in the 82nd minute, when CRACE ran onto the through ball and rolled the ball past Creamer for a 5th goal. It was no more that the Dons deserved.