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If pre-season matches are ever a guide to what fans can expect when the serious action kicks off, then on current evidence Hendon fans would be well avoid to arrive at half-time this season as, for the second time in three days a goalless first half was followed by a bonanza after the break.
The squad that travelled to Spartan South Midland side Tring Athletic bore a close resemblance to that which had beaten Northwood at the weekend. The only new face was that of goalkeeper Joe Wright, whilst Jamie Busby, Melvin N'Somi and Kezie Ibe did not travel.
The first period was evenly contested and played at a much higher tempo than the opening friendly had. Inside the first 10 minutes, the hosts very nearly went ahead when Chris Vardy seized upon Denis Meta's hesitation when trying to deal with a high ball and sent a measured lob over the stranded Wright from well outside the penalty area. Unfortunately, with the surface underfoot pretty close to solid, the ball bounced too high and drifted a foot over the crossbar.
Both sides were committed to passing the ball, and this made for an absorbing - if far from entertaining contest. Sights of goal were hard to come by. Sam Murphy did have a snapshot from the edge of the penalty area that was well saved, but the only other incidents of note were worrying looking knocks picked up late on by Meta and Oliver Sprague.
As expected, both sides made a raft of changes at the interval, and it took just four minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Andre Da Costa showed some deft footwork to bring a bouncing ball under control and release Jake Cass. Cass outpaced a couple of defenders on his way to the dead-ball line and cut the ball back into the 6 yard box, where it was turned home by an unwitting and unfortunate defender.
Leon Smith very nearly made it 2-0 shortly afterwards controlling a ball inside the six yard box before poking it towards the net. It looked like a certain goal before the Tring goalkeeper made a quite outstanding reaction save, flinging himself to his right to palm the ball away.
Before the Greens took control of the game, Tring could have been ahead. After seizing on some sloppy passing in midfield, a quick break saw the ball crossed low into the Hendon box where it was met on the run by a galloping Ben Seaton. Unable to set himself, the first time effort screwed high off of his right boot and ended up on the Rugby Club clubhouse roof behind the goal.
Moments later, a rash challenge inside the penalty area saw a spot kick awarded. Seaton, much steadier this time, duly despatched Wright the wrong way and the ball into the net.
Gradually, Hendon began to take control of proceedings and regained the advantage on 70 minutes. Once again, the impressive Cass was instrumental in the build up, showing good strength to shrug off a challenge and send a 20 yard drive cannoning into the base of the post. Lee O'Leary was the first to react calmly converting the rebound first time.
Ten minutes later, O'Leary had doubled his tally when finishing a well timed run into the penalty area with a neatly judged looping header that arced over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Smith was then denied again by an excellent save from the goalkeeper, before Freddie Champion was denied a goal by the officials when his dinked finish appeared to cross the line. Sadly for the young trialist, neither the referee or assistant was in a position to award the goal.
The coup de grace was administered shortly before the final whistle, when Sam Flegg cut in off the right flank and displayed a cool head to beat the goalkeeper with a measured left footed finish from the edge of the penalty area.