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Match Report

Hendon
3
Farnborough
0
Date:
Monday 14 December 2015
Competition:
Isthmian League Premier Division
Attendance:
136
Venue:
Harrow Borough

Match Report

Hendon went into Monday's night match with Farnborough at Earlsmead in the uncomfortable position of having a relegation six-pointer in December. After the disappointment of losing the same opponents two weeks earlier, and on the back of a poor performance at Billericay on Saturday, this time the Greens got it absolutely right and they coasted to a dominant 3-0 victory.

Mark Kirby and Dean Cracknell returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Luke Tingey, who dropped to the bench, and Sam Murphy, who was absent on business, while two new signings - both on dual registration deals - were also involved. Striker Ismael Ehui arrived from Hayes & Yeading United and took over from Ben Pattie leading the attack and Carl McCluskey - who is also on Edgware Town's books – returned to the Greens and was named as a substitute.

It is very hard to know how good this performance was because Farnborough were truly awful and contributed practically nothing. In 90 minutes, Farnborough created four openings and forced Joe Wright to make two saves, both routine.

Ehui, Ryan Gondoh, Dean Cracknell and Finbarr Robins are all relatively or very new to the Greens and it was clear that they did not know each other's playing styles or the team structure. Given time, and with the addition of Murphy, they may well form a dangerous attacking group. Having said all this, Farnborough could barely cope with the Greens' approach play.

Gondoh ran Jack Barton ragged - so much so that he was withdrawn before half-time - Robins gave Tom Broadbent a tough evening, while Darryl Siaw and Gary MacDonald had difficultly in coping with Cracknell and Ehui. But, for all that, there was a distinctly lack of quality when the ball came into the penalty area.

Nonetheless, Hendon were able to make the breakthrough after 25 minutes. Aaron Bufton tried to punch clear a Hendon corner leaping over a phalanx of players.

There were two or three attempts to clear the ball and a couple of Hendon players tried to force the ball over the line. However, when Russell Short stepped in, he stopped the messing about with a powerful shot into the corner of the net.

A few minutes later, Ollie Sprague seemed to be rather unfortunate to pick up a yellow card as he and Barton ran towards a loose ball close to the corner flag. Both players were totally committed for the ball but, when they collided, reaching the ball almost simultaneously, Barton crashed into a pitchside advertising hoarding and required treatment.

The Farnborough man certainly bore a grudge because his retaliation, a couple of minutes later, sent Sprague sprawling and he joined his victim in the referee's notebook.

Hendon almost doubled their advantage around the half-hour mark. A corner was met by Dave Diedhiou and his powerful, goalbound header was brilliantly saved by Bufton. In the the next 10 or so minutes, both Robins and Gondoh fired shots that flew inches wide of the goal with Bufton beaten.

By this time Barton had been replaced by John Oyenuga, who had just as much trouble trying to stop Gondoh. Then, in the last minute of the first half, Hendon's almost incessant pressure paid off. It was another goalmouth scramble and this time Ehui applied the coup de grace from close range.

Before the start of the second half, both teams made substitutions, Tingey replacing Short for Hendon and Hussan Mohammad coming on for Farnborough's other starting full-back, Broadbent. The Hendon substitution meant a positional reshuffle involving Sam Flegg, Diedhiou and Tingey.

Hendon started the second half disappointingly. They failed to keep control of the ball and this errant passing allowed Farnbrough to have a spell of pressure. Wright made a save from a powerful long-range shot and dealt with a free-kick, but neither had the direction necessary to make the saves unduly difficult.

Gradually, Hendon re-exerted control and Farnborough continued to be at sixes and sevens defensively. Their failure to deal with danger cost them a third goal 18 minutes into the second half and the repercussions continued for a little while after.

The move started down the Hendon left with Ollie Sprague winning a tussle with a Farnborough player using better body position and possibly a shoulder-charge. However, he did it, Sprague didn't appear to foul the Farnborough player, and the referee was satisfied that the contest was fair and legal.

Play continued and when the ball came into the penalty area, the yellow-shirted defenders again failed to do their jobs effectively. Ehui really should have knocked the ball into the net, but he sliced his attempt, as did defender Siaw, whose touch sent the ball just inside the opposite post to which Bufton was diving.

Before play could resume, McCluskey took over from Cracknell, so both teams had made two substitutions. Apparently, MacDonald was still unhappy with the decision not to penalise Sprague in the build-up to the goal and his language to the referee was "colourful" and so unacceptable that the match official showed him a red card, leaving Farnborough down to ten men.

Tony Taggart replaced Sprague for the final quarter of an hour and nearly scored with a header from a corner. A great run by Gondoh was finished a ball right into the danger area. Robins ran in but appeared to be pulled back and it allowed the Farnborough to launch a counter-attack.

On the one hand, Robins' perseverance in chasing back was laudable; on the other, having run 50 yards and failed in three attempts to make a tackle, when he illegally sent the player to the turf, a yellow card was justified.

The Greens nearly got another own goal when a slice took the ball away from Bufton. Ehui seemed to need to only touch the ball to send it into the net, but it span crazily and rolled inches beyond the far post. Ehui could barely believe he had failed to get his second goal of the night, but Hendon still were awarded a corner.

Report by David Ballheimer

Sponsors

Matchballs:
John Leahy
Programme:
James Willcocks

Hendon

1
Joe Wright
2
Sam Flegg
3
Oliver Sprague
4
Mark Kirby
5
Dave Diedhiou
6
Russell Short
7
Finbarr Robins
8
Wesley Fonguck
9
Ismael Ehui
10
Dean Cracknell
11
Ryan Gondoh
12
Carl McCluskey
13
Ben Pattie
14
Tony Taggart
15
Luke Tingey
16
Melvin Minter

Match Events

25''
Russell Short
John Oyenuga replaced Jack Barton
38''
45''
Ismael Ehui
46''
Luke Tingey replaced Russell Short
Hussein Mohammed replaced Ryan Zidyana
46''
64''
Carl McCluskey replaced Dean Cracknell
Gary MacDonald
64''
64''
Joe Wright
Dean Joseph-Whittingham replaced Jamie White
69''
73''
Tony Taggart replaced Oliver Sprague

Farnborough

1
Aaron Bufton
2
Jack Barton
3
Tom Broadbent
4
CJ Fearn
5
Gary MacDonald
6
Darryl Siaw
7
Andrew Jenkinson
8
Lewis Collins
9
Tommy Wright
10
Jamie White
11
Ryan Zidyana
12
John Oyenuga
14
Hussein Mohammed
15
Dean Joseph-Whittingham
16
Harry Knight
18
Germeine Dua