Covid-19: Supporters are starting to be readmitted to games where possible. However, all clubs have varying procedures to be followed. Please always check ticketing details and other requirements on our news pages and also with the host club before travelling.

For further details on some of the measures we are taking, please see our coronavirus risk assessment and accompanying notes

Match Report

Staines Town
1
Hendon
3
Date:
Saturday 23 January 2016
Competition:
Isthmian League Premier Division
Attendance:
237
Venue:
TBA

Match Report

Hendon departed Wheatsheaf Park after a rewarding, and occasionally surreal, afternoon, with three points in the bag. Manager Gary McCann was most satisfied with his teams shift, noting that "It was a very big game for us. I thought it was dangerous one, especially because of Staines' recent change of management. There was something about them on Saturday that had been lacking when we saw them play a couple of weeks ago. They were really up for it and made it difficult for us in the first half."

McCann's observation was spot on, particularly in the game's early stages where there really only looked one team in it. It was Staines who took the early initiative in the game, which took place amid some welcome sunshine with a noisy mix of parakeets and aircraft overhead. It seemed certain that the home side would convert their domination into goals, but a mix of smart keeping from Hendon's Joe Wright and profligacy from the Staines forward line ensured that this hypothetical advantage was not realised. Pat Cox's long range shot was tipped over by Wright for a corner, while Michael Kalu was put clean through into a ono-on-one with the Hendon keeper. Rather than slotting the ball home, he skewed the ball wide.

This miss proved to be costly, as Hendon took an unlikely lead within the next few minutes. Some impressive approach play from the tireless Adam Wallace saw him carve out a chance for a shot. His effort was deflected by a Staines defender: the home goalkeeper Jack Turner managing to save the redirected ball with his legs, this improvised stop sending ball spinning behind for a corner.

The corner was whipped in from the Hendon left and was met by the imperious Dave Diedhiou, whose textbook downward attacking header thundered into the turf before bouncing high into the Staines net. The irrepressible Wallace soon nearly doubled the visitors' lead with a shot that cleared Turner, but also cleared the crossbar too.

The referee, who had hitherto played a quiet part in the game, was called into action around the midway point in the first half. Hendon's Carl McCluskey received the game's first booking for kicking out at an opponent after receiving what appeared to be an elbow to the face.

Hendon continued to apply a fair bit of pressure. Once again, the attacking potential of Luke Tingey's long throws was in evidence again, these deliveries creating a sense on threat in the Staines penalty area on numerous occasions. Wesley Fonguck managed to get on the end of one of these, although his shot was blasted over the home side's bar.

On the half-hour mark, Staines brought themselves back into the game. Jeremy Boakye at first seemed to be posing little threat, but a decent run saw find himself within range of the Hendon goal, his excellent low shot beating Wright and bringing the game to parity. It was Hendon who had the best chances to finish the half in the lead, with Kezie Ibe, Wallace, McCluskey and skipper Mark Kirby all having decent chances to trouble Turner before the break.

Both sides began the second half brightly. Hendon's Dean Cracknell and Boakye and Kalu from Staines all had efforts on goal that were slightly wide of the mark. Staines made the first change of the game, bringing on Michael Campbell to replace Kalu.

Shortly after, Hendon compete another breakthrough. Ibe was played into a threatening position hand he fired off a shot. The Staines keeper looked like he would reach the ball, but an unfortunate snick off a defender's boot saw the ball careen over the helpless Turner and into the Staines net to give Hendon the lead again.
Hendon were next to tweak their personnel: Finbarr Robins replaced Wesley Fonguck, with Russell Short taking the field for Carl McCluskey. The game then entered a period of niggly stalemate. Michael Kinsella saw yellow for a cynical foul, his Staines teammate Pat Cox cautioned after an accumulation of minor infractions. Both sides made changes soon after, Terence Vancooten replacing Prince M'bengui for Staines and Tony Taggart coming on for Kezie Ibe for the visitors.

The closing stages of the game were responsible for most of the afternoon’s talking points. Tommy Brewer picked up a yellow card after a foul, before Mark Kirby sealed the win for Hendon. It was another towering header from a corner, an excellent effort from Kirby powered into the top corner of the Staines goal.

Things then took a surreal turn, the referee collapsing to the ground in agony with what appeared to be a twisted ankle. After a delay of ten minutes or so, with the fate of the game uncertain, someone was found to run the line, with an assistant referee selected to take over as the main official. His first and only main decision was to book Hendon's Dean Cracknell after a bout of handbags prompted by the perception that Cracknell may have been slightly too robust in challenging the Staines keeper for the ball.

The final whistle blew at around five o'clock, leaving Hendon to toast their fourth away league win of the season. McCann was clearly impressed by the endeavour and adaptability on display from his squad, concluding that: "The shape of our team wasn't as good as we would have like in the first half and we talked about it a half-time. We tinkered with that shape in the second half and we looked much better as a result. We felt they were a small side and if our delivery from set pieces - long-throws, corners and free-kicks - was good I felt our big men could profit from this. And we did just that. All around it was a really good win for us. When you are where we are, these are the games we have to be winning."

Report by Bryan Roberts

Hendon

1
Joe Wright
2
Luke Tingey
3
Oliver Sprague
4
Dave Diedhiou
5
Mark Kirby
6
Wesley Fonguck
7
Sam Murphy
8
Dean Cracknell
9
Adam Wallace
10
Kezie Ibe
11
Carl McCluskey
12
Ben Pattie
13
Tony Taggart
14
Russell Short
15
Finbarr Robins
16
Scott Cousins

Match Events

12''
Dave Diedhiou
Jeremy Boakye
30''
Michael Campbell replaced Michael Kalu
63''
66''
Kezie Ibe
67''
Russell Short replaced Carl McCluskey
67''
Finbarr Robins replaced Wesley Fonguck
Terence Vancooten replaced Prince M'Bengui
81''
84''
Tony Taggart replaced Kezie Ibe
87''
Mark Kirby

Staines Town

1
Jack Turner
2
Erivaldo Felix
3
Jack Bennett
4
Tommy Brewer
5
Michael Kinsella
6
Joe O'Cearuill
7
Luke Wanadio
8
Jeremy Boakye
9
Pat Cox
10
Prince M'Bengui
11
Michael Kalu
12
Terence Vancooten
13
Harry Churchill
14
Michael Campbell
15
Vince Smith
16
Callum McAllister