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Match Report

Hendon
2
Leatherhead
3
Date:
Monday 11 April 2016
Competition:
Isthmian League Premier Division
Attendance:
125
Venue:
Harrow Borough

Match Report

Hendon had a great chance to pick up the victory which would have almost guaranteed their safety, but a final 20 minutes at least as disappointing as the first 25 ultimately meant they went home pointless. When Carl McCluskey scored after 53 minutes to give Hendon a 2-1 lead, the feeling was that one more goal would suffice.

Luke Tingey, who went off early against Tonbridge Angels two days earlier, was not fit to be included in the squad, nor was Maz Bettache and in their places came Casey Maclaren and Carl McCluskey. The best news, however, was on the bench, where Chris Seeby was named for the first time since injuring his knee in a friendly 14 months earlier. In the end, he was not used.

The first 20 minutes were a horror show for Hendon, who were extremely fortunate to be only one goal down. Kiernan Hughes-Mason gave the Tanners the lead after eight minutes when he was put through by a simple pass and his finish was clinical.

Tomi Adeloye had already missed an excellent opening in the first few minutes and he was denied by a superb save from Joe Wright. The pass to him, as with the ball that set-up up Hughes-Mason, was directly through a huge hole in the defence which had once again gone AWOL.

The Greens should have drawn level when Dave Diedhiou had a great chance after 18 minutes, but he put the opportunity wide of the target. Nonetheless, it made Leatherhead’s defence think a little more and they became slightly more circumspect.

Just past the half-hour, Hendon were back on level terms. Keagan Cole created the opening and fired a powerful low shot. Louis Wells got down well to make a save, but he could not hold onto the ball and the rebound fell straight at the feet of McCluskey, who lifted the ball over the prone goalkeeper. There was a hint of offside about McCluskey but the assistant referee was happy that he had been behind the defender when Cole struck the ball.

For the rest of the first half, Hendon played with a lot more confidence, but the defensive frailty was still there and a couple of quick breaks caused consternation. Wright, however, was able to keep out a couple of long-range strikes and made a couple of interventions just outside his penalty area too.

At the start of the second half, Hendon were clearly on top. The passing was suddenly much better and there was a greater purpose when the Greens moved forward.

Seven minutes after the resumption, Hendon's enterprise got its reward with a sweet goal. Three or four passes opened up the Leatherhead defence and when the ball was crossed in McCluskey timed his run perfectly and planted a powerful header in the bottom corner.

What might have been the key moment came seven minutes later. A half cleared ball was returned towards the penalty area and Cole ran onto it. Kezie Ibe, who had pressured the defender into the poor clearance was definitely in an offside position, but Cole was on the shoulder of the last man.

His low shot found the net beyond Wells' dive, but the assistant referee had his flag raised for offside - a Ibe was not active, Cole was the one penalised - and the goal was disallowed.

Midway through the half, Tony Taggart - who had worked hard and linked up well with Sprague on a number of raids - and Cole - who had run himself to a near-standstill - were replaced by Finbarr Robins and Brandon Adams, respectively. Suddenly, Hendon's shape was not as good and their impetus was lost.

Eight minutes after the change, Hendon over-committed to attack and when the ball was knocked downfield, Frannie Collin was there to knock it past Wright for the equaliser. The confidence draining out of the Hendon players was almost visible.

Nonetheless, they nearly regained their advantage two minutes later. Ibe had the chance, but his effort hit the top of the crossbar with Wells comprehensively beaten.

In the 77th minute, Hendon were made to pay for a sloppy piece of play down the left side. Sprague was dispossessed in an attacking position and the ball was played unfussily downfield.

Suddenly, Hughes-Mason and Collin were faced by only one defender as they charged towards the Hendon box, with Wright exposed behind him. Hughes-Mason's pass was accurate and Collin did the rest to restore the Tanners' lead.

This time there was no response by Hendon, who may well have conceded on two or three occasions as the defensive discipline dissipated. There is no doubt that Leatherhead were worthy winners, but the frustration in the Hendon camp was that there had been a 20-minute period when the game was there for the taking and the Greens had failed to profit.

Report by David Ballheimer

Sponsors

Match:
Brian Durrant
Matchballs:
Cyrus Cooper

Hendon

1
Joe Wright
2
Sam Flegg
3
Oliver Sprague
4
Dave Diedhiou
5
Casey Maclaren
6
Addison Garnett
7
Sam Murphy
8
Carl McCluskey
9
Kezie Ibe
10
Keagan Cole
11
Tony Taggart
12
Brandon Adams
13
Ben Pattie
14
Finbarr Robins
15
Chris Seeby
16
Charlie Kuehn

Match Events

Kiernan Hughes-Mason
8''
32''
Carl McCluskey
53''
Carl McCluskey
65''
Finbarr Robins replaced Tony Taggart
65''
Brandon Adams replaced Keagan Cole
Stephen Okoh replaced Ryan Mahal
70''
Frannie Collin
73''
Frannie Collin
77''
79''
Ben Pattie replaced Kezie Ibe
Josh Hare replaced Oluwatomisin Adeloye
90''

Leatherhead

1
Louis Wells
2
Adam Cash
3
Adam Green
4
Nathan Campbell
5
Phil Walsh
6
Jerry Nnamani
7
Ryan Mahal
8
Paul Semakula
9
Oluwatomisin Adeloye
10
Frannie Collin
11
Kiernan Hughes-Mason
12
Josh Hare
14
Stephen Okoh
15
Evander Lopes
16
Steve Watt