Covid-19: Please be aware that all fixtures are currently behind closed doors unless otherwise advised.
Hendon once again produced one of their better performances of the season against a high-flying team, this time, however, leaving Havant & Waterlooville with no points to show for their mighty efforts, the home side winning 3-2. On a very sunny and warm day, Hendon were industrious and inventive, putting together some of their best football of the season. Despite these endeavours, goalkeeping of the highest order from the Hawks' Ryan Young ensured that the home side preserved their first half lead.
In a frenetic first 45 minutes, it was the Greens who drew first blood when Matt Ball opened the scoring with a stunning free kick from 25 yards that flew into the top corner - home keeper Ryan Young left statuesque. However, this early served to spur the Hawks to respond with three goals in ten minutes. In the following skirmishes, Hendon's James Harper received a caution for lashing out at an opponent after being fouled. The Hendon supporters' hearts were in their mouths, fearful of a dismissal, but the referee took a more lenient view and let Harper off with a yellow card.
Bradley Tarbuck equalised two minutes after Ball had scored, neatly slotting home after being played through into the Hendon area. Shortly thereafter, Rory Williams put the home side ahead with a free kick that was every bit as good as Ball's, Tom Lovelock in the Hendon goal a mere spectator as the ball was called around the wall and into the net.
Alfie Rutherford, just minutes before at the centre of a huge penalty appeal, made it 3-1 just before the half-hour mark. Hendon looked vulnerable and the Hawks looked on the brink of embarking on a rout of their lowly opposition. But the Greens' resilience and spirit soon shone through and they were rewarded on the stroke of half time when Keagan Cole rose to head home a fine cross from Sam Murphy.
In the second half, Hendon took the game to their hosts, who were well supported by a crowd of over 700, and Young was consequently the busier of the two keepers. He was forced into two top class saves, the first a flying save to keep out a fierce drive from Reis Stanislaus, and then one low down near his post to keep out a shot from the impressive Cole. However, the Greens task was made tougher with 15 minutes to go when James Harper was sent off for a second bookable offence. However, both defences held firm and it was the home side who were the happiest on the final whistle.