Covid-19: Please be aware that all fixtures are currently behind closed doors unless otherwise advised.
Hendon's interest in the Velocity Trophy ended at the quarter-final stage as they produced a hugely disappointing performance in losing 3-1 to Corinthian-Casuals at Silver Jubilee Park. If you look at bare statistics, such as shots on target and corners forced, it would suggest the Greens were unlucky, but these masked the truth; Casuals were more than good value for their victory.
There were Hendon debuts for two teenagers on loan from Dagenham & Redbridge in full-back Liam Gordon and striker Joe White, but the real problems were the midfield absentees, suspended Casey Maclaren and injured Michael Corcoran and Dan Uchechi. In fact, five starters were out, with Tom Lovelock and Ollie Sprague rounding out the quintet.
The game was won and lost in the middle of the pitch as Corinthian-Casuals took advantage of Hendon errors and punished them clinically. Too many green-shirted players had off nights and there was a distinct lack of cohesion in all areas of the pitch.
Warning signs were evident as early as the eighth minute as Josh Uzun forced a save from Purdue. But they were ignored; five minutes later, after Tingey lost possession on half-way, Casuals broke forward at pace and when the ball came to Max Oldham, he fired it into the net.
Hendon's first good attack saw Niko Muir go close, but Danny Bracken made a fine save. It was only 33 months since Casuals were Hendon's first opponents at Silver Jubilee Park, but of the 30 players on the team-sheet in that London Senior Cup tie, only Bracken and Sam Murphy started both games (and Dave Diedhiou was an unused substitute in the two encounters).
Bracken was back in serious action again in the 29th minute, this time pushing a shot from Josh Walker against a post and out for a corner. From the set-piece, a free header went over the crossbar.
All the improved play from the Greens came to nothing as they conceded a second sloppy defensive goal in the 35th minute. Too many passes went unchallenged and Uzun confidently tucked the ball into the net with Purdue left hopelessly exposed.
Indicative of Hendon's disappointing performance was a corner they forced. It was played short and covering defenders ensured that the ball was moved backwards and the attacking position petered out with a long ball forward from inside the Greens' half, without the Casuals' penalty being even remotely threatened.
Six minutes before half-time, Hendon found their way back into the game. White worked his way into the penalty area, but he was bundled over before he could shoot. Muir stepped up and smashed the ball beyond Bracken's dive for his 30th goal of the season - the first Greens player to reach 30 goals since Paul Whitmarsh in 1998-99.
There was a strange incident moments before half-time. Jordan Clarke ran onto a pass in the inside-left channel and his powerful shot entered the net through the side netting - the clips holding the net against the stanchion having been dislodged by the two legitimate goals.
None of the forward players celebrated a goal, but the Casuals players nearer to their own goal and their bench were convinced Clarke had made it 3-1. Purdue's goal-kick ended the half, meaning that the goal could not be awarded.
As soon as the whistle blew the referee was surrounded by white-shirted players and they persuaded the three officials to walk up to the goal, where the men in black were satisfied that the goal-kick decision was correct.
Before the second half started, Harly Wise replaced Tingey, playing the in same position. Going up the hill, the Greens started the better and nearly grabbed an equaliser within a couple of minutes.
Hendon forced a corner which Joseph curled into the danger area. Rian Bray made a good run and powered a header past Bracken, but Coskin Ekim made a fine goalline clearance.
Without playing well, the Greens were on top in the opening 20 minutes, but they didn't really create any clear-cut chances. Then, in the 65th minute, Hendon made a third decisive error.
Arthur Lee brought the ball out of defence and had both Gordon and Sam Murphy available in support. The skipper lost possession and Casuals quickly launched a counter-attack with three attackers running at two defenders.
Ever eager in support was Oldham and he, once again, received the pass, controlled the ball and slid it past Purdue. Hendon have come back from two-goal deficits before, but it never looked likely on this occasion.
Ashley Nathaniel-George and Malachy McGovern replaced White and Keagan Cole, respectively, for the final 15 minutes, but they could not make a significant impact. There was one final chance for Hendon, in stoppage time, but Lee's header was well saved by Bracken.