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Hendon continued their pre-season preparations with a convincing win over Arlesey Town at Hitchin Road on what was a very warm and sultry Tuesday evening. The Blues, under the stewardship of former Maidenhead United goalkeeper Chico Ramos, are preparing for life in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division and provided Lee Allinson’s side with another good test.
17-year old Darryl Reid had already made a string of fine saves in the Arlesey goal, twice denying Dwade James in the same move and then Liam Brooks when the Hendon number 10 was sent through when another very good block from James this time fell nicely for Luca Allinson to convert under pressure from a defender on 21 minutes.
Four minutes later, Reid once again saved well – this time from a Matt Ball effort – again the rebound fell for Allinson who scored with a well disguised finish into the far corner left footed to make it 2-0.
Allinson went mighty close to becoming the second Hendon winger to score a hat-trick inside three days on the half-hour mark when he cut inside off the right flank onto his left foot and bent a sumptuous shot around the keeper, unfortunately for him the ball rebounded clear off the post onto the shins of James who had no time to react and over the bar.
Allinson then turned provider from a corner kick which was met by a towering James header, unfortunately the striker was unable to get over the ball and his effort ended up in the terracing behind the goal.
The lead was extended on the stroke of half-time when Solomon Sambou showed a turn of speed to surge beyond the Arlesey back four and with the outside of his right foot confidently slid the ball beyond the helpless Reid for his first goal in Hendon colours.
Lee Allinson made a raft of changes at half-time with Lucas Perry, Sam Corcoran, Kieron Forbes, Samrai Gebrai, Dylan Switters and Cheyce Grant coming on for Luca Allinson, Ball, Sambou, Simeon Olalerin, Brooks and Eddie Oshodi.
It took just two minutes for the lead to be extended. Corcoran’s free kick was headed on by James and as it dropped, Switters showed an excellent technique to strike an unstoppable volley home from inside the penalty area to make it 4-0.
The hosts were unfortunate not to reduce the arrears when a striker managed to get himself past North twice, the goalkeeper doing well to push him wide, but when he got his shot away at goal, Tommy Brewer was well placed to clear it off the line.
On 55 minutes a ball down the left-hand side released Shaun Lucien, he cut infield and from an acute angle bent the ball around Reid’s dive and just inside the far post for his 4th goal of pre-season, completing Hendon’s nap hand for the evening. Lucien and Brewer were immediately withdrawn in favour of trialists Michael Karanaski and Jaden Clarke for the final 35 minutes.
Samrai Gebrai then went close with a flashing volley from a Grant free kick delivered from the right hand side that went narrowly over the top before his long range strike seemed destined for the top corner before Reid produced a quite brilliant save at full stretch, tipping the effort onto the underside of the crossbar. James, also at full stretch was unable to direct the rebound on target and would go unrewarded for a hard-working performance.
Gebrai did pick up his rewards, however, with 13 minutes remaining when he galloped onto a ball forward, beat the advancing Reid with a header and then tapped the ball into the empty net from close range to make it 6-0.
A late free-kick produced a very good block from Jonathan North in the closing stages to maintain his clean sheet, next up for the Greens is a return to competitive action on Saturday evening in the Quarter Final of last season’s London Senior Cup against Balham.