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Hendon’s euphoria at the opening day 4–0 victory at Truro City came to a very cold, sobering end on Tuesday night as Hayes & Yeading United routed the Greens with a performance of high-powered attacking and clinical finishing. But for a handful of outstanding saves from Fred Burbidge, Hendon might have been looking at a defeat of record proportions.
What must be said, however, is that Hendon didn’t play particularly badly and, as a number of fans and officials noted on social media, there are times when you simply raise your hands and admit the better team won.
Jayden Clark, scorer of the fourth goal, off the bench, at Truro on Saturday, came into the starting line-up at the expense of Tommy Smith, who was named as a substitute. It was the only change to the 16, though there was a different formation at kick-off.
From the start, it was clear that the Hendon defence would have to be at the top of their game to keep out Hayes & Yeading, who seemed to raid with a half a dozen forwards, but they were led by Moses Emmanuel, Francis Amartey and Hassan Jalloh. An early injury to Tommy Brewer was another worry, but he seemed to get over it.
Hendon also showed flashes of danger when they went forward and they unlocked the visitors’ defence to great effect in the 10th minute. A pass down the right flank released Hamza Semakula, who got around Jordan Norville-Williams before laying the ball back into the path of Wilson Carvalho.
A Hayes defender came across to block Carvalho’s shot, but the rebound fell to Clarke. Looking up, CLARKE spotted that Jack Smith had committed to his left, so he fired to the goalkeeper’s right and the ball ended up just inside the opposite post.
Three minutes later, Jack Smith’s bad memories of games against Hendon came flooding back. In the 2019 FA Cup tie at Hayes, he had been caught out of his penalty area as Sam Corcoran scored from 65 yards.
This time the distance was about 60 yards and it came after Brewer blocked a shot and Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway cleared the ball from the Hendon penalty area. Clarke did well in the centre-circle and passed the ball with a back-heel towards Christian Smith.
A Hayes player until earlier this month, Christian Smith strode into the centre circle, saw Jack Smith standing on the edge of the penalty area, and lifted a shot towards the goal. The goalkeeper turned, chased back towards his goal-line but looked in abject misery as the ball dropped into the net.
Many teams conceding two goals inside 13 minutes would spend the rest of half in damage limitation; not Hayes & Yeading United. They continued to attack with great purpose and skill and twice came close to reducing the arrears before they did so after 28 minutes.
A free-kick from Omar Rowe just outside the Hendon penalty area was beautifully struck and crashed back off a post. The ball found its way to Hassan Jalloh – Hayes’ tormentor-in-chief in the aforementioned FA Cup tie – and he struck the ball beyond Burbidge’s dive.
Five minutes before half-time, Hendon came close to restoring their two-goal advantage. Clarke found himself in some space, worked a shooting angle and fired a low shot which was arrowing into the bottom corner until Jack Smith dived across to make a sprawling save.
A minute later, Hendon failed to deal with a ball out of defence and when it reached EMMANUEL, who led the line for Wealdstone in the National League Premier last season, he took a touch and smashed a 25-yarder past Burbidge.
Just before the half-time whistle, Juan Pablo unceremoniously stopped a quick Hayes breakaway. The player he fouled jumped to his feet and pushed over the full-back. After a brief square dance, Juan Pablo was shown a yellow card, but the retaliator was barely admonished, let alone sanctioned with a card.
The second half is one Hendon will wish to forget. At the kick-off, Hayes, going down the slope, lined up seven players on the right, but went straight down the middle. As the Greens tried to reorganise, the ball fell to Amos Nasha, whose effort was pushed away by Burbidge.
Two minutes later, Jalloh played a ball tantalisingly between the last Hendon defender and Burbidge. A moment’s hesitation was all it took for Emmanuel to pounce, but he was brought down by the goalkeeper.
The referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. From some angles it appeared that Burbidge had reached the ball first, but the lack of protest suggested the referee had been correct. EMMANUEL sent the ball to the left side of the goal as Burbidge dived to the right.
In the 56th minute, Brewer went down again, and this time his evening was done, Tommy Smith replacing him. Facing many raids down the slope, Tommy was far busier than his identical twin Jack in the Hayes goal.
The Hayes pace undid Hendon again in the 70th minute. AMARTEY ran onto a through ball, went past two defenders and finished calmly.
Burbidge then produced a magnificent double save, denying Emmanuel and, on the rebound, Amartey. A third effort was blocked by a defender and Amartey put this rebound over the crossbar.
Hendon enjoyed a rare moment in attack when a shot from Shaun Lucien was pushed away by Jack Smith and Carvalho struck the rebound inches wide of the post with the goalkeeper beaten.
Tom Smith’s evening ended a couple of minutes later when he limped off. Unfortunately for the Greens, Luca Allinson had just replaced Carvalho and Suleiman Bakalandwa had taken over from Clarke, so there were no more substitutions allowed.
Against 10 men, Hayes & Yeading made hay. Burbidge made another superb save before Emmanuel completed his hat-trick when Jalloh and Rowe combined on a corner, Amartey helped it on and EMMANUEL did the rest.
As stoppage time began, the visitors made their three changes and one of them, Jamie Hanlon fired a 20-yard shot which Burbidge saved and Emmanuel lifted the rebound over the crossbar.
The final indignity came four minutes into stoppage time when EMMANUEL banged home a loose ball after it pinged around the Hendon penalty area. A visiting fan said it was the first time a Hayes & Yeading player had scored four goals in a league game since the merger in 2007.