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Hendon’s winless run stretched to five games with a hugely disappointing display against in-form Chesham United at Silver Jubilee Park on Tuesday evening. The 3–0 defeat was at least as comprehensive as the scoreline suggested, with only the opening and closing few minutes offering cheer or chances for the Greens.
Rhys Forster’s stay at Hendon lasted just the one match and also absent were Keiron Forbes and Christian Smith. Fred Burbidge was recalled in goal and Sam Dreyer and Joe White also came into the starting line-up. Chesham included three former Greens in their 16, Zak Joseph starting up front, and Karl Oliyide and Mark Kirby taking their places on the bench.
There was little indication of what was to follow in the first dozen or so minutes. After nine minutes, Liam Brooks and White linked up well and created a chance for Shaun Lucien, whose shot was cleared off the line by Chinhua Cole.
Three minutes later, Chesham failed to deal with a free-kick and Dreyer’s low cross back into the middle of the penalty area fell to Hamza Semakula. A Chesham defender came out to block the shot, forcing the midfield to rush his effort and the ball went over the crossbar.
In the 23rd minute, Hendon conceded a free-kick just outside their penalty area near to the goal-line. The ball was crossed in and Eoin CASEY, one of three physically dominant yellow-shirted players in the box, had an almost free header from three yards out and he nodded the ball into the net.
The second goal arrived ten minutes before half-time. Hendon should have cleared the ball near to the touchline a dozen or so yards from the corner flag, but Joseph dispossessed Tommy Brewer and immediately ran towards the penalty area.
Defenders came across to cover but Kyron Richards’ challenge went through Joseph on his way to the ball and the referee had little hesitation in awarding a penalty. Bradley CLAYTON stepped up and swept the ball into the bottom right corner, just beyond Burbidge’s dive.
Hendon’s only response before half-time was a shot from Semakula that flashed wide of the post after Gianni Crichlow, White, Lucien and Brooks had worked to set up the opening.
Ten minutes after the break, the Greens were guilty of losing possession cheaply inside their own half. Joseph broke into the box again and, as he did so often for the Greens when he scored 18 goals in season 2017–18, invited a reckless challenge.
It came from Jayden Clarke, caught on the wrong side of the clever striker, and another penalty was the obvious decision. CLAYTON again took responsibility and his sidefoot down the middle of goal beat Burbidge, who dived the same way as he had with the first spot-kick.
After this Chesham took their foot off the pedal and coasted to victory. Hendon made three substitutions, replacing Richards, White and Brooks with Simeon Olarerin, Sam Corcoran and Kendall Atagyamfi.
Corcoran spread the ball around well and he, Lucien and Tafari Moore worked well to give Semakula a chance but Sam Beasant was equal to it, making a good save. It was the start of a good spell for the Greens, albeit far too little, far too late.
As the game moved into stoppage time, Crichlow delivered a cross which Atagyami met with a well-placed header. The forced a fine save at full length from Beasant.
Atagyamfi had another chance to score, this time breaking through the middle, but he was denied the chance of a shot by Cole who timed his challenge to perfection, winning the ball cleanly.