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A ruthless final 20 minutes saw Hendon pick up their third straight league win with a 4-1 win over bottom side Wimborne Town at New Cuthbury on a desperately chilly afternoon. Whilst the scoreline suggests a degree of comfort for Lee Allinson’s side the reality was that the home side shaded the first 70 minutes or so and could have been a goal or two ahead before the visitors took a stranglehold on proceedings.
The Magpies were taken over by a consortium of local businessmen a week before kick-off and had strengthened their side with a couple of high-profile acquisitions on-loan from National League side Weymouth and it was a deft touch from one of these, Akheem Rose, that found top scorer Lewis Beale in plenty of space to calmly find the bottom corner of the net with less than two minutes on the clock.
A couple of minutes later and Curtis Young was sent galloping away down the left-hand side after a Hendon free kick was well cleared, the winger set himself but was denied by a fine save from Fred Burbidge to keep the early deficit at a single goal. Beale then turned provider, crossing for Jez Bedford who probably had more time than he thought as he directed his header wider of the target than he perhaps should have done.
The blue-shirted visitors slowly awakened from their slumber with Jayden Clarke and Liam Brooks both denied by adroitly positioned defenders from their powerful strikes and the equaliser came just beyond the half-hour mark when Eren Kinali stood a cross up to the near post where it was met by the onrushing and unmarked Joe White to nod home his 6th goal of the campaign.
Rather than going on as many might have expected, Hendon went back into their shells and had to weather heavy pressure either side of half time. Rose was denied by a brave block from Christian Smith before firing a rising drive narrowly over the top of the bar and his fellow Weymouth loanee Xander McBurnie sent a fizzing low drive from the edge of the box no more than a yard wide of Burbidge’s right-hand post.
Three minutes after the break and slack Hendon defending was almost punished once again as they failed to clear their lines and the ball was stabbed into the path of Rose, twelve yards out. The front man should have at least hit the target, if not scored, but dragged his effort wide of the post and Hendon were able to breathe a sigh of relief. The next sight of goal fell for Beale inside the Hendon penalty area but he was denied by a superb tackle from Simeon Olalerin that needed to be, and was, judged perfectly.
Once again, Hendon were beginning to find their way back into the game, the introduction of Gianni Crichlow prompting a change in shape that liberated Brooks, when they grabbed that all important next goal. Jayden Clarke’s corner was headed goalward by Quba Gordon before falling for Brooks who controlled with one touch and lifted his second into the top corner to give the visitors the advantage.
That was in the 72nd minute and as Hendon grew in confidence, Wimborne’s visibly seeped away. Just five minutes later Hamza Semakula won a thunderous challenge in midfield before running onto the loose ball, working the ball onto his left foot and firing a superb 22-yard drive into the top corner of the net that left Ryan Hall in the Magpies’ net clawing at thin air.
With three minutes remaining a long free kick forward from Gordon was beautifully taken down by Brooks on his instep and whilst his cut-back didn’t quite reach its intended blue-shirted target, poor defending from the home side saw it fall to Gianni Crichlow who smuggled the ball over the line for his first goal since his return to the club last month.
The win lifted the Greens back into the top half of the table ahead of their clash on Saturday with Swindon Supermarine.