HENDON V METROPOLITAN POLICE (by David Ballheimer)
Hendon (1) 2, Metropolitan Police (0) 3
Hendon suffered a heart-breaking defeat against Metropolitan Police at Silver Jubilee Park on Bank Holiday Monday despite leading for more than an hour. In the end two moments of needless indiscipline from the Greens led to the Blues’ equaliser and undeserved winner.
Manager Lee Allinson rang the changes after the defeat at Truro, with Robbie Buchanan making his first start and Arthur Iontton and Frank Keita returning to the starting line-up. Dropping out were Josh Dawodu, Bobson Bawling and Azeez Alabi, the former two being named on the subs bench.
Met Police really should have taken the lead after seven minutes, when Daniel Carr crossed from the byline on the right side and Herson Rodrigues-Alves reached the ball inside the Greens six-yard box. Any sort of controlled strike would have brought him a goal but the ball bounced off his thigh and was grabbed by Marcin Brzozowski.
Two minutes later, Hendon scored a superb opening goal – their first lead of the season. Solomon Sambou won a challenge in midfield, went past a second opponent and played a ball into space on the left wing for Rohdell Gordon to attack.
Carr fouled Gordon, but the referee played a superb advantage, allowing Gordon to continue his run. Gordon’s cross was inch-perfect and it gave Joe White the chance to lose his marker and send a direct header into the net.
After Keita had seen a far post header cleared away from the goalline, Harry Taylor missed with a header after a cross from Carr. Back at the other end, Dave Diedhiou – who had his best game of the season in a different role of full-back – had a header blocked and, on the rebound, Tarik Moore, couldn’t keep his shot down.
The Police twice wasted free-kicks late in the first half, but made no mistake in getting an equaliser early in the second period. After Brzozowki had saved well from Carr, Ollie Knight was fastest to react to the loose ball and netted.
The Hendon response was good as Gordon had two chances, first shooting over the bar, then curling a free-kick straight at Callum Coulter without the power to trouble the goalkeeper. In the 59th minute, a deep cross from White was controlled by Keita, who fed Sambou and the midfielder took a touch before beating Coulter with a lovely strike.
Brzozowski saved from Harry Taylor and then watched a free-kick from Rodrigues Alves sailed over the bar. However, the keeper made a rash challenge inside the penalty area, earning himself a caution, but conceding a penalty, which Rodridgues Alves took. Brzozowsi parried the first strike, only for the ball to bounce back to the forward, who made no mistake second time around.
Five minutes from the end, a free-kick for a push by Arthur Iontton resulted in a corner, from which a scramble ensued and Archie Taylor was the man in blue to strike, flicking the ball into the net from a few yards out.
Hendon had been much better than in their two previous home games, but still came away with nothing to show for it.