Hendon went out of the Middlesex Senior Cup at the quarter-final stage when Uxbridge recorded a highly controversial 2-0 victory over the Dons at The Honeycroft on Thursday night.
Playing their 7th game in 15 days, Hendon again reshuffled the line-up, this time with Jon Daly absent and Warren Kelly, Dale Binns and Davis Haule taking seats on the bench, while Paul Johnson, Phil Gridelet, Ross Pickett and David Adekola all got starts. The other two substitutes were Frank Murphy and Curtis Warmington. Gridelet joined Gary Fitzgerald and RenÃƒÂ© Street in a reshaped back three, with Johnson and Marvyn Watson at wing-back. Simon Clarke moved forward into midfield, joining regulars Jason Soloman and Paul Adolphe.
In the first minute, when David Adekola was bundled out of the way by Mark Weedon, but referee Mr A Street saw things differently and lectured Adekola for diving. There was clearly contact as Daryl Pelton gathered the ball 10 yards from his goal, but it was technically a penalty offence, even though Adekola had no chance of reaching the ball.
After the opening quarter of an hour, it was Uxbridge who took the intitiative with former Hendon youth and reserve teamer Chris Moore looking dangerous Gary McCann looked solid in goal, but Uxbridge's finishing lacked sharpness. Hendon had a few shots, but didn't trouble Pelton unduly.
On the stroke of half-time, Adolphe sent Watson clear down the right flank. His low cross might have been turned in by Adekola, but he was called off by Pickett arriving beyond the far post. His effort struck the upright with Pelton beaten. The overall Hendon performance had been very poor, but it was significantly better than an awful second half showing.
Street went off at half-time and strangely Hendon brought on Binns, shuffling Clarke back into the back three. It was proved a disastrous move because within 90 seconds Uxbridge had taken the lead. Although Lee TUNNELL looked yards offside no flag was forthcoming and the ball ended up in Hendon's net.
Hendon's midfield was too fancy and Uxbridge were able to cut out short passes and forced players to pass backwards rather forwards, then wait for the inevitable misplaced one. In the 78th minute, a quick pass downfield was controlled by Binns racing through the middle. He fired past Pelton, but was correctly penalised for handball.
Having enjoyed little success down the left flank, Binns tried the right and should have set up an 86th minute equaliser for Pickett. Quite how he fired over from 5 yards out, unmarked, only Pickett will know. However badly they had played, Hendon should have drawn level and almost certainly forced extra time.
Instead, the most absurd decision of the night led to Uxbridge's 2nd goal. Stuart Bamford sliced a cross well beyond the far post, McCann gathered it and prepared to release the ball quickly.
The assistant referee flagged and all the players from both teams then set up for a goal kick. Still the assistant flagged. This time he pointed at the corner flag. Mr Street didn't overrule his assistant and allowed the corner from which Uxbridge bundled home their second and killer goal.
"I don't mind players trying new positions," said downcast manager Frank Murphy, "but it really hurts me to say that they were more up for the game than we were. I told the boys we were very, very poor tonight."