Hendon's most prestigious friendly of this preseason brought them up against Gary McCann, their popular former goalkeeper (1996-2004) and manager (2005-2017), now manager of Billericay Town. Gary is always pleased to see and makes time to speak to as many Hendon supporters as he can whenever his current club meets Hendon.
This was a keenly fought match which kept the interest going from start to finish. Good scoring chances were at a premium, and mainly fell to Billericay, but there were numerous half-chances for both sides, Hendon seeming to have the majority of these, particularly in the second half. Overall, though, both defences managed to keep the opposing attack at bay, with the aid of some luck at times.
Billericay had the larger share of the play in the first half, and had the best two chances, once when a forward got clear of Hendon's defence but shot wide, and the other just before the interval when a deflected shot looked as if it would open the scoring, but a quite brilliant save from Hendon's 'keeper kept the scores level. Hendon, though, probably had more chances during the half, but these were mainly half-chances and not as clear cut as the home side's.
Hendon started the second half on top and largely controlled the third quarter of the match, though both sides had chances to score, but both efforts went over the bar, Billericay's far more wastefully when a forward, who only had the keeper to beat, drove his shot into the roof of the stand behind the goal instead of into the net. Hendon's chance came when a central defender rose highest to a left wing cross but could only head over the bar.
Both sides made multiple changes during the second half, Billericay using 10 subs and Hendon 6, but unusually the quality of play did not drop despite all the changes. Trialists were few, Billericay having just one and Hendon two, but one of those signed forms for the Greens at the end of the match.
Although the match ended scoreless, a number of supporters of both sides agreed that it was a cracking match, and it is doubtful whether either side will take part in as eventful a scoreless match again this season.
The most worrying aspect from Hendon's point of view was the sight of Dan Matsuzaka limping off during the second half after coming off second best in a challenge inside the Greens' penalty area. Hopefully he was replaced as a precaution and his injury is not as bad as it initially looked, particularly as Guri Demuria is also out with an injury incurred during the Bedford game.