Match Report

Needham Market
Z Joseph
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Tuesday 17 October 2017
Attendance: 153

Hendon moved to the top of the Bostik League Premier Division with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over struggling Needham Market at Silver Jubilee Park on Tuesday night. It must be said that only three points separate the top four and all have games in hand on Hendon, Billericay having five.

The Greens made three changes to the starting 11 from Saturday, the three used substitutes, Dan Uchechi, Zak Joseph and Matt Ball taking over from Keegan Cole, Dave Diedhiou and Ashley Nathaniel-George. Cole and Diedhiou would come off the bench, as did Ollie Sprague, while Nathaniel-George and Ibe were the unused replacements.

The men from Suffolk played their part in an entertaining contest, but they lacked any sort of cutting edge, allowing Hendon to complete a sixth clean sheet in their seven home games, all victories. Apart from a tame shot straight at him after 15 minutes, the only other difficult moments Tom Lovelock faced were a couple of dashes off his line, two very confident dribbles away from oncoming opponents and a full-stretch catch above his head from a defensive header.

In the first quarter of the game, Hendon were kept on the back foot by Adam Mills, but his influence petered out as Jake Eggleton got assistance from Michael Corcoran. On the other wing, Sam Murphy had far fewer problems dealing with Jack Simmons and Rian Bray and Arthur Lee comfortably dominated Jamie Griffiths and the occasional forays forward from Luke Ingram and long-time thorn in Hendon's side Gareth Heath.

When the Greens did get forward, Niko Muir got no change out of the outstanding Keiran Morphew, but Ball, Josh Walker, Uchechi and Joseph made for a very potent quartet. There had been three or four desperate interventions before Danny Gay was forced into his first save, this after 18 minutes.

In the 25th minute, Joseph found himself with a shooting opportunity. Gay produced an excellent block but could do nothing as Joseph rose to head the rebound into the roof of the net with a defender unable to intervene.

Gaining confidence, Hendon attacked with increased vigour and Gay made three more excellent saves before the break. Five minutes before oranges, Ball fired a tracer shell of a shot that flew inches over the crossbar and another effort went narrowly wide, though Gay may have had it covered.

The second half was a different story, at least for the first 15 minutes because it was Needham Market who set the pace. What they lacked, however, with potent striker John Sands a long-term absentee, was a cutting edge and for all their pressure, the Marketmen were completely unable to put efforts even close to the target.

Such was Needham Market's pressure that Hendon made a defensive-minded change midway through the half, Diedhiou taking over from Walker. It had the desired effect because, for the next 15 minutes, it was Hendon who were on top, but they could not find a way past Gay, who made two good saves, most notably to deny Muir midway through the half.

A drive from Ball after 75 minutes flashed just over the crossbar with Gay well beaten. A cuouple of minutes later, a mazy run from Uchechi ended with a low cross which somehow went between three well-placed green-shirted attackers before being cleared.

Cole came on for Ball for the final quarter of an hour, while Sprague replaced Uchechi in the dying minutes. By comparison, although chasing the game, the Marketmen made only the one change, Mikhail Hastings tacking over from Jack Simmons, to little effect.

With eight minutes remaining, the Needham Market forced a spell of serious pressure in the Hendon penalty area. The Greens' defence did exceptionally well to block two or three efforts before Hastings dragged a shot tamely wide.

A minute or two later, a misplaced punch from Lovelock fell straight at the feet of Ingram, but he too failed to find the target and the ball trundled into the barriers behind the goal. Lovelock finally had work of note to do when a defensive header looped towards the crossbar and the goalkeeper pulled the ball down and picked it up on the bounce as Griffiths approached, hoping for a chance.

Play then moved to the other end and Gay was again beaten by a powerful drive from outside the penalty area. This time there was a defender on hand to make the block to keep the score to 1-0. Four minutes of stoppage time might have been more nerve-jangling, but the Greens' defence remained calm and in control and they still looked more likely to find a goal than the visitors.

Report by David Ballheimer : Not to be reproduced without prior permission


This match was sponsored by Brian Durrant
The matchballs were sponsored by David Held
The match programme was sponsored by HFC Scottish Supporters

Match Highlights


Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Tom Lovelock  
2 Jake Eggleton  
3 Sam Murphy  
4 Michael Corcoran  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Arthur Lee  
7 Daniel Uchechi  
8 Matt Ball  
9 Zak Joseph  
10 Niko Muir  
11 Josh Walker  
12 Ashley Nathaniel-George  
13 Oliver Sprague for 7 , 87
14 Dave Diedhiou for 11 , 65
15 Kezie Ibe  
17 Keagan Cole for 8 , 79

Needham Market

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Danny Gay  
2 Jake Dye  
3 Darryl Coakley  
4 Diaz Wright  
5 Keiran Morphew  
6 Daniel Morphew  
7 Jack Simmons  
8 Gareth Heath  
9 Jamie Griffiths  
10 Luke Ingram  
11 Adam Mills  
12 Mikhail Hastings for 7 , 72
14 Callum Harrison  
15 Kieran Turner  
16 Max Booth  
17 Nathan Munson