Match Report

T Hayden-Smith
N Muir
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Tuesday 13 March 2018
Attendance: 137

A draw was probably a fair result between two teams who battled hard for a point, with both Merstham and Hendon creating enough chances between them for a much higher score line. Hendon were thwarted on numerous occasions by Ashlee Jones in the Merstham goal, while the home side could have secured a victory if they had been less wasteful in terms of wayward crosses and attempts on goal.

In an even start, the game soon adopted a niggly tone with Merstham's Simon Cooper cautioned for kicking out at a Hendon player off the ball (a more severe punishment would have been administered by other officials) and Hendon's Luke Tingey picking up a yellow for a virtual rugby tackle on the edge of the box. The resultant free kick was hit into the wall.

Hendon soon picked up the tempo and started applying some pressure of their own, some brilliant approach play from Josh Walker finding Ashley Nathaniel-George whose shot was smartly dealt with by Jones.

A Merstham attack was then snuffed out on their left wing, Alex Addai apoplectic that a goal kick rather than a corner was awarded. From the goal kick, a menacing Hendon attack was formed, brought to a halt by Jones bringing down Zak Joseph as he rounded the keeper. Rather than Jones seeing yellow, or worse, for the foul, it was Addai who picked up a yellow for a petulant bout of dissent over the decision that went against him seconds previously. Amid all the hubbub, Hendon goal machine Niko Muir coolly finished from the spot to put the visitors one up.

Joseph nearly doubled the Hendon lead, his excellent run and long-range shot bringing out a world-class save from Jones. Merstham then had a penalty appeal for handball wave away by the ref shortly before Alberto Lubango forced a corner from his excellent run and shot which was parried behind by Hendon keeper Tom Lovelock. The corner was swung in and nodded home for the equaliser by Cooper, untroubled by much in the way of marking or a challenge.

Half-time saw Arthur Lee replace Tingey for the visitors, the second half beginning with a flurry of Merstham chances before Joseph saw a shot clip the post for Hendon. Hendon also went close through Muir before Joseph was involved in a 50:50 challenge for the ball with Jones. Several Merstham defenders erupted with fury, creating a prolonged melee. Jones, to his great credit, diffused the situation and potentially prevented an outbreak of red cards.

Lee was cautioned for the visitors for hauling down a Merstham attacker. The resultant free kick brought out a great save from Lovelock, although he dropped the subsequent corner: a Merstham player could only balloon the chance high over the bar. Merstham piled on the pressure with a succession of corners and free kicks around the penalty area as full time approached, but Hendon were able to cling on for a point that keeps them well in the hunt for a play-off place.

Report by Bryan Roberts : Not to be reproduced without prior permission


Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Ashlee Jones  
2 Simon Cooper  
3 Ben Harrison  
4 Tom Kavanagh  
5 Liam Harwood  
6 Tutu Henriques  
7 Alex Addai  
8 Kershaney Samuels  
9 Charlie Penny  
10 Dan Bennett  
11 Alberto Lubango  
12 Tom Collins for 10 , 74
14 Tayshan Hayden-Smith for 11 , 67
15 Malik Onwugbonu  
16 Jelan Jones  
17 Reece Hall  


Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Tom Lovelock  
2 James Hammond  
3 Luke Tingey  
4 Dave Diedhiou  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Harly Wise  
7 Ashley Nathaniel-George  
8 Matt Ball  
9 Zak Joseph  
10 Niko Muir  
11 Josh Walker  
12 Michael Corcoran for 9 , 84
13 Casey Maclaren  
14 Arthur Lee for 3 , 46
15 William Murphy  
16 Dave Smalley