Match Report

Spelthorne Sports
J White 5, A Nathaniel-George 3, L Gordon
J Saleh
Match details
Competition: Middlesex Senior Cup
Date: Tuesday 16 January 2018
Attendance: 82

Hendon's loan striker Joe White celebrated his 19th birthday in spectacular style on Tuesday night as he joined the pantheon of greats by equalling the accepted club record of five goals in a game. It was a night of records, as it was the first time since the 9-2 Isthmian League defeat of Wycombe Wanderers in December 1964 that two players recorded hat-tricks in the same match. Ashley Nathaniel-George was the other hat-trick hero against Spelthorne, David Hyde and Danny Lakey both grabbed trebles in 1964.

The final score of 9-1 was harsh on a weakened Spelthorne Sports team in the first ever meeting between the clubs at senior level. When Jamil Saleh made it 2-1 with an excellent goal after 21 minutes, it was a warning shot that Hendon needed to keep their discipline and concentration and the third Greens goal, four minutes later, did just that.

This was not Hendon's first choice line-up either; none of Tom Lovelock, Arthur Lee, Ollie Sprague, Casey Maclaren, Dave Diedhiou, Michael Corcoran, Harly Wise or Dan Uchechi were in the 16-man squad and 30-goal Niko Muir was an unused substitute – as was Montel Joseph. This was a very young line-up with Sam Murphy, aged 28, Zak Joseph, 24, and Nathaniel-George, 22, the only over-21s in the 14 used players, and seven were teenagers.

Sutton United's wide defenders had struggled to contain Joseph and Nathaniel-George in the FA Trophy tie three days earlier, so it was no surprise that the Combined Counties full-backs would be significantly more trouble and so it proved. In the ninth minute a mazy right wing run and a low cross were all it took for White to score the opener, it being a simple side-foot.

Ten minutes later, Spelthorne failed to clear another attack and when the ball came out to Nathaniel-George, he struck a firm shot past Jake Taylor into the net. It was a fair return for a pretty dominant opening 20 minutes.

In the 21st minute, however, the Greens were caught out and paid a heavy price. Jake Flatman collected an errant pass in midfield and he played an excellent pass into space being filled by Saleh. No defender was close enough, so Saleh curled a beautiful 20-yard strike beyond Corey Addai into the top corner.

It would be wrong to say that Hendon lost confidence after conceding the goal, because they quickly forced mistakes in possession from Sports and, less than five minutes later, an error was punished. A cross into the penalty area picked out White and he had his second of the evening.

Some really tight offside decisions went against Hendon when they marauded forward, Josh Walker, Liam Gordon and Nathaniel-George on one flank, Joseph and skipper Sam Murphy on the other, and without Taylor being overworked, Sports held out until half-time. When Spelly went forward they found Luke Tingey, Rian Bray and Jake Eggleton determined not to repeat their earlier lapse.

Just before the break, central defender Sam Rees went down with an injury and he was replaced by striker John Roberts, a change which resulted in Ben Thorne dropping into defence. Roberts' brief was to attack down the left, but Sam Murphy and his second-half replacement Channing Campbell-Young, augmented by Malachy McGovern, gave him no chance to shine.

And any hopes Spelthorne had of making a game of it disappeared in the opening seven minutes of the second half. After 49 minutes, Nathaniel-George was on hand to finish from close range as Sports continued to be confounded by the Greens' wide play.

Three minutes later, White became the third Hendon hat-trick man of the season – Muir, two, and Joseph are the others – when he nipped in for another close-range finish. The Spelthorne response was to make a double-change, Lewis Flatman and Josh McCool taking over from Jake Flatman and Ben Ewing, leaving them without any further options for the last 35 minutes.

Hendon made a double substitution of their own, replacing Sam Murphy and Bray with Campbell-Young and Cole, respectively. Whether it was the fresh legs, renewed impetus or just the regular ebb and flow of the game, the Greens hit Spelly with another quick two-goal blast around the 70-minute mark.

Tiredness might have been the reason for the challenge, or it might just have been a matter of being caught out by a burst of pace; either way, the ball wasn't touched and Nathaniel-George went down for a very obvious penalty award. He became the club's second hat-trick man of the game as he confidently blasted home the spot-kick.

Two minutes later, someone other than Nathaniel-George and White got on the scoresheet. It wasn't one of the regular goalscorers, Walker, Joseph or Cole, but it was the other Dagenham & Redbridge loanee, Gordon who struck the ball home from close range after a couple of other efforts had been blocked.

William Murphy came on for Nathaniel-George a couple of minutes later, not only denying the latter the chance to add to his goal-tally, but also reducing the age of the finishing XI to a year younger than the starting one. Addai was then brought into the action on a couple of occasions, one save being made very comfortably, the second slightly more awkwardly, but he did regather the ball before Roberts could pounce.

As Spelthorne's tiredness grew, Hendon started creating even more openings. A goal was disallowed for offside after excellent approach play down the right wing and a couple of efforts flashed wide of Taylor's goal with the goalkeeper well beaten.

The game was in its final minute of normal time when White was given another change to show his finishing prowess and he made no mistake. However pleased the birthday boy might have been, the celebrations were respectfully muted, as one would hope of an eighth goal.

As there had been five substitutions (admittedly two double-changes), five goals and a couple of injuries in the second half, the additional time was just added torture for Spelthorne and it was very hard not to feel sorry for their beleaguered back-line when, after a mad scramble in their penalty area, White got the decisive touch to send the ball into the net. The ball was still moving when the final whistle was blown to complete a record-breaking night.

The reward for the Greens is a semi-final tie at home to Barnet, on a date to be advised. In their quarter-final, the Bees overcame another step five team, Enfield 1893 of the Essex Senior League, 4–2 the scoreline.

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


Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Corey Addai  
2 Sam Murphy  
3 Liam Gordon  
4 Luke Tingey  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Jake Eggleton  
7 Ashley Nathaniel-George  
8 Malachy McGovern  
9 Josh Walker  
10 Joe White  
11 Zak Joseph  
12 Channing Campbell-Young for 2 , 63
13 William Murphy for 7 , 71
14 Niko Muir  
15 Keagan Cole for 5 , 63
16 Montel Joseph  

Spelthorne Sports

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Jake Tayler  
2 Luke Richards  
3 Sam Bellagon  
4 Ben Ewing  
5 Sam Rees  
6 Jamil Saleh  
7 Josh Remedios  
8 Jake Flatman  
9 Jamie Read  
10 Tommy Mooney  
11 Ben Thorne  
12 Lewis Flatman for 4 , 52
14 Josh McCool for 8 , 52
15 John Roberts for 5 , 42
16 Joe Tuck