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Under 18s News, 2008/2009

Sunday 14 December - Princes Park 1 Hendon 1

Hendon Under-18s management team was shocked when they found that the referee considered the Princes Park pitch to be playable on Sunday afternoon, despite a large pool of standing water and a gluey surface all round. It made playing passing football almost impossible and both teams struggled to adapt, so it was not a surprise that the first half was goalless. Ten minutes into the second half, following a bit of a scramble, Felix Murray struck a clean close-range shot which only just made it over the Princes Park goalline. Princes Park equalised 12 minutes later, but Hendon were thwarted by the pitch on a number of occasions when shots beat the goalkeeper, but stuck in the mud short of the goalline. In the final minute, Princes Park launched a counter-attack but a brilliant save from Vinny Mawunso preserved a point for Hendon. Joint manager Lewis Copeland said, "The referee ruled that the pitch was fit, though both teams felt otherwise. It was a quagmire. I can't fault my players; they gave everything. My man of the match was goalkeeper Vinny Mawusno, not just for his last minute save for his all-around performance."

Posted at 19:00

Sunday 16 November - Sport London e Benfica 0 Hendon 7

Hendon Under-18s had to put up with some pretty rough tactics from Sporting London e Benfica, but they held their nerve and took all three points with a fine 7-0 victory in the Harrow Youth League Division One on Sunday afternoon. Cleon Lawrence got things srarted very early with a goal after four minutes and Lawrence doubled the lead a quarter of an hour later. Leon Benjamin extended the lead with number three after half an hour, and it took only two more minutes for Benjamin to complete his brace. Seven minutes before the break, Yomi Smith got his name on the scoresheet, but he could not join his teammates in completing a double. The same could not be said for the only scorer in the second half, Conrad Lewis. Eighteen minutes after the restart Lewis scored his first, and he got his second nine minutes later. "This was a fantastic performance," enthused joint-manager Marco Amaldi. "They were tough and physical and our players were glad the referee was so strong. My man of the match was Hamish Birrell, one of our smallest players. He had an excellent game."

Posted at 19:00

Sunday 09 November - Hendon 12 Lancaster Diamonds 2

Hendon Under-18s took more than half an hour to break down Lancaster Diamonds at Copthall Playing Fields on Sunday morning, but once they had got the opening goal of this Harrow Youth League Division One clash, they ran riot, adding 11 more. Amazing for such a massive victory, no player notched a hat-trick and no less than seven players got on the scoresheet. Hamish Birrell scored the first goal after 33 minutes and it opened the floodgates. Cleon Lawrence added the next two minutes later and, three minutes after that Anthony Woodbridge got his first. James Healy scored after 40 minutes, but almost immediately Diamonds pulled a goal back. Even before Lancaster had finished celebrating so Healy had his second goal and the half-time whistle blew with Hendon leading 5-1. The first goal of the second half came from the visitors, after 49 minutes, but this only concentrated the minds of the Hendon boys, who replied with seven more goals. Ten minutes into the second half, Conrad Lewis scored, followed by two from Yomi Smith. The first of Smith's double came after 61 minutes, the second two minutes later. Captain Niall Fredericks joined the goal scoring fun after 66 minutes, after which there was a 14-minute lull. In the last ten minutes, Hendon added three more goals with Woodbridge, Birrell and Fredericks completing their personal doubles. Joint managers Marco Amaldi and Lewis Copeland said, "We played really well today. This is the sort of performance we have been looking for all season. Our man of the match was skipper Niall Fredericks."

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Sunday 02 November - Kensington Dragons 1 Hendon 2

Hendon Under-18s, like the Under-21s, had to come from a goal down to win their match this weekend. On Sunday afternoon, they travelled to Kensington Dragons in Division One of the Harrow Youth Sunday League and found themselves a goal inside five minutes. But they were back on level terms after 14 minutes, Hamish Birrell the marksman. That is the way the game stayed until 19 minutes into the second half when debutant Felix Murray gave Hendon the lead. And it proved enough for Hendon, who struck the woodwork three times in an excellent performance. "We played very well today," said joint manager Lewis Copeland. "In fact we dominated the game and should really have scored more goals. I asked the players who they thought was man of the match and they were unanimous in giving it to Felix Murray for scoring on his debut."

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Sunday 19 October - Hendon 2 Brook House 3

Hendon Under-18s made a terrible start against Brook House in the Middlesex County Youth Cup at Copthall Playing Fields on Sunday morning, conceding twice in the opening 20 minutes. They tried to get back into the game and did manage to reduce the arrears with a goal from Roy Lincoln three minutes from half-time. A ghastly defensive blunder on the hour mark allowed Brook House to restore their two-goal lead and although Leon Benjamin did pull a goal back, it was only in the last 15 minutes that Hendon produced anything like the form that they were capable of. "I am very disappointed with the performance and the result," admitted joint manager Marco Amaldi. "We really didn't play well until we had made it 3-2."

Posted at 19:00

Sunday 12 October - Parkfield 1 Hendon 1

Hendon Under-18s picked up a point against Parkfield in Division One of the Harrow Youth Football League, but were decidedly unlucky not to get all three. After having the majority of play in the first half, Hendon fell behind to a goal after 43 minutes, so went into half-time trailing. In the 67th minute, they thought they had equalised when Yomi Smith put the ball in the net, but although he converted a cross which came back from the bye-line, the assistant referee ruled he was in an offside position and the referee accepted his assistant�s decision. After 76 minutes, a cross from Mustafa Kaya was turned into the net by Hamish Birrell and the goal stood. Two minutes later, Smith was denied again, this time a brilliant piece of goalkeeping from the Parkfield custodian. "I don't know how we didn't win today," admitted joint manager Lewis Copeland. "We had all the pressure, but we just couldn't score. My man of the match today was Hamish Birrell, not just for his equalising goal, but for his overall play."

Posted at 19:00

Sunday 28 September - Pitshanger 2 Hendon 2

Hendon Under-18s were very disappointed to come away from Pitshanger on Sunday afternoon having collected only one point. In their previous match - against the same opposition - they had recorded an 8-3 victory and, even more annoying for the coaching team was the fact that the second equaliser was a carbon copy of two goals they had conceded in that earlier encounter. Anthony Woodbridge gave Hendon the lead after 15 minutes, but they were pegged back by an equalise just two minutes before half-time. Five minutes after the restart, the Greens regained the lead, again through Woodbridge, but this time their advantage didn't last more than five minutes. A long free-kick was delivered to the far post where three large attackers were waiting. One got a touch and the score was 2-2. Try as they might, Hendoon couldn't find a winning goal. "This was very disappointing," said joint-manager Marco Arnaldi. "We fell for the same set move again. A number of the squad weren't able to make training and they paid the price. I told them afterwards how important these sessions are. My man of the match was Anthony Woodbridge who led the line very well.

Posted at 19:00

Sunday 21 September - Hendon 8 Pitshanger 3

Hendon Under=18s enjoyed a prolific second half on their way to victory in this Harrow Youth Football League Division One encounter at Copthall Playing Fields on Sunday morning. They made a perfect start when Leon Benjamin scored after three minutes. Things got even better for the Greens as Benjamin got his second just two minutes later. The score stayed that way until a minute before half-time, when Pitshanger pulled a goal back. Two minutes after the restart, Anthony Woodbridge restored Hendon's two-goal lead, but the back-breaker came in the 53rd minute when a defender misplaced a header from a corner for an own goal. Although Pitshanger did pull a goal back Woodbridge got his second a minute later and Conor Newman made it 6-2 with 20 minutes to go. In the final ten minutes, Benjamin completed his hat-trick, Pitshanger scored their third and, finally, Benjamin got his fourth and Hendon's eighth to complete a good morning's work. Manager Lewis Copeland said, "We played really well in the second half. My man of the match was Leon Benjamin. He is a real find. Today he had six shots at goal and four ended up in the bottom corner. That is a great strike rate."

Posted at 19:00