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Under 16s News, 2007/2008

Friday 30 May - Greens awarded league title

Hendon Under-16s were awarded the league title this week after Hanwell Town were unable to fulfill the final league game of the season.

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Sunday 04 May - Hampstead 0 Hendon 1

Hendon Under-16s slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Hampstead, who are in the division above the Greens in the League Cup Final

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Sunday 27 April - Hendon 3 Brunswick 0

Hendon Under-16s go into their final two league games knowing the destination of the Harrow Youth League Division One championship is in their own hands. On Sunday morning, also at Claremont Road, they saw off the challenge of Brunswick to move within five points of leaders Hanwell Town, but with one game in hand. One of the remaining games is against Hanwell Town, so two wins for the Greens will be enough to win the title. On Sunday morning, they took a sixth minute lead through Daniel Worgan and were in control from then on. After 53 minutes, Jack Hopkins doubled the advantage and Hopkins was on target again with 20 minutes to go, this one a truly stunning goal. "We were good in the first half," said manager Lewis Copeland, "and, in the second half, used the big pitch very well. Jack Hopkins was my man of the match."

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Sunday 20 April - Hanwell Town 3 Hendon 1

Hendon Under-16s nine-game unbeaten run came to an end on Sunday, Hendon fell to trio of sucker-punches as leaders Hanwell stretched their advantage tat the top of Division One. Hendon completely dominated the first half, but failed to take any of the numerous chances that went their way and paid the penalty in the last minute of the period when Hanwell opened the scoring. Conrad Lewis scored the leveller for Hendon 15 minutes in the second half and it looked as if they were going to run away with the game. Instead, they were hit on the break by Hanwell who scored again after 65 minutes. With Hendon desperately chasing a single point, their defence was breached on the counter-attack again in the final minute and Hanwell ran out 3-1 winners. Man of the match was Stevan Popovic, who was outstanding in midfield.

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Wednesday 16 April - Kensington Dragons 1 Hendon 1

Hendon Under 16s eight-game winning run came to an end with a draw at Kensington Dragons on Tuesday night. Jordan Copeland gave Hendon the lead after ten minutes of the second half but, in truly appalling conditions, Kensingston Dragons equalised 15 minutes later. That was the end of the scoring and manager Lewis Copeland considered the conditions the worst he has ever been involved in. Joint men of the match were Jordan Copeland and Mark Leighton.

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Sunday 13 April - Springfield 0 Hendon 1

Hendon Under-16s left it late, but they finally saw off Springfield in the Harrow Youth League First Division at Silver Jubilee Park on Sunday morning. In conditions considered by manager Lewis Copeland the worst he has encountered all season, both teams struggled to put together any fluency. Chances at both ends were at a premium and a goalless first half was not a surprise. It looked like the second half was going to be the same until the 77th minute. Then Simon Stansfield delivered a perfect cross and Kyran Macarthy converted it to give Hendon the narrowest of victories. "It was almost impossible out there," Mr Copeland said. "But it dawned on me as we were nearing the final whistle blew and the games was still goalless that we had kept a clean sheet and that really pleased me. Getting a winner was just the icing on the cake."

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Sunday 09 March - Hendon 4 Pinnacle 2

Hendon Under-16s had Kyran Macarthy to thank for a four-minute hat-trick as they beat Pinnacle 4-2 at Copthall. Pinnacle were two up at half-time, prompting the Greens to move Macarthy - who has been playing as a centre back this season - back into his preferred role up front. It took Macarthy just 60 seconds to pull a goal back, a minute later he made it 2-2 and within another two minutes he'd completed his hat-trick. The fourth goal was scored by left-back Mark Leighton. "Kyran has done well for me at centre-half since Christmas" said manager Lewis Copeland. "But we were desperate to get back into the game so we moved him back up front."

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Sunday 02 March - Springfield 1 Hendon 2

Hendon Under-16s reached the Final of the Harrow Youth League Cup with a superb victory away to Springfield on Sunday morning. They had to do it the hard way, coming from behind a passing a severe examination of their defence in a frantic second half. The opening goal arrived after 17 minutes and it was a magnificent 35-yard drive, albeit wind-assisted, but it gave Jermaine Ankrah absolutely no chance. Hendon’s reply was almost immediate. Less than two minutes after going behind, they were level after Conor Newman had converted a penalty. Conrad Lewis tried to pick out Yomi Smith, who would have had a tap-in for the equaliser, but a defender intervened with his hand and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Newman stepped up and confidently put away the spot-kick. Lewis and Smith combined for the winner in the 30th minute. A beautiful cushioned header released Smith in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper and he made no mistake, sliding the ball past the advancing keeper. There were no goals in the second half, but it was very tense affair. Springfield launched attack after attack in the first 30-odd minutes of the half, but they found the defence and Ankrah in particular in inspired form. The goalkeeper pulled off a number of fine saves and, gradually, Springfield realised this was not going to be their day. In the final 10-15 minutes, Hendon regained control and could have extended their advantage. "We withstood some serious pressure in the second half, but held on very well," said a delighted manager Lewis Copeland. "In the final few minutes we regained the initiative and were comfortable by the final whistle, but I was delighted with the performance from everyone. We all contributed today, but my man of the match was Rory Lincoln, who worked tirelessly up front, holding the ball well and taking some hard knocks." Hendon will play Premier Division title co-favourites Hampstead in the final, date and venue to be confirmed. Hampstead saw off Kodak A in the other semi-final.

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Sunday 24 February - Hendon 3 Springfield 1

Hendon Under-16s warmed up for next week's away Harrow Youth League Cup semi-final against Springfield by beating the same opposition in Division One at Copthall Playing Fields on Sunday morning. Springfield, a strong, solid defensive unit, started extremely well and dominated the opening quarter of an hour. Strangely, having made the initial breakthrough with a goal after 15 minutes, they began to lose the initiative. Hendon started to get a footbold in the game and equalised with a goal from Jack Hopkins after 25 minutes. That's the way the game stayed until midway through the second half when Conrad Lewis gave Hendon the lead. It was still nip and tuck, but Hendon got the decisive third goal with just about ten minutes remaining, Hopkins netting his second. "We played our best football in the second half," said a delighted manager Lewis Copeland. "It was all them in the first 15 minutes, but we gradually got into the game and were on top in the second half. My man of the match was Conrad Lewis, who led the line really well and was a constant threat. But everybody played really well. But it will be a different matter next week when we go to their place in the League Cup semi-final."

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Sunday 10 February - Hendon 10 Pitshanger 1

Hendon Under-16s followed up last week's 7-1 victory over Pitshanger with an even more comprehensive win over the same opponents. With half the season to play, Hendon are in fifth place in Harrow Youth League Division One, but only four points separate the top six and Hendon - with eight matches to play - have games in hand on all but one of the teams around them. Pitshanger actually took the lead after two minutes, but this served as a spur to Hendon, who equalised through Yomi Smith three minutes later. After another three minutes, Simon Stanfield gave Hendon the lead, after which there was no stopping them. Conor Newman, Smith, again, and Daniel Horgan all scored in the second part of the first half as the interval was reached with Hendon leading 5-1. The misery was piled on Pitshanger after the break. Conrad Lewis and Smith scored within a minute of each other after 48 and 49 minutes, Lewis got his second after 56 minutes and Jordan Copeland added his name to the list of scorers before the hour mark. The final 20 minutes saw only one more goal, Smith's fourth, as Hendon coasted home. "We played very well today and were clinical," said manager Lewis Copeland. "Yomi Smith deserves his man of the match award for his four goals and all-round performance."

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Sunday 03 February - Pitshanger 1 Hendon 7

Hendon Under-16s produced a superb performance to rout Pitshanger in the Harrow Youth League on Sunday afternoon. Conrad Lewis got things started after ten minutes, but the game was over as a contest when Hendon struck three times in 11 minutes around the half-hour mark. Jack Hopkins got his first goal after 25 minutes, followed by Daniel Horgan and Jordan Copeland on 30 and 36 minutes, respectively. The second half was the Jack Hopkins show as he completed a hat-trick in the period, his first goal coming ten minutes after the restart. Although Pitshanger did score after 60 minutes, Hopkins had already made it 6-0 and, with five minutes left, Hopkins completed his four-timer. "The boys played really well today," said happy manager Lewis Copeland, "probably the best they have performed all season. My man of the match was Jack Hopkins. He has been playing really well but didn’t have the goals to show for it until today."

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Sunday 27 January - Princes Park 2 Hendon 5

Hendon Under-16s put in an excellent afternoon's work as they overcame a strong challenge from Princes Park in the Harrow Youth League. They made a perfect start, scoring through Conrad Lewis in the opening minute. After 28 minutes the lead was doubled when Mark Leighton let fly from 30 yards and the ball fairly flew into the net. On the stroke of half-time, Hendon scored a crucial third goal, Yomi Smith being the man on target. It proved important just five minutes into the second half, when Princes Park reduced the deficit, but there was still some breathing space. A penalty after 53 minutes - awarded for handball after Smith had been about to score his second of the afternoon only to see the ball knocked aside - gave Conor Newman the chance to restore the three-goal advantage and he made no mistake. Although Princes Park again cut into Hendon's lead after an hour, the last word belonged to the Greens, who go number five from Simon Stanfield five minutes before time. "We did really well today," said happy manager Lewis Copeland. "We had to work very hard, but we did and got our reward. My man of the match was Daniel Horgan. He held the midfield together all afternoon."

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Sunday 13 January - Ealing Shamrock 2 Hendon 2 (5-6 on pens)

Hendon Under-16s won a thrilling Harrow Youth League Cup tie at Ealing Shamrock on Sunday morning, trailing twice before holding their nerve better in a tense 14-kick penalty shoot-out. The result was especially hard on the Ealing Shamrock goalkeeper, who was clearly the man of the match, but it he who took the vital penalty saved by Hendon keeper Jermaine Ankrah. A brilliant strike after five minutes gave Shamrock the lead, but Hendon were level ten minutes later when Stevan Popovic scored. After a further ten minutes, Ealing regained their lead and they held until the stroke of half-time, when Conrad Lewis made it 2-2. Amazingly this was the last goal of the tie as the 40 minutes of the second half and the two periods of extra time were goalless, mainly thanks to the heroics of the Ealing Shamrock goalkeeper. In the penalty shoot-out Ankrah made one save in the first five kicks, but Hendon also failed once. Going first, Hendon made it 5-4 in sudden death and, after Ealing had converted their sixth spot kick, the Greens made it 6-5. Up stepped the Ealing goalkeeper, but Ankrah was equal to the challenge and his save sends Hendon through to the next round. "We did really well today," said manager Lewis Copeland. "We were on top for most of the match and their goalkeeper made a number of great saves to keep them in the game. It's a shame for him that he should miss the vital penalty but goalkeeper, Jermaine Ankrah, was our man of the match for the way he kept his concentration.”

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Saturday 01 December - Manor Youth 4 Hendon 4 (4-1 on pens)

Hendon Under-16s much postponed Middlesex County Youth Cup tie finally got under way at Manor Youth, but it was eventually an afternoon of misery on a horrible day. Kicking with the conditions at their backs, Hendon raced into the 3-0 lead, Mark Leighton, 12 minutes, Conor Newman, a penalty after 20 minutes following a foul on Yomi Smith, and Conrad Lewis, scoring the goals. But it was going to be difficult to defend a lead even as big as 3-0, especially as conditions deteriorated. And conceding a goal in the opening minute made things even harder as Manor gained confidence. They scored again after 48 minutes, then 55 minutes, before taking the lead with 15 minutes to go. But Hendon didn't give up and deservedly equalised through Simon Stanfield after 75 minutes. Twenty minutes of extra time couldn't separate the teams, so the game went to penalties. In the shoot-out, despite plenty of practice, it was Manor who held their nerves, converting all four of their spot-kicks, while Hendon managed only one from three. "This was a great team performance," enthused manager Lewis Copeland. "Of course I am disappointed to lose but we showed such heart and commitment to come back from 4-3 down in the final quarter to force extra time and we played some excellent football too. My many of the match was Yomi Smith."

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Monday 05 November - Hendon 3 Kensington Dragons 3

Hendon Under-16s played exceptionally well to take a two-goal half-time lead against a very good Kensington Dragons outfit, but then did even better to snatch a point after trailing with five minutes to go. Hendon took the lead after 15 minutes through Jordan Copeland and, six minutes later, Yomi Smith doubled the advantage. Turning around with a thoroughly deserved two-goal lead, Hendon were put under strong pressure by Kensington, who were particularly dangerous on the counter-attack. Ten minutes into the second half, the Dragons halved their deficit and they drew level midway through the period, the latter goal coming after a quick break. Another quick counter-attack, with five minutes to go, gave Kensington the lead, but as the game moved towards stoppage time, a defender handled the ball in the Dragons penalty area and captain Conor Newman nervelessly dispatched the spot-kick to grab a point. "We did very well to come back after conceding such a late goal," said manager Lewis Copeland. "It was a clear handball for the penalty in the last minute, but Conor took the kick brilliantly. My man of the match was Dylan Agyako."

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Sunday 28 October - Acton Ealing Whistlers A 1 Hendon 9

Hendon Under-16s advanced to the next round of the Harrow Youth League Cup with a nine-goal rout of Acton. It wasn’t quite the democracy of one man, one vote, but it was eight players scoring nine goals. Conor Newman opened the floodgates after five minutes and he would complete the rout six minutes from time. In the tenth minute Yomi Smith made it 2-0 after ten minutes and the rout was on. Stevan Popovic added number three after a quarter of an hour and with 30 minutes elapsed it was four, courtesy of Jack Hopkins. To start the second half, Hendon enjoyed a burst of three goals in seven minutes, Kyran Macarthy, Jeffrey Lloyd and Rory Lincoln scoring after 50, 55 and 57 minutes. Jordan Copeland became the eighth Hendon scorer after 70 minutes before Newman got his second near the end. Hendon even managed to miss a couple of penalties as well. "This was a fantastic game," enthused manager Lewis Copeland. "We displayed great movement and finishing even with the penalty misses. My men of the match were the central midfielders Stevan Popovic and Jordan Copeland."

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Sunday 21 October - Brunswick 3 Hendon 0

"I don’t know how you lost that game," was the phrase the match referee used when speaking to the Hendon manager a game which saw the Greens create more than 20 chances, but hit the frame of the goal on a number of occasions, watched the ball trickle inches wide of the posts and had efforts cleared by defenders, while at the other end allow four chances to Brunswick, all on the break, only to see three converted. Brunswick scored after 10, 20 and 70 minutes, but spent most of the afternoon defending deep in their own half. "This was a totally bizarre afternoon," said assistant manager Lewis Copeland. "We had almost all of the possession, created chance after chance, but we just couldn't score. I can’t fault the players - other than for the accuracy of their finishing - they gave their all for the team. My man of the match was Dylan Agyako, who was excellent."

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Sunday 07 October - Hendon 1 St Lawrence 0

Hendon Under-16s played some of the best football coach Kris Bhalla has seen since he took charge of the squad last season as they ran out 1-0 winners over St Lawrence at Copthall Playing Fields on Sunday morning. Playing against strong and well-organised opponents, Hendon had to be at their very best to find their way through. It took an hour for Hendon to finally score and it was Conrad Lewis who made the breakthrough. The match ended in disappointingly controversial style when the visitors left the pitch a couple of minutes before the final whistle blew.

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Sunday 30 September - AFC Wembley 0 Hendon 4

Hendon Under-16s weren't unduly troubled as they booked their place in the second round of the Harrow Youth League Cup on Sunday morning, beating AFC Wembley 4–0. The game was a personal triumph for Yomi Smith, who gave Hendon the lead after just ten minutes of the first half. A similar period in the second half was when Smith bagged his second and it was Smith who put the game beyond AFC Wembley's reach when he completed his hat-trick midway through the second half. With five minutes remaining, Hendon completed their victory with a goal from Jack Hopkins. "We were very comfortable this morning," said manager Kris Bhalla. "We have a lot of new players who are still getting used to our systems, but they are beginning to shine. It was good that a couple of the newcomers scored today, but my man of the match was Geoffrey Lloyd, who played at right-back and he was excellent throughout."

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Sunday 23 September - Hendon 4 Princes Park 2

Hendon Under-16s made their seasonal bow with a home game against Princes Park in the Harrow Youth League and, having shaken off their ring rust, collected maximum points. The first goal came after 20 minutes when Simon Stanford marked his debut with a goal. Two minutes before half-time, the advantage was doubled by the consistent Jordan Copeland, but Hendon didn't start the second half very well. Indeed within ten minutes of the restart, the game was back all-square. However, Hendon upped their game again and Copeland restored the lead with 15 minutes remaining. Then, two minutes from time, Conor Newman converted a penalty. "We were very ring-rusty, especially in the first half," said manager Kris Bhalla. "It also didn’t help that we had a number of players making their debut, but we came through. My man of the match was captain Conor Newman."

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