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Under 16s News, 2009/2010

Sunday 18 October - Hendon 3 Manor Youth 3

Hendon Under-16s dropped more league points courtesy of a late equaliser at Copthall Playing Fields on Sunday morning, Manor Youth snatching an equaliser in the final minute. Manor took the lead after just seven minutes when a deflected shot beat Liam Hyland. Two minutes later, Hendon were level when Sharif Malik was pulled back in the penalty area and Tung Nguyen converted the spot kick. Hendon fell behind for a second time ten minutes into the second half, conceding a penalty for handball and it was converted. With 11 minutes to go Zola Msimanga restored parity and, four minutes later, a cross from Junior Abass was knocked into the net by Msimanga to give Hendon the lead. Just when it looked as if Hendon were going to record their first League victory for this age-group in 20 months (when they were Under-14s), a corner was not cleared and the loose ball was driven into the net to make it 3-3. "It was slightly disappointing to drop points again so late in the match," said manager Paul McGreal. "The only time we lost concentration was in those dying seconds and they scored their equaliser. But on the positive side, we had a number of players who made major contributions and I am convinced we are going to give someone a right royal hammering very soon. My joint men of the match were Junior Abass, who was excellent in an attacking left midfield role, and Zola Msimanga, who was equally good as a central striker.”

Posted at 16:00

Sunday 11 October - Hendon 1 Headstone Manor B

Hendon Under-16s showed how much they have advanced since last season by being desperately disappointed to have lost to Headstone Manor's squad at Copthall Playing Fields in the Harrow Youth League Division Three on Sunday morning. Last season, at Under-15s level, the same opposition inflicted 12-1 and 5-0 defeats on Hendon, but this time they were delighted to hear the final whistle and claim all three points. Hendon took the lead after 18 minutes when Michael Adeyemi set up Tang Nguyen. However, Manor hit back very quickly and were level two minutes later. The winning goal came with just eight minutes to go, but Hendon launched a furious rally in the dying moments forcing a succession of corners. From the last of these, a brilliant save by the visiting goalkeeper saw him tip the ball wide of the post to deny the Greens a deserved equaliser. "On the one hand, I am very disappointed to have lost the game today," said manager Paul McGreal, "but, on the other hand, I am delighted that we gave a team that hammered us twice last season such a good game. I knew this would be a far sterner and more realistic test than the match last week. My man of the match was Michael Adeyemi, who displayed fantastic work=rate and commitment for the full 80 minutes."

Posted at 16:00

Sunday 04 October - Hendon 1 Ruislip Rangers 0

Hendon Under-16s won their first competitive match since the current management team led by Paul McGreal took over at the beginning of last season with a 1-0 victory over Ruislip Rangers in the League Cup earlier this morning. Their previous win came in February 2008 when they beat Ruislip Town 6-4 in a league match. The only goal came in the first half, after 28 minutes, courtesy of Anthony Tang. It came from a free-kick wide on the right wing, which was floated in by Tung Nguen and Tang beat goalkeeper to the ball from the edge of the six-yard box. Hendon had a couple of half-chances to extend their lead, but nothing clear cut. Stand-in goalkeeper, Michael Adeyemi, had very little to and he barely had a save to make in the 80 minutes. "It's so nice to get that monkey off my back," said ecstatic manager Paul McGreal. "We played very well and we were extremely comfortable and I can't remember our defence under pressure in the game. It was a great team effort. My man of the match was Billy Williams, who was in perpetual motion in the centre of midfield for the whole game."

Posted at 16:00

Sunday 27 September - Hendon 1 Charville Athletic 3

The Under-16s lost their opening Harrow Youth League Division Three encounter at Copthall Playing Fields on Sunday morning, conceding the final goal in the last couple of minutes as they chased an equaliser. It is a measure of how far they have come in the past 12 months that they were still in the game until very near the final whistle. The first half was even with few goalscoring opportunities. However, one minute into the second half, Hendon were awarded free-kick which was taken by Shaquille Tynedale-Weekes. The ball came across to Tung Nguyan, who scored with a magnificent overhead kick. Charville resorted to long-ball tactics to get back into the game and it worked as they scored midway through the second half and took the lead with a penalty five minutes later. As Hendon then chased the game, they left gaps at the back and, with two minutes, to Charville took advantage of this and made it 3-1. Hendon manager Paul McGreal said, "It's a flat, dejected dressing room at the moment because we felt we should have won. We battled really hard. My man of the match was Shaquille Tyndale-Weekes, who put in a magnificent shift in midfield."

Posted at 16:00

Sunday 20 September - Hayes & Yeading United 5 Hendon 1

Hendon Under-16s opened their season with a Middlesex County FA Youth Cup tie at Hayes & Yeading, who play two divisions above the young Greens and were fancied to win by a hatful. It didn't quite work out that way as Hendon kept the game close, despite conceding after two and 14 minutes. Hendon pulled a goal back midway through the first half when a free-kick by Shaquille Tynedale-Weekes was floated into the box. It was met on the half-volley by Billy Williams, who coolly fired the ball into the bottom corner. Buoyed by this, Hendon enjoyed some good possession, but without threatening the Hayes & Yeading goal. Five minutes later, however, Hendon were rather unfortunate to concede a penalty, which was converted to make it 3-1. Hayes & Yeading then made it harder for themselves as they had a player sent off for threatening behaviour. It helped Hendon to get more into the game and Williams rattled the crossbar from 20 yards after a mazy little run. Unfortunately, with the last touch in the first half, H&Y broke through and made it 4-1 with a lob over Liam Hyland. With the wind and the slope against them in the second, Hendon struggled to get forward. But the defending was excellent and Hendon conceded only one more goal, after 56 minutes. They did create a couple of half-chances, notably a Blake Antwi run into the penalty area, which the keeper smothered bravely his feet. Manager Paul McGreal said, "I am more confident about the season ahead today than I was last week. I always felt that against a team two divisions above we'd struggle to get a result, so was more looking at the performance, and it was exactly what my assistant Liam and I were after - skilful play, commitment, and hard-work. "We still need to work on some areas, but once more players are available again, we'll be more than alright. We told the players after the match, that had we played that game with last year's squad, we would have ended up on the wrong end of a score-line in the high teens. "Our next two games (against Charville in the Harrow Youth League and Ruislip Rangers in the Harrow Youth League Cup) will be a realistic indicator of how the season will pan out. "As for our best players, skipper Anthony Tang performed well in central defence, and made a number of vital interceptions, especially in the second half. But my man of the match was Billy Williams, who not only scored a great goal but also produced a fine all-round performance."

Posted at 16:00