Bostik Premier Division: Burgess Hill Town 2 Hendon 4
PUBLISHED: 09:30 05 February 2018
Niko Muir scored his fourth hat-trick of the season to help guide Hendon to a 4-2 victory against strugglers Burgess Hill Town on Saturday.
The striker, who recently had a trial with Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers, took his tally up to 33 for the campaign and helped the Greens get back to winning ways after a miserable start to 2018.
The Green handed a couple of debuts to German-born Nick Hamann, who joined the club on a dual-registration from Maidenhead United to replace Corey Addai in goal, who was recalled by his parent club Coventry City earlier this week.
Harold Joseph also made his debut after being signed on-loan from St. Albans City to partner Rian Bray at centre-back.
There were also starts for Dave Diedhiou and Keagan Cole in place of Harly Wise and the now departed Joe White.
White was recalled by his parent club Dagenham & Redbridge before they sold him to League Two side Stevenage on deadline day.
Muir broke the deadlock in the 11th minute when a pass from Keagan Cole found the striker with half a yard of space inside the penalty area.
He took a touch and then fire a low right-footed shot beyond James Shaw and into the bottom corner.
In the 23rd minute the home side equalised out of the blue - Conor Tighe got into the Hendon penalty area and although his powerful low shot brought a superb save from Hamman, Jack Brivio reacted quickest and slotted the ball into the empty net to bring the hosts level.
With six minutes remaining in the first half, Hendon were awarded a penalty after Nathaniel-George went down under pressure from Ibrahim Forfana and the referee pointed to the spot.
Muir stepped up but Shaw denied the forward but his block fell to the feet of the Hendon centre forward who needed no second invitation to lift the ball into the net and give the visitors a half-time advantage.
Cole threaded a pass into the centre-forward and as he turned, planted a left footed shot that Shaw got half a hand to, but was unable to prevent the ball from skidding just inside the post to complete his hat-trick in the 67th minute.
Five minutes later a superb run down the left beyond Sam Murphy saw the ball cut back and converted once again by Brivio at the near post to reduce the arrears.
Within sixty seconds the points were finally sealed as Josh Walker dispossed James Richmond, ran into the penalty area and neatly turned Sam Fisk before slipping the ball underneath Shaw from an angle.
After the match manager Gary McCann admitted his relief and delight with the three points.
“I’m more relieved with the win in terms of the impact it has on this group of players than the context of the season as a whole,” he said.
“When you lose games, it can have a damaging effect on young players and I think people forget just how young this squad is at times.
“I thought we were fully worth the three points this afternoon and could have won by more.”