Bostik Premier: Hendon suffer agony of shootout defeat against Dulwich Hamlet in play-off final
PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 May 2018
Greens had beaten Folkestone Invicta in play-off semi-final last Thursday
It has been a mixed week for Hendon, who suffered the heartbreak of a penalty shootout defeat in the Bostik Premier play-off final after being big winners in their semi-final.
The Greens began their play-off campaign last Thursday against Folkestone Invicta and had home advantage by virtue of finishing third in the table.
Gary McCann’s men had leapfrogged the Kent club on the final day of the regular season and made the most of playing at Silver Jubilee Park by winning 4-0.
The Londoners took an early lead against Invicta, with Josh Walker putting them ahead in just the sixth minute.
Hendon doubled their lead 10 minutes when Ashley Nathaniel-George found the target.
Zak Joseph then made it 3-0 to the Greens with his goal that came in the 43rd minute of the match.
And Niko Muir netted what proved to be the final goal less than a minute later as McCann’s men led by four at the break.
With such a commanding lead at half time, the Silver Jubilee Park outfit did not have to push on in the second period.
Instead, it was a case of game management as the Londoners successfully saw the game out without conceding.
The win for Hendon saw them set up a final date against Dulwich Hamlet, who had beaten Leiston 1-0 at home in their play-off semi-final.
With Hamlet having finished above the Greens in the table, the match was played at the south Londoners’ home ground of Imperial Fields.
Despite playing away from home, it was McCann’s men who hit the front, with Nathaniel-George netting his second goal of the play-off campaign in the 36th minute.
The Silver Jubilee Park side took their advantage into the break, but saw it slip in the 54th minute when Gavin Tomlin netted for the hosts.
There were no further goals in the game as the match headed for an additional 30 minutes in the hope of separating the sides.
However, with neither team finding the target in extra time, the match then went to penalties.
Sam Murphy, Daniel Uchechi and Niko Muir all converted from 12 yards, while Tom Lovelock saved one, but Oliver Sprague and Michael Corcoran did not score theirs as Hendon lost 4-3 on spot kicks.