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On-form Hendon fighting to beat Ryman League drop after impressive win at AFC Sudbury

PUBLISHED: 12:13 29 March 2017

Hendon's Marcel Barrington. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY

Hendon's Marcel Barrington. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY

Derek Beech

Hendon’s battle to beat the drop from the Ryman League Premier Division took a huge step forward with a highly-impressive 4-0 win over relegation rivals AFC Sudbury.

Matt Ball in action for Hendon. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHYMatt Ball in action for Hendon. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY

It was their fourth win in five games and while it hasn’t lifted them out of the bottom four, it has put them on 44 points, the same number as Kingstonian and Leatherhead ahead of them, and only three points away from the dizzy heights of 16th.

Boss Gary McCann was naturally delighted with both the result and performance at The Wardale Williams Stadium, citing a renewed sense of unity as key.

“I thought we were excellent,” he said. “It was the most complete performance for a long while and we could have won by many more than four goals.

“The whole team contributed and there is a togetherness and resilience about that we have not had for most of the past 18 months.

Hendon's Khale da Costa tries a shot on goal against AFC Sudbury. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHYHendon's Khale da Costa tries a shot on goal against AFC Sudbury. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY

“The arrival of Tom Lovelock, James Hammond, Josh Urquhart, Danny Rumen, James Harper, Matt Ball, Marcel Barrington and Khale Da Costa have brought a level of experience and mental strength to the group while also making the squad a lot more competitive.

“I have never stopped trying to improve the squad and I am happier that we are more together now than we have been for 18 months.

“That said, I am well aware that the job this season is far from done and we will not be complacent.”

An unchanged Greens looked sprightly from the off in Suffolk, although Tom Lovelock had to make a couple of saves early on.

Matt Ball celebrates with his team mates. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHYMatt Ball celebrates with his team mates. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY

But after Matt Ball had gone close with a long-range effort and Khale Da Costa saw his shot deflected behind for a corner, Hendon did take the lead.

A neat pass found Kezie Ibe with plenty to do. But the striker skipped past both James Baker and goalkeeper Marcus Garnham before slipping the ball home from a tight angle.

That goal lifted Hendon’s confidence and just after the half-hour it was two.

Ball showed the potent combination of power, precision and accuracy as he crashed a free-kick from around 25 yards into the back of the net.

Kezie Ibe rounds the keeper to open the scoring for Hendon. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHYKezie Ibe rounds the keeper to open the scoring for Hendon. Picture: DBEECHPHOTOGRAPHY

After the collapse at Leatherhead two weeks earlier Hendon knew the next goal was vital and four minutes into the second-half it was the visitors who got it.

Marcel Barrington set up Keagan Cole and the 18-year-old, on his 50th appearance, netted his seventh goal of the season from close range.

The game was well and truly put to bed on 61 minutes.

With the defence trying to play a tight line, Ibe timed his run forward to perfection to beat Garnham on another one-on-one.

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