Bostik Premier: Hendon hope to extend season for one final game by beating Folkestone Invicta in play-off semi-final
PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 May 2018
Greens ended regular season with 2-1 win at Leiston on Saturday
Hendon face their biggest game of the season on Thursday when they host Folkestone Invicta in the Bostik Premier play-off semi-finals.
The Greens secured home advantage in dramatic fashion on the final day of the regular season, after a 2-1 win at Leiston.
After a goalless first half, Ashley Nathaniel-George struck in the 62nd minute to put Gary McCann’s men ahead.
A minute later, the Silver Jubilee Park outfit doubled their advantage when Daniel Uchechi found the target.
However, Hendon were made to sweat for their win with Joe Marsden netting for the Blues in the 70th minute.
The Greens, though, were able to hang on to their advantage and uphold their part of the bargain in securing home advantage.
McCann’s men knew they needed Folkestone to drop points at champions Billericay Town if they were to move above Invicta in the standings.
With the teams level heading towards the closing moments, an 89th-minute goal from Joseph Taylor seemed to set the Kent club on course for victory.
However, a stoppage-time equaliser from Billericay’s Jamie O’Hara ensured it ended 2-2 in Essex, allowing Hendon to finish third in the process.
The Greens will hope to make the most of home advantage on Thursday when they welcome Folkestone to Silver Jubilee Park.
Owing to a curfew on the use of floodlights at the ground, the play-off semi-final will take place at the earlier time of 7.30pm, with extra time and penalties if required.
There’s every chance the game could go the distance after the last meeting between the sides ended in a 3-3 draw.
Goals from Joe White, Zak Joseph and Casey Maclaren helped Hendon come from three goals down that day to draw, but they hope they won’t need similar heroics on Thursday.
Should Hendon progress to the final, they will be back in action in the final on Bank Holiday Monday against either Dulwich Hamlet, or finished second, or Leiston, who finished fifth.
The final will take place at the ground of the highest-ranked team to reach it.
But before they can worry about where the final may be played, the Greens must first get the better of Folkestone for the first time this season.