Chelsea show their class as Hendon complete their pre-season programme
PUBLISHED: 10:59 07 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:48 07 August 2013
Hendon were given a lesson in possession in their final pre-season friendly as a Chelsea XI containing a mixture of youth and experience scored in each half to run out 2-0 winners at Earlsmead.
The visitors’ side included former Blues favourites Jon Harley and Jody Morris, plus rising stars Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalobah, and Hendon spent most of the first half chasing the ball - but they did well to limit the Blues to few efforts of note.
Michael Duberry and Sam Flegg in the middle and Brandon Horner and Chris Seeby on the flanks had to be alert as Chelsea’s youngsters sped forward at every opportunity.
On the rare opportunities when the Greens got forward, Jefferson Louis was well dealt with by Chalobah, but he was left pretty much alone as Dave Diedhiou, Tony Taggart, Casey Maclaren, Michael Kalu and Lee O’Leary were forced into more defensive duties.
Dons goalkeeper Berkley Laurencin had an excellent game after missing the last few matches, handling or punching crosses well and being quick to come off his line to cut out danger and clear a couple of short pass-backs.
There were a couple of chances for the Blues, but they were wayward with shots at goal and the final ball into the penalty area missed their targets too. Laurencin didn’t have a save of note to make.
Just before half-time, the Blues were awarded a penalty when Duberry was adjudged to have fouled McEachran.
It seemed a harsh decision as it appeared to be a shoulder to shoulder challenge, but McEachran took responsibility for the spot-kick and confidently sent Laurencin the wrong way.
Hendon made a number of changes at the interval and James Fisher and Carl McCluskey took on the responsibility of dealing with the central strikers, while Anthony Thomas was the attacking spearhead.
The Greens did have more of the possession, but there were very few clear-cut openings. When a couple of shooting opportunities came Hendon’s way, they took the wrong decision and didn’t test Ben Killip, who had made one low save just before the break from a long-range effort that was probably just missing the goal.
Laurencin, however, was much busier and he made three excellent saves to keep the score at 1–0 before being replaced after 61 minutes, with Cameron Inch taking over.
Within a couple of minutes of coming on, Inch was beaten as substitute Ben Pattie was put clean through and he finished clinically.
There were two or three more chances for the Blues to extend their lead, but Chalobah showed his great talent with a brilliant piece of defending to stop a dangerous run by Horner. He not only won the ball with a textbook sliding tackle from behind but was on his feet, in possession, before Horner had time to react.
“I thought it was a good run-out,” said Hendon’s assistant manager Freddie Hyatt. “We held up very well defensively, but they are Chelsea and they are going to hold the ball up better than us.
“We were very disciplined at the back and I was very pleased with the way we kept our two banks of four, especially in the first half. We didn’t get much out them in attack.”
Hendon kick off their campaign in the Ryman Premier League on Saturday with a trip to face Thamesmead Town.
Hendon: Laurencin (C. Inch 63), Horner, Seeby, Duberry (Fisher, 46), Flegg (C. McCluskey, 46), C. Maclaren (J. Joseph, 51), Kalu (K. Maclaren, 46), Diedhiou (T. Inch, 46), Louis (Thomas, 46), O’Leary (Bowerman, 46), Taggart (Murray, 46). Unused sub J. Lewis
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