Southern League: Gosport Borough 1 Hendon 0
PUBLISHED: 14:20 27 August 2019
Hendon's unbeaten start to the new Southern League season came to an end at Privett Park on Saturday as Gosport's triumph left them without a win in their opening four matches of the season.
Dan Williams returned from a goalscoring cameo with Chalfont St Peter to replace Scott McGleish on the bench in the first change to the matchday 16 of the season, as the former Football League striker took his place on the bench in a purely coaching capacity.
In conditions that were almost the literal polar opposite of those the last time the Greens travelled to Gosport in November last year - where driving wind and high rains were the order of the day - both sides tested each-other out in the early stages without creating too much in the way of opportunities.
Kameron English had the best chances for the visitors, twice getting in behind the Borough back line but first having his effort kicked away by home goalkeeper Patrick O'Flaherty and then hitting the side netting.
Charlie Smith had a strike from distance manhandled wide of the post by the tall Borough keeper and Luke Tingey headed a chance straight at O'Flaherty from a corner after easing his marker out of the way.
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At the other end, Chris Grace had less to do as Borough probed the Hendon back four, expertly led once again by Tom Hamblin, but they lost some impetus after losing left wing-back Rory Williams after 20 minutes to injury.
Indeed, it was Williams who had created the best opening for the hosts when his early cross was glanced just wide of the target by Matt Paterson.
The only goal of the game came 11 minutes after the break when the ball broke for George Barker inside the Hendon box. He twisted and turned before easing a left-footed strike beyond the grasp of Grace and into the net off the inside of the post.
It was a goal from much closer in than the strike from inside his own half that he scored at SJP in February for his side, but a well taken goal nonetheless.
There was plenty of endeavour shown by the tangerine-shirted visitors, as Tahjae Anderson replaced Connor Calcutt and buzzed around busily whilst Williams made his debut for English to provide some fresh legs.
In spite of plenty of neat approach play, there was precious little quality in the final third and in truth, Hendon never looked likely to equalise. Strong penalty shouts were waved away late on when Matty Harriott appeared to have his ankles taken away from him just inside the penalty area but had Theo Lewis not shot wastefully over just before from a good position just inside the Hendon box, any consolation would have been rendered moot.
Hendon: Grace, Hall, Smith, Corcoran, Hamblin, Tingey, Hope, Harriott, Calcutt (Anderson 61), English (Williams 62), Chappell (Abdollahi 84). Unused subs: Valentine, Huxter.