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Hendon boss Gray targeting big improvements next term after avoiding dreaded drop

PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:46 02 May 2019

Hendon players celebrate Shaquille Hippolyte-Patricks goal (pic DBeechPhotography)

Hendon players celebrate Shaquille Hippolyte-Patricks goal (pic DBeechPhotography)

Derek_Beech

Greens beat relegation with victory over Swindon Supermarine on final day of season

Hendon manager Jimmy Gray celebrates the win that saves the club from relegation (pic DBeechPhotography)Hendon manager Jimmy Gray celebrates the win that saves the club from relegation (pic DBeechPhotography)

Hendon can look forward to another season in the seventh tier of English football after avoiding relegation from the Evo-Stik South Premier South.

A 1-0 victory for the Greens at home to Swindon Supermarine on the final day of the season at the weekend was enough to see them finish three points clear of danger.

The only goal of the game came early on, with Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick netting for Jimmy Gray's men in the sixth minute.

The Silver Jubilee Park outfit knew a win would keep them up and were able to celebrate survival at the full-time whistle.

It has been another rollercoaster campaign for Hendon, who looked to be challenging for a play-off place in December.

A run of 12 games without a victory, however, saw the Greens plummet down the table and become embroiled in a relegation battle.

Four points from their final two matches proved to be enough for Gray's men to beat the drop and keep the club's record of having never been relegated in tact.

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But the Silver Jubilee Park outfit know they must improve over the summer if they are to avoid a repeat of their relegation scrap next term.

Hendon boss Gray told the club website: “We need to strengthen and we don't want to be in a similar situation going into the final game of next season.

“If you don't strengthen and you're happy with what you've got, you'll never progress.

“Last summer's recruitment was a case of 'we'll take him' because we had nothing else, but now we have targets and we know where we want to go.

“If we can get our targets, get the players we want to bring in here and they hit the ground running, there's no reason we can't have a better season next season.

“I'm not going to start setting expectations, but we need to finish higher than we did this season and a top-half finish would be massive progress.”

Despite only avoiding relegation on the final day, Hendon could be placed in a new league next term.

The line-ups for the divisions are still yet to be decided and the Greens could yet be transferred back to the Bostik Leagues.

But for now, Gray's men can at least be pleased with avoiding relegation after another tumultuous term.

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