Hendon beat Supermarine to stay up
PUBLISHED: 14:16 29 April 2019
Evo-Stik South Premier South: Hendon 1 Swindon Supermarine 0
Hendon secured their survival on the final day courtesy of a 1-0 win over hard-working mid-table Swindon Supermarine at a blustery Silver Jubilee Park on Saturday, thus preserving their proud record of never having been relegated.
Manager James Gray declared himself “over the moon” with the result and admitted to “feeling very emotional” after the final whistle blew, bringing the curtain down on a hugely testing season.
There were three changes to the side that were denied three points late on at Chesham on Easter Monday with Charlie Smith coming in at left-back, Romario Jonas replacing the injured Bayley Brown at centre-half alongside Luke Tingey and Connor Calcutt returning up-front for Lewis Toomey who dropped to the bench along with Jacob Gardiner-Smith. Captain, and double Player-of-the-Year winner Lee Chappell, anchored the midfield behind Ryan Hope and Matty Harriott.
The Greens began brightly with Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick having an early shot blocked before an effort at the other end from Calvin Dinsley drifted wide of Chris Grace's right-hand post.
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The only goal of the game came in the sixth minute when Supermarine failed to clear a shot from the edge of the box and it was turned home by Hippolyte-Patrick for his 21st goal of the campaign.
Conditions made flowing football difficult and Lee Chappell's long throws for the hosts caused plenty of consternation amongst the Supermarine defence, however Martin Horsell made a number of commanding punches and claims from balls into the box and Mathew Liddiard made light of a first-half head injury to provide a stable force at the back.
On 20 minutes, Henry Spalding cut inside Charlie Smith and unleashed a sizzling 25-yard effort which went a yard wide of Grace's left-hand post before Hippolyte-Patrick failed to get enough purchase on an overhead kick from just inside the penalty area to seriously test Horsell and Connor Calcutt was denied by a smart Horsell save low to his left.
Chances were at a premium after the break with both sides largely cancelling out the other's attack. Dinsley had an effort early on in the half comfortably saved by Grace at his near-post. Swindon's Ryan Campbell then exited the fray on the hour mark with a nasty looking leg injury and was replaced by Harry Williams.
With 18 minutes remaining, Hendon missed a golden opportunity to make the game safe when Calcutt played a slide-rule pass through for the onrushing Matty Harriott. The Hendon midfielder took the effort early but fired it narrowly past the far post rather than inside.
In the closing stages, Hendon began to defend deeper and deeper, inviting Supermarine onto them, however aside from a Liddiard header which drifted harmlessly wide and an outstanding challenge in the penalty area by Luke Tingey deep in stoppage time to prevent Williams from getting a shot away, the hosts were able to see out the four minutes of additional time with a degree of comfort. The final whistle was greeted with jubilant scenes on the terraces and pitch with step 3 football confirmed for another year.