Southern League: Hendon 1 Truro City 4
PUBLISHED: 14:44 02 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:44 02 March 2020
Hendon were ultimately well-beaten by Southern League Premier Division South leaders Truro City, but could point to a number of key decisions that went against them.
For all that, even if two of the goals the Greens conceded had a more than a hint of controversy about them, the other two were entirely self-inflicted.
There were two changes to the Greens' starting line-up, with Jonathan North making his debut following the end of Rihards Matrevics' loan spell, and Simeon Olarerin replacing Sam Corcoran, who dropped to the bench.
Truro started well and showed their attacking potential in the fifth minute when Will Swan crashed a shot off the outside of the near post.
Such was the power of his strike, the ball bounced one before going out for a throw-in 12 yards from the goal-line.
Five minutes later, skipper Tommy Brewer was fouled as he jumped for a header and landed awkwardly. He stayed down before being carried off the pitch, to be replaced by Luke Tingey, with the armband going to Keiron Forbes.
It took until the 27th minute for Hendon to build a meaningful attack but, following a corner, two shots were blocked by defenders. The second of them, by Shaun Lucien appeared to strike Thompson's arm, but penalty appeals were waved away.
Truro attacked quickly and the ball went out to Niall Thompson on the right side. His cross took a deflection and looped towards the near post, where North rose to catch the ball by the angle of post and crossbar.
North was bumped as he came dow nby striker Tyler Harvey, who had leapt to head the ball, which was already in North's hands.
However, the collision caused the goalkeeper to drop the ball which bounced over the goalline. The referee, some distance away stood motionless until he saw the assistant referee flag that the ball had crossed the line, at which point he signalled for a goal.
To their credit, none of the Truro players congratulated Thompson or Harvey. Given how the White Knights celebrated goals two, three and four, the feeling was that they should not have been awarded this one.
The Hendon protests, admittedly minimal, were waved aside and in the 39th minute, they equalised with an excellent team goal.
Forbes passed to Solomon Sambou, who sprayed a pass from the right wing to the opposite flank, but the pass was some distance behind Lucas Perry, who controlled it inside the touchline and quickly passed forward to Lucien, who helped the ball on to Joe White.
He immediately linked with Lucien, who swapped passes with Liam Brooks, continued his run forward, steadied himself and fired past Shelvey.
A few minutes later, a cross into the Hendon penalty area resulted in a collision between Ryan Dickson and Joe Howe.
The forward led with his elbow directly into Howe's face and, for the third time, a leaping Truro player was not close to getting to the ball. Dickson was extremely fortunate that his action was not deemed violent conduct and the card he received was only yellow.
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When the half-time whistle went, Hendon had more than matched their table-topping rivals, although they been the beneficiaries of the strong wind, while the hail and rainstorms had made it miserable for everyone concerned.
The second half was played in a stronger wind and blinding sunshine, turning the players into silhouettes for those watching in the main stand.
Three minutes into the period, Lucien curled a drive just over the crossbar, and Hendon made their second change in the 59th minute, Simeon Olarerin making way for Kiangebeni.
Just past the hour mark, Alex Battle, who had taken over from Harvey at half-time, burst in on the Hendon goal but the substitute, looking offside, was unable to get the better of North, who made a good save.
The game changed in the 66th minute and Truro never looked back. A pass to Eddie Oshodi was slightly off target and he had to turn to face his own goal, under pressure from Battle.
Oshodi ran back and suddenly saw North outside his penalty area and unable to receive a pass back. The defender tried to clear the danger with a pass to Tingey or Howe, but it was half-blocked by Battle and when it fell to Swan, he curled the ball over the back-tracking North and into the net.
From there, it went from bad to worse for the Greens. Five minutes after the second goal, Truro were awarded a corner although it appeared to have last been touched by a red-shirted player.
Algerian Under-20 international Adel Gafaiti saw a looping header of Dickson's curler drop towards the goal and headed into the net by Congolese centre-back partner Harlain Mbayo, who was barely challenged.
And it nearly got even worse for Hendon when another corner from Dickson was blown against the crossbar at the near post with North scrambling to reach it.
Corcoran was Hendon's last substitute and came on for Lucien as the Greens switched to a back-three in an attempt to get back into the game.
Almost immediately, they had the chance when Brooks broke free of the defence, but his low shot lacked the power or direction to trouble Shelvey.
In the 82nd minute a pass to Kiangebeni didn't reach him out on the left touchline and Truro, as they had done all afternoon, harried and pressed to cause errors.
Two quick passes released Swan, who completed his double - his ninth goal in nine games on loan from Nottingham Forest, a deal which ended a day later - with a neat finish.
Manager Lee Allinson, an unused sub, said: "I don't think it was a 4-1 game. We clawed ourself back to 1-1 and at the time I thought we were the better team.
"I didn't see the second half coming. We had one of the better chances of the game, but against the run of play of they have scored.
"At 2-1 down, I though we were still in the game, though it was hard playing into the wind because they are a very hard-working, in-your-face side. They are very good and ther manager has put together a very strong squad.
"You look at the scoreline and you come away disappointed because we were very good for long periods. We had to work very hard for our goal, but they didn't have to work hard for theirs."
Hendon: North, Howe, Perry, Forbes, Brewer (Tingey 11), Oshodi, Lucien (Corcoran 77), Sambou, White, Brooks, Olarerin (Kiangebeni 59). Unused subs: Luca Allinson, Lee Allinson.
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