Southern League: Hendon 2 Tiverton Town 2
PUBLISHED: 14:32 20 January 2019
Hendon's record losing streak was finally halted against Tiverton Town at Silver Jubilee Park on Saturday.
Both managers would have most likely taken a point before kick-off, but at the final whistle they were disappointed not to have won, although even more relieved not to have lost.
Sergio Manesio made his first competitive start for the Greens – in for Brendan Murphy-McVey – having played in pre-season friendlies in 2012, on a dual-registration deal with Hampton & Richmond Borough.
And on the Hendon bench were two new other signings, in the form of Benjy Aghadiuno (dual registration from Barnet) and the much-travelled Ryan Hope, most recently at Southall).
They were not the only changes as Lee Chappell came in for the departed Tanasheh Abrahams, who has returned to Wingate & Finchley, as Lewis Toomey took over from the injured Connor Calcutt and Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick came in for Elliott Charles.
Hendon made a confident start and were soon on top, earning a free-kick on the left in a good attacking position in the 10th minute.
Chappell curled the ball into the penalty area where it bounced down and fell perfectly for Bayley Brown, who had the relatively simple task of placing the ball beyond Liam Armstrong to make it 1–0, his first goal for the club.
Ten minutes later, it got even better for the Greens as Toomey attacked down the left flank and drove in a low cross. The ball went behind the most forward player, Gianni Crichlow, but following up was Hippolyte-Patrick and he smashed the ball into the net from 18 yards.
In the 23rd minute, Luke Tingey won possession at the third attempt in midfield and strode forward with purpose. Suddenly things opened up for him and he elected to pass to Toomey, rather than taking on the shot himself. Toomey’s shot was overstruck and flew over the crossbar, but it was a really good chance.
In the 32nd minute, Hendon had a big escape when a Liam Furness free-kick was headed goalwards by Josh Key, as he was falling away from the ball. The looping ball was tipped at full-stretch by Danny Boness and either rebounded off the crossbar or simply fell into the path of Callum Hall.
Boness somehow flung himself in front Hall’s close-range effort to make the save with his body and the attacker’s reaction was that the ball had crossed the goalline, but there was no signal from the assistant referee.
Steve Collwell then had a shot saved low at full stretch by Boness, but it was not a particularly difficult one.
There was still time for Hendon to have two more chances to make it 3–0. In the 37th minute, Crichlow sent a looping header just away from the target. Had the ball dropped inside the angle of post and crossbar, Armstrong would not have been close to making a save.
Then, in stoppage time, Hippolyte-Patrick made a break and, with Armstrong coming quickly off his line, the Hendon man rolled the ball past the goalkeeper, but it went inches wide of the post.
Had the Greens taken a 3–0 half-time lead, it is hard to imagine Tiverton would have had a way back into the game.
Hendon’s bad luck was manifested in the second half as three minutes after the restart, a throw-in all Hendon players closest to the incident thought was theirs was awarded the other way and they were a little slow in getting back into position.
It was costly, because when the ball arrived in the penalty area, Levi Landricombe was unmarked and netted from 15 yards.
Boness was unfortunate because Romario Jonas, trying to cover, stepped into his line of sight at the critical moment and the goalkeeper could not react quickly enough.
It got worse in the 51st minute, when Howard Hall appeared to be fouled near the touchline and close to the halfway line, but the free-kick went against him.
The ball came into the penalty area and substitute Tom Bath – who had replaced injured midfielder Harrison Davis in the first half – had a free header, which he planted into the net.
Given the double blow, Hendon fans, having witnessed similar situations in recent games, feared the worst, but this time, with Tingey and Manesio adding strength in midfield, the Greens didn’t subside.
The bad luck, however, continued as Darren Locke, who had performed well with Jonas, had to go off with an injury and Hope came on for his debut. This resulted in a reshuffle which certainly helped Tivvy’s cause.
They created a couple of half-chances, but did not look like converting them into a third goal. In fact, Hendon probably should have taken the lead just past the hour mark when Crichlow made a break.
He probably should have gone on to take a shot at goal himself, but his pass to set up Hippolyte-Patrick was not inch-perfect. The effort from Hippolyte-Patrick was on target, but Armstrong was equal to it.
And Armstrong nearly got an assist in the 79th minute when his long downfield clearance eluded everyone and, suddenly, Landricombe had a clear run at goal. Boness was quickly off his line and Landricombe side-footed the ball wide of the left post.
The reason Landricombe had that clear run was that Jonas had gone down with an injury and he was unable to continue. It meant a further reshuffle as Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway came on in a full-back position.
Tiverton had three half-chances down their left side late on, but none of them came to anything.
Meanwhile, Toomey had a better chance to be the match-winning hero when a ball into the danger area eluded everyone, but Toomey, from an absurdly acute angle, tried to score at the near post and managed to hit the outside of the side netting.
In the final five minutes, Tyriq Hunte came on for Crichlow but he was unable to make a difference.
With two minutes of normal time remaining, Ben Mammola collided with Brown and went down in obvious agony. He needed significant treatment before being stretchered off and replaced by Scott Rogers.
The result was that additional time stretched to eight minutes but they were fairly muted.
After nine straight losses, Hendon were just grateful to avoid a tenth and to move on to 32 points.
Hendon: Boness, Hall, Chappell, Tingey, Locke (Hope, 59), Jonas (Alexander-Greenaway, 80), B. Brown, Manesio, Toomey, Hippolyte-Patrick, Crichlow (Hunte, 85). Unused subs: Murphy-McVey, Aghadiuno.