Hendon unable to get the better of Weymouth
PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:23 27 February 2019
Evo-Stik South Premier South: Hendon 2 (Harriott 23, Obi 88) Weymouth 3 (Ngalo 65, Goodship 76, McCarthy 80)
Hendon produced a much-improved performance, but could not keep up the impetus from a dominant first half and fell to three long-range shots from Evo-Stik South Premier South title chasers Weymouth at Silver Jubilee Park.
After five games without defeat, two losses dropped the Greens right back into the relegation dogfight.
This was a game of two halves, with the team going down the hill dominant. Whilst defeat was a little harsh for Hendon, Weymouth probably were better in the second half than Hendon had been in the first 45 minutes, but the Greens certainly would be ruing the opportunities they failed to take by not hitting the target and forcing the excellent Tom McHale to make more saves.
In the aftermath of the defeat against Gosport Borough, Hendon boss Jimmy Gray was quick to wield the axe, Danny Boness, Howard Hall, Darren Locke and Connor Calcutt all being left out of the starting line-up (all but Locke were on the bench). In came Andrew McCorkell, Lee Chappell, Bayley Brown and Lewis Toomey.
With a little more composure, Hendon would have been 2–0 ahead inside six minutes. After two minutes, Ryan Hope found the ball at his feet in a good shooting position, but he dragged the effort wide.
Four minutes later, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick had an even better opportunity, but he too failed to hit the target. In the opening 20 minutes, Weymouth barely had look-in but twice in as many minutes they nearly opened the scoring, but both Stephane Zubar and Brandon Goodship were as errant as Hope and Hippolyte-Patrick had been.
In the 24th minute, Hendon forced a corner which Weymouth failed to deal with. Matty Harriott had made a run into the penalty area, but stopped and wheeled around to the edge of the box.
Although Hope was close by, Harriott was perfectly positioned to shoot. With the aid of a deflection, the ball flew into the net to give Hendon a deserved lead.
Growing in confidence with the lead, Hendon continued to create openings, but they could not add to their lead. Hope was denied by a superb save from McHale, while Charlie Smith drilled a shot which went inches wide of the far post.
Weymouth manager Mark Molesely certainly was unhappy at his team’s first-half performance because they were back out on the pitch very quickly and he made a change before the second period began, Jordan Ngalo taking over from Callum Buckley.
The game would almost certainly have gone very differently if, in the 56th minute, Hendon’s exquisite passing move on the counter-attack which ripped apart the Terras’ defence, had resulted in a second goal for the Greens. Unfortunately, Hope’s shot just cleared the crossbar.
A second Weymouth change soon followed, Josh Wakefield replacing Cameron Murray. And, having been much the better team in the first part of the second half, the Terras were back on level terms in the 67th minute.
Ngalo received a pass just outside the left-side angle of the Hendon penalty area. Forced to retreat a little, he moved infield and worked himself a shooting opportunity. The strike from NGALO was well struck, but the general feeling was that McCorkell should have done better as the ball sailed over his head, just under the crossbar and into the net.
Ogo Obi replaced Toomey, who had just received treatment and he brought a faster, more direct level of attack. Within a few minutes, he outsprinted Zubar and seemed to have a clear run at goal, but the ball launched downfield, didn’t come down enough for Obi to control and continue at his pace towards goal, which allowed Zubar to rescue the situation.
Abdulai Baggie, who had given Jacob Gardiner-Smith a difficult first half, was kept more under control after the interval, and the danger was more from central areas. Romario Jonas, Sergio Manesio and Brown struggled to deal with the dangerous Brandon Goodship.
Calvin Brooks failed to hit the target with a powerful 72nd-minute far-post header but it delayed the Terras for only three minutes. A 20-yard shot from Goodship sailed under McCorkell, aided by a big deflection from a defender which completely wrong-footed him.
The Hendon response was another effort from Hope and, once again, he was denied by a superb save from McHale. The goalkeeper had certainly kept his team in the game up to that point, and the three points were pretty much sealed with 10 minutes remaining.
Jake McCarthy strode forward from the half-way line and, having seen the success his team-mates had enjoyed with long-range efforts, tried one of his own. He was 30 yards out when he struck the ball and McCorkell never had a chance of making a save as the ball arrowed inside the angle of post and crossbar.
Calcutt came on for Smith with five minutes – plus, it turned out, four additional ones – but he could not make a difference. Then, in the last minute of normal time, Hendon grabbed a lifeline.
A foul on the edge of the penalty area was questioned by a couple of Weymouth defenders, but their wall retreated the requisite distance as Obi lined up the free-kick. It was a spectacular way for Obi to open his Hendon goalscoring account, giving McHale absolutely no chance with a superb strike.
From the restart, a shot from the half-way line almost embarrassed McCorkell, who fumbled the ball, which was missing the target, over the goal-line for a corner. The Hendon defence dealt with the danger from the set piece but struggled to get the ball back from the Terras, who had replaced the veteran Yemi Odubade with Ashley Wells for the added time.
For all the Greens’ huffing and puffing, Weymouth never looked likely to surrender their hard-fought advantage.
Hendon: McCorkell, Gardiner-Smith, Chappell, Manesio, Jonas, Brown, Hope, Harriott, Toomey (Obi 65), Hippolyte-Patrick, Smith.
Subs: Boness (GK), Hall, Calcutt, McGleish.
Weymouth: McHale, Brooks, Buckley (Ngalo 46), Sherring, Zubar, McCarthy, Odubade (Wells 89), Murray (Carmichael 58), Thomson, Goodship, Baggie.
Subs: Childs, Wakefield.
Referee: Michael Begley.