Hendon 4 Billericay Town 1: Muir double helps Greens thump Blues
PUBLISHED: 11:30 26 March 2018
Bostik Premier: Hendon 4 (Muir 55p, 60, Walker 63, 90) Billericay Town 1 (O'Hara 82)
A brace apiece from Niko Muir and Josh Walker helped Hendon crush Bostik Premier title hopefuls Billericay Town 4-1.
Dave Diedhiou came into the starting line-up at the expense of Harly Wise, while Matt Ball made way for Walker as Hendon named an attacking starting 11 with four forwards.
After an even start, Hendon went closest to opening the scoring, with Ashley Nathaniel-George’s long-range effort saved superbly by Jack Giddens.
Billericay went close soon after, a decent shot from Billy Bricknell being spilled by Tom Lovelock, although his defenders were able to clear.
Lovelock was also involved in the next chance for the Essex team, misjudging the bounce of the ball and palming it to Bricknell, whose overhead kick sailed over the bar.
Zak Joseph went close for the Greens, his fine strike hitting the bar after being set up by some excellent play by Nathaniel-George, before Muir’s cross flashed across the Blues box, but no one able to connect for Hendon.
The rest of the first half was an even affair, although it was marked by increasing levels of tetchiness and petulance from both sides.
Calum Butcher was booked for Billericay after a very agricultural challenge on Luke Tingey.
He was soon followed into referee’s notebook by Muir, who allegedly brought down Butcher, the Billericay player certainly making the most of minimal contact.
Dean Inman was booked for Billericay for speaking in an untoward way to the referee before the resultant free kick was taken.
There was then the very real possibility of further punishments from the referee. Firstly, the Billericay players were vehemently demanding sanctions against Joseph for what was claimed as the use of an elbow, although the referee deemed the contact to be accidental.
The next player to count himself lucky was Butcher, who could easily have received a second yellow for a robust foul on Nathaniel-George.
With the game poised at 0-0, Town boss Tamplin made two changes at the break, Adam Cunnington and Jake Robinson coming on for Bricknell and Daniel Waldren.
As the second half unfolded, Hendon began to exert themselves and were soon rewarded with the opener, Muir converting from the spot after Giddens brought down Joseph in the box.
The Blues keeper received a yellow card and Muir notched up yet another goal for the Greens, sending the keeper the wrong way.
In the resultant passage of play, Joseph picked up a needless booking, after becoming furious about a throw-in decision and hurling the ball away.
The prolific Muir doubled the lead soon after, a corner dropping to him in the six-yard box.
A smart turn and shot doubled the lead, his superb reactions making the Billericay defence look statuesque.
The effervescent Walker added to the hosts’ lead three minutes later with a wonderful curler that crashed into the top corner.
Giddens didn’t even try and save the shot, instead reacting with a bilious tirade against his defenders for their lackadaisical attitude in letting Walker’s run and shot progress without a great deal of defensive intervention.
Tamplin reacted to going 3-0 down by bringing on Jamie O’Hara, whose introduction saw the visitors create a more sustained period of pressure that created a number of shooting opportunities.
Hendon manager Gary McCann made a couple of changes to try and preserve the supremacy of the Greens.
Jake Eggleton replaced Michael Corcoran and Ball took to the field to replace Joseph.
As the end of the game loomed, O’Hara reduced the arrears with a sweetly struck free kick.
There was then a prolonged stoppage after Cunnington was injured attempting to convert a Billericay cross, his facial injuries forcing him to exit the game, leaving the Essex club to conclude the game with just 10 men.
As injury time progressed, Walker found the final flourish for Hendon, slotting home after some neat approach play and what appeared to be a foul on a Billericay defender.
This convincing victory sees Hendon remain firmly in the hunt for a play-off place, while Billericay drop to third.