Hendon manager hails ‘heroic’ FA Trophy victory

PUBLISHED: 11:23 04 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:22 04 November 2013

Dave Diedhiou

Dave Diedhiou


FA Trophy second qualifying round:

Hendon 1 Bideford 0

Hendon manager Gary McCann saluted a ‘heroic’ performance after his 10-man side edged into the FA Trophy third qualifying round thanks to a late winner against Bideford.

Dave Diedhiou grabbed the only goal of the game in the 85th minute, sealing the Dons’ progress on an afternoon when the odds had appeared stacked against McCann’s side.

Hendon lost Tony Taggart to injury in the warm-up, and were handed another blow after only eight minutes, when Casey Maclaren was sent off for violent conduct.

However, the home side dug in and frustrated their opponents before grabbing their late winner, leaving McCann delighted at their third win in four games.

“I told the players I wanted a positive reaction to the disappointment of midweek [a 5-2 defeat by Hampton & Richmond] and I was pleased with the way that we did it – and to the red card, which I thought was very harsh.

“The shift put in by the 10 men was tremendous. I was really proud of them and every one put in heroic performances. We were so disciplined after losing Casey, but our centre-backs and goalkeeper were outstanding.

“It was difficult losing Tony Taggart before the game, but he said Dave Diedhiou would be our match-winner. The late change meant that we could reshuffle without making a substitution.

“I have already made it clear that I want to have a good run in this competition. In recent years, our focus was more on the FA Cup, but with our early exit from the cup, I want to go a long way in the FA Trophy.”

After losing midfielder Taggart before the match, Hendon’s afternoon took a turn for the worse when Maclaren clattered into a Bideford player with his elbow, and was shown a straight red card by the referee.

A predictable spell of Bideford dominance followed, with Greens keeper Berkley Laurencin producing fine saves from Kevin Squire, Owen Howe and Ashley Yeoman.

Hendon’s promising build-up was let-down by a series of poor corners and set-plays, while their centre-backs denied Squire and Howe clear sights of goal.

When Bideford did break through the Dons’ defence, they were time and again denied by Laurencin, who saved an angled Matt Bye drive and a 20-yard strike from Nick Milton.

With 20 minutes to go, Bideford were also reduced to 10 men, as Rob Farkin led with his elbow on Lee O-Leary, drawing a straight red card and leaving both sides to play out the rest of the game a man short.

Hendon’s breakthrough came with five minutes remaining. Substitute Dean Cracknell played in Jack Bennett, who in turn set up Kevin Maclaren. Maclaren’s cross was met by Diedhiou, who slid the ball into the net.

Bideford could produce little in response, and Hendon might have extended their lead as Jefferson Louis close in the closing moments, but one goal proved enough.

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