Southern League: Hendon 1 Poole Town 0
PUBLISHED: 17:01 16 September 2018
Hendon's first meeting with Poole Town since an FA Amateur Cup tie in Dorset in January 1949 ended the same way, a 1-0 win.
It wasn’t pretty – manager James Gray called it a “a grinding win” – but it took the Greens to 14 points from seven games, one of six teams sharing the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League South Premier Division.
There were three changes to the Hendon line-up from Tuesday’s heroic victory at Harlow Town: Guri Demuria returning after being ineligible for the FA Cup, Reece Mitchell, an on-loan signing from Wealdstone, and Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick, a new signing from Bostik League Leatherhead.
Dropping to the bench were Prince Mbengui, Matt Newman and Tyriq Hunte, where they were joined by Tashan Griffith and Gianni Crichlow. Neither Griffith nor Mbengui would be used.
The Greens started brightly and had a good chance after four minutes. Hippolyte-Patrick made an attacking run and played a clever pass forward into the path of Ricardo German, but his shot was saved well by the legs of goalkeeper Luke Cairney.
Five minutes later, Hendon had the lead and it was down to the clever footwork of Hippolyte-Patrick, who attacked down the right wing. He cut into the penalty area and, faced by Josh Leslie-Smith and Jamie Whiskew, seemed to have gone past both, before going to ground following a stretching challenge.
It was difficult to see which defender had made the lunge, but they felt it must have been the other party when the referee had pointed to the penalty spot. Either way, it certainly looked like a foul.
German blasted home the penalty to reach 10 goals for the season in just his ninth appearance. He reached this landmark goal one game quicker than 40-goal Niko Muir last season.
For all of Poole’s attacking intentions, their finishing did not match their approach play and two or three crosses were met by headers which went wide of Danny Boness’s goal without the goalkeeper needing to make a save.
Their cause was also hindered by the ill-disciplined running of Franklyn Clarke and Korey Henry, who were caught offside numerous time, normally by significant margins.
Hendon’s response was a powerful, drilled cross from Lee Chappell, but no green shirt could reach the ball. Boness was then called into action when Clarke broke through, but Boness made a good save.
Poole suffered a blow when Steve Devlin went down with an injury. He threw off his shinpads in frustration and limped off, being replaced by Jake Smeeton.
There were chances at both ends as the first half reached its conclusion. Either side of Whiskew being beaten to a header from Romario Jonas following a free-kick and a brilliant save by Boness from Smeeton, Mitchell fired straight at Cairney from a good position and Luke Tingey was narrowly wide with a header from a Chappell corner.
At the start of the second half, Poole had a loud appeal for a penalty, but the referee ruled that the ball had been drilled at a Hendon player who could not get out of the shot’s path. It was the start of a run of frustrating incidents that left the visitors feeling very unhappy.
In the 55th minute, just after Poole had made their second change – Jez Bedford coming on for Sam Griffin – Hippolyte-Patrick fired just wide with a low angled drive which beat Cairney. A minute later, the midfielder was replaced by Crichlow.
Midway through the second half, Smeeton and German challenged for a ball in midfield. Smeeton went down and German stumbled onto him, causing the Poole player to suffer a shoulder injury. Although German had been penalised moments earlier, there was nothing to suggest it was anything other than a complete accident.
Adam Grange took over from the stricken Smeeton. After this long stoppage there was soon another one, but this one seemed to revolve around an off-the-ball incident. The referee spoke at length with German, who was supported by Chappell, before a couple of Poole players were also spoken to, and Whiskew was shown a yellow card.
Poole ramped up the pressure, but there was little for them feed on as Howard Hall, Jonas, Demuria and Chappell enjoyed the better of their contests with their attacking opponents.
In the 77th minute, it was Hendon’s turn to feel aggrieved. German raided on a counter-attack, and got the better of Whiskew and Will Petch, only to be bundled over just outside the penalty area. It would have been a free-kick, but also a red-card offence, but the whistle was not blown.
His ill-timed runs forward notwithstanding, young striker Henry had shown flashes of potential but when he finally got a clear run at goal, in the 84th minute, he dragged his shot wide. Five minutes later, Stephane Ngamvoulou was penalised on the edge of the penalty, but the free-kick struck the wall and was cleared.
Hendon made their final two changes, Newman replacing Mitchell and Hunte taking over from German. There were almost 14 minutes of stoppage time to endure for nervous Hendon players and fans, a not unreasonable amount of time, given the substitutions and the two incidents midway through the period.
And, in those extra minutes, Luke Roberts powered a header towards goal, but Boness produced a fine save, pushing the ball away. At the other end, Laste Dombaxe curled a shot just over the crossbar, having worked himself an opening.
In the 10th additional minute, Poole thought they had equalised when, from a corner, Boness was finally beaten. Hall, however, guarding the upright, made a superb athletic goalline clearance.
Two minutes later, with Poole overcommitted to attack, Hunte timed his run forward perfectly, staying just inside his own half before the ball was played. No defender was going to catch him as Hunte approached the penalty area, but his low shot was saved Cairney, the goalkeeper sticking out his legs to make the block.
Hendon: Boness, Hall, Chappell, Tingey, Demuria, Jonas, Ngamvoulou, Dombaxe, German (Hunte 90+6), Hippolyte-Patrick (Crichlow 56), Mitchell, (Newman 85). Unused subs: Mbengui, Griffith.