Southern League: Dorchester Town 0 Hendon 3
PUBLISHED: 12:29 30 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:29 30 September 2018
Hendon maintained their excellent start to life in the Southern League coming away from their latest lengthy away-day, this time to Dorchester, with three points.
And the win not only kept their unbeaten league record on the road but also moved them up to third place in the table – level on points with leaders Weymouth and Tiverton Town but with a worse goal difference.
There was one change from the starting line-up which had beaten Poole Town at Silver Jubilee Park a fortnight before with Matty Newman taking over from Laste Dombaxe in midfield.
Dombaxe moved to the bench, where he joined Taishan Griffith, Tyriq Hunte, Gianni Crichlow and Cole Brown, making his return after a month out with a foot injury sustained in the Bank Holiday league match with Harrow Borough.
The first half provided little in the way of inspiration or quality from either side as, although both sides looked comfortable in possession and tried to pass the ball through the midfield, moves swiftly broke down as they entered the final third at either end of the pitch.
The first effort on goal came from a Cameron Murray free kick, some 22 yards out. Although his effort beat the wall, the Dorchester midfielder was unable to get enough dip on the ball to hit the target.
Within a minute, Matty Newman had Hendon’s first effort on goal – a curling effort from 25 yards that went wide of young goalkeeper Mike Edgar’s left-hand post.
The hosts shaded the first 45 minutes and were unfortunate not to have gone ahead on the quarter-hour mark when the Magpies’ right-back Kyle Egan struck an angled drive from inside the penalty which beat Danny Boness but rebounded off the inside of the far post and back into play before being hammered clear.
On 31 minutes, Boness made his first and only save from a shot on target from a Murray shot, diving low to his right to smartly hold the effort and ensure that Luke Winsper, who was sniffing for a rebound, would be sorely disappointed.
Moments later, a superb ball from the left flank was begging to be put into the net but Winsper and Tiago Sa were unable to make sufficient contact and Hendon survived.
The visitors received a blow five minutes before the break when influential centre-half Guri Demuria twisted awkwardly in making a clearance and stayed down upon landing. He was helped off the pitch and taken to hospital for precautionary tests on his knee. Dombaxe came on to replace him and Luke Tingey slipped back into Demuria’s centre-half spot alongside Romario Jonas.
On the stroke of half-time, Dorchester had a great chance to open the scoring when Boness was baulked by one of his own defenders in coming to claim a high ball into the box and unable to smoothly gather it.
The loose ball fell at the feet of a Dorchester attacker who hooked the ball goalwards but without getting much purchase on his effort. Lee Chappell came across and managed to get the ball clear before being fouled and relieving the pressure on the Hendon goal.
Hendon boss James Gray read his players the riot act during the interval and they came out a different outfit in the second period.
Ross Carmichael made two splendid goal-saving challenges in the first five minutes of the second period as he first recovered excellently after Ricardo German had robbed him of the ball and made a superb challenge inside the penalty area as German was looking to shoot.
Within a minute Carmichael was once again throwing his body on the line, this time to block a shot from Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick.
The opening goal came shortly afterwards, though, as Hippolyte-Patrick was running at pace into the penalty area and went down under what looked like a soft challenge.
The referee, who had earlier turned away much stronger looking shouts for a penalty, this time pointed to the spot. German stepped up and slotted underneath Edgar who went the right way, but was unable to keep the spot-kick out.
Within a minute of taking the lead, the visitors were a whisker away from extending it as a long ball forward from Dombaxe saw German burst into life down the inside left channel. Beating his man for pace he squared the ball across the six-yard box where a lunging Reece Mitchell was just unable to connect with the ball and turn it into the inviting net.
On the hour mark, Dorchester got another free-kick within shooting distance and Callum Rose stepped up to take it right footed, looking to blast a hole in the wall. Luckily for Boness, the ball thundered Lee Chappell who stood strong in the wall and the ball rebounded to safety. Chappell took a moment to regain his breath.
The Hendon lead was extended shortly afterwards as German picked the ball up 30 yards from goal, after Stephane Ngamvoulou had done excellently to intercept a clearance, and ran at the heart of the Dorchester defence, who were backing off.
German slipped the ball inside Neil Martin for Hippolyte-Patrick to gallop onto and the winger took a couple of touches to work himself space for a shot and coolly beat Edgar to become the first Hendon player, German aside, to reach more than one goal this season.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, strong appeals for a penalty were denied at the home end when Aaron Rodriques was fouled right on the edge of the 18-yard box.
The official deemed that although the Dorchester winger ended up in a crumpled heap well inside the penalty area, contact had occurred a yard outside. Tom Blair stepped up to take the free kick and curled it a yard wide of Boness’ left hand post.
That Boness had so little to do aside from claiming a few crosses and cleaning up overhit passes into his penalty area owed much to the protection given to him by his back four as Chappell and birthday boy Howard Hall kept their respective wingers in check whilst Jonas and Tingey were simply immaculate at the heart of the back four.
Matty Newman’s energy, tigerish intent and smart use of the ball also gave the midfield a bit more cohesion than perhaps it has had at times this season.
German, for his part, was a little unfortunate not to have added to his tally as Edgar made a quite brilliant save at the striker’s feet before Hippolyte-Patrick’s goal and the young goalkeeper made another smart save when pushing Cole Brown’s low cross, which was destined for German, behind for a corner.
Hendon’s in-form attacker wasn’t to be denied, though, and with the game entering its final 10 minutes, he took control of the ball inside the penalty area, rolled his defender, dummied another as he motioned to shoot and then coolly swept the ball into the far corner to take his tally for the season to 12 in just 10 matches, with 10 of the goals coming in the league.
There was still time for German to go close to sealing a second hat-trick of the season, but after working himself space for a shot, his left footed effort curled just wide of the far post.
The Greens were able to hold on comfortably for victory, which although fully deserved by way of their efficient second-half performance, was perhaps a shade flattering in terms of the score-line. All focus now turns to the delayed FA Cup tie with Lancing on Tuesday night at Silver Jubilee Park.
Hendon: Boness, Hall, Chappell, Tingey, Demuria (Dombaxe 40), Jonas, Ngamvoulou (Griffith 81), Newman, German, Hippolyte-Patrick, Mitchell (Brown 61). Unused subs: Crichlow, Hunte.