Hendon endure frustrating night at Kings

PUBLISHED: 08:38 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 28 November 2018

Hendon manager Jimmy Gray (pic DBeechPhotography)

Hendon manager Jimmy Gray (pic DBeechPhotography)


Evo-Stik South Premier South: Kings Langley 3 (Weiss 25, Ward 38p, Wade-Slater 72) Hendon 1 (Brown 30)

Hendon slipped to a second defeat in three days at a wet Kings Langley on Tuesday night. A red card, shown to Luke Tingey eight minutes before half-time, certainly sealed the Greens’ fate but they had been, if not hanging on, certainly second best up to that point.

On the back of the defeat at Gosport Borough, Hendon rang the changes with Taishan Griffith, Sean Bonnett-Johnson, Shaun Lucien and Ricardo German being replaced by Adam Pepera, Prince Mbengui, Cole Brown and Gianni Crichlow. All but German were named on the bench.

The heavy rain which preceded the match had, thankfully, abated and it was dry for the full 90 minutes. Unfortunately, the pitch was very wet, and both penalty areas had large areas of wet mud directly in front of the goal.

Maybe the pitch conditions contributed to the harum-scarum opening quarter-hour when both teams had good scoring opportunities. In the third minute, Hendon appealed for a penalty when a drive from just outside the penalty struck the arm or hand of a defender.

Although the defender was very close and probably could not have got out of the way, he did gain an advantage. However, from the resulting clearance, the ball was knocked downfield and Mitch Weiss was denied by a good save from Danny Boness, who played at Kings Langley on loan last season.

Three minutes later, the Hendon defence was once again opened up and an even better scoring opportunity was squandered, the ball being lashed over the crossbar. Steve Ward and Roy Syla then had openings but both failed to take them.

In the 17th minute, Cole Brown was played through the middle of the Kings Langley defence. Alex Tokarczyk was quickly off his line and forced Brown just wide enough so that his shot at goal flew wide of the far post.

The opening goal came in the 25th minute and it was no surprise that Hendon were on the wrong end of it. Weiss collected the ball on the halfway and set off on a mazy run which ended with a 20-yard shot that appeared to squirm under Boness’s body and ended up in the back of the net.

Three minutes later, Tokarczyk produced a fine, full-length diving save to push aside a powerful drive from outside the penalty area. The ball went out of play for a corner, from which Bayley Brown could not get enough of a touch to divert the ball over the line.

Cole Brown got Hendon back into the game when he was given another chance, this one after half an hour. He was too strong for the Kings Langley central defence and this time fired early, too soon for Tokarczyk to cover all his angles.

The turning point of the game came in 37th minute. René Howe, like Junior Osborne, in Hendon’s opening day line-up at Frome, burst clear on another counter-attack. He went past Tingey, who knocked him over inside the penalty area.

If Tingey had made a challenge for the ball and brought down Howe, it would still have been a penalty, but the amendment to the punishment for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity – known by the acronym DOGSO – would have been a yellow card. Double jeopardy, however, does come into account when violent conduct, handball on the goalline or making no attempt at a tackle is the offence and it was the last of these, so the penalty was awarded and Tingey was dismissed.

Ward took the penalty and although it was almost straight down the middle, Boness had dived to his left so the well-struck spot-kick flew into the net.

A few minutes later, Pepera won a header from a corner. The ball landed right in the goalmouth mire with a loud splat and bounced limply into the arms of Tokarczyk. This led to another counter-attack and a free-kick, but this set-piece flew yards wide and feet high of the target.

The second half was very tame. Kings Langley still continued to favour counter-attacking, so Hendon did not do much attacking themselves. Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick and Connor Calcutt, struggled to make inroads and there weren’t enough balls into the danger zone from the wide men Crichlow and Cole Brown.

After 10 minutes of the half, an off-the-ball incident saw Howe booked, karma as he had gone down theatrically in the first half to earn a Hendon player a booking. A player on the pitch suggested Howe had thrown a punch, but it was so far from the action that it could not proved – had any of the officials seen it, then the match would surely have continued as a 10-a-side contest.

A feature of the match was the wasting of set-pieces by both teams. From a succession of free-kicks and corners for both teams, there was barely a half-chance to get the pulses racing and, more frequently, a quick clearance set up a chance at the other end.

It was from two of these moments that led to first Crichlow, in the 61st minute, making a long run and shot, saved easily by Tokarczyk; at the other end, five minutes later, it was Luke Wade-Slater who had the opening, but his shot was deflected by a sliding defender.

Déjà vu was the feeling, in the 68th minute, when Cole Brown counter-attacked and Tokarczyk made the save, though the

Hendon forward really should have done better. Three minutes later, Wade-Slater was given another opportunity on a quick break and he made no mistake to make it 3–1.

Hendon had, by then made their first two changes, Bayley Brown and Crichlow being replaced by Bonnett-Johnson. A few minutes later, the Greens were Browned off as Cole made way for Tyriq Hunte.

The game was, by now rather ragged and Kings Langley had three good chances to extend their lead, but all were missed as players made lazy swings at the ball and it allowed the over-stretched Hendon defence to make clearances.

Near the end, Hendon almost gave themselves a lifeline when Hunte burst forward and fired a shot which beat Tokarczyk, but the not the post. The goalkeeper was grateful that the rebound went straight to him.

In stoppage time, Howe almost scored against his former team, but he, too, failed to make clean contact and Boness made the save.

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