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Late Lee O’leary header seals win for Hendon against Lewes

PUBLISHED: 09:53 05 October 2014 | UPDATED: 09:53 05 October 2014

Hendon striker Leon Smith. Pic: Andrew Aleksiejczuk

Hendon striker Leon Smith. Pic: Andrew Aleksiejczuk

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A dramatic stoppage-time winner by Lee O’Leary shot Hendon to a 2-1 home win against Lewes on Saturday.

The Greens substitute launched a bullet header into the corner with virtually the last action of the game to secure all three points at Earlsmead.

Hendon hitman Leon Smith had given the hosts the lead in the first half, but Lewes equalised through a Jack Dixon wonder goal after the break.

The match started at a frantic pace, with both sides struggling to maintain quality possession in the opening minutes.

Once the initial frenzy had passed, Hendon took control, with Aaron Morgan looking dangerous down the left, well supported by full-back Oliver Sprague, who was assured and positive on the ball.

In search of a breakthrough, manager Gary McCann then switched Morgan to the right and this led to the opening goal.

The lively forward drove inside on his left foot and unleashed a fierce strike which visiting keeper Rikki Banks could only parry. Goal-getter Smith was on hand to calmly slot the rebound into the net – his seventh goal in as many matches.

The Greens started the second half brightly, but Lewes worked their way back into the game and levelled on the hour mark.

Dixon skilfully wriggled through several challenges before firing a devastating long-range drive into the roof of the net.

Hendon seemed punch-drunk at this stage as the visitors enjoyed a period of dominance.

McCann then made a tactical change, switching Sam Murphy out to the right flank. He started causing problems almost immediately with some mazy runs and inviting balls into the channel for the lively Smith.

Four minutes from time, Hendon were nearly rewarded for their good play. Smith picked the ball up on the right of the area before turning his marker and racing into the box.

He looked to have been hauled down, but referee Dave Bushell waved away Hendon’s penalty claims, much to the Greens’ frustration.

The hosts weren’t to be denied though and O’Leary’s late goal sealed all three points.


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