Hendon's woeful form continues with defeat at Met Police
PUBLISHED: 14:10 14 January 2019
Evo-Stik South Premier South: Metropolitan Police 3 Hendon 0
Hendon’s alarming slide down the table continued with an eighth consecutive defeat, this one 3–0 at Metropolitan Police on Saturday afternoon. For most of the 90 minutes, there was little to choose between the teams, but the Blues knew that to get the points all they had to do was wait for mistakes and pounce.
Manager Jimmy Gray made five changes to the starting team from the defeat against Kings Langley a week earlier: Darren Locke and Romario Jonas were fit to return from injury and they replaced Scott McGleish and Adam Pepera; Bayley Brown took over from the suspended Matty Harriott; while Elliott Charles (for Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick) and Gianni Crichlow (for Lewis Toomey) were fresh faces in attacking positions.
Danny Boness was called into action in the 15th minute after Hendon had lost the ball cheaply. The ball was played to Oliver Knight and his effort was saved at the near post.
A corner from Brendan Murphy-McVey picked out Luke Tingey after 22 minutes, but he could not direct his header on target. Later in the half, Charles was further wide with another header from the same source.
In the 26th minute, Hendon were ripped open down their left side when Tanasheh Abrahams was caught too far upfield. The ball was played in towards the near post, where Max Blacklock helped it into the path of former Hendon forward Jack Mazzone, and he turned the ball into the net from close range.
Crichlow had a good opportunity six minutes before half-time, this after beating the offside trap. Unfortunately, Crichlow went too wide and when he tried to cross towards Connor Calcutt or Charles, he failed to get the height or angle to get past Berti Schotterl.
Just before the break Blackmore swivelled on a cross into the Hendon danger area and he tried an outrageous overhead scissors kick. Boness was very relieved to watch the ball fly just beyond the far post.
Before the second half started, Hendon made two changes in personnel and altered their formation. Howard Hall and Calcutt were the men to go off, replaced by Toomey and Hippolyte-Patrick.
In the first five minutes, Crichlow had two more good opportunities. The first opening, barely a minute after the resumption, saw him burst in on goal with only Schotter to beat, but he seemed unsure what to do and the ball dribbled into the grateful goalkeeper’s arms.
In the 50th minute, he got the better of Josh Webb, reached the bye-line and crossed into the six-yard box. His cross was too hard for both Toomey and Charles to turn into the net, but the ball came back to Hippolyte-Patrick and he was denied by a brave block from Schotterl, who was quickly off his line to narrow the angle.
Five minutes later, the match was over as a contest. Hendon had a corner which Murphy McVey took, but the ball did not go close to a green shirt and it was quickly cleared downfield.
Abrahams who had made a late run towards the corner flag, trying to draw Mazzone out of position, was now hopelessly out of position as the clearance found the striker who was in acres of space. Two passes later, the ball was at the almost unmarked Blackmore’s feet and he unfussily made it 2–0.
Boness got the better of Blackmore midway through the second half, this time after Abrahams had lost possession in the defensive area of the field. It was a good save, but the striker went more for power than aiming towards one of the posts.
Hendon’s third change came with a quarter of an hour of normal time remaining, Brown making way for Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway. By this time, the Blues had also made two changes, the injured Rhys King making way for Luke Robertson, while Jonathan Hippolyte – who had played one game for Hendon a few years ago – took over from Blackmore.
Too many Hendon attacks were brought to an end by the raised flag of the assistant referee. Some were close decisions, and they frustrated Abrahams who was lectured by the referee for his dissent.
In the 79th minute, Hendon again gave up the ball cheaply in midfield and, as they had done all too frequently, the Police were quick to take full advantage. The ball was played into the unmarked Hippolyte and he finished low into the corner to make it 3–0.
Toomey really should have reduced the arrears when he lost his marker and had a free header from six yards. Instead of going for accuracy he went for power and the ball went over the crossbar.
Jonas had a bad moment in the 87th minute when he stumbled dealing with a through ball. He fell to the ground and almost brought down the Police raider, who then failed to take advantage of the opportunity.
And there was still time, in the four additonal minutes for Boness to deny Hippolyte a double, but the damage had long been done.