Football: Hendon 9 Edgware Town 1
PUBLISHED: 11:07 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:07 13 July 2018
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Hendon began the James Gray era with a comprehensive demolition of SJP neighbours Edgware Town in Thursday's pre-season friendly.
The Hendon 22 on duty contained only two players with previous links to the Greens, goalkeeper Montel Joseph, who was with the club during last season, and Howard Hall, who played under Gary McCann in 2012–13.
Joseph was the only player to appear in both halves and the 10 starting outfielders were all replaced for the second half.
By the time the changes were made, Hendon were already 4–1 up. The opening goal came from a trialist, who struck a superb rising shot after 11 minutes which flew past Edgware’s trialist goalkeeper before he had a chance to move.
Three minutes later, a defensive lapse gifted Hendon a second goal, this time Adam Martin taking an early and accurate shot which gave the goalkeeper no chance.
Edgware were back in the game after 21 minutes, when Joseph dropped the ball and in trying to recover the situation, pulled down the forward who had latched onto the ball. The penalty was sent straight down the middle, which was enough to beat the diving Joseph.
Rene Howe then showed Hendon fans what football watchers in the Southern League over the past decade have known well: he is an excellent taker of chances.
In the 39th minute, he lost his marker, rose majestically and directed a powerful header just inside the far post.
Two minutes later, another trialist made it 4–1 with a neat finish, profiting once more from a defensive lapse.
The second squad took the field for the second half and it took less than four minutes for the powerfully-built Tarique Hunte to get his name on the scoresheet.
After 64 minutes, a third Hendon trialist found himself with an almost open goal and he made no mistake.
It was 7-1 two minutes later when Hunte scored his second with an assured finish and another goal from a trialist followed on 72 minutes.
Hunte, Prince Mbengui and Gilberto Abril all wasted chances to get goal number nine, until Hunte completed his hat-trick in the 80th minute.
Far most testing encounters await Gray’s new-look squad as they build towards the opening day of the 2018–19 season in the brave new world of the Evo Stik League.
Hendon (first half): Montel Joseph, Kai Davies, Henry Arnold, Sam Doolan, Howard Hall, Lee Chappell, Trialist A, Dean Mason, Rene Howe, Trialist B, Adam Martin.
(Second half): Joseph, Taishan Griffiths, Conor Kingdom, Romario Jonas, Felix Lupo, Prince Mbengui, Matty Newman, Trialist C, Tarique Hunte, Cole Brown (Trialist D), Gilberto Abril.