Ryman League round-up: Hendon start season with stunning win
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 August 2013
Hendon made a spectacular start to the new Ryman League Premier Division campaign with a 4-0 away win at Thamesmead Town on Saturday.
Casey Maclaren scored the opener on his 200th appearance for the Greens, and there were also goals for debutants Jefferson Louis and Brandon Horner, as well as Anthony Thomas.
Meanwhile, Wealdstone and Harrow Borough each drew their openers, with the Stones held 1-1 at Maidstone, and Borough drawing 1-1 against Billericay Town at Earlsmead.
The plaudits, however, went to the Dons, who gave newly-promoted Thamesmead a lesson in finishing, in a contest which was closer than the conclusive scoreline suggested.
Manager Gary McCann gave debuts to Louis, Horner, Tony Taggart, George Bowerman, Chris Seeby and, in defence, the familiar name of former Chelsea star Michael Duberry.
Hendon might have fallen behind on 20 minutes when Lee O’Leary mis-placed a defensive header, but Stuart Zanone could only send his lob onto the crossbar, before Duberry cleared.
The visitors responded with a stunning opening goal from Maclaren. James Donovan cleared a cross for Thamesmead, but Maclaren rifled the ball back from 30 yards into the net.
Dean Cracknell almost made it 2-0 early in the second half, but his rasping drive was pushed aside by the Thamesmead keeper, before Jay Porter cleared another Dons effort off the line.
Hendon had to wait until 12 minutes from time to make the game safe. Thomas brought the ball under control, went around his marker, and crossed for Louis to head in at the far post.
Thomas quickly made it 3-0, pouncing on a loose ball, and in added time Horner headed in a superb right-wing cross to seal an emphatic opening-day win for McCann’s side.
McCann said: “I felt we were very professional. One or two of our errors could have been punished and that might have been a different story. However, I thought we were in complete control once we had gone 2–0 up.”
Harrow Borough needed a wonderful late free-kick from Shaun Lucien to rescue a point in their home clash against Billericay Town.
Borough gave a debut to former QRP man Leroy Griffiths, but fell behind on 29 minutes when Evans Kouassi headed home.
Christopher Benjamin missed two great chances for the home side, but they did grab a leveller on 77 minutes when Lucien whipped in a free-kick.
Rory Hill gave Maidstone the lead in their clash with Wealdstone at the Gallagher Stadium.
However, Gordon Bartlett’s side, who came so close to promotion last season, hit back and secure a well-deserved point through Chris Moore’s tap in from six yards.
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