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Southern League: Hendon 1 Poole Town 3

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 September 2019

Francis Amartey gets in a shot on goal, though Luke Cairney is equal to it. Picture: DBeechPhotography

Francis Amartey gets in a shot on goal, though Luke Cairney is equal to it. Picture: DBeechPhotography

Derek_Beech

Hendon 1 Poole Town 3

Hendon slipped to 20th in the Southern League South Premier Division after being comfortably seen off by leaders Poole Town at Silver Jubilee Park on Saturday afternoon.

It was a bleak afternoon for the Greens who defended stoutly but offered far too little in attack.

There were four changes to the line-up which started against Deeping Rangers a week earlier, Howard Hall, Charlie Smith, Matty Harriott and Tom Nyama dropping out and Romario Jonas, Sergio Manesio, Lee Chappell and Francis Amertey coming in.

All but Harriott - who had suffered an injury in the FA Cup tie - dropped to the bench, where they were joined by Luca Valentine and Dan Williams.

The confidence of leading the league was clear in the early going as Poole started with slick attacking moves and comfortable passing moves to team-mates who always seemed open.

That said, for all their domination, Ollie Dennet, twice, and Luke Moore were narrowly wide with shots, while Corby Moore was unsuccessful in trying to catch out Chris Grace with a 50-yard free-kick.

It took until midway inside the first half for the Dolphins to take the lead. A stunning 25-yard drive from Josh Carmichael beat the diving Grace but crashed off the goal frame.

As Hendon defenders mused on their good fortune, none noticed Dennet darting forward and he nodded the rebounding ball into the ungarded net.

In the 30th minute, the Greens had their first chance of the game. A free-kick from Chappell was floated into the danger area and Tom Hamblin glanced the ball goalwards, but it bounced just the wrong side of the post.

Just before half-time, Will Spetch saw his powerful shot beaten away by Grace before being hacked clear by a defender.

As Hendon have found to their cost in so many matches, a good first-half performance can be turned around after the break.

A through ball down the inside-left channel invited Amartey to chase forward and goalkeeper Luke Cairney to come out of his goal to deal with the danger.

Amartey won the race and knocked the ball into the penalty area where an empty goal awaited.

The on-loan striker took a touch to control the ball, then another, then a third, by which time Cairney had got back to his goal, joined by another defender.

Amartey finally got off a shot but Cairney made a good save.

Chappell was the first player to see yellow, this for a foul near to half-way. It had dire consequences on two counts.

First, the free-kick was played into the penalty area and Grace came off his line to claim the high, hanging ball. Two Dolphins players stepped across to impede the goalkeeper and the ball fell down to the feet of former Love Island contestant Marvin Brooks.

He may not have won on the popular reality television show, but Brooks had no problem scoring as he rolled the ball into the empty net. Grace's protests were waved away by the referee.

Hendon made their first two changes, sending on Valentine and Williams for Sam Corcoran and Connor Calcutt. Within four minutes of coming on, Valentine dispossessed Spetch and was cynically stopped in his tracks, earning the defender a yellow card.

The goal of the game came in the 67th minute. Hendon were forced to move backwards, under pressure from the eager Dolphins forward players. A back-pass to Grace was hurried and his clearance found touch but close to the penalty area.

The throw went to Holmes, who fed Brooks. From there, Brooks brought in Dennet and his pass was right into the path of Bedford, who finished clinically.

A beautiful goal, yes, but one which came from Hendon's failure to control the ball in midfield.

Amartey had the chance to reduce the arrears, now little more than a consolation, when he again found himself running at goal with only Cairney to beat. Once more, the goalkeeper was equal to the challenge and made the save with his feet.

With 15 minutes to go, Spetch's heart was in his mouth when he stopped an Amartey run with a trip inside the penalty area. It was the sort of penalty-area challenge that sometimes results in a yellow card, but not on this occasion.

Amartey picked himself up, put the ball on the penalty spot and comfortably stroked the ball into the net, sending Cairney the wrong way.

Hendon's frustration led to a hugely disappointing end to the game. Just after Howard Hall had replaced Manesio, Ryan Hope was cautioned. Then, in stoppage time, Chappell committed another foul and was walking off the pitch before the second yellow and red cards were shown.

Two minutes later, English committed a foul and the referee immediately went to his pocket and showed a red card.

English looked aghast, and then relieved, as the referee realised his error and showed the yellow card he had meant to brandish - an error the official admitted had made because he had returned the red card to the wrong pocket.

After the game, manager Jimmy Gray went on social media and wrote, "Criticism is fair and part of the job. Today we were second best to a good team at the top of the league.

"The lads and I are disappointed. We need some big resposnse. The fans and club deserve more than we have served up so far. Still early days and lots of time to put it right."

Team: Grace, Tingey, Chappell, Manesio (Hall, 85), Hamblin, Jonas, Hope, Corcoran (Williams, 61), Calcutt (Valentine, 61), Amartey, English. Unused subs: Smith, Nyama.

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