Two home wins give Hendon lifeline in relegation battle
PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 March 2017
Six precious points have given Hendon a vital lifeline in their battle to avoid the drop from the Ryman League Premier Division.
Their week started with a 2-1 victory over play-off chasing Leiston on Saturday and continued with a dramatic 1-0 success against Billericay Town on Tuesday.
They weren’t enough to climb them out of the bottom four but with nine games remaining they are now just three points off safety.
Saturday’s hero was goalkeeper Tom Lovelock who made a number of outstanding saves to keep his side in the game.
Hendon’s task had been made all the more onerous after Arthur Lee received a straight red card for hauling back a clean-through Joe Francis.
Matt Blake had put Leiston ahead on 22 minutes with a neat finish and Lovelock made the first of his wonder stops to deny Gareth Heath.
But as half-time loomed Hendon were level, Keagan Cole curling the ball beyond Harry Lay-Fulcher.
And three minutes after the restart they were in front. Kezie Ibe was the creator with some silky skills setting up Reis Stanislaus.
That prompted sustained Leiston pressure who were then boosted by Lee’s dismissal.
They threw everything into attack for the final 20 minutes, but were unable to make their numerical advantage tell.
And heroics from Lovelock and some profligate finishing from the Leiston strike force ensured that Hendon were able to cling on for a rare home win.
However, like buses, home win number two in the league was soon followed by home win number three.
Khale Da Costa was the hero this time, using his abundant speed in the first minute of added time to blitz clear of the Billericay defence and beat Alan Julian.
It was a game of few chances but Da Costa’s strike will give the Greens huge confidence going into another pivotal game on Saturday away to Leatherhead, the side directly below them in the table.