FA Trophy: Whitehawk 4 Hendon 1

PUBLISHED: 10:55 28 October 2019

Chris Grace rues Connor Calcutt's miss (pic DBeechPhotography)

Chris Grace rues Connor Calcutt's miss (pic DBeechPhotography)


Hendon slipped out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle with a performance matched in its dismal showing by incessant and driving rain on the South Coast.

A Hendon effort goes over the Whitehawk bar (pic DBeechPhotography)A Hendon effort goes over the Whitehawk bar (pic DBeechPhotography)

With skipper Lee Chappell ruled out with a broken hand sustained on Tuesday night against Walton Casuals and Tre Charles suspended, Ryan Hope returned after almost four weeks out into the starting line-up and Kameron English also made his return after a few weeks out with injury.

New signing Reece Stray was among the substitutes but Luton Town loan signing Corey Panter was ineligible having not quite signed in time on Friday.

Kicking against the strong wind that was blowing off the coast in the first half, the Greens couldn't have made a worse start.

Hope prodded away a low cross into the Hendon box and the loose ball was picked up by John-Paul Kissock whose pass found David Martin in acres of space and his cross was neatly turned into the far corner by Connor Tighe, who found himself between the two Hendon centre-backs.

Francis Amartey is tackled (pic DBeechPhotography)Francis Amartey is tackled (pic DBeechPhotography)

A Hendon attack floundered 15 minutes later allowing the Hawks to break and Martin sent the ball inside to Henry Muggeridge who juggled it over his marker and skipped around the other side.

A neat one-two with Tighe saw the Hawks winger through on goal and although Grace made a good block with his body, the ball broke to Tighe and his chip was measured to perfection as it spun over the line and into the net.

Whilst Hendon looked to get a foothold back in the game, Whitehawk's midfield had a complete stranglehold on proceedings with Kissock and Muggeridge, in particular, finding pockets of space in which to operate and dictate.

Amartey went on a trademark darting run down the inside left channel after retrieving an overhit pass but his low cut-back didn't have the required angle and James Broadbent comfortably gathered.

Francis Amartey comes under pressure (pic DBeechPhotography)Francis Amartey comes under pressure (pic DBeechPhotography)

Reece Mitchell went close to reducing the arrears when he pounced upon a headed clearance from a Hendon corner, beat a man and then curled his effort inches wide of Broadbent's left hand upright.

Faced once again with a two-goal mountain to climb at the break, with better finishing the Greens could have found themselves level.

Straight from the kick-off Calcutt laid Amartey through on goal but under pressure from two defenders the on-loan Slough man was unable to get enough on his shot and Broadbent saved with his foot.

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Mitchell then stooped to head a deep Howard Hall cross wide of the post before Muggeridge found acres of space to go through on goal once again.

Trying to lift the ball over Grace, he found the Hendon goalkeeper too large an obstacle to beat but Muggeridge worked the loose ball back to Tighe who was denied a hat-trick by an excellent low block from Hendon's custodian.

David Martin was next to go close, firing a low left footed drive just wide of the far post after neat interplay in midfield by the home side.

Broadbent then made an excellent save of his own from an Amartey shot at the other end and the rebound fell invitingly for Calcutt who took a touch less than six yards out, allowing Luke Emberson to slide in and take the ball off the Hendon skipper's toe.

Francis Amartey comes under pressure (pic DBeechPhotography)Francis Amartey comes under pressure (pic DBeechPhotography)

Mitchell fired wastefully over from a good position after being found on the angle by Hope before the Hawks thought they had found the all-important third goal when substitute Duane Ofori-Acheampong headed home from close range.

Their celebrations were cut short by a linesman's flag, though, and with 20 minutes left it looked as though Hendon might be staging a comeback.

Sergio Manesio knocked a ball into the penalty area and found Calcutt to calmly sidefoot into the corner of the net for his fifth goal of the campaign.

But any hopes of a fight-back were extinguished less than two minutes later in the most inexplicable circumstances imaginable.

Reece Mitchell gets tackled (pic DBeechPhotography)Reece Mitchell gets tackled (pic DBeechPhotography)

Grace was bundled over outside his penalty area, about eight yards from the corner flag by Ofori-Acheampong, and took a quick free-kick to Luke Tingey who was stood inside the penalty area.

Tingey, thinking Grace was knocking him the ball to take the dead-ball himself reached down to stop the ball with his hand and as he did so, the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

David Martin stepped up to administer punishment and did so with aplomb, smashing the penalty beyond Grace.

Amartey went close once again with a fierce left footed strike that went over the top but it was the hosts, with eight minutes remaining, who sealed the deal when Lewis Unwin's strike from 20 yards squirmed under the diving Grace to put a sheen on a thoroughly deserved result for the lower ranked hosts.

Luke Tingey directs a header goal wards, but is wide of the mark (pic DBeechPhotography)Luke Tingey directs a header goal wards, but is wide of the mark (pic DBeechPhotography)

Hendon: Grace, Hall, Byron, Manesio (Stray 79) (Cook 88), Tingey, Noel-McLeod, Hope, Mitchell (Ogbonna 79), Calcutt, Amartey, English.

Unused subs: McGleish, Todd.

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