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Hendon earn fifth straight win in league

PUBLISHED: 08:29 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:18 22 October 2018

Jimmy Gray with his now traditional on pitch debrief (pic DBeechPhotography)

Jimmy Gray with his now traditional on pitch debrief (pic DBeechPhotography)

Derek_Beech

Evo-Stik South Premier South: Hendon 3 (Jonas 4, German 35, Hippolyte-Patrick 44) Wimborne Town 2 (Holmes 11, Clarke 61)

Hendon returned to second in the Evo-Stik South Premier South with a heart-stopping 3–2 victory over Wimborne Town at a sunny Silver Jubilee Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Greens’ fifth consecutive league victory was cruel on the men from Dorset, but both teams could reached double figures and the difference between them was that Hendon were more clinical in taking advantage of opposing defenders’ defensive errors.

Sean Bonnett-Johnson and Connor Calcutt made their home debuts having played at Metropolitan Police on Tuesday and at Hartley Wintney last Saturday, respectively.

Hendon made a great start and opened the scoring in the fourth minute. From a left wing corner, Wimborne failed to clear their lines and the ball went out to the right side where Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick was able to get around a defender.

From close to the goalline, 10 or so yards from goal, he drilled a low cross into the six-yard box. Romario Jonas threw himself at the ball and diverted it into the net using a part of his anatomy euphemistically called the “lower abdomen”.

He admitted after the game, “I never want to score with that again. I tried to get my thigh to the ball but it went too high. It hurt so much.”

Danny Boness was called into action three minutes later, making a fine low save to keep out an effort from Stefan Penny. In the 11th minute, however, Wimborne were level. It was a very simple goal. A pass downfield found Toby Holmes against one defender, whom he beat easily. Boness came off his line, but Holmes slipped the ball past him just inside the post.

For the next 25 minutes both teams created and failed to convert chances. Wimborne had the ball in the Hendon net, but the assistant referee’s flag had been up before the shot was taken, and Franklyn Clarke, with a free-kick, Luke Holmes and Matt Oldring all had shots.

Calcutt thought he had opened his Hendon account when he bundled the ball home from close range after Benfield had failed to hold a cross. The striker was penalised for handball , but it did look as if the stretching keeper had dropped the ball against his arm.

Hippolyte-Patrick was proving a particular thorn in Wimborne side. One run ended in a free-kick and a caution for the man who fouled him, Penny. In the 35th minute, coming infield, he played an inch-perfect path into the patch of Ricardo German, who drew Benfield off his line before finding the bottom corner with a precise finish.

Two minutes before half-time, Hippolyte-Patrick fired a low shot which Benfield did well to push aside. Less than 60 seconds later, however, the Hendon would not be denied.

Having failed to deal with a set-piece, Wimborne’s ball out of defence was woefully underhit and straight to HIPPOLYTE-PATRICK. Taking a touch to control the ball, he then bent it just inside the far post well beyond the dive of Benfield, who may well have been unsighted by the crowd of players in front of him.

The second half was not quite as good, but it was still very entertaining and it was unimaginable that the 3–1 scoreline would remain until the final whistle. Wimborne attacked with panache and Toby Holmes and Luke Burbridge had a couple of chances in the same move, but Boness dealt with the danger.

Hendon had appeals for handball waved aside as a cross from Calcutt struck a Wimborne player. It was hard to see if the defender’s arm had made contact with the ball, but the Hendon players closest to the incident felt it had. German then saw a low shot blocked by Benfield’s legs, though the goalkeeper knew little about it.

In the 61st minute, the deficit was halved and it was in controversial circumstances. There is little doubt that Luke Tingey pulled on Burbridge’s arm as they tussled entering the penalty area.

The assistant referee flagged but was pointing for a free-kick to Hendon, suggesting the first foul was by the Wimborne man. The referee, however, overruled him and pointed to the penalty spot.

Hendon’s complaints were not so much with the decision but that the referee did not consult with his assistant as to which was the first offence. Clarke stepped up and, eventually scored on the rebound, after Boness had parried the spot kick. He just beat Stephane Ngamvoulou to the ball as it bounced in the six-yard box.

Three changes followed almost immediately as Hendon sent on Matty Ndewman and Gianni Crichlow for Ngamvoulou and Mbengui, while Paddy Hester took over from Jordan Lee for the visitors. Within 10 minutes Hendon had sent on Taishan Griffith for German, while Curtis Young of Wimborne was replaced by Rhys Owen.

The better chances were now going Hendon’s way and Luke Tingey nearly scored with a looping header which elicited a fine save from Benfield and Crichlow fired just over the angle of post and crossbar.

Calcutt and Hippolyte-Patrick could have added to Hendon’s tally, but for Benfield’s excellent shot-stopping. Whether the shot was low or high, somehow Benfield got his hand to the ball with enough force to divert it wide of the target.

The last Hendon change saw Lee Chappell move into to partner Bonnett-Johnson, allowing Howard Hall, in particular, down the right side to get forward more. He put in a couple of dangerous crosses which were dealt with less than comfortably.

In the 85th minute, Toby Holmes had a good chance to equalise, but he tried to beat Boness at his near post. The goalkeeper got his angles right and the ball thudded into the side netting wide of the target.

In stoppage time, Benfield made maybe his best save of the day, arching his back to tip over another goalbound drive from Hippolyte Patrick. It would have settled Hendon nerves, but been an even greater injustice for Wimborne, who had been well worth a point.

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