FA Cup: Hendon 1 Harlow Town 1
PUBLISHED: 17:55 09 September 2018
Hendon will travel to Harlow Town for an FA Cup first qualifying round replay on Tuesday after a close-fought tie at Silver Jubilee Park on Saturday that rather lacked sparkle.
In fact, the Greens were a little fortunate that they got this second bite of the cherry, because the Hawks were probably the better team and the 1–1 draw was the least they deserved.
Guri Demuria was unable to play having signed on dual registration from Wealdstone whoy, entirely reasonably, don’t want the risk of him being cup-tied.
Also missing were Marvin Morgan and Cole Brown, both injured, the former as a result of bad car crash a day before, to leave the Greens squad was down to the bare bones.
Junior Osborne – in his first game for a month – came in for Demuria, while Laste Dombaxe came in for Prince Mbengui and Tashan Griffith replaced Matty Newman from the team which won at Swindon Supermarine the previous week.
Newman and Mbengui were on the bench alongside Tyriq Hunte and youngsters William Murphy and Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway.
The Hawks nearly made a perfect start in the third minute as Christian Adu-Gyamfi, a teenager making his first start, worked himself an opening on the corner of the six-yard box, narrowed his own angle and then fired a shot which struck the outside of the near post after three minutes.
Ricardo German was clearly the focus of the Hendon attack and he created the Greens’ first two openings. In the 10th minute, he got the better of Paul Rodgers and burst into the penalty area, where his goalbound shot was blocked by the sliding JJ da Cruz.
Four minutes later, German attacked down the right wing, got past Yannick Kissi and angled into the penalty area almost on the goalline. He saw Gianni Crichlow coming in from the left side and rolled a pass towards him, but it was intercepted by another block from a defender.
Louis Yuille caused danger for Harlow with his good runs and, in the 17th minute, he delivered a fine low cross which just eluded Adu-Gyamfi and Charles Edwards. When they forced the game’s first corner, three minutes later, Da Cruz saw his header well parried by Danny Boness and, on the rebound, former Hendon triallist Fabion Mills shot over the bar.
The Greens counter-attacked and almost took the lead when German worked himself and opening and fired a shot which Josh Bexon parried. The goalkeeper had a stroke of good luck as the ball landed just too far from Griffith and was cleared downfield.
In the 25th minute, Harlow took the lead as Edwards received a pass from Kissi, moved forward and laid an inch-perfect pass into the path of Adu-Gyamfi, who took a touch forward and slid the ball expertly beyond the oncoming Boness into the bottom corner.
It took only eight minutes for the equaliser to arrive.
Howard Hall started the move and played a ball into the D of the penalty area.
Two defenders got in the way of each other and allowed the ball to fall to Stephane Ngamvoulou. He flicked the ball to German, who held off Da Cruz and dinked the ball past Bexon into the net.
That was the last meaningful action of the first half, and it would have been the Hawks who were the happier team as they would have the slope in the first half.
Two minutes after the resumption, Dombaxe curled a free-kick just wide of Bexon’s goal. A minute later, Harlow hit the goalframe for the second time.
It came from a free-kick and once again it was Portuguese defender Da Cruz who was involved. His looping header dropped against the angle of post and crossbar and when the ball reached Yuill, he saw his drive palmed away to safety by Boness.
The Hawks made the first of their changes just before the hour mark, sending on Alex Clark for Lawrence Vaughan. Clark, a more central player, quickly made an impact with a good run and he delivered a low cross which Boness reached just as Adu-Gyamfi slid in, the ball ending up grasped by the goalkeeper against his midriff.
Syrus Gordon limped off for the Hawks after 63 minutes and was replaced by Jason Read as Hunte took over from Crichlow, adding to Hendon’s physical presence.
Three minutes later, Read had three chances to score in a goalmouth scramble at the Hendon end. His first two efforts were blocked by Hendon defenders and the third – and best chance – was curled over the crossbar.
The Greens made their last two changes, sending on Newman for Dombaxe and Murphy for Griffith, and it certainly improved the performance. Only in the last 15 minutes did Hendon enjoy continued spells of attacking possession.
In the 77th minute, German fired a shot which flew inches wide of the goal with Bexon grateful for the ball going beyond the post and not inside it.
The striker was then fouled on the right edge of the penalty area and Lee Chappell curled the free-kick well beyond Bexon’s dive but, again, just beyond the same far post.
Clark then had two opportunities to win it for the Hawks. His first attempt was well blocked by Boness and his second missed the goal.
In the final minute of normal time, Hendon really should have negated the need for the replay as Harlow’s tiring defence started leaving gaps and Hunte found himself with a clear run at goal.
Bexon came off his line to narrow the angle, but he still pulled of an excellent save with his legs as Hunte went for guile rather than power.
The five minutes of stoppage time rather matched the game: lots of effort, but not a huge amount of quality and almost nothing the way of clear-cut chances.
Hendon manager James Gray said, “We huffed and puffed and rather lacked quality. We have to do better than that, but the good thing is that we live to fight another day.”
Gray tweeted: “We are still in the hat, not an ideal performance and we are not completely functioning properly as a unit, 1 defeat in 7 isn’t too bad considering we didn’t have a single player on July the 1st.”
Hendon: Boness; Hunt, Chappell, Tingey, Jonas, Osborne, Ngamvoulou, Dombaxe (Newman 70), German, Griffith (Murphy 76), Crichlow (Hunte 59). Unused subs: Alexander-Greenaway, Mbengui.