Southern League: Hendon 2 Farnborough 1
PUBLISHED: 16:30 19 August 2018
Hendon continued their unbeaten start to the new season with a victory over previous leaders Farnborough as they passed their biggest test yet in the new division.
There were two changes from the team which had beaten Walton Casuals in midweek with Romario Jonas and Marvin Morgan coming in for Junior Osborne and Ricardo German, respectively. On the bench, Gianni Crichlow came into the 16-man squad with Rene Howe dropping out.
Between them, Morgan (35 years old) and Farnborough’s former Hendon man Jefferson Louis (39) have scored more than 300 goals in their respective leagues and signed (including loan deals, out but not back, and returns to former clubs) for 59 clubs.
After the game, Louis admitted he had been outplayed by the Hendon man – and both were replaced around 20 minutes into the second half.
The first chance fell to the visitors in the second minute, when a short back-header from Howard Hall was latched onto by Michael Fernandes, but Danny Boness was quickly off his line to block his shot.
Stephane Ngamvoulou, just outside the Farnborough penalty area, tried his luck with a hooked shot in the 12th minute, but he could not keep the ball down and it sailed over the crossbar.
Seven minutes later, Luke Tingey curled a free-kick which Guri Demuria headed goalwards, but it went straight into the midriff of goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley.
The goalkeeper was then quick to react to a short backpass from Adam Pepara. He got to the ball just before Ngamvoulou could pounce.
The game was very open and, in the space of 30 seconds, both goalkeepers made good saves. Pidgeley kept out a well-directed effort from Taishan Griffith, while Boness did equally well to deny Louis.
Hendon took the lead in the 34th minute. The moved started down the left side, with Lee Chappell and Griffith involved, but danger only appeared when Morgan broke into space and took a short pass.
He got around the back of the right wing-back and drilled a low cross which eluded the dive of Pidgeley. The ball landed at the feet of Cole Brown, who took a touch to steady himself and drilled a shot into the net off the head of a defender on the goalline.
Kurtis Cumberbatch had a great chance to equalise just before the break. Louis fired a shot which Jonas blocked and the ball fell to Cumberbatch, but he was off target with his shot when he really should have hit the target.
Three minutes into the second half, Ngamvoulou had a powerful shot saved by Pidgeley, but the angle was very difficult and the goalkeeper’s positioning was spot on.
Just before the hour mark, there was a trio of substitutions, Nathaniel Oseni and Liam Enver-Marin making way for a pair of Callums Cullen and Calcutt. Hendon sent on Crichlow for his debut, replacing Brown.
Almost immediately, Farnborough’s Fernandes found himself in space, but Hall was quick to close him down and the result was a shot which did not trouble the goal. Luke Robertson then fired a shot which was straight at Boness and he made a comfortable save.
In between these two openings, Laste Dombaxe fired a shot which Pidgeley couldn’t hold, but he fell on the loose ball before a Hendon player could react. Dombaxe, however, would not be denied in the 65th minute.
Ngamvoulou was the instigator of the move with a powerful burst forward. He fed the ball to Morgan, who set up Dombaxe, 22 yards out, and the midfielder curled a beautiful shot just inside the far post.
Farnborough were growing increasingly frustrated, especially when a couple of penalty claims were turned down. And they were a little fortunate that they didn’t go 3–0 down in the 74th minute when Morgan’s replacement German struck a powerful drive which cannoned off the foot of a post.
With 10 minutes to go, Farnborough got back into the game, thanks to two of their substitutes. Calcutt’s pass invited Cannon to score with an angled drive.
Farnborough, given hope, suddenly upped their game, but the Hendon defence stood firm with Demuria and Jonas in fine form. Robertson again fired over the bar from a good position before the Greens made their last change, Griffith making way for Tyrique Hunt.
Bradley Simms should have done better with a great chance to level matters in the 88th minute, firing over the bar from a great position and then Crichlow had two chances to make it 3–1, one blocked by Pidgeley, the other going wide.
With 90 seconds of the five minutes of stoppage time remaining, Farnborough came so close to an equaliser. Cullen powered a header towards the top corner, but the visiting fans’ cheers were stilled by Boness’s magnificent full-stretch intervention, tipping the ball away.
Hendon manager James Gray said: “It was hard work, and we put in a real shift, but we had to. We have come a long way in the past three weeks.
“Overall, I am delighted to get out of the game with three points, but we could have played much better. I think we got a bit tired near the end which was why I made the substitutions I did.”
Hendon: Boness, Hunt, Chappell, Tingey, Jonas, Demuria, Ngamvoulou, Dombaxe, Morgan (German 63), Griffith (Hunte 87), Brown (Crichlow 59). Unused subs: Kearney, Mbengui.