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Hendon bounce back from flat start to triumph at Margate

12:41 14 January 2014

Hendon manager Gary McCann

Hendon manager Gary McCann

Archant

Gary McCann missed Hendon’s first half at Margate thanks to a flat tyre – but the manager turned up in time to witness an impressive second-half revival as the Greens triumphed 3-2 in the Ryman League Premier Division.

The Hartsdown Park pitch had survived an early inspection, and on a wet and at times slippery surface, it was Margate who opened the scoring.

Hendon had no less than four opportunities to clear the ball from the middle. Instead, they allowed it to bounce to Matt Bodkin, who shot past Ross Fitzsimons.

The Greens responded well, and were level on 19 minutes. Winger Michael Bryan beta his full-back and reached the byline, crossing for the prolific Jefferson Louis to tower a header past Craig Holloway.

Anthony Thomas should have put Hendon 2-1 up, only to see his looping volley beat Holloway but come back off the underside of the crossbar and bounce to safety.

Further half-chances came and went, but it was Margate who struck next to secure a half-time lead. A free-kick was played the left, and when the ball was crossed into the middle Jamie Stewart headed past Fitzsimons.

McCann made it to the ground in time for the second half, and sent his side out with renewed vigour.

It was all-square again 10 minutes into the second half, as Hendon scored a mirror image of Margate’s opener. Lee O’Leary and Louis had half-chances as the hosts failed to clear their lines, and eventually the ball fell for Casey Maclaren to finish.

And the winner came just six minutes later, as Thomas got the better of his defender and hit a cross-shot towards goal. It was a powerful strike, and Holloway got a hand to the ball but was unable to keep it out.

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