Dons round off traumatic season in style
Hendon completed their topsy-turvy premier division campaign with a narrow but deserved victory over Margate at Claremont Road on Saturday. It marked a run of six games unbeaten during which the Dons have won four times and lifted
Hendon 1 Margate 0
Hendon completed their topsy-turvy premier division campaign with a narrow but deserved victory over Margate at Claremont Road on Saturday.
It completed a run of six games unbeaten during which the Dons have won four times and lifted themselves up to 14th place in the table
Belal Aiteouakrim's goal in the 50th minute was enough to sink the visitors. He rounded Robin Trot before lashing a shot across Chalmers-Stevens and into the far corner of the net.
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Margate might have led earlier on but Danny Hockton's low drive was well saved by Richard Wilmot.
The closest Hendon came to a goal in the first half was with the last kick of the period when Wayne O'Sullivan's shot deflected off Justin Skinner, allowing the keeper to gather.
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Gate had two real chances to equalise in the second half, both headers from crosses, but neither was close to the target.
Aiteouakrim drove wide before substitute Ross Pickett lobbed an effort high over the bar with four minutes remaining. Club history was made in the 87th minute when Takumi Ake made way for Iavor Guentchev, the son of the player-coach Bonthco.
Iavor almost set up the ultimate in fairytale finishes when deep in injury time he went on a mazy run past two defenders and sent a cross towards his father.
Bontcho would surely have scored but Aiteouakrim intervened and put the ball inches wide of the target.
"I can't thank the players and supporters enough, not only for today, but for the contributions throughout the season" said boss Gary McCann. "Today's performance epitomised our season. I thought we were easily the better side, certainly we were the only team out there trying to win.
"However, we were a little too intricate at times, but we were, as usual, full of work-rate, commitment and effort."
Goalkeeper Richard Wilmot, who appeared in 50 out 51 games, was named the player of the season, while the player's player of the year award went to Wayne O'Sullivan.
Hendon: Wilmot, J. Burgess, Vargas (B. Guentchev), Leach, Parker, Ake (I. Guentchev), D. Haule, O'Sullivan, Duffy (Pickett), Hudson, Aiteouakrim.