Southern League: Basingstoke Town 2 Hendon 1
PUBLISHED: 18:53 09 December 2018 | UPDATED: 18:53 09 December 2018
Hendon fell to a fourth away defeat in their last five matches on the road after another disappointing display saw them beaten by two Basingstoke Town goals in the space of three first-half minutes.
With Luke Tingey suspended, Taishan Griffith came into the side at right-back with Howard Hall shifting across to partner Adam Pepera at centre-half as Ricardo German replaced Connor Calcutt up front in the only other change from the impressive win against Merthyr Town the week before.
Calcutt, who is struggling with a back complaint, dropped to the bench.
With a very stiff wind blowing towards the Hendon goal in the first half, the Greens made a good start forcing an early corner.
Lee Chappell swung it in towards goal and German nodded it on at the near post, unfortunately there was no-one at the far post to touch the ball home and the hosts survived.
Danny Boness had to be alert on the quarter hour when a ball from midfield sliced through the Hendon back four and the goalkeeper made a splendid sprawling save at the striker’s feet, clearly winning the ball before the striker went down.
The respite lasted only a couple of minutes when a cross from the right wing saw Dan Bayliss at the far post and the tall blue-shirted centre-half rose unchallenged to firmly plant his header beyond the exposed Boness to give the hosts the lead.
Only three minutes later Hendon’s task had gone from being a molehill to being a mountain when another piece of woeful defending was punished.
Sam Deadfield swung a corner towards the near post and it should have been headed clear but the defender moved out of the way and Boness, trying to make up the ground could only succeed in parrying the ball just inside his near post.
On the half-hour mark, Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway had a chance to reduce the arrears when he was presented with the ball from a poor clearance by Basingstoke goalkeeper, Colm McAdden.
However with German in a good position, the Under-23 team graduate chose to go alone and McAdden was able to make a comfortable save.
The visitors were awarded a lifeline seven minutes before the break in controversial circumstances.
German was chasing a through ball into the Basingstoke penalty area and McAdden, much as Boness had earlier in the afternoon, appeared to make a superb block at the centre forward’s feet.
German went down and to everyone’s astonishment, the official awarded a penalty kick.
After a moment’s consultation with his assistant, the decision stood, much to the ire of the Basingstoke defenders. German remained unaffected, however, and once calm had been restored, planted the ball beyond McAdden into the corner of the net.
Basingstoke very nearly added to their lead before the break when a flowing move reached Zidan Akers and after shifting the ball onto his right foot, the left-sided player was unfortunate to see his curled effort rebound clear off the base of Boness’ far post.
The half-time break saw a deluge of rain fall and when mixed with the gale-force wind, made conditions even more treacherous than they had been before the break.
The wind was now in Hendon’s favour however, for much of the period they were unable to make the advantage count.
Just past the hour mark, Boness made a brilliant double-save to keep Hendon alive, making a first block and recovering well to make a save from the rebound as well whilst at the other end, McAdden was well protected by the four-men in front of him, Bayliss and Harry Philby particularly dominant at the heart of the defence.
The Hendon midfield were more cohesive after the break, prompted by the energetic Matty Harrison and offered more in wide areas once Gianni Grichlow and Shaun Lucien emerged from the bench.
However, aside from a chance from a Lucien cross which German met on the full and headed powerfully six inches over the crossbar, they were unable to fashion a clear sight of goal.
In the closing stages, Basingstoke had a chance to settle their nerves when Sam Smart was hauled down in the penalty area by Howard Hall and once again, the official pointed to the spot.
Dean Stow was the man to step up and although his effort lacked nothing for power, it lacked plenty in the way of direction and the ball flew over Boness’ goal.
As it was, the hosts saw out the final stages in comfort and picked up a fully deserved three points. As for Hendon, despite their defeat, they remain fourth and now have to pick themselves up ahead of the midweek visit of in-form Met Police to Silver Jubilee Park.
Hendon: Boness, Griffith (Hunte 88), Chappell, B. Brown, Hall, Pepera, Hippolyte-Patrick, Alexander-Greenaway (Lucien 58), German, Harriott, C. Brown (Crichlow, 73). Not used: Mbengui, Calcutt.