Southern League: Tiverton Town 0 Hendon 0
PUBLISHED: 15:51 18 November 2018
Hendon made their longest ever League trip, to Tiverton on Saturday, and returned to London with a point from a goalless stalemate.
Other results around the League mean that the Greens stayed fourth in the Evo-Stik Southern League South Premier Division table, but 27 points from 13 games remains an excellent return for a completely new squad.
Neutrals thought the game had been really good and entertaining, but the view from Hendon was that it had been poor fare and the surface certainly played its part.
A week earlier, Tivvy had hosted a Buildbase FA Trophy tie in appalling weather and the pitch certainly had not recovered – indeed, had there been significant rain in the 48 hours before the game, it would probably have caused a postponement.
There were two changes to the Hendon line-up from the one which had dismantled Staines Town 5–1 four days earlier as Luke Tingey replaced the suspended Adam Pepera and Cole Brown and Gianni Crichlow switched starter and subs roles.
Debutant Cameron Allen was desperately keen to show off his talents to the Tiverton faithful, but he took his running too far and frequently fell foul of the assistant referee’s flag.
The Hendon bench, however, were concerned that their defence, especially Tingey and centre-half partner Romario Jonas, might get caught out and another great chance would result.
Another is because, in the second minute, Levi Landricombe burst through and was ruled onside. Danny Boness was quickly off his line and he did enough to deny Landricombe, who looked as if he lacked the confidence to convert the one-on-one situation into a goal.
Allen was cautioned in the 13th minute for dangerous play when, outside the penalty area, he raised his leg to block a downfield clearance by Boness. Whilst his foot was high, Allen was too far from Boness to cause injury or change his action.
A minute later, a through ball for Calcutt to chase almost brought a goal as Liam Armstrong was a little slow off his line and the covering Michael Landricombe was hesitant, too. Calcutt did get to the ball, but Armstrong was immediately in front of him and the ball ricocheted a couple of feet from the goalkeeper, who fell on it gratefully.
In the 23rd minute Sean Lucien cut in from the left and fired a powerful shot goalwards, but Armstrong was well placed to make the save, catching the ball above his head.
Bayley Brown’s afternoon ended early when he went down in midfield, limped off, came back briefly, but went down again and, with only 34 minutes on the clock, he was replaced by Prince Mbengui.
In the 32nd minute, Tiverton went close from a corner when a near-post flick was blocked close to the line.
Then, just before half-time, Tivvy forced a goalmouth scramble and a couple of players appealed for a goal, but they were rather half-hearted and Hendon were able to continue, albeit with a sigh of relief.
Ten minutes after the restart, Hendon made their second change, with Crichlow taking over from Brown.
And a few minutes later, Hendon had a very valid claim for a penalty ruled out when a sliding challenge sent Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick to the ground. The referee, however, was forced to look through a crowd of players and could not be certain there was a foul.
Allen fired a shot at Boness after 64 minutes, which the goalkeeper caught high above his head without having to move laterally.
A minute later, Tom Bath replaced Allen, adding significant height to Tivvy’s attacking cause.
Bath very nearly made a dramatic impact when he got his foot to a shot from Jordan Rogers. He failed, however, to keep the ball under the crossbar and it has to go down as a very bad miss.
The Greens then made their final change with Ricardo German coming on for Lucien, giving Hendon three serious striking options.
Both forward substitutes had scoring chances in the space of a minute. First Bath shot wide from a narrow angle, then German couldn’t jump high enough to direct a header from an excellent Howard Hall cross downwards and the ball cleared the crossbar.
In the 82nd minute, Hendon were awarded a free-kick eight yards outside the penalty area. Lee Chappell took it but the ball sailed a couple of feet over the crossbar, irrelevantly between the posts.
The end was rather frantic as the game became very open and Levi Landricombe fired narrowly wide with Boness struggling to reach the ball.
At the other end, Michael Landricombe shoved German two-handed in the back, a couple of yards from the penalty area. The referee hesitated for a moment before waving his arms and deciding there had been no foul.
Tingey then made a brilliant block to deny Levi Landricombe as he shot for goal. And, in stoppage time, the same attacker almost won the game for Tiverton when he drilled a shot from a half-cleared corner against the crossbar.
The rebound was kind to Hendon and they saw out time to earn a point and keep the difference between them and Tivvy at four points.
Following Weymouth’s defeat at Kings Langley, new leaders Taunton Town are now five points clear of the Greens, but have played two games more.
Tiverton posted a tweet from their archive after the game noting that Hendon were only fifth team to visit Ladymead for the first time and return home after a 0–0 draw, since Exeter City Reserves in 1961, joining Melksham Town, Bath City, Nuneaton Borough and Abingdon United.
A tweet from Howard Hall summed up the Hendon feeling: “Good point away from home today in difficult conditions! Nice to get the clean sheets back, roll on Tuesday!”
The reference to Tuesday was for the Greens’ next match, a game against Beaconsfield Town at Silver Jubilee Park on November 20 (7.45pm).
Hendon: Boness, Hall, Chappell, Bonnett-Johnson, Tingey, Jonas, C. Brown (Crichlow 55), B. Brown (Mbengui 34), Calcutt, Hippolyte-Patrick, Lucien (German 74). Unused subs: Griffith, Bakare.