Hendon must seek revenge for opening day defeat to Worthing, says McCall
- Credit: Archant
Spencer McCall is immediately targeting a new objective – avenging Hendon’s opening day defeat to Worthing – after their FA Cup dreams evaporated at Boreham Wood.
Midfielder McCall and his Dons team-mates were eliminated from the competition after their 3-0 loss to the National League Premier side in Saturday’s fourth qualifying round.
Now they must concentrate on arresting their recent slide in the Ryman League Premier Division – starting with a trip to Worthing, who stunned the hosts with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Silver Jubilee Park in August.
“I think it caught everyone by surprise a little bit – it was such a big day for the club with the first league game at the new stadium,” McCall said.
“With Worthing coming up last season, we took them a bit lightly – not on purpose but it was natural because we’d had a good pre-season. From the first whistle they pegged us back and we were a bit shocked by that.
“So we’ll go there and we’ll be looking for revenge, 100 per cent. I think the boys will all have that in their minds and we definitely want to turn them over.
“I think maybe the emphasis has been on the FA Cup and maybe it’s taken its toll on the dressing room, but it’s important we forget about it now – it’s gone.
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“We’ve got games coming up that we need to win and really start pushing up the table to make a success of this season. We don’t want another season to go by without us being successful.
“I’ve had that side of the game the last two seasons with Harrow Borough and fluttering around the bottom is not really what you want to be doing as a player.
“With the quality we’ve got in the dressing room, we shouldn’t be where we are. I don’t believe we’ll be in and around there, it’s still early days and now the FA Cup’s gone you’ll see us focus and climb up the table.”
The Dons fell behind in the 10th minute on Saturday when lively Wood centre-forward Morgan Ferrier cut inside to fire a 25-yard thunderbolt beyond Berkley Laurencin.
Ferrier almost doubled his side’s lead with a shot on the turn that bounced off the crossbar and stayed out, but Wood were indebted to goalkeeper Grant Smith for a remarkable stop that kept them ahead in first-half injury time.
Niko Muir wriggled free and delivered a low cross that was met by Casey Maclaren, but the agile Smith somehow succeeded in scooping the ball off the line.
Although Hendon competed well after the break, Bruno Andrade headed in at the far post to make it 2-0 and then supplied the cross for substitute Angelo Balanta to score Wood’s third goal late on.
Recalling the Maclaren chance, McCall added: “A few of the boys on the bench said they were up celebrating already. It went behind the keeper and I don’t know how he managed to claw it back with his hand.
“If we’d have scored that, obviously we’d have gone in drawing and it would have been different coming out in the second half. We conducted ourselves well but I think their full-time training took its toll.
“They were very well organised and compact, but if you take away their three goals I don’t think Berkley made a save all game and maybe the scoreline was a bit harsh.”
After Saturday’s clash with Worthing (kick-off 3pm), the Dons are on the road again on Tuesday, facing Burgess Hill Town (7.30pm).