Match Report

Dorchester Town
1-0
Hendon
A Robinson
Match details
Competition: FA Cup
Date: Saturday 11 October 2014
Attendance: 510

Hendon's interest in the FA Cup came to a sad and hugely disappointing end at Dorchester on Saturday, losing to a solitary goal from Magpies' debutant midfielder, former Southampton and Bolton player Andy Robinson.

The Greens went into the game without James Fisher, who failed a fitness test, the unwell Dave Diedhiou, Casey Maclaren, who had undergone shoulder surgery two days earlier and now faces a spell on the sidelines probably until December, and Belal Aite-Ouakrim. Fisher and Diedhiou were named on the seven-man subs bench but would only have been used in absolute emergency.

It must be said that both teams struggled to play on a pitch made slick by heavy showers before the match and it also cut up just enough for almost every player to have bad moments with bobbles. The upshot was a first half with little quality from either team and barely an incident worth mentioning.

After two minutes, Hendon had what appeared to be a very valid penalty appeal waved aside by the referee. Aaron Morgan broke into the penalty area and went down under a challenge from Sam Lanahan.

Morgan said of the incident, "I might have been able to stay on my feet, and think I could have scored. But he did kick me."

In the 10th minute, Nick Crittenden forced a save from Ben McNamara, but it was as routine as it could have been. It would be the only effort a keeper had to save until the 42nd minute, when Elliott Brathwaite saw his header gathered as easily by Alan Walker-Harris.

Chris Seeby did direct a header on target from a corner, cleared by Jake Smeeton close to the line, but Walker=Harris may well have made a save if not for the captain's intervention.

Just before half-time, Robinson took a free-kick and bent it over the wall. The ball dipped and McNamara, blinded by the sun let the ball bounce off his chest. He was fortunate that the first rebound lacked power and the second one went over the head of Brathwaite and the crossbar.

Whatever was said in the Hendon dressing room at half-time, there was much greater purpose in the Greens' play in the second half. The passing in midfield, however, still lacked the crispness seen in most in Hendon's 11-match unbeaten run.

Nonetheless, Leon Smith started to get the better of Chris Dillon and he forced a save from Walker-Harris in the 52nd minute. As Hendon ramped up the pressure, Smith saw a goalbound shot - one Walker-Harris was unlikely to have reached - blocked by Smeeton.

However, the wayward passing was nearly Hendon's undoing in the 57th minute when Crittenden and Ben Joyce broke quickly and a desperate lunge by Sam Flegg resulted in the ball being blocked.

Five minutes later, Oliver Sprague and Flegg failed to clear a ball from close to the corner flag. When Dorchester played the ball towards the middle of the pitch, just outside the penalty area, Robinson was on hand to take possession.

He tried to work a shooting position on his left foot, reversed and made space for a strike with his right. Bending it with power and precision, Robinson curled the ball beyond McNamara's dive for a superb goal.

The next chance came Dorchester's way, just after Kezie Ibe had replaced Andre Da Costa. Hendon had a free-kick which was passed into no-man's land and the Magpies broke quickly. The chance fell to Joyce, who whistled a shot just past the far post with McNamara again beaten.

Two minutes later, Hendon were the victims of outrageous misfortune. Smith ran onto a through ball from Lee O'Leary, got clear of his marker and rounded Walker-Harris.

He took a step to steady himself before sliding the ball into the almost unguarded net, but slipped. Although Smith did divert the ball towards the goal, it had little power and Smeeton made another telling clearance.

In a frantic final 15 minutes, Tony Taggart replaced Morgan and Peter Dean came on for Maclaren. Offside flags denied Smith, Ibe and Dean, though Walker-Harris made two good blocks before the whistle sounded.

Smith also twice more was able to get around the home goalkeeper, but could not find the target, thus ending his run of eight games with a goal. He also fired just wide from a good position, another strike, which if just inside the far post would have brought him a goal.

In the end, for all the Hendon pressure, it was not quite enough. On the balance of play, the Greens did not deserve to lose - but most of their good chances had come after Dorchester had taken the lead and were in a more defensive mode.

That said, Hendon, based on their level of play over the 90 minutes - compared to recent performances - were probably worth no more than a draw. And it was fitting that the best piece of football in the match would decide it.

Report by David Ballheimer : Not to be reproduced without prior permission

Dorchester Town

Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Alan Walker-Harris  
2 Sam Lanahan  
3 Josh Kaye  
4 Jake Smeeton  
5 Chris Dillon  
6 Andy Robinson  
7 Charlie Davis  
8 Nick Crittenden  
9 Ben Joyce  
10 Alex Godfrey  
11 Dan Smith  
12 Jason Brookes for 8 , 90
14 Kieran Parrett  
15 Tony Rolls for 2 , 75
16 Lewis Brown for 10 , 80
17 Scott Walters  
18 Oakley Hanger  
19 Shane Murphy  

Hendon

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Ben McNamara  
2 Chris Seeby  
3 Oliver Sprague  
4 Sam Flegg  
5 Elliott Brathwaite  
6 Kevin Maclaren  
7 Sam Murphy  
8 Lee O'Leary  
9 Leon Smith  
10 Aaron Morgan  
11 Andre Da Costa  
12 Kezie Ibe for 11 , 69
13 Scott Cousins  
14 Dave Diedhiou  
15 Peter Dean for 6 , 83
16 Brendan Hazlett  
17 James Fisher  
18 Tony Taggart for 10 , 78