Match Report

Folkestone Invicta
A Yusuff, J Vincent, J Taylor
N Muir 2
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 23 September 2017
Attendance: 457

Hendon's good start to the season was baulked on Saturday afternoon as they threw away a 2-0 lead against Folkestone Invicta at the Fullicks Stadium. With both sides enjoying good starts following struggles last season, the game promised much and whilst the second half delivered plenty, the first half delivered little.

With Dave Diedhiou suspended following his late dismissal at Dulwich, Jake Eggleton returned to take the number 2 shirt. Elsewhere, Josh Walker was rewarded with a first start, as was Ashley Nathaniel-George and they took their places on either flank whilst Zak Joseph tucked inside to play off Niko Muir. Keagan Cole and Kezie Ibe dropped to the bench, whilst Michael Corcoran was fit to start at the heart of the Hendon midfield.

The first period was a scrappy affair with the referee's whistle punctuating proceedings on a regular basis. Chances were few and far between, but Tom Lovelock was forced into a fine low stop midway through the period to prevent the hosts taking the lead through Joe Taylor - Corcoran did well to smother the rebound and allow Lovelock to gather the loose ball.

In spite of the paucity of chances, both sides did look threatening. The physical Taylor and nippy Ade Yussuf gave Arthur Lee and Rian Bray plenty of problems, whilst the pacy trio of Joseph, Nathaniel-George and Walker linked up well with Niko Muir, albeit to little effect in terms of chances created.

Goalless at the break, the game really sprang to life with three goals in the first 6 minutes of the second period.

Firstly, a free-kick from Matt Ball from 28 yards was half-blocked by the wall but the ball found its way to Niko Muir. The in-form striker took a touch and although his left-footed strike wasn't the cleanest, it found its way beyond Tim Roberts just inside the far post to give the visitors the lead.

Within two minutes, the lead had been extended and once again, it was Muir that netted to take his tally into double figures for the season. The move to set the goal up was outstanding, the ball being worked by Matt Ball, after an intervention by Jake Eggleton had stopped a Folkestone incursion, wide to Nathaniel-George. The winger, who did well to skip inside two challenges slipped the ball inside to Zak Joseph who in-turn played in Muir. A little turn this way and that worked Muir enough space to slip the ball beyond Roberts to give the Greens a scarcely credible 2-0 cushion.

Within another two minutes the hosts were right back in contention. A long free-kick into the Hendon box saw Tom Lovelock punch the ball out for a corner. However, as the ball was played in, there was an alleged shove from a Hendon defender that sent Joe Taylor flying and the penalty was duly awarded. Ade Yusuff stepped up to send Lovelock the wrong way and reduce the arrears.

The next twenty minutes was quite an end to end affair, yet with the clearer opportunities falling Hendon’s way. Muir sent Roberts the wrong way but saw his effort go just wide of the post before lashing another effort into the side netting at the goalkeepers' near post. Josh Walker did exceedingly well to cut inside from the left flank, beat a challenge and fire a snapshot that beat Roberts all ends up. Thankfully for the home custodian, the ball thumped against the base of the post and rebounded to a Gold and Black shirt that was able to clear the danger.

Tom Lovelock then made a fine save to maintain Hendon's lead when a headed knock-back was met by Sam Hasler, but his powerful effort was superbly repelled by the goalkeeper plunging to his right. Moments later, Lovelock's opposite number made an equally fine intervention, at full stretch falling to his right to palm Zak Joseph's powerful effort over the top.

With 20 minutes remaining, the catalogue of missed chances came home to roost for the Greens. Two failures to effectively clear a left wing cross ended with the Folkestone right wing-back meeting the ball on the run to power a rasping rising drive beyond Lovelock and into the roof of the net to bring about parity.

Both sides continued to give everything in pursuit of a winner and the final twenty minutes were enthralling to watch, albeit without many clearcut chances being fashioned. With four minutes remaining, the vital goal was secured when a cross from the right found Joe Taylor totally unmarked at the far post and he planted his header emphatically beyond Lovelock to seal the points for the home team.

In spite of Hendon's best efforts in the closing stages, there was to be no late goal this time despite the introduction of Keagan Cole and Kezie Ibe and they were once again left to rue a lack of efficiency in front of goal as they came away empty handed from an away match they should have got something from.

Report by John Rogers : Not to be reproduced without prior permission

Folkestone Invicta

Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Tim Roberts  
2 Josh Vincent  
3 Finn O'Mara  
4 Michael Everitt  
5 Callum Davies  
6 Matthew Newman  
7 Sam Hasler  
8 Scott Heard  
9 Joe Taylor  
10 Adam Yusuff  
11 Jordan Wright  
12 Ryan Cooper for 10 , 90
14 Nathaniel Blanks for 11 , 86
15 Ethan Madden  
17 Scott Chalmers-Stevens  


Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Tom Lovelock  
2 Jake Eggleton  
3 Oliver Sprague  
4 Michael Corcoran  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Arthur Lee  
7 Josh Walker  
8 Matt Ball  
9 Zak Joseph  
10 Niko Muir  
11 Ashley Nathaniel-George  
12 Keagan Cole for 7 , 77
13 James Rogers-Oben  
14 Leo Pedro  
15 Kezie Ibe for 9 , 88
17 Malachy McGovern for 4 , 87