Match Report

Tooting & Mitcham United
A Lee, M Ball, Z Joseph, J Walker
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 30 September 2017
Attendance: 219

Hendon produced a clinical second half performance to take apart a Tooting & Mitcham United team forced to play for more than an hour with 10 men. The statistics, for what they are worth show Hendon winning the shot count 21-4 (10-2 on target), 11-1 in corners and, the one stat that does matter, 4-0 in goals.

Hendon made two changes to the team which had beaten Staines four days earlier, Keagan Cole and Josh Walker dropping to the bench as Matt Ball and Zak Joseph came into start. Sam Murphy was back from his business trip, but he joined Leo Pedro as unused substitutes.

In truth, the first half was rather scrappy and Hendon were guilty of over-playing a number of promising situations. Tooting, who played with only Omar Folkes up front, had former Hendon loanee Billy Dunn behind him in midfield, but Folkes was left isolated without enough support.

In the ninth minute, Matte Pierson made his first save, an excellent effort to deny Joseph. The Terrors quickly forced a corner at the other end and the inswinging delivery from Danny Bassett was clawed away by Tom Lovelock as it was about to hit the crossbar.

Around the quarter-hour mark, Pierson distinguished himself with two more fine saves. First he pushed away a 25-yard strike from Ball, then he was quickly off his line to block Niko Muir.

The key moment of the match came in the 28th minute. Bassett and Ball collided, with the Terrors midfielder, stretching for the ball, striking the Hendon man in the chest with his studs. In modern football challenges such as these earn red cards and the referee wasted no time in showing it to Bassett.

Ball's free-kick curled teasingly across the danger area and after a number of outstretched legs and feet had failed to touch the ball, it went narrowly past the far post. Tooting's response to their fifth red card of the season was positive and Dunn shot just wide from open play, then over the bar from a free-kick.

Just before the break, Jake Eggleton almost opened his Hendon account when he linked up well down the right side and drilled a 20-yard shot that cannoned off the top off the crossbar and bounced away to safety.

As the players walked off at half-time the feeling was that Tooting were close to breaking point and the first goal would have led to quite a few more. An early second-half goal was just what Hendon needed, and they got it, and it came from an unlikely source.

Ninety seconds after the resumption, Ashley Nathaniel-George fired a shot which was deflected away for a corner. Ollie Sprague played the ball diagonally low towards the near post from where Arthur Lee hit a first time shot just inside the upright.

Set-pieces remained Tooting's best and almost only hope of getting back into the game and, in the 50th minute, Peter Wedgeworth hit the angle of post and crossbar with a free-kick. Lovelock was certainly close to the ball and might have got a touch on it before it bounced away to safety.

Three minutes later, Hendon's lead was doubled. Good play released Ball, who took the ball towards the goal-line wide of the six yard box. Pierson came off his line but Ball rolled the ball past the goalkeeper and despite the absurdly acute angle, it kissed the far post and rolled into the net.

Dave Diedhiou should have made it 3-0 in the 54th minute but he was wide with a free header. The Terrors were being overrun as Michael Corcoran, Ball, Diedhiou and Nathaniel-George dominated the midfield and Rian Bray, Eggleton, Lee and Sprague all made runs from the defence and only goalscorer Lee didn't have a shot at goal, though none were on target.

Tooting sent on Daniel Clements for Sandy Cunningham, but his partnership with Folkes didn't gel because the former had rather run out of gas. More importantly, the change reduced the defensive numbers Tooting had on offer and that was where they needed bolstering.

In the 62nd minute, the defensive frailties were, once again, shown up. No one came to close down Nathaniel-George and he fired powerfully at goal.

Pierson made another excellent save, but Joseph instantly smacked the rebound into the roof of the net. He had reacted far more quickly than any of the Terrors' defenders.

Within a couple of minutes of the restart, the Greens made their first two changes, Corcoran and Nathaniel-George being replaced by Cole and Walker. It did not take long for Walker to make an impact.

Tooting made a hash of playing the ball out of defence and the ball came to Muir, who had a possible shooting chance. He heard Walker calling for the ball and when it came to him, the substitute fired past the hopelessly exposed Pierson.

Hendon had a good half-dozen opportunities to extend their lead, but failed to take them. It may have been a greedy thought, but three more goals would have put the Greens on top of the Bostik League Premier Division table, albeit on goal difference, although Billericay Town - next weekend's opponents - do have two games in hand.

The last substitutions came for the final 15 minutes of normal time, Kezie Ibe taking over from Muir and Tooting replacing Wedgeworth and Folkes with Michael Dixon and Elijah Simpson. With eight minutes to go, the Terrors finally created a chance from open play, but Lovelock did well to save an effort from Daniel Clements.

Normal service was quickly resumed and Hendon could have added two more goals to their total in the final few minutes. Ball, who had gone close twice in the first half before scoring the second of the afternoon, then saw a 25-yard drive beat Pierson all ends up, but the ball crashed against the crossbar.

Then Walker came close to scoring his second of the afternoon but Pierson made his seventh good save of the afternoon to deny him.

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


The matchballs were sponsored by David Coote
The match programme was sponsored by Chris Harte

Match Highlights


Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Tom Lovelock  
2 Jake Eggleton  
3 Oliver Sprague  
4 Michael Corcoran  
5 Rian Bray  
6 Arthur Lee  
7 Matt Ball  
8 Dave Diedhiou  
9 Zak Joseph  
10 Niko Muir  
11 Ashley Nathaniel-George  
12 Keagan Cole for 4 , 64
13 Sam Murphy  
14 Josh Walker for 11 , 64
15 Kezie Ibe for 10 , 74
17 Leo Pedro  

Tooting & Mitcham United

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Matte Pierson  
2 Sol Patterson-Bohner  
3 Peter Wedgeworth  
4 Eddie Dines  
5 Callum McNaughton  
6 Quincy Rowe  
7 Danny Bassett s/o, 28
8 Chace O'Neill  
9 Omar Folkes  
10 Billy Dunn  
11 Sandy Cunningham  
12 Dan Clements for 11 , 54
14 Dominic Morgan-Griffiths  
16 Nathan Corkery for 3 , 75
17 Mike Dixon for 9 , 75
18 Elijah Simpson