Under 18s News, 2016/2017

Wednesday 22 February - Hendon 5 Northwood 0

Hendon U18s held onto second place in the Ryman League (West) after a comprehensive five nil win over neighbours Northwood FC. This was a much changed and much improved Northwood from the side that the young 'dons' beat with ease back in December. Great credit must go to their coaches and players for keeping their campaign alive after some heavy defeats. And credit must go to the young 'dons' for dealing with the psychological challenge of a seemingly easy game. In addition, they had to cope without regular striker and top scorer, Mickey White (injured), full-back Ben Grey (suspended), and dominant centre-half Ollie O'Sahon-Lubel (unavailable). With competition for places having grown over the past couple of months, their absence was ably covered by Nick Constantinou and Elwin Lartey in defence and first team regular Keagan Cole who showed some lovely skill and movement in the No. 10 role.

Bolstered by the recent signing of Lyes Titouah from last season's all-conquering Borehamwood FC u16 side the 'Woods' made a strong start and created first good chance of the game after ten minutes. Some good build up play set up a shot on the right-hand edge of the box but it went narrowly outside the far post.

Hendon's first goal came in the 17th minute when Malachy McGovern, who played centre-mid with Lyes on that same Borehamwood side, passed the ball up to Keagan Cole who showed some lovely touches to control the ball under pressure. He then laid off a well weighted pass for Malachy to drive across the keeper and give Hendon the lead. Northwood then enjoyed their best patch and got through on keeper Daniel Purdue two minutes later. Once again Daniel managed to spread himself and make a fantastic point blank save. Again, questions have to be asked as to why Daniel has to do this in every game!

As the half ended, Hendon started to get on top partly because Fabrice Mvemba was having a storming game as the holding mid-fielder while Keagan was also using his experience to hold possession and co-ordinate Hendon's attacking play. One of these attacks led to a free kick on the edge of the box. Malachy bent it neatly around the wall but the Northwood keeper made an excellent save. The next goal came indirectly from a Hendon corner which was poorly cleared. Perry Aitchison-Smith managed to get the ball under control but was taken down just as he was about to shoot. Malachy slotted the penalty home with confidence to make it 2-0 at half time.

Though Northwood continued to play well into the second half Keagan Cole began to demonstrate exactly why he is a regular member of Hendon's first team squad. He created Hendon's next goal when he beat two men inside the box before picking out Amar Chopra for the easiest of tap-ins. Nonetheless, an encouraging feature of the game from the Hendon perspective was the composed attacking play as players were willing to hold the ball in the Northwood half rather than resort to kick and rush. Both full-backs, Nick Constantinou and Sabin Meyzinen, contributed by making excellent overlapping runs down the flanks. This period of play led to several corners, one of which was met by a towering header by central defender Perry that gave the Northwood keeper no chance. Keagan was heavily involved in the next goal when he raced onto a lovely long ball from Malachy, took it to the end line and cross for Dorian to roll home for a fine team goal. In the end it was a comprehensive victory though Northwood deserve praise for making it a good match until the final ten minutes.

Team: Daniel Purdue, Sabin Meyzinen, Perry Aitchison-Smith, Elwin Lartey, Nick Constantinou, Nathan Mawer-Davis (Michael Copus), Malachy McGovern, Fabrice Mvemba, Keagan Cole, James Raptis (Nourdine Hmaimou), Amar Chopra (Dorian Jevdjic 60).

Report by Pat McGovern

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 08 February - Hendon 4 Camberley Town 1

The young 'Don's' continued their good run of home form with a hard-earned win over a Camberley Town side that were still in the game until the final ten minutes. That was largely because Hendon had failed to take a series of chances throughout much of the second half and then got caught by a fine goal that the pacey Camberley striker, Alex Penny, scored on the break. While this might have unsettled the newly assembled Hendon squad a few months ago they responded within a minute and then went on to add two further goals before the game ended. In the end it was a comfortable victory but only because of the maturity and determination of the response.

Though Hendon were bolstered by having regular first team player, Keagan Cole, in their line-up it was Camberley Town who started the game more strongly and had the better of the early exchanges. The centre-half pairing of Perry Aitchison-Smith and Ollie O'Sahon Lubel were very important for Hendon at this stage making a number of timely interceptions while showing they had the speed to stay with the Camberley attack. Sabin Meyzinen also looked comfortable at full-back and showed a refreshing willingness to pick passes rather than simply 'hit the channels'. As the half wore on Fabrice Mvemba and Malachy McGovern started to dominate the middle of the pitch and with James Raptis and Nathan Mawer-Davis having good games on the wing Hendon gradually took control of the game. Their first goal arrived just after the half hour when Malachy won possession in the middle and stroked an early ball to striker Mickey White who tore away from the defence and slotted into the far corner. Camberley tried to respond but the young 'Dons' were in control for the rest of the half with the team putting together some good passing sequences.

However, the second half started badly with Camberley winning a penalty inside two minutes. Suddenly, all the good work in getting on top of the opposition in the first half seemed wasted. Or so it seemed. Then keeper Daniel Purdue made a brilliant save down low to his right and the ball was cleared to safety. Having had an early scare Hendon then took the game to their opponents for the next thirty minutes and while they got into some good shooting positions they either shot directly at the keeper or wide. With danger men Keagan Cole and Mickey White being replaced because of fatigue (2nd match of the day) or injury, Hendon seemed less dangerous, which is why it looked all the more worrying when Camberley equalized against the run of play in the 82nd minute. But the young 'Don's' attacked straight from the kick-off and Ben Grey lifted a lovely ball over the Camberley defence for substitute Amar Chopra to control, step inside a defender and slot it calmly under the keeper to put Hendon back in charge. Moments later, the other substitute Dorian Jevdjic capped a fine cameo by tapping in from close range after a goalmouth scramble. Even though the result looked secure Hendon went on to win a corner in injury time though they sent only two players into the box. One was Malachy McGovern who headed in at the far post from an excellent in-swinging corner by James Raptis.

Overall, this was a fine squad performance with starters and subs all contributing to a valuable victory that keeps Hendon in contention at the top of the table.

Team: Daniel Purdue, Sabin Meyzinen, Perry Aitchison-Smith, Ollie O’Sahon-Lubel, Ben Gray, Nathan Mawer-Davis (Michael Copus 77), Malachy McGovern, Fabrice Mvemba, Keagan Cole (Dorian Jevdjic 60), James Raptis, Mickey White (Amar Chopra).

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 25 January - Hendon 3 Hampton & Richmond Borough 3

They say football can be a cruel game but this hardly does justice to how the Hendon players felt after the final whistle sounded on Wednesday night. "Gutted" was all manager John Creith could say when asked for a quote after the game. Having deservingly led for most of the game against the league leaders, Hendon conceded a soft equalizer deep into injury time. The Hampton & Richmond players celebrated as if they had won while the young 'Dons' left the field as if they had been beaten. That was a pity because they had put on the best display of the season against a team who had defeated them comprehensively back in December. Some of the improvement should probably be attributed to the growing competition for places in the starting eleven with the manager having made four changes from the previous game.

Though the game started quite evenly, Hampton & Richmond got on top after ten minutes when Hendon lost possession in the middle of the pitch and the ball was fed through their opponents' lively winger, Shadrak Malembe, who raced into the box before shooting home. The following 15 minutes was H&Rs best period as Harrison Livingstone, recently transferred from Hayes & Yeading, looking especially threatening. But that started to change when our hard running striker Mickey White was taken down while breaking into the penalty box. The penalty was smashed home with confidence. Hendon wrestled control of the game for the rest of the half with Dorian Jevdjic and Malachy McGovern both getting into good shooting positions but opted for power and blasted over the cross-bar. Malachy then had a fine header cleared off the line after sustained Hendon pressure resulted in a series of corners.

The 'Dons' started the second half in storming fashion and were 3-1 up within six minutes. Mickey picked up a knock-on from a goal kick to score his second while his third was made by a wonderful pass - a softly volleyed lob - over the last defender by Dorian. In contrast to recent games, Hendon refused to concede immediately after scoring, a sign of improving concentration. Instead, they set up a green wall and dared H&R to get through. When they did, keeper James Harpin pulled off two outstanding saves. At the other end, Dorian hammered a shot off the crossbar with the keeper well beaten. Then Hampton & Richmond got lucky in the 75th minute when a cross from the left hand side by Harrison Livingstone somehow looped over the Hendon keeper. Even so, Hendon still seemed to be in charge as players and subs showed a wonderful willingness to compete for the ball and then to play with composure.

Then, just as the jolly 'green army dads' were calling to the ref to blow for the end of the game H&R substitute Tyrae equalized with a hopeful shot from outside the box. Of course it's always easy to say that the keeper made a mistake when he misjudged it and that is the end of the story. But goals are often the result of more than one mistake. The midfield line had collapsed back to the edge of the box, possibly because of fatigue (four players were playing their second game of the day). Even so, the otherwise excellent defence should have told the midfield to push up out of shooting distance. And then somebody should have put a block on a shot taken from the middle of the 'D'. Yes, it’s a difficult lesson to swallow after an outstanding performance but that is the challenge to be met in order to become a really good side, which is what this young squad have the potential to do.

Team: James Harpin, Sabin Meyzinen (Elwin Lartey, 82) Perry Aitchison-Smith, Ollie O’Sahon-Lubel, Ben Gray, Nick Constantinou, Malachy McGovern, Fabrice Mvemba, (Luke Dyer 88), Dorian Jevdjic (Michael Copus 77), James Raptis, Mickey White (Nathan Mawer-Davis, 87).

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 18 January - Hendon 4 Ashford Town (Middlesex) 3

It shows how far this newly assembled team have come when they can take the field without their two regular centre-halves, play poorly, and still win the game. With Ashford having only ten players and Hendon taking an early lead through a terrific Mickey White free kick, it did look as if the young 'Dons' would proceed to play some of the incisive attacking play we have seen over the past few weeks. But as the late Johann Cruyff used to say, 'every advantage has its disadvantage' and so it proved for much of this game. Instead of increasing the tempo to take advantage of their numerical superiority, too many Hendon players used the space to take extra touches or else insisted on taking opponents on when passing options were available. While that might have been satisfying for the individual players it slowed the team down and allowed Ashford to keep their defensive shape for much of the game. Fortunately for Hendon, Malachy McGovern somehow managed to make his way up the field from central defence to get on the end of a cross by Nourdine Hmaimou and slot home the winner deep into injury time.

With the reliable pairing of Perry Smith-Aitchison and Ollie O'Sahon-Lubel missing through injury, Hendon lined up with regular midfield players, Malachy McGovern and Fabrice Mvemba in the centre of defence and Dorian Jevdjic and Amar Chopra taking their places in central midfield. The opening goal for Hendon came from a bad goal kick which Mickey White trapped but was taken down outside the 'D' as he was about to shoot. The same player powered the free-kick over the wall and the keeper was only able to palm it into his net. However, Hendon were unable to build on the lead and eventually Ashford broke down the pitch and scored with a fine chip from distance by Keegan Stewart. The game deteriorated somewhat after the goal and the only other chance came from Hendon corner when a powerful header by Malachy was cleared off the line by a covering defender.

The second half was much livelier as Hendon increased the tempo and began to stretch the stubborn Ashford Town defence. Even so, they were unable to create any openings. Just as frustration was starting to build, full-back Ben Gray took a pass in the final third and stepped forward to fire home from distance (and keep up his reputation for spectacular goals). But an old failing resurfaced, concentration levels went down and Hendon conceded almost immediately as Ashford made a rare counter-attack and Keegan Stewart scored with another fine chip from distance to bring Ashford level. Little of note happened until the 74th minute when good work down the left wing by one of Hendon's better performers, James Raptis, led to a free kick. The Ashford keeper managed to block the shot only for Malachy to score from the rebound with a left footed volley. Unfortunately, an old failing return and Hendon conceded yet again within a few minutes of going ahead. Some completely unnecessarily tackling led to a free kick for Ashford near the half way line. The ball was pumped high into the box and a defensive error gave Nathan Pooley and easy tap-in to bring Ashford level for the third time.

Though obviously demoralized, Hendon continued to take the game to their opponents but made little progress with rushed long balls over the top. As the game headed deep into injury time substitute Nourdine Hmaimou worked some magic down along the right touch line before pulling the ball back into the box for Malachy to grab his second goal of a frustrating night's football.

Team: Daniel Purdue, Ben Gray, Malachy McGovern, Fabrice Mvemba, Elwin Lartey, Nathan Mawer-Davis (Tareeq Mustafa 64), Amar Chropra (Nourdine Hmaimou 78), Michael Copus (Luke Dyer 88), Dorian Jevdjic, James Raptis, Mickey White.

Report by Pat McGovern

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 04 January - Hendon 6 Hayes & Yeading United 4

Hendon U18s have surely become the 'great entertainers' of the Ryman Youth League. The latest game brought ten goals, five shots off the woodwork, some terrific sequences of passing football and some defensive bloopers. To be fair, one of the reasons for the team's improved performance over the past few games has been a reduction in the blooper count. Hendon only committed one in this game and have keeper Daniel Purdue to thank for yet another point blank save that prevented an almost certain goal. Other highlights of the game included full-back Ben Gray's duel with Hayes & Yeading's highly regarded winger Lucas Sinclair, the midfield contest between Fabrice Mvemba and Emmanuel Katundu, the dynamic performance by Hendon's James Raptis in left midfield and, of course, Mickey White's latest hat-trick. Generally, this was a very satisfying result as the young 'Dons' put together their most consistent performance to date against a good Hayes & Yeading side.

Even though Hendon opened strongly they conceded after four minutes when Hayes & Yeading No. 9 scored despite claims of off-side. Hendon responded quickly with a very good team goal. Centre-half Perry Smith-Aitchison won the ball in defence and advanced quickly into midfield before releasing James Raptis down the left flank. James turned the full-back inside out before sending a cross to the back post where the Nathan Mawer-Davis used his height to head home over the keeper. Hendon were back in the game and showed this with some good pieces of football over the next twenty minutes. After smashing the woodwork a couple of times in the course of this period, Mickey White finally scored his first goal after receiving a neat pass to feet from James Raptis who had made another intelligent advance down the left. While Hendon were moving the ball intelligently and quickly it was H&Y who scored next after their talle centre back James Taylor broke up field to release Lucas Sinclair with a superb pass. Lucas held off Ben Gray before finishing clinically with a low shot into the far corner. Having equalized, H&Y put together some good moves that eventually saw Lucas Sinclair in the penalty box once again where he was taken down for a penalty. Emmanuel Katundu scored from the spot with confidence. Again, Hendon responded almost immediately. Fabrice Mvemba, who put together one of his best performances, won the ball in midfield, beat an opponent and passed to the ever willing James Raptis. Once again James got into position to send over a good cross which was met with a typical late run and thundering header from Malachy McGovern to leave it 3-3 at half time.

The second half started quite evenly with some good passing sequences from both sides. Eventually Hendon won a corner on the hour mark which appeared to be cleared only for Ben Gray to step up and score with a first time volley (Ben only seems to score spectacular goals). Hayes & Yeading would equalize once again before Mickey White turned the game decisively in 'the Dons' direction with two solo efforts. The first saw him take on and beat two defenders and the second was from the penalty spot after he was fouled following another mazy dribble. The final quarter saw Hendon sit deeper as McGovern dropped back to 'hold' midfield with Mvemba and the Hendon defended with willing running. Though the visitors pressed and pressed, it was Dorian Jevdjic, a Hendon substitute, who came closest to scoring showing fine technical ability to make space for a fine shot that went just over the bar.

Team: Daniel Purdue, Ben Gray, Perry Smith-Aitchison, Ollie O'Sahon-Lubel, Elwin Lartey, Nathan Mawer-Davis (Amar Chopra 75) Fabrice, Mvemba, Michael Copus, Dorian Jevdjic, Malachy McGovern, James Raptis, Mickey White (Nourdine Hmaimou 75) , Sub (unused): Baris Ucku.

Report by Pat McGovern

Posted at 22:00

Thursday 15 December - Northwood 1 Hendon 9

Hendon's attractive attacking style of play flourished as they put nine goals past a Northwood side that was simply unable to handle the pace, skill and unselfish passing of the away side. While Malachy McGovern (4) and Mickey White (3) deserve recognition for outstanding goal scoring, credit must be given to holding midfielder Fabrice Mvemba and the back four of Sabrin Meyzinen, Ollie O'Sahun-Lubel, Perry Smith-Aitchison, and Elwin Lartey for containing Northwood's pacey counter-attacks and launching their own attacks with some incisive passing.

The opening goal came after six minutes when Sabrin Meyzinen, who had an excellent debut at right back, picked out striker Mickey White who turned on the edge of the box before smashing a thunderous shot into the roof of the net. The game was quite even for the next ten minutes as both sides battled for the next goal. The next chance was created by Northwood who got through on keeper Daniel Purdue but he made a superb reflex save to keep Hendon ahead. Then, on twenty three minutes, a guided header from Malachy set Mickey off on a typical sprint through the middle before he slotted into the far corner.

Further Hendon pressure resulted in a corner and a failed clearance was picked up by Malachy who flicked the ball over one defender and dribbled past the second before slipping it in at the near post to put Hendon three up. Mickey White then rounded off his hat trick with one man attack that saw him go take on and go past two Northwood defenders finishing decisively.

The best goal from team play came early in the second half when Michael Corpus released Nick Constantinou down the right wing with a typically intelligent passy pass to set up a quick counter-attack. Nick took the ball on before crossing into the box for the in-rushing Malachy to volley home. Defender Ollie O'Sahun-Label got in on the act on the hour mark when he volleyed home a corner the reached him unmarked in the middle of the box.

James Raptis got a well deserved goal minutes later with the Hendon attack combining to put him though for a clinically taken goal. A loss of concentration in the Hendon defence gifted the next goal to Northwood who took advantage of a poor clearance from a ball over the top. Manager John Creith brought on a number of subs and changed the formation to keep his team in the ascendency. Malachy rounded off the goal-scoring with a stunning free kick from the corner of the box before yet another from a rebound off a clever chip shot by Nouradine Hmaimou

Aside from the three points, this was a valuable workout for still newly assembled Hendon squad that is showing real improvement as the season goes on.

Report by Pat McGovern

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 07 December - Hendon 1 Wealdstone 3

Hendon's recent good run in the Ryman Isthmian U18 league ended with a 3-1 home defeat to Wealdstone, a team that they beaten 4-3 in a dramatic match barely three weeks ago. In truth, the visitors were the better team on the night as they won more tackles, picked up more second phase ball, and did much more running to support each other off the ball. Hendon, by contrast, looked unusually lethargic.

However, the opening goal and the goal of the game was scored by Hendon striker, Mickey White, against the run of play. Receiving the ball way out the field, he flicked it through his legs to round the first defender, then ran past two more before shooting across the keeper for a brilliant solo goal. This gave his team mates an obvious lift and they finally started to show some of the passing football they had played over the past few weeks.

But it was Wealdstone who scored next. Their best player Dylan Hickman-Singh skipped inside the Hendon defence for a shot that was saved but broke kindly for an incoming attacker to make it 1-1 on the stroke of half time.

The second half started quite evenly until the turning point came in the 50th minute. A lucky deflection off a Wealdstone shot spun into the air and looped over the keeper to put Wealdstone ahead. They scored again three minutes later after Hendon's failure to clear a cross was hooked into the top of the net.

Showing some of the spirit from recent weeks, and aided by strong running substitutes of Tareeq Mustafa, Amar Chopra and Nourdine Hmaimou Hendon managed to create some good chances in the final quarter but just couldn't get the ball into the back of the net.

Report by Pat McGovern

Posted at 22:00

Wednesday 31 August - Hendon 3 Hayes & Yeading United 4

The under 18s played out an entertaining Lucas Fettes (Ryman League) Cup tie with Hayes & Yeading United at SJP this evening, but ended up losing 4-3.

It was the young Greens who almost drew first blood when an excellent ball from Keagan Cole fell into the path of Mickey White who finished clinically. Shortly afterwards Cole fired over the bar, and in the fifteenth minute White found the back of the net with a fine strike.

The scores were levelled in the 23rd minute when Malakey McGovern netted after the ball pinged around the Hendon penalty area, and ten minutes later the same player put the visitors ahead. On the stroke of half time Hayes midfielder Emmanuel Katundu, who was man of the match, hit the bar with a superb strike.

Within three minutes of the second half starting, Nathan Mawer-Davis put the Greens back on level terms after good work involving four players. The second half continued with the game being very open, and it was no surprise when more goals came along.

In the 71st minute, Javier Mato put Hayes back in front, and it looked like the visitors would hold on for the win, until White scored his second of the evening in the 87th minute as he capped off a very good run with the ball. However, within two minutes Hayes were back in front thanks to Harrison Lingstone.

But the young Greens refused to give up, and the final chance of the game fell to White, who took a free kick around 20 yards from goal and saw his effort fly narrowly wide of the goal.

Next up is an FA Youth Cup preliminary round tie against Tring Athletic next Wednesday at SJP, kick off 7:30pm.

Team : Daniel Purdue, Baris Ucku, Joshua Kennedy-Ball, William, Lahti, Ndue Telaj, Perry Smith-Aitchison, Nickolas Constantinou, Tareeq Mustafa, Mickey White, Keagan Cole, Nathan Mawer-Davis. Subs (all used) : Justin Wilson, Amar Chopra, Luke Dyer

Posted at 23:10

Wednesday 24 August - Hendon 1 Aldershot Town 3

Our under 18 side opened their campaign with a 3-1 defeat at home to Aldershot Town this evening at a wet Silver Jubilee Park.

The young Greens, who are virtually a brand new squad from last season put in a hard working performance, but were ultimately beaten by the better side. The only player in the side tonight that was with us last season was Keagan Cole.

The Shots took the lead in the 20th minute, doubling it fifteen minutes later, but shortly before half-time captain Mickey White was fouled in the box and he stepped up to convert the spot kick clinically.

The second half saw the Greens hold firm until ten minutes from time when Aldershot scored their third.

Whilst there is plenty of work to do with the new squad, manager John Creith will certainly have seen some very good signss that hopefully bode well for the future.

Team : Daniel Purdue, Justin Wilson, Joshua Kennedy-Bell, William Lahti, Ndue Telaj, Perry Smith-Aitchison, Nickolas Constantinou, Keagan Cole, Mickey White, Tareeq Mustafa, Makinwa Rahaman. Subs (both used) : Ethan Arthur, Jessie Nzamale.

Posted at 22:45

Saturday 13 August - Fixtures now online

The Under 18s full fixture list is now online on the website and can be found on the link below.

As previously advised, there are 10 teams in our division this season, and our opponents will be Aldershot Town, Ashford Town (Middlesex), Bedfont Sports, Camberley Town, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Hayes & Yeading United, Northwood, Staines Town and Wealdstone. The first game is on Wednesday 24th August when we host Aldershot Town.

All home games will be played at Silver Jubilee Park and will kick off at 7.30pm.

In the FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round we entertain Tring Athletic on Wednesday 7th September, whilst in the Ryman League Youth Cup, we entertain Hayes & Yeading United on Wednesday 31st August. We are awaiting the Middlesex County Youth Cup draw.

The under 18s are managed this season by John Creith, and he is busily putting together a squad ready for the new campaign.

Posted at 11:45