Hendon and Yeading played out a match that could only be called a friendly in that there were neither points nor cup advancement. Proof of the nastiness is best summed up by the fact that both goals came from penalties and the referee invoked a "sin bin" (or enforced substitution practice rather than administering cautions) six times.
Hendon played a new goalkeeper in the game. Former Harrow Borough No. 1 Dave Hook played the full 90 minutes while Gary McCann watched from the sidelines. McCann is still rehabilitating his knee following off-season surgery.
Other new players who appeared in the game against Yeading was midfielder Lee O'Donnell, full-back/midfielder Dexley Fidyk (ex Gravesend & Northfleet) and striker Eugene Ofori (Ghana Under-21, Liberty Professionals and a Watford triallist).
Yeading started well and had two good chances in the opening 15 minutes. However, both Matt Miller and Errol Telemaque missed badly when new Hendon goalkeeper, David Hook (from Harrow Borough) should have at least been forced to make a save.
The first opening for Hendon led to the opening goal. Ricci Crace got the better of Marvin Walker by the corner flag and delivered a teasing cross. Davis Haule got in front of Nev Seroyal but before he could do anything with the ball, Haule was rather needlessly pushed over.
Mr C Turner (Middlesex) waited a moment or two to see if there was an advantage and when none was forthcoming, he awarded a penalty. HAULE picked himself up and struck the spot-kick confidently past Keita Karamoko.
Within a minute, Lee Wright became the first player to be forcibly substituted. He passed a comment to the match officials and Mr Turner was quick to stamp down on dissent.
Karamoko, a long-time Wembley keeper who also represented the African nation Mali, was responsible for Hendon's next opening. He came off his line quickly, but fumbled the ball as he rolled towards the edge of the penalty area. Assistant referee Mr N Ilott spotted the ball being dragged back from outside the penalty area and duly flagged.
By the letter of the law, this was a red-card offence, but Karamoko had absolutely no idea of his bearings and Mr Turner's decision not to even speak to Karamoko was the corect one. Simon Clarke curled the free-kick over the wall, but Karamoko was equal to it, producing an acrobatic save.
On the stroke of half-time, Gary Fitzgerald was forcibly substituted for a foul when he came in hard as Crace and Bobby Brasade had involved themselves in a rather nasty skirmish, but Crace's swinging foot went completely unpunished.
Moments after the interval, Otis Hutchins proved that he had learned nothing from the first half as he said something to Mr Turner. He was duly despatched to the dugout and then within a minute, Yeading had drawn level in bizarre circumstances.
A throw-in 10 yards from the Hendon goal-line was taken by a Yeading player who clearly had one foot in the air. Assistant referee Mr A Porter immediately flagged for a foul throw. Mr Turner awarded a penalty for an offence inside the box. As Hendon defenders looked on bemused, Jason TUCKER sent Hook the wrong way.
In the 54th minute, a corner from Paul Johnson was met by a powerful header from Chris Sparks but he was crestfallen to see the ball beat the out-of-position Karamoko, but it cannoned off the crossbar and was hacked away to safety.
In the 60th minute, triallist Lee O'Donnell became the second Hendon man to be replaced, again for a foul. Yeading had their third player sin-binned in the 75th-minute, another harsh decision given that his challenge slightly mistimed rather than malicious.
With 8 minutes to go, Hendon were awarded a free-kick 6 yards from the Yeading penalty area. Former Portuguese World Youth Cup winner Gil Gomes lined up the free-kick and almost nonchalantly flicked the ball over and around the wall. Karamoko saw it late and slid across his goal to kick the ball clear inches from the post.