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The Frank Murpjhy era at Hendon was epitomised by fine cup runs and great success in knock-out competitions. This Puma Cup victory was, apart from the one at Leyton Orient, probably the best win of his reign, because Basingstoke, the only team who could match the Greens in terms of recent form, were blown away. To give an indication of what a good team performance it was can be seen by the fact that only Simon Clarke and Steve Heard did not score or assist directly with any of the four goals.
Basingstoke opened the scoring after 14 minutes with a header from Ian Mancey at the far post from a cross by Richard Skelly. The goal knocked back Hendon's confidence for a brief while and Basingstoke looked likely to add to their advantage in the opening 30 minutes. Gary McCann, however, was in fine form and he made a couple of good saves. As the half came to an end, the balance of power shifted the Greens' way and, even without the ineligible Paul Whitmarsh, they looked more likely to score.
Tony Kelly put a header from a corner just wide and Steve Bateman blazed over from 12 yards. Junior Lewis could have scored a couple of times, Dean Beale making one good save while he was inches away from connecting with a diagonal ball from Freddie Hyatt which almost shaved the far post.
Six minutes into the second half, the Basingstoke defence had another let-off as Steve Bateman saw his goal-bound header cleared of the line with the now shaky Beale beaten. It delayed the inevitable for about five minutes. Hendon were awarded a free-kick a couple of yards inside their own half. With defenders committed to attack, McCann took the free-kick and sent the ball into the penalty area, where Bateman won a header and set up Tony Kelly, who finished in clinical fashion.
After 57 minutes, Heard was fouled 15 yards outside the Basingstoke penalty area, near to the touchline. Hyatt took the free-kick and Matt Howard headed on the ball. This time it was Lewis who timed his run to perfection and he slotted the ball home.
Basingstoke were struggling to withstand Hendon's attack. A succession of corners and free-kicks were repelled. In the 70th minute, Hyatt curled in a corner and Curtis Warmington stormed into the penalty area and smashed a header past Beale.
With eight minutes left, Hendon finally scored from open play. Paul Kelly threaded a pass between two Basingstoke defenders into the path of Micky Banton. He controlled the ball, looked up, lobbed the ball over Beale and celebrated with the fans.
After a second half performance like that, there was much to celebrate. As skipper Steve Bateman said, "We showed strong discipline in battling away after falling behind to an early goal. We kept on playing football and 4-1 reflected our superiority."