Match Report

B Bricknell
W O'Sullivan 4, L Guentchev 2, S Collins, B Haule, J Busby 2, I Dimitrov
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 15 December 2007
Attendance: 78

Hendon produced their biggest ever victory since joining the Isthmian League 44 years ago - in fact it was one day after the 50th anniversary of the Green's last 10-goal winning margin - when they destroyed Leyton at the Leyton Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The 11-1 victory was remarkable in so many ways, no least because Leyton goalkeeper Sam Tanner was easily man of the match and he kept the score below 20.

With Marc Leach absent injured, Lubo Guentchev continued in the starting line-up otherwise unchanged from the goalless draw with Billericay. Luke Blackmore returned to the subs bench, alongside James Burgess, Daniel Dyer, Iavor Guentchev and Ivailo Dimitrov. Hendon named four teenagers in their starting 11, but that was almost half that of the home team, which had dispensed with the services of former Hendon player Roy Parkyn, then seen five senior players leave. In charge for the game was Rowly Cray, also the club's Vice-Chairman.

In the second minute, Wayne O'Sullivan had a clear run at goal, but his shot was saved by Tanner. Two minutes later, Scott Shulton fired wide from a good position and it was clear that Hendon had far too much fire power for the callow and under-manned home defence.

A shot from Sam Collins was superbly tipped over the bar and an effort from Brian Haule failed to find the target. All this and the game wasn't 15 minutes old. Visions of the frustrating 0-0 draw with Billericay a week earlier, when a similar flying start wasn't turned into victory, began to loom. But these were soon dispelled.

In the 23rd minute, Rakatahr Hudson lifted a ball to the right side of the Leyton defence as they opposite side was slow to move out. Clearly onside, O'Sullivan ran through and this time made no mistake slotting the ball past Tanner.

Leyton then enjoyed a spell of pressure as Hendon rather prematurely relaxed and Richard Wilmot had to extend himself a couple of times, snaring low crosses from Billy Hawes and Charlie Bull. He also saved well from Mark Gradosielski later in the half as Leyton showed that whatever frailties their defence may have had, going forward there was distinct menace.

In the 31st minute, Hendon again ripped apart the home defence and this time O'Sullivan rolled the ball into the path of Lubo Guentchev, who caressed the ball into the bottom corner, the ball barely leaving the grass on its way into the net.

Number three followed three minutes later, Haule and O'Sullivan again destroying the offside trap and O'Sullivan bagged his second of the afternoon.

In the 38th minute, O'Sullivan could have completed his hat-trick when he was clean through on goal. The ball, however, bobbled and the alert O'Sullivan changed his mind and tried to lift the ball over the onrushing Tanner. This lob didn�t have anything like the power to go into the net, but it did clear Tanner, who took down O'Sullivan as the forward ran towards the dropping ball.

With a penalty and red card for Tanner the only other option to allowing play to continue, the referee gave O'Sullivan a second - futile - chance to complete his hat-trick. He did make contact with the ball but the shot was blocked. It is hard to know just how many more goals Hendon might have scored if the referee had followed the letter of the law and awarded the penalty and sent off the heroic Tanner.

As it was three offside flags from the assistant referee stopped Haule and O'Sullivan from adding to Leyton's first-half misery.

Hendon started the second half very sloppily. Wilmot did well to keep out and effort from Shaun Lee before a loss of possession on half-way and two badly missed tackles gave Leyton the chance to reduce the arrears when Billy Bricknell headed home a Gradosielski cross.

Leyton shouldn't have upset Hendon by scoring. The Greens took revenge by knocking in eight goals in the final 38 minutes as the contest deteriorated into a shambolic mismatch.

In the 52nd minute, a corner from Sam Collins was spilled over his own goalline by Tanner, who clawed the ball back into the field of play. Unfortunately it rolled into the path of Casey Maclaren, who returned it to the goal. As the assistant referee had raised his flag on the original fumble, the goal could only be given to Collins or Tanner. The goal has been awarded to Collins

Two more fine saves from Tanner meant that Hendon's fifth goal was still eight minutes away. O'Sullivan was released by Jamie Busby and his drive was just too powerful for Tanner to keep out.

O'Sullivan's joy at completing a hat-trick, three days after celebrating his 23rd birthday, was only surpassed by his pleasure at making it a four-timer.

This came in the 60th minute, again after O'Sullivan had beaten the offside trap, but this time he needed the inside of the post to turn the ball over the line.

His last act of the game came a minute later, this time as a provider for Haule, who had done an incredible amount of work in setting up chances for those around him. In the 61st minute O'Sullivan rolled the ball across the six-yard line and Haule tapped home.

At 7-1, Hendon fans began chanting for a ninth goal. A few of them had very bad memories of an afternoon 18 years earlier when the then Leyton Wingate had crushed Hendon 9-1 at the same stadium - the Greens' worst result since a 10-1 hammering (as Golders Green by Southend United in the club's first ever FA Cup first round proper appearance in 1933).

On the bench the management team took advantage of the one-sidedness of the contest to remove the destroyers-in-chief, giving youth and experience its head. James Burgess - by six years the oldest available outfield player - replaced Shulton, raising the average age of the team by a whole year, 18-year-old Ivailo Dimitrov came on O'Sullivan and fellow 18-year-old and Bulgarian - Iavor Guentchev came on for Haule, returning the average age to barely 21.

After a 15-minute spell during which Tanner again distinguished himself with some magnificent stops and blocks, Hendon finished in some style, banging in four goals in five minutes.

First up was Lubo Guentchev, who again showed his fine technique in driving a ball through a crowd of players into the bottom corner.

Two minutes later, Busby drilled a shot into the bottom corner to make it 9-1. The clock read 87 minutes and 6 seconds, when the ball hit the net. At 87 minutes and 57 seconds, Busby did it again, completing a double in less than a minute.

Then, in the final minute, it was Dimitrov who joined Collins in netting his first senior goal for the club. Six years ago, however, Dimitrov had been in the Hendon youth set-up and he once trumped Busby's feat here, because he netted three times in a minute.

Final score: Leyton 1, Hendon 11, and the Greens were without four of their most experienced outfield players (Ben Hudell, Davis Haule, Belal Aiteouakrim and Marc Leach).

"I was very unhappy with the first-half performance," said manager Gary McCann. "I told the players they had to treat the game with respect. We knew we were facing a Leyton team in a bad position and going through difficult times, but we had to be professional.

"In the second half we showed a better attitude after we conceded and I am very pleased with the way that we finished. If it hadn't been for their goalkeeper, I don't know how many goals we would have scored."

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


Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Sam Tanner  
2 Des Thomas  
3 Aaron Ramos Gonzales  
4 Ben Gracey  
5 Jack Dallinder  
6 John Bricknell  
7 Billy Hawes  
8 Mark Gladosielski  
9 Billy Bricknell  
10 Shaun Lee  
11 Charlie Bull  
12 Kareem Imbert  
13 Jason Roberts  
14 Karl Blake  
15 Bradley Williams  
16 Roderick Osei-Owusu  


Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Richard Wilmot  
2 Sam Page  
3 Sam Collins  
4 Casey Maclaren  
5 James Parker  
6 Jamie Busby  
7 Lubomir Guentchev  
8 Rakatahr Hudson  
9 Brian Haule  
10 Scott Shulton  
11 Wayne O'Sullivan  
12 James Burgess for 10 , 66
14 Danny Dyer  
15 Iavor Guentchev for 9 , 84
16 Luke Blackmore  
17 Ivailo Dimitrov for 11 , 72