Match Report

Taunton Town
R Street, R Pickett 2
Match details
Competition: FA Trophy
Date: Saturday 27 November 2004
Attendance: 361

Hendon reached the FA Trophy Third Round with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Taunton Town at Wordsworth Drive on Saturday afternoon. In reaching the last 64, the Greens have overcome a pair of opponents (AFC Wimbledon were the others) they were expected to beat but both ties were definitely in the "banana-skin" category.

The Greens made a bold statement with their starting line-up in effectively a 4-1-2-3 formation: Ross Pickett and John Frendo joined Eugene Ofori up front with Danny Julienne and Mark Nicholls playing just behind them; Wayne Carter was in front of the back four of Dave Nolan, Rene Street, Danny Butler and Dave Sargent.

It nearly proved a disastrous move because in the opening minute a misplaced pass in midfield resulted in a short pass releasing Kain Bond, who had a clear run at goal. Dave King was quickly off his line and the big goalkeeper did just enough to deflect the shot inches wide of his left upright.

Sixty seconds later the attacking side of the formation showed its teeth as Julienne ran onto a short clearance and fired a 25-yard drive that flew a couple of feet past Kenny Griffiths right post with the goalkeeper a long way from the ball with his dive.

Chances continued to be created at both ends, with King making one good save to deny Simon Gale, while Griffiths stopped two efforts from Julienne, while a long-range drive from Carter didn't dip early enough to hit the target.

Neither team spent much time in possession in midfield and it made for pulsating entertainment for any neutrals in the crowd. Gradually Hendon began to take control and the most profitable route was down their right flank where Ofori had a field day against the veteran Grantley Dicks, brother of former West Ham and England man Julian.

The 38-year-old had a tough time, especially when Ofori was joined by one or two of Nicholls, Julienne and Nolan, because Taunton invariably failed to cover the spare man. Two Hendon attacks faltered as Frendo slipped when well placed, but when he kept his feet, he brought out the best in Griffiths, who sprawled to his left to keep out a powerful drive.

Hendon's breakthrough came in the 30th minute. A corner from Sargent was knocked back to him and this time he aimed for the far post. The ball was overhit but Butler was quickest to react. The centre-back was quickly closed down but he was still able to drive in a cross. Four players, plus Griffiths went for the ball, without getting a touch, but STREET showed them how it should be done, volleying into the roof of the net from three yards out.

A mixture of fortunate defending, rushed shots and misplaced final balls ensured the first half ended with Hendon holding only the narrowest of advantages. Their profligacy could have come back to haunt them in the second half, especially as Gary Meakin had replaced the goalscorer Street at the interval.

In the opening minute of the half, both Ofori and Frendo had a chance to extend the lead. Ofori could, maybe should, have shot at goal from 10 yards but instead fed Pickett, who was in space. His drive was blocked by Gary Fisher, who threw himself in front of the ball.

Taunton's certainly had the better of the third quarter of the game, but their approach play lacked a serious cutting edge and although King produced a couple of good saves, most of the goalkeeper's work was collecting overhit through balls or crosses that none of the home team were ever likely to reach.

Just after the hour mark, Taunton upped the stakes by removing striker Bond and defender Dean Stevens and bringing two fresh strikers in Luke Vinnicombe and Ben Camara. Before play could resume Hendon made their second change, Julienne - who had just been cautioned and was in danger of losing his cool - making way for Shayne Demetrious.

The move backfired on the home team in the 66th minute. Hendon launched a quick counter-attack that was came to nothing as Jason Heath tackled Sargent and knocked the ball into touch. Sargent took a quick throw-in to Ofori, who looked around him and saw no defender within five yards of him.

A quick ten-yard pass from Ofori found Pickett, even more isolated than Ofori, so he turned and looked at goal. Griffiths positioning had to be questionable because he got nowhere near PICKETT's well-placed and sweetly-struck 22-yard shot as it arrowed into the bottom corner.

If that wasn't the death-knell for Taunton's chances, the next dozen minutes ensured they would not be making a comeback. They had three reasonable openings, but only once was King called into serious action and the goalkeeper proved more than equal to a drive from Vinnicombe. Another big factor was the difference in the two teams' fitness levels and it was Hendon who were far the stronger, both physically and mentally.

In the 82nd minute, Dicks switched off for a moment as he received a short throw-in and Ofori took the ball off his toe. Ofori then did brilliantly not only to reach the ball before it sped over the goalline, but also to drive it across the face of goal, beyond Griffiths' dive. PICKETT lost his marker and, at full stretch, was able to divert the ball just inside the far post.

Hendon's fans, numbering well over 100, had been singing throughout most of the second half, spent the final dozen or so minutes celebrating what was a very good victory, the noise much appreciated by the management staff and players, who came round to the supporters on the final whistle.

Manager Gary Farrell said, "We changed our formation and it was adventurous, but our defence played well. We knew they had a weakness down their left side so we decided to attack them there and it worked. We took our goals really well. I just wish we could transfer our cup form to the League.

"The support was fantastic again. They really helped to raise the team."

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

Taunton Town

Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Kenny Griffiths  
2 Dean Stevens  
3 Grantley Dicks  
4 Gary Fisher  
5 Tommy Callinan  
6 Dale Peckham  
7 Jason Heath  
8 Jason Rees  
9 Kain Bond  
10 Simon Gale  
11 Antony Lynch  
12 Liam Moseley for 10 , 70
14 Ben Camara for 9 , 62
15 Luke Vinnicombe for 2 , 62
16 Russell Musker  
17 Dave Hogg  


Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Dave King  
2 Dave Nolan  
3 Dave Sargent  
4 Wayne Carter  
5 Rene Street  
6 Danny Butler  
7 John Frendo  
8 Eugene Ofori  
9 Ross Pickett  
10 Mark Nicholls  
11 Danny Julienne  
12 Shayne Demetrious for 10 , 62
14 Warren Clarke  
15 Gary Meakin for 5 , 46
17 Usif Bangura for 7 , 79
18 Chad Edwards