Match Report

P Sales, A Forbes 4, R Ashford, D Smith
E Ofori
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 08 January 2005
Attendance: 362

Hendon suffered their biggest defeat for half a dozen seasons and their most embarrassing one for significantly longer as they capitulated against an efficient Eastleigh team at Sparshatts Stadium on Saturday. It is 15 years since the Greens conceded seven in a fixture and, if the truth be told, Hendon were lucky it was as few as seven.

Sean Hillier, a youngster in his third year at Brentford, got the starting nod ahead Danny Blanchett in an otherwise unchanged line-up from the one that began the New Year with a victory at Dover. On the bench, Rene Street, Richard McDonagh and Mark Burgess returned, but the paucity of strikers was not addressed, with Eugene Ofori playing alone up front, albeit with Mark Nicholls just behind him.

The scoring opened in the ninth minute. A right wing corner should have been gathered by Dave King, who called for the ball, but Danny Butler got in his way and headed the ball to Sales, eight yards out. SALES needed no second bidding to slot the ball into the net to give Eastleigh the lead.

Hendon drew level after 25 minutes. Veteran former Southampton defender Mark Blake, signed to add stability to the Eastleigh rearguard, headed the ball past Wayne Shaw, who had called for the ball. The goalkeeper turned round and just got his hand to the ball before Ofori, pushing it against the post. OFORI was quicker to react to the rebound, and he hooked the ball into the net.

Hendon needed to play sensibly until half-time, hold the ball in midfield, defend as a unit and generally frustrate their dominant hosts. Instead, on the half-hour mark, James Burgess dived in for a challenge on Danny Smith. When the free-kick was curled in, nobody was within six yards of Forbes in the middle of the penalty area. FORBES had time to bring the ball under control, turn and pick his spot to restore the Eastleigh lead.

The remainder of the first half was a matter of how many more Eastleigh would get. Amazingly, the answer was none, although King must have thought he was the target in a shooting range. Efforts came at him from all angles, although few lacked both venom and direction, so he was able to keep them out. In the last seconds of the half, he was very fortunate when a Sales header bounced off the inside of a post and rebounded into King's arms.

Whatever Gary Farrell said at half-time was pretty much ignored, or so it appeared. In the 49th minute, no defender tracked the run of Ryan ASHFORD towards the six-yard box as a free-kick came into penalty area and the full-back was able to half-volley the ball past the stranded King to make it 3-1.

Two minutes later, the defence was exposed again. King tried to force SMITH out wide, but the midfielder was able to squeeze the ball into the net from an absurdly acute angle. Within a couple of minutes, Blanchett had replaced the normally reliable Sargent.

The second substitution saw Mark Burgess replace Carter five minutes after the defence had again allowed FORBES the chance to get his second with a simple side-foot.

From then on, Eastleigh treated the game as little more than a training session, passing the ball around with complete comfort. Hendon's only on-target of the second half came from Julienne after 64 minutes, Shaw making a comfortable save low down by his right post. Four minutes later, Gary Meakin came on for Dave Nolan, even if it was far too late to affect the outcome.

Eastleigh's sixth and seventh goals were pretty much carbon copies of each other. A ball was played down the middle for FORBES to run onto, unchallenged. On both occasions, the striker was too good for King and he netted his third and fourth goals of the afternoon.

A grim-faced Hendon boss Gary Farrell said, "I don't know where to start. The result was unacceptable in every way. Defensively we were absolutely appalling.

"Heads will roll after this. It is either the players' or mine and some people will say it should be mine and I quite understand that."

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


Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Wayne Shaw  
2 Adam James  
3 Ryan Ashford  
4 Martin Thomas  
5 Mark Blake  
6 Lee Bright  
7 Danny Smith  
8 Tyrone Bowers  
9 Paul Sales  
10 Andy Forbes  
11 Christer Warren  
12 Sam Wyeth  
14 James Stokoe for 9 , 73
15 David Hughes for 8 , 63
16 Chris Collins for 5 , 73
17 Lee Webber  


Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Dave King  
2 Dave Nolan  
3 Dave Sargent  
4 Wayne Carter  
5 Jason O'Connor  
6 Danny Butler  
7 James Burgess  
8 Eugene Ofori  
9 Sean Hillier  
10 Mark Nicholls  
11 Danny Julienne  
12 Mark Burgess for 4 , 63
14 Gary Meakin for 2 , 68
15 Richard McDonagh  
16 Danny Blanchett for 3 , 54
17 Rene Street