Match Report

Tonbridge Angels
4-1
Hendon
C Roser, A Hogg, T Dolby, L Piscina
D Hunt
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 28 August 2004
Attendance: 450

Hendon were left bemoaning their luck as a nightmare day at Tonbridge Angels ended in a 4-1 defeat on Saturday. It is said that what goes around comes around, and after Hendon's game at Harrow Borough four days earlier, that football homily was proved true at the first opportunity.

The closure of the Essex side, a contraflow on the western side and a 10-mile tailback from the Surrey-Kent border ensured that the M25 was truly the road from Hell. Hendon's coach only arrived at Longmead Stadium 20 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time.

Former Derby County, IR Reykjavik, Bangor (NI), Cobh Ramblers and Matlock Town defender Will Davies replaced Danny Butler while striker John Frendo returned from holiday to take the place of injured Richard McDonagh, allowing Dave Hunt to drop back into midfield.

Frendo's contribution was, however, desperately short. In the fifth minute, he appealed for a throw-in six yards from the Tonbridge goal-line. The referee correctly ruled that the ball had come off him but, before the ball could be thrown-in, the official had blown his whistle. Frendo was summoned to the referee and appeared to suggest to the official that he had been the victim of shirt-pulling. The referee produced a red card, having seen Frendo elbow his marker.

It took until the 19th minute for Tonbridge to turn their numerical advantage into a goal, Craig ROSER arriving unmarked at the far post to turn home a low driven diagonal cross.

Hendon were giving as good as they got, but Hunt didn't make the most of a chance that fell his way after 24 minutes and Wayne Carter wasted a superb opportunity to equalise when he had a free header from eight yards, but instead of opting for power his attempted glance went off his forehead, against his shoulder and wide of the far post.

It proved a critical miss because in the time added on for Frendo's dismissal - neither physio came on the field in the 90 minutes - a misplaced pass in midfield led to a Tonbridge break and Anthony HOGG converted it to give the Angels a two-goal lead at the interval.

In the 57th minute, Hendon players were incensed when a foul by Mark Burgess on Hambley that appeared to be outside the penalty area was ruled inside the box and Tonbridge player-manager Tony DOLBY blasted the spot-kick low inside the right post. This was probably comeuppance for the controversial penalty that went in Hendon's favour on Tuesday evening at Harrow.

This spurred Hendon into action and, two minutes later, a combination of Dolby and goalkeeper Jamie Turner kept out efforts from Davies, Nicholls and Eugene Ofori in a scrambled inside the Angels' six-yard box.

In the 63rd minute, a free-kick from Dave Sargent flew just in front of the onrushing Ofori and Davies and somehow went inches the wrong side of the far post. A touch from either player must have brought a goal.

The goal arrived in the 70th minute. Nicholls headed down a ball and it ricocheted towards HUNT, who whipped it into the net just as John Beales was about to clear it.

Two more half-chances came Hendon's way before, with ten minutes to go, Luke PISCINA, turned neatly inside the Hendon box, danced past Rene Street and fired a shot past Dave King.

With five minutes left, Nicholls obstructed Turner as the goalkeeper attempted to clear the ball downfield. The referee produced a yellow card and ran away. Nicholls walked off too, but was then astonished to see the referee showing him a red card.

Nolan asked the referee what had happened and the following conversation was reported: Nolan said, "I asked the referee, 'What happened?' He replied 'I think he spat at me.' I said, 'So you have sent him off for something you think happened. I didn't think that was in the rules.' Then the game continued."

Hendon boss Tony Choules was very disappointed. "I am sure that if we had 11 men on the pitch for the 90 minutes, we would have won," he said. "I couldn't believe it when John Frendo was sent off so early in the game. People have come a long way to watch a football match and it was ruined after five minutes.

"I must pay tribute to the Hendon fans. They were absolutely magnificent, despite everything that went on during the game, they gave us tremendous support."

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

Tonbridge Angels

Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Jamie Turner  
2 John Beales  
3 Craig Roser  
4 Tony Dolby  
5 Andy Larkin  
6 Patrick Blackman  
7 Sam Tydeman  
8 Jon Heath  
9 Luke Piscina  
10 Tim Hambley  
11 Anthony Hogg  
12 Kieron Wilson for 8 , 85
14 Joe Fuller for 10 , 88
15 Simon Stickney  
16 Tommy Fuller  
17 John Farley  

Hendon

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Dave King  
2 Dave Nolan  
3 Mark Burgess  
4 Wayne Carter  
5 Rene Street  
6 Will Davies  
7 Dave Hunt  
8 Eugene Ofori  
9 John Frendo s/o, 5
10 Mark Nicholls s/o, 85
11 Dave Sargent  
12 Usif Bangura  
14 James Burgess  
15 Danny Butler  
17 Martin Vrhovski for 7 , 78
18 Anthony Robinson