Match Report

Canvey Island
D Cracknell
J Curran, B Woods-Garness
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Tuesday 08 January 2013
Attendance: 158

Hendon's three-match Ryman League Premier Division winning run came to an end as a tired-looking team were outplayed in the second half by Canvey Island at Vale Farm on Tuesday evening. Despite falling behind in the first half, the Greens were the better team for most of the period, but the same was not true after the interval.

There five changes to the starting line-up from Sunday, with Elliott Brathwaite, Belal Aite-Ouakrim and Lee O'Leary all dropping to the substitutes' bench, while Casey Maclaren and Isaiah Rankin had slight injuries and weren't risked on the difficult surface. Into the team came Ryan Wharton, Dave Diedhiou, Dean Cracknell, Julian Owusu and 18-year-old Dagenham & Redbridge work experience trainee Jack Connors. Also on the bench were newcomers Sam Flegg, from Thatcham Town, and striker Sean Sonner, from Slough Town.

For a dozen minutes, there was little to choose between the two teams, but the Gulls did enjoy some success down the flanks. And it was from this source that they broke the deadlock in the 14th minute. A deep cross from Harrison Chatting picked out the unmarked Jay Curran, beyond the far post and his looping header went over Berkley Laurencin before dropping just below the angle of post and crossbar.

Hendon's attempted response was quick and Owusu really should have done better after beating the Canvey offside trap. With only Ashlee Jones to beat, the striker shot tamely and straight at the goalkeeper, who made the save without too much difficulty.

Connors, linking with Darren Currie and Scott Cousins down the left side, began to get more involved in the game and an excellent pass from the youngster picked out Cracknell, whose shot was blocked, he believed, by hand of a yellow-shirted the defender. The referee ruled it was ball to hand and allowed play to continue.

Currie's slide-rule pass to Connors in the 31st minute, however, did bring a tangible reward. Connors scampered down the left wing, past Ashley Miller and drilled a low cross towards the edge of the penalty area. Cracknell again had the chance to shoot and this time, Jones and the defenders in front of him were helpless to stop the ball as it sped inside the net.

For the rest of the half, apart from one glaring miss by the Gulls' Dagenham loanee Louis Dennis, Hendon were on top. Two minutes after Cracknell's goal, Owusu came within centimetres of giving the Greens the lead.

Excellent approach play offered him the chance to shoot and his curling effort beat Jones all ends up. Had the goalkeeper dived to make a save the rebound off the inside of the far post may well have bounced off him and gone into the net; instead, the goalkeeper was grateful to watch the ball rebound directly into his arms.

Five minutes after the resumption, Hendon felt they should have had a penalty when, shielding the ball out of play for a goal kick, Ashley Dumas appeared to clip the heels of the green-shirted attacker in close attendance.

A catalogue of errors gifted Canvey Island what proved to be winning goal in the 53rd minute. First a pass from Howard Hall was too short for Wharton to clear easily, so he laid the ball errantly towards Cousins, whose only option was to go back to Laurencin.

Laurencin, put under pressure, elected to send the ball back to Cousins. His attempted clearance down the line was blocked by Curran and the ball went into the path of the unmarked Bradley Woods-Garness. The one-time Hendon loan player took the ball forward and fired it into the bottom corner.

Hendon's passing didn't improve and Laurencin, with the assistance of James Fisher, bailed out Hall after an awful pass gave Dennis an unchallenged run at goal. Laurencin slowed the ball down just enough to allow Fisher the chance to hack the ball to safety from almost on the goalline.

Things almost got much worse for Laurencin a few minutes later a long ball downfield released Woods-Garness again. Wharton was just close enough to the situation that, when Laurencin up-ended Woods-Garness, the referee had enough doubt to make the sanction a yellow card and not a red, though the official thought long and hard before deciding it hadn't ticked all of the boxes for it to be a dismissal.

There was another rejected penalty claim at the other end when, from a rare Hendon foray into the Gulls penalty area, the ball was stopped by Nicolas Bondon, who had slipped on the rain-dampened surface. Once again, there was no intent on the part of the defender, but he did stop the ball with both hands, almost on the penalty spot.

Aite-Ouakrim and Sonner replaced Owusu and Diedhiou for the final 20 minutes, but their best touches were a considerable distance from the Canvey penalty area and Jones had little to do.

The better chances still continued to go to the Gulls, but they didn't take the opportunities when they came. This resulted in an air of nervousness in their play and on more than one occasion a hurried clearance somehow found a yellow shirt and not a green one.

In the dying minutes, to run down the clock, Canvey made their three changes, both goalscorers and Dennis departing, though their potency was hardly diminished by the arrival and Danny Heale - Mitchell Gilbey and Robbie Blackwell were the other two subs. Hendon, meanwhile, sent on O'Leary for the last half-dozen minutes, Kevin Maclaren - after another high-effort performance - being the player sacrificed.

"We could ill-afford to play on as heavy a pitch as this one tonight," said Hendon manager Gary McCann, "especially just 48 hours after the game at Cray. I tried to freshen it up, but we had some very tired bodies out there.

"Our pass appreciation tonight was terrible and we put ourselves under much more pressure because of it, especially for the winning goal. It meant we were playing from behind in both halves and that was very difficult for us.

"However, I do believe that if we could have got ourselves in front, we would have gone on to win the game."

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


Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Berkley Laurencin  
2 Howard Hall  
3 Scott Cousins  
4 Ryan Wharton  
5 James Fisher  
6 Kevin Maclaren  
7 Dean Cracknell  
8 Dave Diedhiou  
9 Julian Owusu-Bekoe  
10 Darren Currie  
11 Jack Connors  
12 Lee O'Leary for 6 , 89
13 Sam Flegg  
14 Belal Aite-Ouakrim for 8 , 71
15 Elliott Brathwaite  
17 Sean Sonner for 9 , 71

Canvey Island

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Ashlee Jones  
2 Ashley Miller  
3 Ashley Dumas  
4 Rob King  
5 Nicolas Bondon  
6 Richard Orlu  
7 Jay Curran  
8 James Hawes  
9 Bradley Woods-Garness  
10 Louis Dennis  
11 Harrison Chatting  
12 Danny Heale for 9 , 90
14 Robbie Blackwell for 10 , 90
15 Mitchell Gilbey for 7 , 87
16 Craig Davidson  
17 Tommy Glanville