Match Report

Croydon
1-3
Hendon
J Grant
J Morias, R Efambe, L Angol
Match details
Competition: London Senior Cup
Date: Wednesday 30 January 2013
Attendance: 73

Hendon were given a fright by a battling Croydon but were able to make a winning start to their defence of the London Senior Cup at the Arena on Wednesday night. Notably, three different players - all teenagers and all on their Hendon debuts - scored the goals in a 3-1 victory that sets up a quarter-final tie at Wingate & Finchley on 12 February 2013.

It was a much-changed line-up that took the field, with only Howard Hall, Scott Cousins, Elliott Brathwaite, Kevin Maclaren and Dean Cracknell having appeared over the previous two months. Sam Flegg, Junior Morias and Lee Angol were all in the starting eleven, while Rouchy Efambe was on the bench, joined by Berkley Laurencin (Sean Thomas was between the sticks), Casey Maclaren, Junior Lewis and Jack Connors.

Kicking into the teeth of a fearsome wind - which admittedly had helped to dry out the pitch - Hendon's unease in front of their own goal could and probably should have been punished in the opening quarter of an hour. In the seventh minute, Thomas was grateful to watch a powerful header from eight yards out fly just over the crossbar.

The lack of marking should have been a warning, but it went unheeded to the orange=clad Dons' cost late in the game. Thomas then made a smart low save from a shot struck venomously from the edge of the penalty area and was very smartly off his line to deny Cavell Poleon after he had capitalised on Howard Hall's momentary lapse.

Further raids from the Trams resulted in a couple of shots flying over the crossbar and another which required little effort from Thomas to keep out. But, when Hendon did break forward Sean Sonner and Junior Morias, especially, had Croydon defenders on tenterhooks.

Morias was responsible for the opening goal, after 27 minutes, working hard to dispossess Jordan Binns, then getting past him to bring the ball into the penalty area. Binns stuck out a leg and brought down the young striker a yard inside the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

He may be only 17, but Morias was happy to take on the responsibility from 12 yards and his spot-kick comfortably beat John Odlum on its way into the bottom corner. This goal knocked the confidence of Croydon and they resorted to a more defensive stance before the interval, though Hendon didn't capitalise.

At the start of the second half, Hendon should have put the game away. Inside five minutes, they had three very good appeals for penalties. Unfortunately, none received the sanction the Dons felt appropriate.

Odlum made a couple of good saves, but, all to often, Hendon were guilty of over-elaboration or taking the wrong option in promising attacking positions. In the first 20 minutes of the period the Trams replaced both Claudio de Almeida and Josh Cover, Tom Pratt and Taylor Smith coming on.

Hendon's response was send on Efambe, Casey Maclaren and Connors, with Diedhiou, Flegg and the tiring Morias making way for them. Long-time Hendon fans have seen this scenario all too often - holding a narrow lead, failing to extend it and then conceding a late equaliser - and it again came to pass.

Hall's perfectly executed tackle took the ball away from Smith, at the expense of a corner with three minutes of normal time to go. The ball was floated into the penalty area and no defender moved as Jensen Grant powered a header into the Hendon net from the edge of the six-yard box.

With no extra-time in the London Senior Cup until the semi-final stage, a penalty shoot-out loomed, but the Greens regained the lead. After forcing a throw-in near to the Croydon right-side corner, a quick ball into the box was met by Efambe, and he restored Hendon's advantage without fuss.

Croydon were, once again, forced to chase the game, but now they had little time to do so. And Hendon made the game safe after catching a fortunate break.

In making a tackle right at the start of the second half Mark Cook picked up an injury, which left him hobbled. The Trams' bench decided not to replace him and when he went down again in the opening seconds of added time, the referee let play continue.

With Croydon players expecting play to stop for treatment - though it was clearly not a head injury - Hendon attacked down the left side. The ball was played into the danger area, Connors got around Binns, drew Odlum - who had also picked up a knock - and rolled the ball into the path of Angol, who swept the ball into the net from 10 yards out.

Before play could resume, Cook limped off, but it was far too late for Alfred Kelvin to make an impact and after a brief period of added time, the referee blew time on this cup tie.

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

Croydon

Home Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 John Odlum  
2 Jordan Binns  
3 Keimon Robinson  
4 Karl Doughlin  
6 Jason Thompson  
7 Ryan Fowler  
8 Jensen Grant  
9 Cavell Poleon  
10 Claudio de Alemida  
11 Josh Cover  
17 Mark Cook  
1 Francis Ameyaw  
12 Tom Pratt for 10 , 55
14 Oliver Hunt  
15 Alfred Kelvin for 17 , 90
16 Taylor Smith for 11 , 64

Hendon

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Sean Thomas  
2 Howard Hall  
3 Scott Cousins  
4 Sam Flegg  
5 Elliott Brathwaite  
6 Kevin Maclaren  
7 Dean Cracknell  
8 Dave Diedhiou  
9 Sean Sonner  
10 Lee Angol  
11 Junior Morias  
12 Jack Connors for 11 , 77
13 Rouchy Efambe for 8 , 69
14 Casey Maclaren for 4 , 73
15 Junior Lewis  
16 Berkley Laurencin