Match Report

Leiston
0-1
Hendon
J Connors
Match details
Competition: Isthmian League Premier Division
Date: Thursday 18 April 2013
Attendance: 152

Hendon's amazing away run, dating back to the week before Christmas, continued at Victory Road on Thursday night when Jack Connors' second goal for the club was enough to bring the Greens three more away points. In their last 11 away Ryman League Premier Division fixtures, Hendon have won 10 and drawn the other, and they are now just four points outside the playoffs.

The return of Darren Currie was a big boost for Hendon and he came in for Warren Goodhind, while Berkley Laurencin replaced Sean Thomas in goal and Dean Cracknell returned, at the expense of Howard Hall. It was a momentous night for Kevin Maclaren, making his 200th appearance for Hendon, while his brother Casey moved onto 199 and Dave Diedhiou to 151.

For the first few minutes, as is their wont at home, Leiston pressed hard. However, instead getting up close and personal with the Hendon defence, Leiston were content to take aim from long-range and try their luck with pot-shots. It was a tactic that did not work and, by the midway point in the first half, Hendon had achieved a degree of comfort.

The Blues could not cope with Currie, who teased and tormented them whenever he got the ball. In the 27th minute, a beautifully struck free-kick picked out Diedhiou, who took a touch and was shut down by Remi Matthews in the Leiston goal. If the midfielder had struck the ball first time, he would probably have scored.

Two minutes later, Currie was scythed down just outside the penalty area, earning his assailant a yellow card. Currie's revenge was a free-kick that beat Matthews all ends up, but cannoned off a post and Leiston escaped.

Leiston's best chance of the match came in the one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half. A through ball fell perfectly for Nathan Stone, who had ghosted through the Hendon defence.

Much as with the chance that had fallen to Diedhiou earlier in the half, the chance went begging when Stone's control let him down and Laurencin, quickly off his line, was able to deal with the danger.

The second half was dominated by the Greens, at least in terms of possession. Diedhiou, filling in at right-back, Scott Cousins, Sam Flegg and Carl McCluskey, in the Hendon defence were barely troubled, while Laurencin - behind them - could count the number of touches he had on the fingers of one hand.

It should be said that Hendon hardly laid siege on the Leiston goal. All they did was keep possession with Currie, Cracknell and Lee O'Leary in imperious form. Isaiah Rankin, another expert at holding onto the ball, had replaced Casey Maclaren at the interval, so Leiston became rather frustrated at their lack of the ball.

The game's only goal, 25 minutes into the second half, was a bit special and deserved to win any game. It started with Darren Currie - who else? - and his crossfield ball was helped on first by O'Leary then with flick by Rankin. When the ball came to Cracknell, he lifted superb pass over the full-back, perfectly weighted into the path of Connors.

His first touch was excellent - as would be expected of a player who has just signed a one-year professional contract at Dagenham & Redbridge - and he set off towards goal.

Having made space for himself, Connors let fly with a rasping drive that left Matthews clutching at air as the ball flew into the net. His celebrations matched the quality of the strike.

From then on, Hendon were content to pass the ball around, while Leiston chased shadows. Neither goalkeeper was forced to work particularly hard in the final 20 minutes, but the responsibility was Leiston's to get back into the match - a task made all the harder when they didn't see the ball for minutes on end.

Such was Hendon's comfort with their position that they were able to make two changes in the final ten minutes. First Goodhind replaced O'Leary, clearly a defensive move. Then there was an interchange made in Victoria Road as Dagenham & Redbridge first-team coach Currie was replaced was by Daggers Under-18s player Rouchy Efambe as the Greens saw the game out to the final whistle.

"I am really pleased with the performance. The boys put in a great a shift," said a delighted Gary McCann.

"In the first 15-20 minutes both teams looked jaded, not surprisingly really, and they tried their luck from long range without really hurting us.

"After that I thought we took control and were very comfortable. Everyone worked very hard for each other."

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

Leiston

Squad unknown

Hendon

Away Squad
Shirt Player Info
1 Berkley Laurencin  
2 Dave Diedhiou  
3 Scott Cousins  
4 Sam Flegg  
5 Carl McCluskey  
6 Kevin Maclaren  
7 Dean Cracknell  
8 Lee O'Leary  
9 Casey Maclaren  
10 Darren Currie  
11 Jack Connors  
12 Warren Goodhind for 8 , 82
13 Isaiah Rankin for 9 , 46
14 Max McCann  
15 Rouchy Efambe for 10 , 88
17 Junior Lewis