Hendon 2 Blues 1
Fifth successive defeat for the Blues as Hendon complete a League double
Leiston recorded their fifth successive defeat on Saturday after they were beaten 2-1 by Hendon writes Ollie Fairs. Matt Blake put the Blues ahead in the first half but two goals in seven minutes saw the home side run away with all three points. One notable change to Glen Drivers starting eleven was the inclusion of young goalkeeper Harry Lay-Fulcher who made his first team debut for the club.
Leiston made a positive start to what was a very high tempo game as they got the ball down and put together a string of nice passes. The Blues looked very dangerous on the counter attack and whenever they won the ball back they looked to break on the home side as soon as possible. The first goal of the game went to Leiston. Patrick Brothers picked up a loose Hendon pass in the midfield before sliding a pass through to Matt Blake who was then left one on one with the keeper and he calmly slotted the ball past Tom Lovelock at his near post to give Leiston the lead after 22 minutes. Hendon were still very much in the game however and had their fair share of the ball, but they failed to really test Harry Lay-Fulcher between the sticks as they had to settle for shots from distance or balls into the box that rarely led to anything. Leiston then had a chance to double their lead as they hit the home side on the counter once again. Some quick passing up the field saw the ball eventually make its way to Patrick Brothers on the left wing who had the time and the space to put the ball into the box. Gareth Heath made a strong run into the box and managed to steer his header towards goal but he was denied by an incredible reaction save from the Hendon keeper. However, just 4 minutes before the end of the first half Hendon drew themselves level once again. Some patient build up play around the box left Keagan Cole in plenty of space as he picked the ball up just inside the 18-yard area before curling his shot in at the far post.
Things went from bad to worse for Leiston as just three minutes into the second half they found themselves behind for the first time in the game. Hendon did well to keep the ball moving with some quick passing, allowing Reis Stanislaus to make a run into the box. His run was spotted by his teammate who laid the ball of to him and Stanislaus had the easy job of tapping the ball home from close range. The Blues seemed to respond well to going behind as they pushed forward to desperately find the equaliser and things seemed to get easier for them after 77 minutes when Arthur Lee was sent off for pulling back Joe Francis who was rushing towards goal. Leiston certainly did not have a problem creating chances in this game, it was finishing them that was the issue. Joe Francis was handed a golden opportunity as the keeper kicked the ball straight to him, allowing him to run at him one on one, but Lovelock atoned for his earlier error by producing a good save to deny Francis. Second half substitutes Byron Lawrence and Conor Hubble linked up well on several occasions during the final stages of the game. Twice Lawrence put dangerous balls into the box and both times it was Conor Hubble who was on the end of them, but both times he was denied by the keeper. With just seconds to go in the match a long ball over the top was completely misjudged by the Hendon defence and Matt Blake did well to get in behind them and on to the end of it, but the ball just wouldn’t sit nicely for him and his improvised finish was wide of the mark. Another disappointing result for the Blues as they created more than enough chances to get something out of the game, but too many missed chances cost them and saw them leave the Silver Jubilee Park empty handed.
FT - Hendon 2 Blues 1
Hendon - Lovelock, Hammond, Lee, Murphy, McLeod-Urquhart, Harper, Cole, Ball, Stanislaus (Diedhiou 87 mins), Ibe (Tingey 79 mins), Barrington (McGovern 90 mins). Subs not used - Charles and Rumens.
Blues - Lay-Fulcher, Brown, Dunbar (Hubble 68 mins), Ainsley, Jefford, Bullard, Brothers, Heath, Blake, Muir-Merchant (Lawrence 73 mins), Francis. Subs not used - Hutchings, Cole and Blades.
Man of the Match - Jack Ainsley
Attendance - 145