Hendon hosted Southern League Premier South compatriots, Walton & Hersham in the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy on Saturday last, 28th October at their excellent Silver Jubilee Park stadium and your roving team were there for the match, played on a gloomy but mainly dry afternoon.
Walton & Hersham, known as the Swans, are a club with an illustrious past, who are on the rise again, having climbed rapidly from non-league step 6 to step 3 through a series of promotions. They are currently among the challengers for the top spot in the SL Premier South league table. They reached this round of the FA Trophy with a 3-1 home victory over Canvey Island, in the 3rd qualifying round.
Hendon also registered a 3-1 home victory in their 3rd qualifying round tie, against AFC Sudbury. That game thankfully overcame a hoodoo for the Greens, being their first win in an FA Trophy tie since 2018.
The visitors had most of the possession in a relatively low key first half but were unable to breach the Hendon rearguard. The Greens, who did not have their first shot on target until the 42nd minute, went ahead on the stroke of halftime.
By contrast, the second half provided plenty of excitement, at both ends of the field. The substitutions made by both managers were a key factor contributing to this turn of events. Hendon doubled their lead, with a cracking goal midway through the half and despite exerting heavy pressure and experiencing some near misses, the Swans were not able to make an impression on this lead, until the closing seconds of the match.
Following a corner kick, Hendon’s Dan Matsuzaka directed the ball against the foot of the visitors’ post in the 2nd minute. Kai Brosnan made a good run but was robbed by a timely tackle.
Swans’ Jake Frailing released John Gilbert, with a through ball but the Greens’ keeper, Matt Kerbey left his area to save with his feet. Matt then had to vacate his box again, to foil John once more.
Matt Kerbey leaves his area to thwart John Gilbert
Stefen Ilic’s high cross shot flew past the Greens’ far post.
Visiting custodian, Tyla Dickinson, was tested in the 42nd minute by Joe White’s low drive.
Kai Brosnan picked up a through ball and ran through the Walton defence to open the scoring for Hendon, in the final minute of the first half.
Half-time score: Hendon 1 Walton & Hersham 0
Kai Brosnan (11) puts Hendon ahead
Matt Kerbey saved at Stefan Ilic’s feet.
A good move released Eddie Simon, who was thwarted by a low save by the advancing Matt Kerbey.
Matt Kerbey saves from Eddie Simon
Kai Brosnan had a good chance, after being put through by Niko Muir but his shot was saved by the diving Tyla Dickinson.
Kai and the newly introduced Hamza Semakula had chances but both shot wide of the Walton goal.
Matt Kerbey held onto Harry Mills’ cross shot. John Gilbert broke clear in the Hendon box but was halted by Dan Matsuzaka’s well-judged tackle.
Samuel Adenola scored a superb second goal for Hendon in the 65th minute. He picked up a cross-field pass from Blaise Riley-Snow, cut in and hit a rocket shot into the top right-hand corner of the net.
... and Hendon go 2-0 ahead
A freekick from just outside the penalty area, by Swans’ substitute, Stan Flaherty, bounced on the top of the home crossbar.
Stan Flaherty's free-kick bounces on the Hendon crossbar
Kai Brosnan made a penetrating run but his shot was blocked.
Stan Flaherty was fouled outside the Greens’ penalty area. He took the freekick himself and hit the woodwork again. This time he struck the keeper’s right-hand post.
Stan Flaherty hits the post with another free-kick
Stan released John Gilbert, whose ball across the Hendon box failed to attract a touch.
Blaise Riley-Snow worked an opening for Hendon substitute, Adam Laaref, who was causing Walton problems on the break. Tyla Dickinson saved Adam’s angled shot.
Matt Kerbey saved well at close range from John Gilbert in a goalmouth scramble.
Mitchal Gough, who had been outstanding in the Swans’ defence now joined the attack. His long ball across goal was scrambled for a corner and then he tested Matt Kerbey with a high shot.
Matt Kerbey saves from Mitchal Gough (out of picture)
Eddie Simon reduced the arrears for Walton & Hersham, from close range in the 6th minute of added time.
Result: Hendon 2 Walton & Hersham 1
Eddie Simon (9) pulls a goal back for Walton Hersham
: Matt Kerbey, Dave Diedhiou, Samuel Adenola, Blaise Riley-Snow, Dan Matsuzaka, Ethan Light, Luca Allinson (Hamza Semakula 58 min) , Billy Leonard (Florian Endouvou-Ada 90+1), Joe White (capt), Niko Muir and Kai Brosnan (Adam Laaref 78).
: Simeon Olarerin.
: Lee Allinson Assistant Manager: Marc Charles Coach: Caolan South
Walton & Hersham
: Tyla Dickinson, Harry Mills (Rylee Wright 72), Sam Tutt, Jake Frailing, Mitchal Gough, Joe Hicks (capt), Stefan Ilic (Stan Flaherty 62), Alex Kelly (Trae Cook-Appiah 66), Eddie Simon, Anis Nuur and John Gilbert.
: Arsen Vikat and Joe Pratley-Jones.
: Scott Harris Assistant Manager/Coach: Billy Rowley
: Thomas Hood Assistant Referees: Josh Burns and Robert Davies
Hendon will now play Eastbourne Borough, from the National League South, at home on Saturday, November 18th.
Unfortunately, the other Middlesex team playing in this round of the FA Trophy, Harrow Borough, were beaten 2-1 at Home by Beaconsfield Town.
Report: Jim Taylor.
Photos: Chris Benn.