Hendon 3 Hanwell Town 3
London Senior Cup
Lost 6-5 on Pens
Meeting Bostik Premier Division side Hendon in a game that would have been postponed had it not been for Hendon having a artificial surfaced pitch, we gave a tremendous account of ourselves and could consider ourselves unfortunate to have been eliminated from the competition as we lost 6-5 in the penalty shoot out after the game had finished 3-3 in the ninety minutes.
With all of our three Wingate & Finchley loanees cup tied, our side showed several changes from that which had played against Bedford Town with Ray Duffy giving opportunities to squad players leaving Oliver Duffy, Charlie Mitchell and Joe Chandiram on the bench.
The game commenced at a fast and furious pace with Hendon more used to the playing surface being in the ascendancy but as early as the fifth minute we had an indication of what was to come as Mergin Qarri fizzed a low ball across the Hendon goalmouth and then the Hendon keeper Daniel Purdue made a decent save from Peter Dean's on target shot. However, it was Hendon who came closest to scoring when a corner from former Town player Zak Joseph found Keagen Cole who turned quickly and fired in a shot that went just over Sam's cross bar. Nick Turner then came to our rescue, clearing from the line after Joseph's shot had beaten Sam. However, in the twentieth minute the deadlock was ended when a clever chip by Hendon's Matt Ball found Joseph who clipped the ball past Sam from close range. Five minutes later we were two behind when Daniel Uchechi was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and for the second game in succession, Sam was beaten by a shot over our defensive wall, Joseph again being the scorer. An area of our game that our management team need to work on. Our response to these setbacks was excellent as we took the game to our opponents with Purdue saving well from Simon Corcoran's header and then Alfie Cain shooting straight at the keeper from a deep position. Just before the interval Eddie Corcoran injured his leg on the surface and was substituted by Charlie Mitchell. The half finished with Sam Pekun playing the ball into the path of Simon who turned it back into the path of Georges Ehui, but Georges's shot was high over the bar.
Seven minutes into the second half we had pulled a goal back when Mergin Qarri who was causing all sorts of problems to the Hendon defence picked up a loose ball some thirty yards from goal and then moving forward unleashed a fierce drive that beat Purdue's despairing effort to turn the ball over the bar as it crashed into the net behind him.
Two minutes later we were level. Qarri now the provider not the scorer as his corner kick from the left to the far post was met by Nick who headed the ball back across Purdue into the far corner of the net.
Remarkably in another five minutes we were in front when some hesitation in the centre of the Hendon defence allowed Sam Pekun to nip through to prod the ball past the helpless Purdue, a goal celebrated by Sam with an elaborate somersault !!
Hendon were now under a lot of pressure and twice in quick succession, Mergin's in swinging corners from the left flank were just turned over the bar at the near post by Purdue. As the game progressed and with the minutes ticking away, Hendon used all three of their substitutes, Niko Muir, Ashley Nathanial-George and another former Town player David Diedhiou. Hendon were now in the ascendancy and Sam make a great save racing out to block substitute Muir's close range effort.
However, with just ten minutes remaining, a goalmouth scramble saw Calum Duffy trying to clear poke the ball into his own net to make the score three all.
At the other end, Mergin shot just over the bar from distance before we made our second substitution with Joe Chandiram coming on to replace the limping Mason Welch-Turner. We then had three corners in quick succession before in the final minute, an excellent Hendon move set up a great chance for Cole but with only Sam to beat he sent his shot wide of the far post much to our relief.
The final whistle blew and with no extra time we were into a penalty shoot out.
In repetitive fashion, the first eleven penalties were confidently dispatched with our successes coming from Peter Dean, Joe Chandiram, Calum Duffy, Mergin Qarri and Charlie Mitchell, before Purdue diving to his right saved Alfie Cain's shot to send Hendon through much to the home team's relief.
Side: Sam Bunting, Eddie Corcoran, Mason Welch-Turner, Nick Turner, Calum Duffy, Georges Ehui, Mergin Qarri, Alfie Cain, Peter Dean, Simon Corcoran and Sam Pekun. Substitutes used Charlie Mitchell for E Corcoran (43) and Joe Chandiram for M Welch-Turner (85). unused substitutes Oliver Duffy, Chris Mills and Ricky Pither.