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Hendon 1-0 Kingstonian

Following first round exits in Kingstonian's departure from and return to the Isthmian League, the latter stages of the competition in which the club fared so well in the mid-90's were on the horizon once more. Hendon, meanwhile, entered the quarter-final stages for the first time in over a decade. The sparse attendance, typical for a league cup fixture, was Hendon's largest in the competition this season and they were treated to a game providing immense value for money - pricing ignored and quality absent...

Without a game at the weekend, K's fielded almost the same side that started against Ash United in the Surrey Cup. The only changes Ronnie Green and Scott Steele dropping to the bench to allow Tim Sills and Grant Payne the first game of a highly anticipated striking partnership. Hendon's line-up was more varied compared with their previous outing, and included other former Woking players Rob Hollingdale and Rob Haworth.

The opening minutes saw Payne and Sills link up, only for the latter's clipped shot to be taken by home goalkeeper Gary McCann. Lance Key was tested early with a low header before Phil Wingfield got his head onto a Liam Collins cross ahead of marker Iain Duncan, only for his powering header to clear the crossbar.

Duncan, in an advanced right position, sent in a cross for Hendon that was intercepted by a James Pinnock header that flew towards his own goal and smashed back off the foot of the post and away to safety. Minutes later, and Lance Key's goal was under threat again as Steve Forbes worked a good opening for himself before sending in a shot that Key was able to gather without too much discomfort.

Payne and Sills continued to link up well with come excellent touches, though openings were becoming increasingly hard to come by. Sills sent a shot wide and Payne another over, whilst at the other end Key was now largely untroubled, with the wind taking hold of a number of shots and scattering balls around the outer perimeters of Claremont Road.

The second half opened brightly for K's, who seized the early initiative following a Liam Collins strike from the edge of the box spilled by McCann. With Tim Sills charging in to take advantage of the rebound, the Dons' goalkeeper was able to spread himself to get an excellent block to prevent an opening goal.

Sills was involved in what turned out to be K's only other serious attack from that point on when he flicked the ball out to Liam Collins, whose crossed took a slight deflection as it flew past just in front of Phil Wingfield at the far post.

With normal time coming to an end, former Kingstonian player - albeit very briefly - Lee Endserby put Ricci Crace through on goal but Key was able to charge the shot down, and the dangerous loose ball flew across goal before being hacked away to safety from the far post. Crace had another good chance at the death but this time elected to lift the ball over Key - and the crossbar.

So, the two hardest to beat sides in the league were once again unable to break eachother down. The game and it's wet blustery conditions moved into extra time - not a new concept to either side in this season's league cup, as multiple goals against Slough in the opening game for Kingstonian and Wingate & Finchley in the previous round for Hendon would show.

Momentum had been swinging in the home side's direction since the mid part of the second half, and in extra time Hendon took charge. Goalkeeper McCann was required to take a high ball under pressure from Wingfield, but would be required to do little more to collect his bonus.

Midway through the first period of additional time, Endersby took the ball in a central position and slotted it neatly into the path of Rob Haworth who struck the ball well on the turn low into the corner of the net for that much sought after goal.

With the goal scored, Hendon set about ensuring their passage into the semi-finals to meet Canvey Island by keeping the game under control. They did well, for K's were only able to fashion one further opening despite working hard. With the game almost finally over, Tim Sills stole the ball off a defender and set off on target. His shot, as with many throughout the evening, flew over and last spot in the final four was settled.

The wet blustery conditions made for a tough game, though both sides could be reasonably happy with their performances. Although short on chances, K's could have still come away with something on another day and can take heart with a busy though not overly packed fixture schedule, still including the chance of cup success too. The unfortunate incident to come from the game was Julian Sills' injury - unbeknown to all on the night, his meeting with the barriers has ended his impressive season early with a broken leg.

Tue 4th Mar 2003
Claremont Road
Isthmian League Cup Quarter final
1Lance Key
2Matt Bradford
3Bashiru Alimi
4Craig Lewington
5Matt Flitter
6Julian Sills14
7Liam Collins12
8James Pinnock
9Tim Sills
10Grant Payne
11Phil Wingfield15
12Ronnie Green7
13Adrian Jones
14Mark Jones6
15Scott Steele11
Man of the Match
Mark Jones
Mark Jones
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi