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Kingstonian 0-1 Hendon

With the season coming to an end, third-placed Hendon continued their busy end of season with a visit to Kingsmeadow looking to seal their best finish for almost three decades. Almost as busy, Kingstonian were playing their fourth game in little over a week, and changes were abound from the previous outing at Aylesbury.

Adrian Jones continued in goal for the injured Lance Key, Liam's Collins and Garman came into the starting line-up along with Matt Elverson, whilst Bashiru Alimi moved back into midfield. Scott Edgar and Phil Wingfield were added as attacking options, with a number of players rested with the following week's Surrey Cup final in mind.

Craig Lewington was the first to have an effort on goal, his lob well held by visiting goalkeeper Gavin McCann. Paul Yates nearly headed past his Hendon teammate minutes later following a Phil Wingfield cross. With openings at a premium, a Jon-Barrie Bates foul on the edge of the box allowed K's a set piece chance. Lewington, a somewhat unexpected taker, struck just past the target.

It was another cross from Wingfield that saw Hendon in trouble, though Yates' touch was a crucial one as Scott Edgar was about to tap the ball in.

Just after the half hour mark, a Dale Binns cross from the left was headed against the bar by the lively Eugene Ofori. Almost immediately at the other end, Phil Wingfield sent in a ball that was powerfully headed goal-bound by Scott Steele, only for McCann to produce an excellent save.

McCann was called into action again, this time parrying a long range shot driven in by Phil Wingfield. The 'keeper, commenting on the Hendon match report, said that it "moved more in the air than any shot I have had to deal with."

It was, however, Adrian Jones who was the busier 'keeper as the half came to an end. A deflected Paul Towler effort was turned past the post by Jones before the 'keeper dealt with strikes from both Dale Binns and Ricci Crace.

K's started the second half with some good possession, though there was a lack of penetration and it was Hendon who were the side making the clearer chances. Ofori had a long-range strike tipped around the frame of the goal by Jones and Bates saw his looping shot hit the crossbar.

Scott Edgar had a chance when he broke through after a bouncing ball caught the visiting defence out, but the striker sent his side over the bar. K's other goalscoring opportunity of the half came when a Liam Collins cross bounced over McCann on the edge of his penalty area and also the challenging sub Grant Payne. Eventually landing for Alimi, the midfielder saw his shot blocked by non other than Paul Yates for another crucial piece of fill-in defending.

With 84 minutes gone came the decisive moment of the game. Lee Butler headed to Crace, whose ball through to Ofori left the striker with only Jones to beat, and he did just that by smashing the ball into the back of the net.

The final minutes of the game were well controlled by Hendon and so they went home with the points. A useful side, and although K's didn't manage a victory in three meetings this season, they have matched them almost throughout. The season itself has dropped off considerably over the month of April but it has been a good effort, with the defeats column still only bettered by a handful of sides in the league.

Tue 29th Apr 2003
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
1Adrian Jones
2Liam Collins
3Liam Garman
4Scott Smith16
5Matt Elverson
6Max Hustwick
7Craig Lewington
8Bashiru Alimi
9Scott Edgar
10Scott Steele12
11Phil Wingfield15
12James Pinnock10
13Chris Nurse
14Tim Sills
15Grant Payne11
16Mark Jones4
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi