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Hendon 2-0 Kingstonian

Kingstonian made their final visit to Claremont Road before Hendon's proposed move to a new site seeking to improve upon their recent record at the venue in this Ryman Premier League fixture.

Following off-field difficulties, the Kingstonian matchday squad was depleted to thirteen, with Scott Smith, Grant Payne and Stafford Browne unavailable. Matt Elverson returned from suspension whilst David Ocquaye was tasked with leading the attack.

Eugene Ofori broke through in the opening minute after a high ball had eluded the head of Elverson, only to blast wide of the target.

Continuing their early threat, the home side were rewarded just five minutes later. Dwayne Plummer, having delivered a cross from the left, was the recipient of a stretched clearance that he was able to meet in the air. His looping header gave the backtracking Lance Key no chance as it sailed across and into the back of the net.

With a chilling wind blowing strongly behind them, Hendon almost doubled their lead with a high ball that required the attentions of both Key and Elverson on the edge of the area.

Whilst building upon a solid midfield, the K's threatened a breakthrough of their own when Ocquaye found Matt Pattison in a prominent position down the left side. Scott Steele got ahead of his man at the near post but, stretching to reach the cross, was unable to fully connect with a strike that was comfortably gathered by home goalkeeper Dave King.

Craig Lewington followed some good endeavour with a lofted cross that skimmed across goal, though Pattison's subtle touch was not enough to divert the ball goal-bound, or on to the better-positioned Ocquaye just behind him.

With the half drawing to an end, both sides saw dangerous corners flash across the face of goal without reward. Dwayne Plummer's wind-aided effort required Key's fingertips to deny a direct goal, with Steve Butler heading the returning cross wide. Meanwhile, at the other end, Steele's whipped delivery was close to conversion by Beard and Pattison in the middle before Pat Gavin cleared to safety.

A slower start to the second half saw K's make the first opening when Liam Collins crossed from the bye-line and found Pattison in a deep position. Quickly setting the strike, the youngster's effort went wide of the target.

With just over an hour played Hendon were awarded a penalty following a foul by Lewington. Plummer's spot-kick was however well saved by Key, diving to his right.

The Hendon second was not far coming though. Eugene Ofori broke with pace and bore down on goal to be met by Key. Cleverly slipping the ball across to the supporting Rici Crace, it was left to the substitute to fire in to the roof of the net as Elverson came sliding in.

Hendon continued to move forward, with a good outlet in the form of Dale Binns on the left. Having secured a corner, Ofori inadvertently headed Butler's goal-bound header over the bar from close-range. Butler failed to find the target with another header before the end.

The final minutes saw a final push by the K's team to break down a stubborn Hendon defence. Latching on to a Liam Collins cross, Mark Beard's strike broke to David Ocquaye some six yards out but the close attention of a defender ensured the ball went over the bar.

The game got played, and for that we can be grateful. What was also encouraging to see was the team battling well against a side who are consistently in the top few placings of this league.

Sat 21st Feb 2004
Claremont Road
Isthmian League Premier
1Lance Key
2Stephen Broad
3Anthony SavageCautioned
4Matt Elverson
5Max Hustwick
6Liam CollinsCautioned
7Craig LewingtonCautioned
8Matt Pattison
9David Ocquaye
10Scott Steele
11Mark BeardCautioned
12Aaron Gilbert
14Stuart Booth
Match Report By
Ali Kazemi