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Hendon 0-3 Kingstonian

A much changed team was brought in for Kingstonian - but it was two stalwarts who took the headlines in the first win of the season.

With five debutants on from the start and more awaiting on the bench, a Bobby Traynor goal at the end of the first half was added to in the 90th by substitute Karl Beckford before Simon Huckle added a third with a looping shot from Dean Lodge's cross deep in injury time.

After two days of signings and releases those that stood on the pitch were very much under the spotlight and from the start they lived up to it. Matt Gray centred the ball to Traynor who found Lodge but keeper James Reading was equal to the task in only the second minute.

Still the flow went the visitors' way with Lodge again fashioning out another chance low but it could only go wide of the left near post. Gray then followed up with a free kick that went sailing by the opposite post.

For the home side a header from Craig Vargas went over from a cross by Peter Dean in between.

The early pressure began to subside and it was not until the 22nd minute before Ks moved up another gear. First Carl Wilson-Denis headed out from Lake's cross in from the left then a minute later it looked like a penalty when the two combined again but the referee waved the game on. A minute later Gray on the right found Lodge from a free kick but once again the keeper was equal to the task.

A speculative shot by Mo Harkin from 35 yards then went wide before once again Wilson-Denis was felled in the area, seemingly bought down by Mark Kirby. Again it was no penalty. Then Wilson-Denis was denied the opener when Marc Leach's foot stopped his 20 yard shot.

The game was held up in the 38th minute after Gray lay prone on the floor and it was not until the ball had worked itself back to Luke Garrard that the referee went upfield to call physio Jamie Street on. Fortunately Gray was able to carry on soon after.

Minutes later the pressure paid off when Wilson-Denis crossed into Lodge who fought his way through the defence before passing short to Traynor. Lurking on the goal line he was able to poke the ball in from the left.

Wilson-Denis nearly provided a second when he ran up the centre only to be denied by a lack of support with Lodge lagging behind and in the end a 30 yard shot was the only option and it sailed wide.

Injury time saw Traynor denied by a tight defence and then Gray's free kick went wide.

The second half started at the same pace with Wilson-Denis once again creating a chance but unselfishly he passed back with an opening available from the right.

Hendon were still in the game and in the 52nd minute Dean shot just wide of the far post from a long way out. Dean was then denied when he headed over from a cross. However at the other end Wilson-Denis forced a fine save from Reading.

Gray then forced the keeper to deny him when he tipped the ball round. Des Boateng was then substituted for Beckford, as the formation took on a more attacking shape. However it was the defence that was needed first as Dean shot in low on the right and Garrard was called into action as he smothered the ball.

At the other end Gray was once again denied by Reading, before the action once again returned to the visiting defence. A free kick from substitute Glenn Garner in a central position went straight into the wall. Dean then saw his ball bounce off Francis Duku. And with 10 minutes remaining Garrard pushed the ball out beyond the near post from Dean again.

With the idea that the best form of defence is attack, Simon Huckle was then bought in for Mo Harkin. Almost immediately it worked with Traynor breaking up the wing and going for goal, as the better option of Wilson-Denis was on hand.

With the game almost up he then tried a long and wayward shot himself, but it was going to be a game for him as provider rather than poacher. In the 90th minute, he back-heeled the ball to Beckford, who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

Still it was not over and once again a cross from right to left was almost left with only Lodge finding it by the far corner flag. His cross back in to the edge of the D found Huckle, who shot looped into the corner of the net via a deflection, for the third deep in injury time.

After four defeats and a week of flux, this was the tonic the team needed. Rarely was Garrard put under pressure from a Hendon side with two wins and a draw already, as the defence mopped up the ball a few yards further upfield. The midfield played strongly and the front had a familiar ring to it.

Sat 29th Aug 2009
Vale Farm (Wembley FC)
Isthmian League Premier
Traynor, Beckford, Huckle
1Luke Garrard
2Sam Stannard
3Lee Hall
4Max Hustwick
5Francis Duku
6Mo Harkin12
7Matt Gray
8Des BoatengCautioned14
9Bobby Traynor
10Carl Wilson-Denis
11Dean Lodge
12Simon Huckle6
14Karl Beckford8
15Shane Hill
16Lewis Cook
17Adrian Blake
Match Report By
Michael Underwood