Saturday, January 28, 2012
A sublime free kick by stand-in captain Lee Carey proved to be all in vain, as the U's poor run of results was extended to just one win in their last nine fixtures by a narrow defeat at Vale Farm home this afternoon.
Deputising for the unavailable Josh Jirbandey, midfield maestro Carey crowned another display of great distinction with a wonderful twenty-five yard strike that left Hendon keeper Berkley Laurencin grasping at thin air just past the half hour mark.
Sadly though, the U's already found themselves trailing by two goals at that point, having been hit by a superb start that saw the Greens earn themselves a well deserved early advantage.
Good work down the right from Greg Ngoyi created the opening goal in the sixteenth minute, his cross evading Matt Armstrong-Ford and being bundled in at the far post by strike partner Elliott Charles, although there was no small hint of handball about the finish.
And barely two minutes later, Michael Lewis was allowed the freedom to run thirty yards without a challenge, before firing a well struck shot past the helpless Armstrong-Ford and in off his right hand post.
Carey's fifth goal of the season reduced the deficit at the interval, and set up an excellent second half, in which United dominated possession, but not for the first time this season, lacked the cutting edge necessary to trouble a well organised Hendon defence.
Tamer Tuna and Zac Attwood had the best of the precious few clearcut chances that did go begging for the U's, but as the pitch slowly cut to shreds, attractive passing football became increasingly difficult to accomplish, and neither keeper was unduly tested as a consequence.
It was another decent effort by United on the whole, blighted by their slow start though, but with Tooting & Mitcham winning at Aveley, the gap between the U's and the bottom four is now down to only two points.
Next weekend's visit to second placed AFC Hornchurch doesn't offer any obvious prospects of reward either, but the Terrors themselves will be at the Pilot Field a week later for a crucial relegation battle, and then it's Horsham away, games that will go a long way to deciding United's Premier Division fate this season.
|Hendon||(2) 2||-||1 (1)||Hastings United|
|Charles 16||Carey 31|
|Match facts||Efforts on target||Efforts off target||Free kicks conceded||Corners|
|Hendon (4-4-2)||Hastings United (4-4-2)|
|1 Berkley Laurencin||1 Matt Armstrong-Ford|
|2 James Archer||2 Matt Whitehead|
|3 Scott Cousins (c)||3 Jack Dixon|
|4 Ryan Wharton||4 Lee Carey (c)|
|5 James Fisher||5 Sean Ray|
|6 Kevin Maclaren||6 Scott Manning|
|7 Michael Lewis||7 Danny Ellis|
|8 Elliott Godfrey||8 Jamie Crellin|
|9 Greg Ngoyi||9 Tamer Tuna|
|10 Darren Currie||10 Zac Attwood|
|11 Elliott Charles||11 Ben Davisson|
|12 Carl McCluskey (for Ngoyi 73)||12 Ross Sutton (for Davisson 85)|
|14 Isaiah Rankin (for Charles 85)||14 Joe Barham|
|15 Jerome Federico||15 Nick Gonsalves (for Manning 90)|
|16 Jamie Busby (for Lewis 81)||GK Harry Stapley|
|17 James Parker|
Referee: Anthony Serrano
Assistants: Douglas Lawson & Andrew Crawford