Hendon 3-3 Folkestone Invicta - We just had a 15 minute crazy lapse of concentration and that cost us today, admits Folkestone Invicta assistant manager Roland Edge

Saturday 27th January 2018
Hendon 3 – 3 Folkestone Invicta
Location Silver Jubilee Park, Townsend Lane, Kingsbury, London NW9 7NE
Kickoff 27/01/2018 15:00

HENDON  3-3  FOLKESTONE INVICTA
Bostik Premier Division
Saturday 27 January 2018
Stephen McCartney reports form Silver Jubilee Park

FOLKESTONE INVICTA assistant manager Roland Edge says a 15 minute lapse of concentration allowed Hendon to play their get out of jail card.

 

Neil Cugley’s men were the better side in this Bostik Premier clash for 70 minutes on the artificial pitch at Silver Jubilee Park in Kingsbury and were comfortably 3-0 up, before Gary McCann’s clinical side scored three times inside the final 17 minutes to grab a point that they didn’t deserve.

Folkestone’s team coach broke down around two miles away from the ground and players’, staff and fans had to walk the rest of the journey, but that didn’t prevent the Kent coastal club to dominate proceedings.

Folkestone Invicta striker Ade Yusuff placed a penalty past the left-hand post before strike partner Ian Draycott drilled in his 13th goal of the season to give the Kent side a deserved lead going into half-time.

Callum Davies came up from the back to head in two goals as Folkestone Invicta fully deserved their 3-0 lead in the 70th minute.

But seventh-placed Hendon grabbed an unlikely point.  Joe White slotted in his sixth goal of the season, before substitute Zak Joseph’s thirteenth-goal of the season was a special strike, a dink over the keeper after turning three defenders on the edge of the box, before Hendon stalwart Casey MacLaren headed in an injury-time equaliser.

“We’re like devastated to be honest because we know Hendon is a tricky place to come,” said Edge.

“For me, I think they’ve got one of the best attacking sides in the league.  I thought we outplayed them and we deserved a 3-0.  We possibly even deserved four or five. It was one of those things where we created really good opportunities, managed to take three (after missing) a penalty, then fair play to Hendon.  They don’t give up and they have the quality out there.

“The second goal, even though we’re still probably in disbelief in the defending, the lad has done a fantastic turn and it’s a great finish.”

Hendon created their first opening on a wet and cold miserable day in north west London after only 26 seconds.

Central defender Arthur Lee released 30-goal striker Niko Muir down the right channel and he cut inside Finn O’Mara and his low cross was cleared out to Luke Tingey, who smacked his right-footed volley over the crossbar from 25-yards.

Folkestone Invicta should have buried their first chance when it arrived inside the opening four minutes.

Scott Heard, who was forced off through a knee injury, Yusuff and Joe Taylor produced a slick move inside the final third and the ball was played on the overlap to O’Mara and he played in a low cross towards Yusuff at the near post, who drove a first time shot past the left-hand post from 10-yards.

Edge said: “Yes, he pulled it a little bit wide.  I think all three forwards caused problems, created their own opportunities and he was a little wasteful at times.

“Ade would be happy to hit the target and the keeper makes a good save. He would’ve liked to have done better with that!”

Hendon goalkeeper Corey Addai bowled the ball out to his left-back Liam Gordon, who sprinted box-to-box with the ball at his feet and once inside a couple of yards inside the Folkestone box his left-footed drive sailed over.

Sam Hasler lost the ball inside Hendon’s half to Ashley Nathaniel-George and the Hendon left-winger went on a direct run towards the Folkestone box.  He played the ball to White on the outside, who looped in a cross from the right and Muir guided his header over the bar at the far post.

Hendon also should have buried a great chance when Josh Walker cut the ball on to his left foot and bent his low shot around the foot of the right-hand post from a central position on the edge of the penalty area.

Edge said: “Hendon are livewire’s aren’t they? Cutting inside, it’s one of those games for both teams.  I would say this, as a defender you want somebody else with you.  He cut inside and bent it and it was off-target, so we were let off really. It was a bit scrappy at the beginning, I would say.”

After the flurry of chances inside an open nine minutes, Folkestone brought on Kieron McCann, who deployed more of a central role than out on the wing and the game settled down.

Davis slammed the door shut on Muir, who was living of scraps for the whole of the first half and most of the second.

The impressive O’Mara put in a low cross from the left which referee Jonathan Creswick adjudged MacLaren to have fouled a turning Yusuff and awarded a penalty.

22-goal striker Yusuff stepped up and drove his right-footed penalty past the left-hand post with 20 minutes and 51 seconds on the clock.

“Yes, it happens,” said Edge.

“Everyone in football, every spectator, thinks a penalty is the easiest thing in the world to do and then when they get the opportunity to take one, they disappear!  Credit where credit’s due, Ade steps up all the time and this time he just pulls it wide, it happens!”

Yusuff played a short corner to O’Mara, who whipped in a dipping cross from the left, which was pushed over the bar by Hendon goalkeeper Addai, before Folkestone Invicta deservedly took the lead with 24 minutes and 58 seconds on the clock.

Lee was pressed as he tried to play out from the back by Hasler, who won the ball and played the ball over to Taylor, who teed up an unmarked Draycott, who stroked his first time right-footed drive into the bottom right-hand corner from 15-yards.

Edge said: “I’ve got the say the whole move, the pressure that they put on.  Everyone will say Lee gave it away but it’s the way we closed him down that made him give the ball away, which is always pleasing and then the move was nice and slick and it fell to Dracys whose possibly the calmest footballer in the team and he’s slotted it away.

“Everyone talks about forwards for what they do, i.e. scoring, but what he brings is organisation, his experience, it’s not only about the goals, he brings a lot more to our team.”

Yusuff won a foot-race with Hendon’s right-back Jake Eggleton and once inside the box his right-footed shot was tipped around the post by Addai, who dived to his right to make a 38th minute save.  Hendon’s problem in the first half was they kept giving the ball away in their defensive third.

Edge said: “Ade’s athleticism is unreal at times.  I mean the lad didn’t stand a chance, did he?  So, the minute he’s gone there Ade’s out raced him, out strengthened him and created his own opportunity. He’s hit it and the keeper’s made a good save.”

Edge was delighted with his players at the break as goalkeeper Tim Roberts wasn’t called into making a save and in truth it should have been more than a 1-0 lead for Cugley’s men.

“We were really pleased really but to restrict them in the first half to next to nothing and we’ve got to be honest even in the second half really they’ve got three goals, you tell me another chance they’ve had? I don’t know!  I think they were clinical and they took their chances well, all three of them.

“Everyone here watching kind of knows what we’d say (during half-time).  You’ve got to do the same again!  I thought we were tight at the back, the midfield was dominating, and our forwards were causing them a problem. 

“We just really said maintain our structure because they didn’t really know how to break it down. We frustrated them for the majority of the game. We did do that, I thought, it’s just the lapses for the goals.”

Folkestone Invicta were to be denied by the post within six minutes into the second half.

Hasler floated in a deep free-kick from midfield towards the far post where right-back Josh Vincent planted a free diving-header past the keeper, only for the ball to kiss the near post.

“I’ve got to say, I thought Hasler was outstanding today,” said Edge.

“His dead-balls in this league are quality.  He hits it flat, it’s fast. Josh, as well, attacks a great ball. He’s really good in the air and he’s won a header.”

Nathaniel-George cut inside to whip in a teasing deep cross, which wasn’t cut out by O’Mara but Walker’s delivery was awful and curled behind for a Folkestone goal-kick.

At the other end, O’Mara latched onto McCann’s through ball on the overlap, cut into the box and drilled a low shot into the base of the side netting from a tight angle.

Folkestone Invicta won the corner count 7-5 and Hendon should have done better from their fourth flag-kick.

White swung in the ball from the right and Rian Bray came up from the back to rise at the near post to plant his header across goal and harmlessly wide from 12-yards.

Folkestone Invicta finally doubled their lead in the 65th minute.

Hasler floated in another great free-kick towards the far post and once again Vincent met the header with Gordon nowhere to be seen but this time the right-back planted his header inside for Davies to arrive in the middle to plant his header past Addai from eight-yards.

Edge said: “Like a carbon copy.  When Hasler puts a ball in like that sometimes it can go off the other side for a throw-in because he hits it that hard but when he gets it right, it’s very difficult for a keeper to do anything. Josh takes a run, again, squares it, brilliantly tapped-in.”

The excellent O’Mara whipped in a cross from the left and Draycott got the slightest of touches to glance his free header across goal and past the far post.

Folkestone Invicta raced into a 3-0 lead, courtesy of another sublime delivery from Hasler and a thumping header from Davies.

Hasler’s corner from the right was hung over towards the far post where Davies rose to plant his header into the top near corner from close range.

Edge said: “Every manager or coach says to the goalkeeper to dominate the six-yard box, when it’s hit like that the goalkeeper has got no chance!

“Callum takes it well, good finish. Everyone in the stadium other than them, I thought that was all over.

“I just thought we were comfortable at that stage funnily enough! I thought at 3-0 it was only us that could let them back in it and I think we did!”

But Gary McCann’s men found something from somewhere and began their unlikely comeback just 210 seconds later.

Nathaniel-George played the ball into Muir, whose clever little dink from the edge of the box in a central position played in White, who swept his shot under Roberts to find the bottom near corner from eight-yards with only the keeper to beat.

“They’re slick. When they get it right they’re very hard to defend,” admitted Edge.

“My issue was it was a bit easy for the seven (Nathaniel-George) in the centre of the pitch. He receives it, spins his man and then the rest is history.

“White is a good player.  Niko Muir is clearly a good player so if they get it going in there, one-touch, two-touch, around the corners, it’s very hard to defend and the lad finished it well so you can’t have a problem with that.

“At 3-1, I was actually thinking Hendon are a side you don’t want to give confidence to and I think at 3-0 they were at each other’s throats. It only takes one goal for a team like Hendon, who are a very good attacking side, to then have belief and that was what was going through my head then.  They’ve now got belief and it’s going to be a tough one, a tough finish.”

Hendon’s second goal was one of the best goals that you will see this season. It arrived with 30:32 seconds on the clock.

Gordon played the ball inside to substitute Joseph, who clipped the ball in behind Vincent to put in Gordon, who whipped in a low cross from the left channel.  Muir managed to get the ball out from under his feet, slipped the ball into Joseph’s feet, who spun on a sixpence to beat three defenders to produce a Premier League-esque right-footed dink that dropped in underneath the crossbar from 14-yards.

“Well, that was the most disappointing goal for me today,” admitted Edge.

“Our lads are honest, we’ve got a good bunch in that dressing room but you can’t receive a ball on the 18-yard line back to goal, he spun all three people marking him and the finish was excellent! You can’t say anything about Tim (Roberts, our goalkeeper).  It was just a brilliant finish, but he’s got in far too easily, for me.”

Yusuff squandered an excellent chance to seal the points when he was played in behind by substitute Nathaniel Blanks but Addai stretched to tip the rasping drive onto the crossbar and over for a corner.

“Like I say today, slightly bad defending at crucial times but also a bit wasteful,” admitted Edge.

“If you watch that game again today you’ll enjoy 70 minutes of it as a Folkestone manager or fan. We created not only chances but really good chances.

“I mean if Ade scores that one where he saves it and hits the bar, really he should’ve slotted it into the corner.  Even Finn O’Mara, who did well today, he’s gone through one-on-one with the keeper and dragged it wide.

“We had opportunities today to actually seal that and not only 3-0, more emphatically, more like a five but like I say fair play to Hendon, they rolled their sleeves up and 3-3, a result.”

Hendon snatched a point two minutes and 19 seconds into stoppage time, following a long free-kick from inside their half.

Tingey punted the ball forward, last-gasp substitute Keagan Cole planted his header across the penalty area and MacLaren ran in through the middle to loop his header over Roberts.

Edge said: “You know what they’re going to do, they’ve got players who can finish.  They’re going to throw it forward and it was a stereotypical kind of an FA Cup equaliser or winner where they literally thumped it from 10-yards inside their own half and there’s a little bit of a flick on and the guy’s finished it well.

“It’s just a shame really because the three points should’ve gone to us today but that’s football!”

When asked about the injuries to Heard and Taylor, Edge revealed: “I think Heard’s carrying a bit of a knee injury and he made us aware of that in midweek (2-0 win at Lowestoft). He said he’d be ok but as we went into the game we realised that he wasn’t.

“Joe hasn’t had a great deal of football, he played a far bit recently, he goes out and gave his all today and got severe cramp so we just took him off as a precaution really.”

Dulwich Hamlet’s game away to Leatherhead was postponed today but Gavin Rose’s side remain top of the Bostik Premier table with 62 points from 30 games.

Billericay Town do have seven games in hand in second-place and are now only two points behind after coming away from now-bottom side Tooting & Mitcham United with a 6-2 win.

Margate leapfrog over Folkestone Invicta into third-place after their 4-0 win at Harrow Borough, with 54 points from 30 games, followed by Invicta on 53 points from 29 games, while Staines Town remain in fifth-place with 52 points from 29 games.

Twelfth-placed Brightlingsea Regent – who lost 3-2 at home to Dorking Wanderers today – visit Cheriton Road next Saturday.

“You leave that dressing room disappointed today but not necessarily upset with your players because they did what we asked for the majority of the game. They just had a 15-minute crazy lapse of concentration and that cost us today.


“I think if we can take that performance to next week, we’ll get a different result.

“I think the league table is a true reflection this year, I honestly do at the moment.

“Dulwich are always good, we haven’t actually played Billericay yet, but obviously everyone knows that. It’s going to go down to the wire.  I think Wingate & Finchley, us, Hendon, Margate, Leiston, they’re all pretty much in the same kind of pool I would say this year and it’s just going to be down to who finishes stronger.

“I don’t think we’re going to go down this year so that’s obviously an added bonus and the thing is really we’re in a position that’s lovely.

“But at the beginning of the season if you’d have said we would be there I wouldn’t have believed you. Now we’ve got to try and stay there to finish the season because we started without thinking play-offs and then when you’re in and around it you’d like to maintain that for the season don’t you, but we’ll keep going. We’ve got good players’ and we’ll get on with it and see what happens.”

Hendon: Corey Addai, Jake Eggleton (Sam Murphy 80), Liam Gordon, Luke Tingey, Rian Bray (Keagan Cole 90), Arthur Lee, Ashley Nathaniel-George, Casey MacLaren, Niko Muir, Joe White, Josh Walker (Zak Joseph 64).
Subs: Harly Wise, Channing Campbell-Young

Goals: Joe White 73, Zak Joseph 76, Casey MacLaren 90

Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Josh Vincent, Finn O’Mara, Micheal Everitt, Callum Davies, Matthew Newman, Sam Hasler, Scott Heard (Kieron McCann 13), Ade Yusuff, Ian Draycott, Joe Taylor (Nathaniel Blanks 81).
Subs: Nick Shaw, Ryan Cooper

Goals: Ian Draycott 25, Callum Davies 65, 70

Booked: Josh Vincent 41, Sam Hasler 47

Attendance: 326
Referee:  Mr Jonathan Creswick (Byfleet, Surrey)
Assistants: Mr Michael Hayden (Epsom, Surrey) & Mr Anand Desai (Surbiton, Surrey)

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EMAIL STEPHEN McCARTNEY:
stephen@kentishfootball.co.uk