(Hendon won 4-3 on pens.)
Wednesday, 19th October, 2016,
Middlesex Senior Cup – First Round
It was not much of a consolation when your higher-grade opponents from the Isthmian League generously admitted that you should have won this Middlesex Senior Cup tie. In the event, with neither side at full-strength, Step Five Wembley were within six minutes of knocking illustrious Hendon out of the first round of the County Cup. But capitalising onto a defensive error, the Dons scored a late equaliser to prevent an embarrassing defeat against their ex-landlords, going onto the next stage of the competition by virtue of winning the subsequent penalty shoot-out.
Hendon took the lead after just two minutes. The visitors were still busy adjusting their footing onto the recently laid artificial playing surface at Hendon’s new Silver Jubilee Park home, when suddenly they found themselves a goal behind. The Lions failed to properly clear a Hendon corner, and following some nifty ball control Keagan Cole put the Dons in front.
Wembley used to wilt when experiencing such an early catastrophe in the past. But the = Lions are a different animal these days, and in an unfazed manner, they confidently set out to repair the damage. They placed Hendon on the back foot, tested Berkley Laurencin in the home goal with various strikes from different angles before they deservedly made it one-all in the 41st minute.
Richard Brown put Charlie McKee through on goal with a great defence-splitting pass. McKee waited for the advancing Laurencin to commit himself before slipping the ball beyond him to fire in the equaliser.
Unable to really establish himself in the side since joining Wembley in the summer of 2014, it was McKee’s first goal for the Club. And lo-and-behold eight minutes after the break he scored again!
McKee led a Wembley raid with a run down the left flank. A cluster of players, attracted like moths to a light, followed. Laurencin also came out of his area to investigate. Now surrounded and with his onward path blocked, McKee suddenly stopped, checked back and with a sharp turn dragged the ball away from his wrongfooted pursuers. After a few paces along the boundary of the Hendon box, a clear sight of an empty target now appeared, and with a beautiful and precisely curled eighteen-yard strike, McKee along with his astonished teammates watched the ball arc into the back of the vacant net.
Two-one up, Wembley were in the ascendancy and had Joe Wright not screwed the ball wide when well-placed shortly after coming on as a substitute, their berth in the next round would have been booked.
However, having reinforced their ranks by making a triple substitution, Hendon hit back. They thought that they had scored, but there was a foul on the sprawled Craig McCreeth just before the ball crossed the line. Hendon maintained the pressure and matters were levelled in the 84th minute.
A scuffed clearance following a wayward Hendon long throw-in was quickly seized upon. The loose ball was delivered to the unmarked Niko Muir, who netted from close range to force a draw, much to his side’s relief and to luckless Wembley’s disappointment.
With no extra-time, the tie was immediately decided by a penalty shootout. Here Laurencin excelled making two excellent saves to keep out two of Wembley’s five spot-kicks. Hendon only missed one and won through, 4-3
For the record: WEMBLEY HENDON
1.Witham (in) 1-1 Murphy (in)
2.Sabti (saved) 1-2 Cole (in)
3.Fehmi-Gil (saved) 1-2 Tingey (miss)
4.Humphries (in) 2-3 C.Maclaren (in)
5.Wright (in) 3-4 Muir (in)
WEMBLEY: McCreeth, Salako, Humphries, Carroll, Brown, Mota, Sabti, Amellal (Fekete 84)),
McKee (Wright73)), Witham, O’Reilly (Fehmi-Gil 87).
|19th October 2016||7:45 PM||Middlesex Senior Cup||SSML Prem 2016-2017||90'|