Hendon Preview and Darren’s update

It must be at least six days since we played Hendon so it is about time we played them again!  After Monday night’s defeat at Earlsmead, The Rooks will be looking to bounce back and gain swift revenge for the game where we dominated possession yet found ourselves two goals down at the break thanks to strikes from Robins and Casey Maclaren.

Our recent record against Hendon doesn’t make good reading.  In fact in our last ten meetings against Hendon, they have scored 2 or more goals on eight occasions, including Monday night and the two games last season that finished 2-1 to them.  Our last meeting here at The Pan was last February when a bizarre game saw Rikki Banks injured in the warm up, and despite trying to play on, having to make way for Jordan Badger, by which point both teams had a player sent off, with The Rooks Leroy Griffiths sent off for throwing the ball at the already departing Hendon skipper Kevin Maclaren.

P 10 W 1 D 4 L 5 GS 10  GA 18

After missing Monday’s trip to Hendon, Henry Muggeridge , James Hammond and Alex Malin could all still be doubts for tomorrow,  and it is unlikely that Brinky will be available due to family reasons.

Hendon’s recent away record has been poor, losing five of their last eight on the road although they have enjoyed visiting teams near the bottom, beating Staines Town and VCD Athletic last time out.  Over the season so far they have taken 17 points away from Earlsmead (well, 16 if you exclude the 5-5 draw against landlords Harrow Borough) out of a possible 54, conceding over 2 goals per game on average.  On the flip side our recent home form has been good with four wins and three draws from our last eight games at The Pan.

Whilst the last three games have been disappointing for the Rooks, Darren Freeman remains upbeat:-

“The 2-0 defeat at Hendon was the second disappointing result in just a few days, after the weekend’s defeat at Canvey, and I can’t help feeling that if we’d taken our early chances in both games we would have emerged with some points.  Against Canvey we reacted well to the early setback, with Jonte scoring a good equaliser and we had chances to establish a lead before half-time. Then we conceded two quick goals in the second half, our temporary young goalkeeper having an afternoon to forget, and we couldn’t recover.  Against Hendon on Monday, we outplayed them in the first half, and they were fortunate to still have 11 men on the pitch when Laingy was brought down as last man. Again, they scored twice in quick succession and it knocked the stuffing out of us.

I’ve heard talk this week that it’s all over for us. Let me tell you now: we haven’t given up. There’s still 30 points to play for. There’s no way it’s the end. But we have to do our bit, and we need you to keep the faith and do your bit from the stands. We’ve got a good, hard working bunch of lads and if we all pull together we can still have a good end to the season.

Finally, it’s great to see we’ve once again got boys out representing their countries. Charlie Coppola has been with the England Colleges team in Italy. This week we were also notified that Jonte Smith has been called up for Bermuda at the end of March. Of course, it’s a blow we lose Jonte for a couple of games, but it’s a fantastic achievement to have a full international playing for the club.”

Kick off at The Dripping Pan on Saturday is 3pm.


Author: stuartnoel

Nearly prize winning author of Passport to Football, Budget Airline Football and European Football - A Fans Guide.