Stayed local today, as a long trip to find a new ground (my usual Saturday routine) wasn’t possible for a couple of reasons today but i must also be honest i have really enjoyed what this ‘new’ Hendon side have had to offer in the early stages of 2018/19. Building from nothing at all player wise a few weeks ago , through the ups and downs of pre-season with lots of trialists, to this has been very interesting and enjoyable to watch.
So, a rare Saturday visit for me to Silver Jubilee Park and yet again Jimmy Gray’s new look side didn’t disappoint. I am sure there will be plenty of twists and turns during the season but you cannot fault the effort of the Hendon players and already a decent team spirit and an immediate bond with the crowd seems to be building, which can only be a good thing.
Farnborough arrived in NW9 top of the table with two wins from their opening two league fixtures and although it is always hard to read anything from the league table at this stage of the season, they look a strong outfit, with some proven players at this level and backed by a decent away following in a crowd of 278.
The early stages were a bit cagey with both defences on top but gradually Hendon began to develop an attacking threat, with Marvin Morgan beginning to win the physical battle, holding the ball up well and allowing players to play off him.
And it was Morgan who created the first goal after 35 minutes, slipping past a defender on the left edge of the box before his cross to the far post was eventually turned in to the net by Cole Brown, for his first goal of the season.
Morgan starting his first league game for the club, added some bite against Farnborough’s two imposing centre backs and never let them settle and was involved again in the second goal midway through the second half, finding Laste Dombaxe with a square pass on the edge of the box, after a great attacking move and Dombaxe fired a shot into the far corner of the net, to the delight of the home crowd.
Ricardo German replaced Morgan with twenty minutes to go and had a couple of chances to put the game beyond the visitors, with one effort hitting the bottom of the post but with ten minutes remaining the jitters began for Hendon who were dropping deeper, when substitute Connor Cullen turned in the box and slipped his shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Hendon then endured a heavy spell of pressure from the visitors as Farnborough went more direct in search of an equaliser which should have arrived with a couple of minutes to go but a shot was dragged wide when it seemed easier to score. The late storm though was ridden and on the balance of play, Hendon just about deserved the three points.
They were solid in defence, with debutant Romario Jonas having a very impressive first start and dangerous going forward throughout, although a little more composure and thought as to the final ball at times, probably would have brought even great reward, as Farnborough pushed forward and Hendon failed to take advantage of some good situations after breaking up play and getting into good positions several times.
Overall though, Hendon will be delighted with the opening week to the season, 7 points out of 9 and more importantly a team that is showing real potential and hopefully can only improve further as players begin to get to know each other better. The performances have also definitely begun to build a bond between the fans and the new line up, with supporters again staying behind to applaud the players from the field at the end.
As for Farnborough, they looked a strong side, more streetwise than Walton Casuals on Tuesday and with more players who know this league, so i doubt they will be too far away from the top end of the table come the end of term.
Optimism abounds though at Silver Jubilee Park though at the moment and it will be an interesting next few weeks, as the true look of the table begins to take shape.