Following last November’s challenge match at Hendon, where the home team ground out a victory, the return match was held this weekend prior to the first team fixture.
The venue was Horndean college on a very unseasonably warm lunchtime which may have contributed to the Many Shades having a large squad of twelve players. The match would consist of four 10-minute quarters and it was decided to split the squad into two teams of six who would play alternate quarters. So, the Blues were Colin Jeffery in goal, Ian Warren, Pete Dolamore, Jeff Pickering, Barry Ingram & Colin Baker and the (very bright) Yellows were Dave Rowbrey in goal, Stew Russell, John Morgan, James Mcilwaine, Andy Wilson & John Hicks.
The Blues started and battled hard in a very tight first quarter which ended goalless. Gold stars go to CJ, Pete and Ian who were solid at the back and limited Hendon to a few long range efforts.
1/4 time : Many Shades 0-0 Hendon
The Yellows took to the field for the second quarter hoping to break the deadlock. With John ploughing a lone furrow up front and holding the ball up well, James and Andy had a couple of chances but were unable to beat Hendon’s in-form keeper and it was Hendon who snatched a goal just before the break.
Half time : Many Shades 0-1 Hendon
The Yellows lined up in the classic 2-2-1 formation
The Blues offering direction from the sidelines
Andy powers in a shot which drifts just wide of the upright
Unfortunately, the third quarter followed a similar pattern to the second with the Blues probably having the better of the possession but with Hendon grabbing a second goal midway through the quarter.
3/4 time : Many Shades 0-2 Hendon
So it was that the Yellows came out for the final quarter facing a 2-goal deficit. The one hope was that Hendon, with their limited resources, were starting to tire slightly.
The Yellows pressed from the start with John (still sporting his hat despite the tropical temperatures) going close on two occasions.
John finds himself clear but the Hendon keeper covers the angles well
Then, a long range shot from James deceived the substitute keeper and found the top corner to reduce the deficit.
With Hendon understandably flagging, the Yellows went for it and pushed Stewart up front for the final five minutes.
Stewart finds some space at the back post
The additional attacker paid off and a through ball from James found Andy free who slotted home the equaliser.
Stewart, James and Andy celebrate the equaliser
CJ and Pete look on nervously
With the momentum now with the Many Shades and with seconds remaining, James, in one of the rare moments when he wasn’t blown up for running, beat a couple of defenders in the box and fired home the winner.
Full time : Many Shades 3-2 Hendon
So there you have it. A 3-2 win for the Many Shades which coincidentally was the same score at Westleigh Park in the afternoon.
A big thanks to the Hendon over-50s for making the long trip down and our best wishes to you and your first team for the rest of the season.