Hendon 2 Bath City 1

Updated: December 16, 2017

It was First Round Proper day in the Buildbase FA Trophy, the Final 64, and I was at Silver Jubilee Park in North West London as Bostick Premier Hendon hosted Vanarama South Bath City.

Hendon had seen off Slough Town over two games and a penalty shoot out, whilst Bath City also needed penalties to squeeze past Margate to reach this stage, and with Hendon and Margate 7th and 8th in the Bostick Premier, the 12th placed Vanarama South Roman’s knew another tough test awaited them.

And also Hendon, like Margate, played on 3G, so their were a lot of similarities heading into this one.  And with the recent poor weather, it was probably a good thing!

The opening quarter saw both sides feeling each other out but the first opening didn’t arrive until the 18th minute, and it was the visitors who had it, as a lucky ricochet fell to them, but the resulting effort was rifled across goal.

Moments later the visitors sent a free header straight at the keeper, before Bath went close again as after they had asked for a penalty, a poor Hendon clearance found the visitors, who fired an effort just over the bar.

Eight minutes before the break Hendon had their first real opening as a ball across saw a deflected effort go just to far in front of a fellow teammate and he could only get his studs on it and see it drift harmlessly wide.

But with six minutes of the half remaining Hendon got their noses in front as a nod down from a set piece found centre half Arthur Lee in the six yard box who converted first time past the visitors backline on the goal line, and it meant the Bostick Premier side led at the half.

Half Time Hendon 1 Bath City 0

The players returned to the field with the rain now coming down, and whatever was said in the visitors dressing room at the break worked, as just two minutes into the second period Tom Smith ghosted in to finish from close range and bring the Romans level.

Bath had their tails up now and should of gone when the visitors pounced on a defensive error but saw the keeper make a comfortable save, before down the other end Hendon saw a deflected effort go into the keeper’s hands.

Just past the hour mark the visitors created a great opening as a great turn saw them in on goal but a poor finish meant an easy save for the hosts keeper, before in the 68th minute the hosts attacked and saw a cross shot deflected into the side netting. Some thought it had gone in, and the rain was now pouring down, it was a proper cup tie for sure.

The Romans passed up another decent opportunity when they saw a snap shot go straight at the keeper, before the hosts retook the lead in the 74th minute when substitute Keagan Cole converted a cut back with his first touch and gave Hendon around twenty minutes to hang onto the lead.

But moments later they should of lost that lead when the visitors fizzed two balls across the box, but somehow Hendon survived, and with ten minutes remaining the hosts broke but only a brilliant last ditch tackle thwarted them after cutting back onto right foot.

With three minutes left Hendon sent a dangerous ball into the visitors box which was just about cleared, before Bath attacked themselves in search of an equaliser to possibly force a Tuesday night replay at Twerton Park.

However in the first minute of stoppage time Hendon should of sealed it when another break from a Bath attack saw them bearing down on goal,  but the visiting keeper denied them, meaning Bath had three minutes of stoppage to salvage something.

But Hendon held firm and saw off the Vanarama South outfit to make it through to the Last 32 of the competition.

Full Time Hendon 2 Bath City 1 

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For all things ESL visit my unofficial page at http://www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl
To read my blogs of local footie action visit pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.co.uk
Also find me on twitter @ped1980

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