A stoppage time equaliser from skipper Matt Wright earnt the Peacocks a deserved point against their North London visitors who had led for the vast majority of the afternoon. The game again highlighted though that Town can ill afford any complacency at either the back or up front at their new level if they want to make an impact.
The Peacocks made just one change from their last fixture at Kings Langley, Nuno Felix coming in for Pierce Mitchell with Shane White switching to the right. However it was the Dons who were quick out the traps, an early Lee Chappell corner causing panic in the home defence with Guri Demuria’s shot blocked and when the ball wasn’t adequately cleared Romario Jonas saw his effort held by Lloyd Irish. Town responded with their first attack, Ollie Chamberlain breaking up a Hendon short corner to free Andrew Neal who scurried upfield to find Dan Sullivan who unfortunately sliced wide.
The threat from Hendon became real after seven minutes when they went ahead. More unconvincing defending from Town led to Demuria prodding the ball out wide to Marvin Morgan who hooked the ball across goal past the advancing Irish and Ricardo German had the simple task of tapping into an unguarded net.
It was then Hendon’s turn to defend, withstanding a spate of Taunton corners, one of which saw Ben Adelsbury have his header bundled clear. Further efforts from Chamberlain and Ryan Brett did not unduly test visiting keeper Danny Boness who was also in the right place to clutch Wright’s header from a Chamberlain cross. The offensive continued when appeals for a penalty after Wright went down were ignored, the loose ball falling to Chamberlain who blasted over and then Neal collected a clearance to try and round Boness but a covering defender blocked.
The failure to take opportunities came back to haunt Town after 34 minutes when a dangerous Hendon outfit broke to score a second. Morgan released Laste Dombaxe and he picked out German advancing on the left. It was all too easy for the Dons’ forward as he took a touch inside and stroked the ball into the corner past a wrong-footed home defence. The Peacocks got themselves back in the game four minutes before the interval when Shane White’s cross from the right got a flick and Wright was on the far post to squeeze a header past Boness who could only help it into the net.
Following a fracas out on the right which produced a couple of bookings, Wright had another header from a Sullivan centre but this time he didn’t connect cleanly and his attempt bounced into the ground for a simple catch as the half ended with Town trailing.
Town were back on the hunt after the break attacking the Invest Southwest End but continued to lack clinicality. Neal dragged a shot wide of the post and Wright was inches away from connecting with Sullivan’s cross while Boness turned Chamberlain’s curling 20 yard strike wide. It was therefore against the run of play when Hendon scored a third to seemingly kill the game after 56 minutes, German notching his hat trick after getting the better of Adelsbury and managing to fire home from the edge of the box despite the proximity of other Town defenders.
The Peacocks got up off the canvas though to respond ten minutes later. White’s throw was flicked on by both Wright and Craig Veal who had only just come off the bench to replace Neal, the ball reaching Sullivan who lashed an excellent angled shot from the left across Boness and into the opposite corner. Town’s defending continued to look unnaturally fragile though and Hendon nearly delivered another blow when Cole Brown set up Dombaxe for a free strike which Irish thankfully parried.
The final quarter was predominantly all Town. A Sullivan half volley from 18 yards was impressively caught by Boness and Brett flashed a shot narrowly wide after being set up by Sullivan’s neat back heel. When Boness again proved his worth by tipping over Veal’s close range effort from White’s cross it seemed that for all their possession it wasn’t going to happen for the hosts. However six minutes into stoppage time came the break they were looking for. Adelsbury hoisted a free kick towards the box and when Wright nodded on, Hendon full back Howard Hall was penalised for handling the ball as Chamberlain tried to turn. Wright kept his nerve to fire home the penalty for his second goal on an afternoon when the Peacocks’ standards slipped at times but not their resilience.
Match: Taunton Town v Hendon
Date: August 25, 2018
Competition: Evo Stik League | Southern Premier
Venue: Viridor Stadium
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Match Sponsor: Intersport Tony Pryce Sports
Match Ball Sponsor: Brian Rose
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Shane White, Nuno Felix (Pierce Mitchell 79), Ben Adelsbury, Keith Emmerson, Matt Buse (Craig Veal 61), Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (captain), Dan Sullivan, Andrew Neal (Josh Nelmes 78). Unused subs: Michael Meaker, Tom Stone
Hendon: Danny Boness, Howard Hall, Lee Chappell (captain), Luke Tingey, Romario Jonas, Guri Demuria, Stephane Ngamvoulou, Laste Dombaxe, Marvin Morgan (Dylan Kearney 81), Ricardo German (Cole Brown 62), Taishan Griffith (Matthew Newman 88). Unused subs: Tyriq Hunte, Mark Boyce
Referee: Lee Roberts (Plymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Graeme Martin (Exeter)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Adam Scrivens (Exeter)