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Hendon Heartache

Yellows 2 Hendon 4

THE Yellows were the architects of their own downfall on Saturday. When teams are on a bad run, each game takes on a greater significance and, whether it was pressure or nerves, or a bit of both, Hendon took full advantage.

One change was made from the Tiverton team that had faced Salisbury. New loan signing from Weston-super-Mare, wide man Bailey Kempster replacing Tom Bath as the team was reshuffled.

Within two minutes of the kick off, only a goal-line clearance from the alert Josh Jones prevented the visitors from taking an early lead. The opening quarter of the game was a little scrappy, although Jones was once again involved, at the other end this time, when his powerful header from a corner was blocked by advancing Hendon defenders.

The link-up play between River Allen and Niall Thompson seemed to be our most effective weapon and, without wrestling the initiative, the visitors were a little more cohesive in possession. A speculative effort from the bright Cameron Salmon and a timely intervention from the Greens' 'keeper when Allen appeared to have put Thompson through on goal aside, Yellows struggled to assert authority,

Some dangerous square passes across our backline from the away side had on a couple of occasions given the supporters cause for concern and it was from another one of these, that Nico Muir took full advantage. The helpless Williams was left in no man’s land, as Muir applied a simple finish.

Tiverton responded well to being behind and were knocking on the door,as the half was ending. Some neat, expansive football down the Hendon left ended with some acceleration from Thompson and he forced a corner. A very good outswinging delivery created panic in the Greens' defence and, in the mayhem, we hit the bar. From the rebound, after a game of pinball, a Hendon player - it looked like Muir - turned the ball into his own net.

In the few first-half minutes that remained, Tivvy were in the ascendancy and, from another corner, Jones could not direct his header on target.

Hendon began the second half on the front foot and had a corner and free-kick in quick succession. They were definitely having the better of things and they were rewarded when, from a corner, Daniel Matsuzaka rose above his marker to emphatically head his team in front.

The Yellows came more into the game following that setback and the ever willing Salmon, along with the creative Allen, were pulling the strings. The visitors, however, were still threatening in the final third.

The game was becoming more open and stretched, allowing the likes of Carlo Garside and Kempster to push forward and influence the game more. Then the usually dependable Williams’ blunder when he was caught in possession, gifted Hendon a third goal. Muir was the goalscorer.

At that moment, Tivvy did not feel sorry for themselves and actually started to play some neat and attractive football through the team. We were having our best spell in the game and Tom Bath, on as a substitute, rifled home when the visitors' 'keeper had parried a Thompson shot.

With two minutes of normal time left and what turned out to be a further six minutes additional time, we went searching for an equaliser.

However, Bath’s lifeline was lost a little way into the time the referee had deemed was left. A swift break from our opponents resulted in a cross into the box from the right and an unmarked Billy Leonard, after some Tivvy ball watching, had the simple task of picking his spot and winning the game for his team.

With the disappointment and frustration felt by the fans mirrored in the Yellows’ dressing room, we go again next Saturday, at home against Swindon Supermarine.

Tiverton: Williams; Veale, J Jones, Richards (c), Garside, Kempster, Britton, Allen, Salmon, Rice, Thompson. Substitutes: Bath (for Britton 67), Morison, (for Veale 67) Smith (for Rice 83), Endacott, Sloan.

Booked: Britton 17.

Attendance: 230.

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