Spencer McCall’s spectacular free-kick from the edge wasn’t enough to send Keith Rowland’s outfit through to the FA Cup second-qualifying round on the first attempt, following a late Rian Bray header forcing a 1-1 draw for Hendon – and a replay on Tuesday evening at The Maurice Rebak Stadium.
The Summers Lane men showed there would be no frailties in the early stages. McCall's inside left floated in free-kick arrived through to Joe Kizzi, who forced an early close-range stop from Tom Lovelock. Marc Charles-Smith’s precision cross from the left hand side evaded Rob Laney, finding its way into Lovelock’s grasp. Matt Ball's curling free-kick from the edge was swerving into the top left, only for Shane Gore to pull off a world class stop to palm the danger over the upright.
Reid Stanislaus struck narrowly wide across goal after Niko Muir’s header into the box. Nathan Mavila bombarded up the left flank, whipping in a cross which just flew over the head of Laney, who was primed to place home if he found a connection.
Two minutes into the restart, The Greens were given the derby Blues. McCall perfectly placed his curling free-kick into the top left corner to send the away fans into raptures. McCall, in the thick of the action, gathered possession, popped forward into Reece Beckles-Richards, whose strike from 20-yards found its way past the upright.
Charles-Smith held off Sam Murphy and whipped in a delightful cross which Laney headed back across looking for the top corner, but Lovelock was on hand to make the save. Muir drifted into the area from the inside left, flashing his shot wide with the tide beginning to turn.
Three minutes from full-time, Muir broke the line, floated a paced cross across goal which was met by Bray, whose header went beyond Gore. And the hosts could have snatched a winner right at the death, though Keagan Cole fired over from inside the box.
WingateTV: Spencer McCall post Hendon: HERE
Report by Khalid Karimullah