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    MATCH REPORT
Saturday 06 November 2004
FA Trophy

Hendon    3 - 0    AFC Wimbledon
Eugene Ofori (48)
Mark Nicholls (51)
Mark Nicholls (83)
   
 
 Dave King 1 Danny Naisbitt 
 
( 39)  Mark Burgess 2 Michael Woolner 
 
 Dave Sargent 3 Ryan Gray 
 
 Wayne Carter 4 Antony Howard 
 
 Rene Street 5 Matt Everard 
 
 James Burgess 6 Steve Butler ( 56) 
 
 Richard McDonagh 7 Robert Ursell 
 
(sub 79)  Eugene Ofori 8 Jon-Barrie Bates (sub 72) 
 
(sub 69)  John Frendo 9 Richard Butler (sub 64) 
 
(sub 86)  Mark Nicholls 10 Gary Prigent (sub 70) 
 
 Danny Julienne 11 Chris Gell 
 
  ---  
 
 Martin Vrhouski 12 Joe Sheerin (sub 64) 
 
  13 Paul Smith 
 
(sub 86)  Usif Bangura 14 Leon McDowall (sub 70) 
 
 Antony Robinson 15 Gavin Bolger (sub 72) 
 
  16 Steve Gibson 
 
(sub 79)  Ross Pickett 17  
 
(sub 65)  Rob Courtnage 18  
 

Match report

The Dons travelled to play the Dons in the FA Trophy as Dave Anderson took his new charges across London to face Hendon. Wimbledon stepped up their game well and had the better of the opening period against their Ryman Premier Division opposition, but three well worked strikes in the second half saw the senior side win through.

With Martin Randall absent spending time with his wife and newborn baby, Gary Prigent came into the side up front as the only change from the team that equalled the English league record on Tuesday.

Chris Gell teed up Rob Ursell in the box. His shot was blocked and Ryan Gray?s follow-up volley was cleared. A Micky Woolner header saw King scrambling back to tip it over the bar. Prigent was then chopped down late on the halfway line, but the referee decided not to card Julienne.

A good move for Hendon ended with Ofori blazing horribly over the bar from the edge of the box. The yellow Dons then went closest to opening the scoring on 15 minutes. Prigent peeled out wide to collect a channel ball, tricked and torment the defender before crossing into the box. Gell flicked the ball down to Ursell and his shot beat King but cannoned to safety off the crossbar.

Prigent was then upended on the edge of the box as Hendon struggled to deal with him, but Ryan Gray drove the freekick at the wall. Steve Butler went close from a corner as Wimbledon enjoyed a spell of pressure. Prigent scampered free once more and laid a measured through-ball into the box, but King was alert to the danger and raced out to collect it at the feet of Richard Butler. Butler then found himself some space in the area, but his eventual shot was blocked behind for a corner which came to nothing.

Nicholls then spurned a glorious chance to give the home side the lead on the half-hour mark as Ofori spun Steve Butler and crossed into the box. The ex-Chelsea man arrived late at the back post unmarked but drove his volley narrowly over the bar. As the Greens put a good couple of moves together Frendo capitalised on some defensive confusion to nip in between Everard and Howard from a long ball but drove well over.

Naisbitt then scampered off his line to deny Frendo, but miskicked his clearance and had to scramble back to his goal. Gell intervened to win the ball and avert the danger.
At the other end a great ball from Gray gave Richard Butler a free header, but he could only nod the ball weakly straight into the arms of King. Antony Howard was then surprised to find the ball dropping to his feet from a free-kick after Ursell was fouled, but snatched at the chance and drove wide.

Prigent was blocked once more as he tried to capitalise on another cross, while Carter snatched at a chance at the other end and sent a shot wide. Street made a horrible mess of a defensive header and Richard Butler nipped in for a snapshot, but his connection could only send the ball wide. Two further goalmouth scrambles followed, but the Greens held firm. As Wimbledon probed further for an opening goal on the stroke of half-time, Ursell sent Gray through, but the wing-back snatched at the chance and shot over.

The last chance of the half fell to Hendon and Mark Nicholls curled a free-kick wide of the post after he himself was fouled.

Wimbledon may have had the better of the opening period, but it was Hendon who took the lead three minutes after the restart. As the ball was lifted into the area, Nicholls span Everard in the box and peeled out wide. He sent a great cross into the area which hung in the air at the far post and Ofori headed home. Worse was to follow just three minutes later as Nicholls scored a fine solo effort, jinking his way past a couple of players on the edge of the box and curling a low shot past Naisbitt.

Hendon had their tails up now and Frendo drew two good saves from Naisbitt. First he tipped a header over the bar and then he got down low to block a near-post shot from the resultant corner.

With a lead to defend, Hendon looked much more secure at the back than they had in the first half. Dave Anderson sent on Gavin Bolger, Leon McDowall and Joe Sheerin as he tried to bring his side back into the match. But Hendon were able to defend deeper and outright chances were hard to come by. Several goalmouth scrambles came to nothing. McDowell had the best chance after good work by Bolger but sent a shot wide when through on goal.

The last chance of getting back into the match evaporated on 83 minutes, when Nicholls capped a fine display with his second goal, waltzing past the Dons defence and rolling the ball past Naisbitt for 3-0.

So the Wimbledon Trophy adventure didn?t last as long as the FA Cup campaign. Anderson?s side were left to rue the missed chances in the first half, but yet again the Surrey Dons were unable to break down a higher-ranked side having dropped behind. The North London Dons completed a victory that in the end looked fairly comfortable as they travelled into the Second Round.

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