Bentley stops Hendon going top
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|Alex Rosenthal||Josh Bentley|
Defending champions Hendon were forced to settle for a point following a titanic battle against Division One champions Oakwood.
Summer signing Josh Bentley registered against his former club, with the Hendon goal coming through Alex Rosenthal.
Hendon boss David Garbacz told JC Sport: "This was the proverbial game of two halves. We were absolutely shocking in the first half and extremely lucky to go in at 1-1.
"After a good re-group however, we came out and played them off the park in the second half and I was convinced we would go on to win it.
"Their keeper made a number of fine saves but when Josh Bentley handballed in the area in the last minute of injury time you simply could not make it up. Unfortunately however Ari Last had the kick saved and then he put the follow up header just over.
"It was a really good competetive match and in the first half Oakwood were superb. They will take points off any number of teams this year and we wish them the very best for the rest of the season.
"Overall a draw was probably just about a fair result although we definately come off the more disapponted because of the last-second drama."
Oaks joint-manager Ric Blank told JC Sport: "It was a fantastic game at Hadley Wood on Sunday morning with the scoreline barely doing justice to what unfolded. With several players away we were forced to field a makeshift back four - but you would never have known it from the way we started the game.
"We absolutely blew Hendon away in the first half with a performance as good as I can remember in my time as Oakwood boss.
"We dominated all over the park and frankly, I don't think Hendon knew what hit them. Our downfall was conceding a very soft goal and hitting the woodwork three times in a scintillating spell.
"Fortunately we got the equaliser from the spot as the keeper brought Ashy down. How he wasn't sent off as last man I'm not sure, but Josh Bentley thumped the penalty home regardless.
"We started the better in the second half but Hendon, to their credit, got a grip on the game and, as we tired, pressed continuously in search of a winner.
"Our back four stood strong though and Oli in net didn't have to make a save of note - until the very last second. The ball clearly hit Josh's hand but it was a very tough call given that it ricocheted up from point-blank range. But we accept the ref's decision and Oli Gee remained focused enough to pull off a fantastic save from Ari Last.
"We got a big slice of luck as well when Ari put the rebound over the bar when it seemed easier to score. But we absolutely deserved that luck given how we'd controlled the game for an hour.
"Overall it was a great game and we look forward to welcoming Hendon to Parmiters later in the season for what I promise will be an even tougher, more physical challenge. For now we look forward to Thursday's social where we will drink-a-drink-a-drink as undefeated men."
DC Prediction: Hendon A 2 Oakwood A 1