PETER MORRISON TROPHY LAST 16
AFC FLIXTON 1 HENDON UNITED SPORTS CLUB A 2
David Garbacz praised his troops after strikes from Danny Kon and a penalty from Ari Last sent Hendon into the quarter-finals of the National Cup after they came from a goal down to claim a hard-fought victory over 10-man Flixton in Manchester.
In a tight first half, Flixton capitalised on a rare mistake at the back to break well and scored when the ball rebounded into Josh Lipman and into the back of the net.
The goal came against the run of play, but Hendon responded immediately and the turning point in the match came when they equalised with the last kick of the half - a brilliant free-kick from Greg Corin was headed on by Yoav Lebens and poked into the net by Danny Kon.
Hendon took that momentum into the second half and in an almighty goalmouth scramble, Avidan Last had a shot saved by a Flixton defender on the goalline. The penalty and the red card for Alex Singer were inevitable and Ari Last coolly slotted home from the spot.
From then on Flixton battled hard, but really we were guilty of missing some excellent chances too increase the lead and the game was therefore always on a knife-edge.
Yoav Lebens and Ari last were Immense in midfield and spurred those around them to see out the win.
Hendon boss David Garbacz told JC Sport: "We're all in trouble with our wives - we've missed all our Sunday night engagements but we got the win to make it all worthwhile.
"This was a tough round trip, but there is a real winning mentality about the team this year that even against the odds we were still pretty confident of coming out on top .
"It was a great result and keeps up our unbeaten domestic run. Flixton were generous hosts and showed that the northern teams can easily compete, but overall I think we deserved the win.
"We have an incredibly exciting couple of months to go this season - we will be going for it week after week and our sights are set on silverware."
Flixton joint-manager Stuart Delmonte believes the red card incident was the turning point.
Delmonte told JC Sport: "I don’t blame Alex and I thought the red card was harsh.
"Alex was trying to protect his face so by the letter of the law we could not argue with the decision. But it was a natural reaction and it hit him more than anything.
"With 10 men, on a good pitch and against a good side we were always going to struggle to get back into the tie. The decision from the referee killed the game.
"It's a shame as I think if it was 11 against 11 we would have gone through.
"It wasn’t to be and we wish Hendon well. I hope they go on and win the competition as they are a good side."