David Garbacz, the manager of Hendon, says that he will take his team to Wingate & Finchley for next month’s Peter Morrison Trophy final with a clear conscience following accusations from Brady boss Josh Rosenfeld that
Hendon’s winning goal came as a result of a “blatant handball”.
Ari Last and the debated effort from Avidan Last boosted Hendon’s treble dreams as they held off the challenge of Premier Division rivals Brady in a thriller at Rowley Lane.
Hendon rode their luck at times, with Brady hitting the woodwork on two occasions, but they held on to set up a national final clash against first division champions Oakwood on April 29.
After the game, Rosenfeld said: “In all honesty, I think we should have won the game. The most upsetting thing is the manner in which we lost the game. I don’t like complaining about officials, but everyone watching the game, except the ref and his two assistants, saw the Hendon second goal was scored with the palm of his hand.
“It was like Thierry Henry against the Republic of Ireland and it’s embarrassing how over 40 people could see the handball, except the officials.
"It was the biggest game in some of our boys’ lives and they lose by a blatant handball. It’s not good enough and there’s no excuse.”
Garbacz responded. “Josh is a lovely guy and an excellent young manager and, as I said after the game, Brady were the toughest team we have come up against this season.
"With regard to his comments, in practically every game of football at every level there will be contentious decisions. The referee is doing his best and can only give what he sees. It certainly wasn’t clear-cut at all and some refs might have given it and some would have let it go.
"For the record, their goal came from a corner that was blatantly headed out by one of their players, but you just have to accept the decision of the man in the middle.”
Responding to the criticism of the winning goal, match referee Tony McEvoy said: "Josh Rosenfeld’s comments are disappointing after I fully explained to him and his team what did and didn’t happen.
"My officials and I did not see any infringement with the second Hendon goal.”
Josh Lipman and Ben Lauffer were the two star performers as Hendon booked a place in their second cup final of the season. “We managed to win because we have unbelievable spirit and togetherness, and no end of skill and guts," said Garbacz.
"I am so proud of all my boys for the way they play their football and for what we have achieved.
"Do not underestimate the difficulty in reaching two finals and challenging for the league, but together the whole squad is pulling us through."
"Now we have to go on and win the lot. We can’t wait."