Hammers finish with a flurry
Hendon United A left it late as five goals in the final 15 minutes booked their place in the next round of the JC Cyril Anekstein Cup.
The Premier League side - up against Chigwell United A, their fellow high flyers from Division 1 - ultimately proved too strong as they cut swathes through the Essex side’s defence, aided by the brilliant Greg Corin, who made use of his free role by popping up anywhere and everywhere.
Manager David Garbacz said: “We played very well except the first 20 minutes and created a host of chances. I think that the key difference this season is that we’ve got a bigger squad, with Ben and Raphael Kon coming in, and Josh Bentley and Greg Corin fully fit.” He added: “We are definitely capable of winning the double if we continue in our current vein of form.”
The match, however, started in auspicious circumstances for Hendon after centre-back Paul Bentley tripped a man in the box, before Glenn Michaels slotted home the spot-kick past Russell Corin.
Down with less than 15 minutes gone, Hendon kept their opponent hemmed back and created half a dozen presentable chances, the best of which fell to Ari Last who missed a header from three yards on the stretch, before forcing a fall stretch save from Marc Jacobs, who did well to palm wide his fierce drive.
Pressure told, however, in first half stoppage time when Josh Bentley
Chigwell started the second half as they ended the first- camped with half a dozen men inside their box. In the entire match they failed to penetrate the final third, save for a dangerous Neil Tilley run in the first half and a vital save by Corin at the feet of Doron Weinstein when he threatened to get in on goal early in the second.
Electing to work the ball into wide areas earlier on in moves, Hendon fed their forwards with numerous chances; first Yishai Last struck a post from 10 yards, then Paul Bentley somehow conspired to chip the ball over from three yards when seemingly under no pressure.
However, their patience told on 75 minutes when the energetic Ben Kon worked a one-two on the right-hand side and struck home a low drive at the near post. Two minutes later, substitute Avidan Last proved less wasteful than his brothers when he tapped home at the far post from a Martin Smulovitch cross.
Corin then got the goal his superb play deserved when he swung in a free kick from the right that was missed by the goalkeeper, and landed in the roof of the net.
Excellent play again on the wing, this time from the impressive Michael Slavinsky on the right , culminated in a low cross which was smartly headed home by Avidan Last.
There was still time for Corin to score a second in stoppage time and for Chigwell to lose Doron Weinstein for two yellows right at the death.
Chigwell manager Richard Slater, who was left without any substitutes said: “The boys were brilliant for 75 minutes. Our effort was good throughout, but unfortunately fitness told in the end. But considering we were missing key men I am happy we pushed them for so long.”
Hendon: R Corin; Slavinsky, P Bentley (sub: A Rosenthal), Lipman, Smulovitch (sub: M Korman); R Kon, B Kon, J Bentley; Ari Last, G Corin, Y Last (sub: Avidan Last)
Chigwell: Jacobs; Yershon, Shafron, Davis, S Rosenthal; Weinstein, Witzenfeld, Swead, Slater; Michaels, Tilley