Goalless draw is not enough to lift Hendon out of the drop zone

By Dominique Stafford in Rugby

HENDON endured a frustrating afternoon on Saturday as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to Lowestoft Town in the Ryman Premier Division even though the visitors had an outfield player in goal for more than half the match

Only 20 minutes had been played when Lowestoft keeper Jamie Waite was involved in a nasty – and completely accidental – collision with the Greens’ Casey Maclaren which resulted in both players crashing to the ground.

Maclaren left the field with what appeared to be a serious rib injury but Waite initially carried on, only to collapse again when attempting to punch a ball clear on 40 minutes.

After lengthy treatment it was decided that he was unable to continue and, with no substitute keeper on the bench, midfielder Travis Cole took over in goal.

However, Lowestoft did a good job of protecting their makeshift keeper in the rest of the match and the hosts rarely looked like scoring in the second half as they were unable to get the win which would have seen them climb out of the drop zone.

Jake Reed brought a good early save out of Hendon keeper Tom Lovelock, while Laste Dombaxe tested Waite at the other end prior to the game-changing incident.

The Greens offered little attacking threat in the remainder of the first half, while Lovelock did well to thwart Rory McAuley just before the interval.

Lowestoft defended in numbers in the second period as they frustrated a home side who were rarely able to test Cole.

Instead, the visitors almost took the lead on the break in the 69th minute when Nico Cotton found himself with a clear run at goal and unleashed a shot which struck the outside of the post.

Hendon struggled to get a shot on target, and when they did Matt Ball’s effort lacked power and Cole was able to make a comfortable save.

Both teams could have snatched victory in the closing stages, but Ball and Lowestoft’s Matt Jarvis lacked composure at the vital moment and sent their shots sailing over the bar as the points were shared.

Hendon visit Havant and Waterlooville on Saturday (3pm), before hosting Wealdstone on Tuesday in the semi-finals of the Middlesex Senior Cup (7.45pm).

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