Wednesday 18 February // Robert Dyas League Cup QF // Attendance: 84 // Report by Helen Terrell
Maidstone United are out of the Robert Dyas League Cup for the second time this season.
Jay Saunders fielded a much changed side for this fixture, playing his first match of the campaign.
It was cagey start for the Stones as the players adapted to the conditions and team changes. Hendon had the better of the opening minutes with central defenders Ollie Brown and Phil Starkey, and goalkeeper Will Godmon called into action.
Maidstone’s best chance in the early stages fell to Liam King who made a good run towards goal only to be met by a couple of Hendon defenders who blocked his chance of a shot.
On 13 minutes Ben Greenhalgh forced The Greens goalie to make a save, only for the home side to break and have their own effort on goal which was just wide.
Then in a three minutes spell Godmon made a series of good saves to deny Hendon an opener.
It was end-to-end action towards the half hour mark with opportunities for either side to take the lead.
The breakthrough came after 37 minutes with Tony Taggart’s effort finding its way through the Stones defence and into the back of the net.
Maidstone had a couple of opportunities to equalise before half time – Matt Bodkin’s shot was saved by McNamara and an excellent ball from Greenhalgh saw Matt Rose’s effort go just wide.
Ten minutes into the second half Hendon doubled their lead when they were awarded a penalty. Sam Murphy stepped up and fired home an unstoppable shot.
On the hour mark, the home side could have extended their lead further but Matt Rose was in the right place at the right time to clear.
A minute later Greenhalgh had a free kick just outside the Hendon penalty area but his effort was blocked by the wall and cleared.
Maidstone made their first change on 62 with James Sutherland replacing Liam King.
With 20 minutes of the match remaining, Greenhalgh made a darting run down the left, floating in a great cross but unfortunately no one was there to get on the end of it.
Hendon kept pressing in search of a third with Starkey making an important block and another effort flying off the crossbar and into the arms of Godmon.
Jack Parkinson came on for the final 10, replacing Gary Smith.
There were a couple of half chances for either side but the scoreline remained 2-0 and the cup holders exited the competition at the quarter final stage.
Hendon: Tony Taggart 37, Sam Murphy 55
Maidstone United: –
Hendon: Ben McNamara, Dave Diedhiou, Tony Taggart, Charlie Goode, Elliott Brathwaite, James Fisher, Sam Murphy, Lee O’Leary, Andre Da Costa, Kezie Ibe, Casey Maclaren. Subs: Peter Dean, Aaron Morgan, Leon Smith, Oliver Sprague, Max McCann
Maidstone United: Will Godmon, Will Thomas, Matt Rose, Phil Starkey, Ollie Brown, Matt Bodkin, Ben Greenhalgh, Jay Saunders, Jack Jeffrey, Liam King, Gary Smith.Subs: James Sutherland, Jack Parkinson, Sam Reed