An eventful game! Overall a deserved victory but not without its controversial moments. McLaren's tackle was fairly worthy of a red card, as was the Lewes bloke's for hurling the ball against a Hendon player's head. The Lewes centre forward was lucky to stay on the pitch for an earlier elbow in Braithwaite's face before Lewes got what looked a softish pen for a shirt pull. Both teams and both benches needed to calm down at half time.
The 2nd half was largely dominated by Hendon and it was clear that the Lewes keeper was carrying a knock as he made a very half hearted attempt to come out to Ibe, who squeezed the ball in at the near post. Cue the sub keeper but he hadn't been on for too long before Casey McClaren weaved past one defender and lashed home a shot high at the near post. The game became stretched and Tony Taggart produced a superb weaving run before unselfishly setting up Percil for a shot that the keeper blocked. Despite a few late corners, Hendon hung on well against a fairly poor and argumentative Lewes team.
Lots of good performances, with special mentions to Ibe, Taggart, Casey McClaren, Goode and Braithwaite.
First up, I wasn't at the game this afternoon but was utterly delighted to see three points heading back North with us. Well done to everyone involved. (Yes, feel free to bombard me with emails about being a part-time fan or whatever, we can discuss that elsewhere)
However, and I hate to go negative here, I was enormously disappointed to see Kev sent off again. He is one of the most approachable guys in the squad, and has been since he's been at the club. HOWEVER, the captain has to set an example. This is his second red card of the season and will now, presumably, miss four matches. Given the scrap we are in for a play-off spot we are currently in, we can ill-afford a player of Kev's experience and quality to be missing for so long.
I don't know the circumstances with regards to the red card today except the opinions I've variously read this evening. I've not seen anything suggesting that Kev was harshly dismissed. In addition, there have been reports of behaviour off the pitch from Kev, that have not been widely publicised, that is not in keeping with that of a Hendon footballer, let alone captain in my eyes. Equally, I find it slightly embarrassing having to try and defend the conduct of someone who is seen to be letting the club down. After the nadir of the friendly at Chesham a few years ago, I thought things had changed... Perhaps I was wrong.
Fines are all well and good, but if we drop points in the next month that might cost us a place in the play-offs then I for one, will be extremely unhappy.
Re: The skipper...
I am a relatively new supporter to the club, and was at Lewes yesterday. It is a shame that our captain lets himself down so badly with his discipline. I was browsing the FA website last night - he starts a 2 match ban for accumulation of bookings next Saturday, and then a 4 match ban for yesterday's red card. Assuming there's no postponements - after tomorrow's game he won't be able to play until 7th March!
I know I'm new to the club, only been coming for about a year - but this, together with the various rumours that I hear about his behaviour off the pitch, is not becoming of a captain of any side, in any sport, at any level.
I would be interested to hear the thoughts of the board and the management team about Kevin's discipline and rumoured off-field behaviour - if true on the latter stage. He is supposed to be a role model - this is not the behaviour I want my children to see when they are old enough to come to games.
For me this is a situation where the club do need to say something to the supporters. It is suspensions like this that, as John said, could cost us a place in the play-offs. Kevin, when he's concentrating on playing like we all know he can, is one of the best defensive midfielders in this league. For me, his discipline is too much of a risk.
I believe Seeby has 2 more games to go on his suspension and O'Leary has one more to go - we need to get the discipline sorted out if we want to ensure we get a spot in the play-offs (I think the title is Maidstone's to lose now).
On a positive note, I must say a huge well done to the other members of the squad yesterday for the recovery after going behind and the red cards to secure the win - well done all. Kevin - I hope you're hanging your head in shame this morning. You have let the club and it's supporters down very badly in my opinion.
Benefit of the doubt
Yesterday I set off for Lewes and completely messed things up. Leaving late, (a strategy which worked against Kingstonian), in case of pitch inspections, I was finally defeated by all things a landslide in Banbury! I felt a total plank. We have all made wasted journey's and yesterday in trying to be clever I hit an all time low in terms of stupidity. As with Kevin yesterday we both made mistakes. Actually, I probably out did him. A staunch believer in discipline some may find it hard to be reading I am defending him. Obviously I did not see the incident. but Seeby last red card would have been the same criteria.
I don't think Hendon have a problem any more so than anybody else. Four or five seasons back - I really did and some of comments drew personal condemnation. That's football - it's a game of opinions.
I think the problems of the past have been eradicated. I do agree with the impact on the team - he and Seebs are a big loss.
I have had an issue in the past in the profile of the Mac lads in how they have reacted to provocation and leapt to the defence of eachother. Like watching the Krays. To be fair I think the pair of them have stamped it out and deem it necessary to hence defend them when applicable.
Well done yesterday - tough game coming up - both I and Kevin made apparent mistakes yesterday - nothing more than that - time to move on.
Should be a cracker against East Thurrock.
Hard to comment on something when one is not present. I also missed the game but saw it was for a tackle not dissent. I think Kevin has come on bundles from the early days. His discipline has greatly improved and being given the armband is due to that turn around. He has been a great captain and our squad is fantastic. They play as a unit lead by Kevin. He could have naffed off when they got a pay cut. They all could. We are bloody lucky to have each and every one of them.
The aim for play offs brings extra pressure. We have faced more physical sides since we have been in contention. The refereeing is the same standard. Some tackles and off the ball incidents that should have been dealt with were not. Yet the Lads battled on and kep their composure. They are a credit to us. This is a season we are in with a shout. Unity is the only way forward. Get to the games. Get behind the team. We are one club.
Off the field 'stories' - there are two sides to every story.
Re: Not There
Yesterday's tackle was bad and a definite straight red for intent and execution. He launched himself from a fair distance and took the bloke out from behind. There was no possibility of playing the ball.
I too am a recent recruit to the current set up (a lapsed fan if you like) and thus I've missed 99.9% of Kevin McClaren's career. Sadly I've seen enough in the last few weeks to tell me the club has a problem which needs sorting. Even sadder that it's detracting from the football and the great efforts being made on and off the field.
I took a straw poll of Hendon fans behind the goal when Kevin was red-carded and no one made a compelling argument that the decision was wrong.
However, Leroy Griffiths should have been the third Lewes player dismissed after the two Frasers, James on Elliott Brathwaite, Tom on Casey Maclaren committed violent elbow offences, both of which were far worse than the offence for which Chris Seeby was deservedly dismissed.
The first half at Lewes matched the Billericay game at Earlsmead for nastiness, but the second half showed that when we keep our cool and play our brand of football, we are a team to be feared.
I think every team needs its hard man, a bit of bite, and we look a weaker side when Kevin and Casey aren't involved. The word lightweight springs to mind. Obviously having been a regular for 15 years, the two of them remind me of the Burgess twins, who were sent off more often, but both made hundreds of appearances for us and were mainstays of the side.
For those who didn't make it (including me) there is a highlights video, but those chancers at the awful Football Exclusives website are charging a fiver's monthly signup just to watch it.
Seems like ripping people off was the theme of the day. £11 to get in (but again I was probably the only one paying that) and £6 for burger and chips ffs.
Talking of expense, can anyone direct me to a cheap rail ticket to Margate. All the usual suspects are wanting about 30 sovs for advance booking.
Re: Rip Off
A pint out of the barrel on the bar was £2. Plastic glass though....
Re: Rip Off
I should wait a week, Jeff, and then re-check rail fares. For unknown reasons, the advanced fare for next weekend is £22.40 whereas, as you stated, that for the following weekend is £30.40.
The price for burger and chips was £6, cheesburger and chips £6.50. Was a real good burger though.
Best way to get cheap fares if not an 'oldie' - get a job within the rail services!!
Re: Rip Off
£22.40 is the super off peak day return fare from Victoria. The £30.40 sounds like the day return fare for the HS1 route from St Pancras.
With a Network Card discount I was able to get a Super off peak day return for £9.45 from Victoria last month but it was only available from the automatic machines on the Southeastern Trains concourse, Platforms 1-8 (Margate trains usually depart from Platform 1 or 2), not from the machines on the Southern Trains concourse, Platforms 9-17. (Ticket office queues at Victoria on Saturday mornings are ridiculous, you'll be lucky to get served within 20 minutes.)
Regarding Football Exclusives: they film all matches for Dulwich, Lewes, Hampton and Staines; if you support one of those clubs and want access to coverage of all matches then £5 a month equates to each match for no more than the price of a decent daily newspaper. They're running a small business with overheads, they're not a charity. (Obviously if you just want to see your team play one of those sides a couple of tmes a season it's not really worth it.)