Wednesday, 18 July 2007

17/07/2007 - Farnborough 5 Barnet 1

The last time I saw Ian Hendon playing football was in a Romford Schools seven-a-side tournament.

As I recall, although this is going back 20 odd years, Hendon was sent off when playing against us and horrible irks that we were at the time we jeered at him and made him cry.

And I suspect he would have wept at the performance put in by the Barnet team he skippered in this pre-season friendly at Farnborough as the League Two side went down 5-1 to their Southern One South West hosts.

My first outing of the 2007/08 season - just two months since I saw Braintree defeated in the Conference South play-off final - was made all the more interesting by watching Hendon turning out.

He is assistant manager at Barnet and is the last man standing (playing) in league football from all of the people in my school year group that I ever played against in junior football.

It made me reflect on what has happened in the near 30 years since we were under-8s playing in the Echo League in Essex for our respective teams.

Hendon looked as fit as the proverbial butcher's dog, lean from a career of professional sport and tanned from a summer break no doubt spent on the beach.

I was pale and a bit flabby, wrapped up in a jacket concerned that despite this being July, I might get a bit chilly standing on the touchlines. Still there you go.

Despite my weather worries, this was actually a very pleasant evening's entertainment.The match was Farnborough's first as a ressurected team and I had the pleasure of capturing their first ever goal which broke the deadlock shortly into the first half.

A Farnborough forward found himself in space on the right wing and crossed low to Jermaine Hamilton who looped the ball over the despairing grasp of the Barnet custodian to register the first notch under the new regime.

Hamilton added a second shortly before half time which had the league opposition scratching their heads and muttering to themselves that pre-season doesn't count.

Farnborough had a complete change of personnel at half time and the goals kept on coming.

The third was added by a tricky Farnborough winger Darren Campbell who defied his size to out jump that man Hendon to nod home a cross.

I was tempted to try and make Hendon cry again, but maybe this picture will do the trick. Jump man, jump.

The fourth was the goal of the game, a looping header from Warren Coborne who connected while travelling at speed away from the goal.

Barnet got one back after a defensive mix up from the home side, but the home fans went home delighted by a fifth Farnborough goal from Mark Green right on the final whistle.

Also of interest for me in the match was an appearance for Barnet by Ludovic Quistin playing at left back who I had last seen playing for Harlow against Flackwell Heath back in January.

Quistin scored two excellent goals playing as a striker for Harlow in a 7-0 gubbing and I'd marked him as a prospect in a report to my dad.

Good to see I can spot them, perhaps I ought to ask Hendon for a scouting role...