Sport

Hendon buzzing after Oldham win

David Ballheimer on the Greens prospects in the FA Trophy and Southern League South

Hendon fans and players celebrate the recent victory at former Premier League Oldham
Hendon fans and players celebrate the recent victory at former Premier League Oldham – (Credit – Derek Beech)

Hendon go into the last three months of the season buzzing after the club’s win at Oldham on 13th January. Fans discussing the 2–1 victory rate it as the biggest and most important cup win since Leyton Orient were beaten 1–0 in an FA Cup first round replay at Brisbane Road in November 1997.

The Greens’ reward is a trip to Vanarama National League and Middlesex rivals Wealdstone on 10th February.

Manager Lee Allinson has done an incredible job with probably the smallest squad in the Southern League South Premier Division – and with one of the lowest budgets too – getting into the top 10 and just a few points outside the playoffs.

Last season, Hendon finished one place outside the relegation zone with statistically the club’s worst ever campaign. Twenty-five games into 2023–24, the Greens already have only one point fewer than last season’s 42-game total.

Lee Allinson, with his father and former Arsenal favourite Ian Allinson at his side, has got the team playing with flair and confidence, something lacking last year, but the biggest change is their attitude, and the closeness of the whole squad.

How far can they go? The club’s financial position is a concern so an influx of players to get into the playoffs is unlikely, and keeping the squad fit is critical. In addition to the League and FA Trophy success, the Greens have done well in both the Middlesex and London Senior Cups, reaching the last eight.

Victory over Wealdstone in the Trophy last 16 would be Hendon’s best achievement in 50 seasons in the competition, and they will be underdogs against the Stones. A county cup final appearance is a possibility too. As for the League, a mid-table finish would be a fine achievement, top eight superb and playoffs simply exceptional.

This is one of a series of reports on local football clubs – you can also read updates from Wingate and Finchley and Hadley.


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