Both sides had good chances to win the match, but in the end a draw was probably the right result on the 4G pitch at Hendon’s new Silver Jubilee Park home.
Manager Danny Heale made four changes from the side that were beaten 4-1 by Wingate & Finchley three days earlier.
Defenders Jack Lampe and Ryan O’Rawe both dropped to the bench, Dominic Green missed out through an injury sustained on his debut and Ashley Dumas was away with work. Tambeson Eyong returned from suspension at right back while John Mbamarah and Ryan Blackman were handed debuts in central defence and central midfield respectively. Harrison Chatting also returned on the left wing having missed out recently with a bad back.
The first chance of the match fell to Canvey in the 12th minute when a long ball forwards was brought under control by Martin Tuohy on the edge of the area. Tuohy worked the ball through to George Sykes inside the area who uncharacteristically dragged his shot across goal. Mitchell Gilbey stayed alert and got to the ball at the far post before it went out for a goal kick, but his goalbound effort from a right angle was blocked by a defender.
Hendon had a great opportunity themselves on 23 minutes when Keagan Cole came out of midfield, hurdling three tackles from Canvey players and working his way in the area before squaring for Niko Muir. The striker was perfectly placed to make the net bulge, eight yards from goal in a central position with only goalkeeper Lewis Moore to beat. However, Muir fluffed his lines and scuffed his shot across goal and wide.
George Sykes came closest to scoring a first half goal on 35 minutes when he collected a ball from the right wing inside the area with his back to the target. Sykes did well to turn his marker and shoot across goal towards the bottom corner, although his effort went inches wide.
Sykes was involved once again two minutes into the second half when he rattled the woodwork. Tambeson Eyong had clipped a ball down the right wing for Martin Tuohy, who in turn brought the ball under control before flicking out for Mitchell Gilbey on the touchline.
Gilbey whipped in a cross with his right foot which landed straight at the feet of Sykes, but his shot across goal thumped the post before being cleared by the home defence.
Hendon launched an immediate attack which gave Keagan Cole a sight of goal from 20 yards, but Lewis Moore did well to save his shot diving low to his right.
Mitchell Gilbey was having a good game for the Gulls and was involved once again on 64 minutes when he gained possession on the right wing level with the edge of the box. Gilbey ran the ball infield, beating two tackles and setting up Martin Tuohy who fired narrowly wide from 18 yards.
The same two players combined once again six minutes later when Tuohy played the ball out to Gilbey just outside the area on the right. The midfielder beat his man but his shot across goal was narrowly off target.
There was controversy on 72 minutes when Hendon right winger Jerome Federico went down inside the area under the challenge of John Mbamarah. However, despite the incident looking worthy of a penalty, neither the referee or his assistant were convinced and allowed play to continue.
Former-Canvey striker Kezie Ibe had been introduced up front earlier in the match and nearly set up a goal for his current side on 76 minutes. The ball was played into Ibe on the edge of the box who showed his trademark strength to hold off a defender before laying it back for strike partner Niko Muir who curled wide of the top corner from 20 yards.
From the goal kick defender Bradley Hewitt misjudged a defensive header which allowed Martin Tuohy run at goal. Tuohy was not alone and was held up by defenders, eventually passing to George Sykes. However, Bradley Hewitt had recovered superbly from his error to slide in to deflect Sykes’ shot behind for a corner.
The subsequent corner found the head of Steve Sheehan but his effort was hooked off the line by a defender.
Canvey came even closer on 79 minutes when a looping cross from the right by Martin Tuohy caused his former-AFC Hornchurch goalkeeper teammate Darren Behcet problems. Behcet managed to tip the ball onto the underside of the crossbar and miraculously preventing it from crossing the line. The Canvey players were convinced that they had scored but the assistant was perfectly placed to rule to goal out.
The final chance of the match nearly saw the hosts claim victory in what would have been the harshest of fashions in the 88th minute. A corner was sent across goal with a glancing header but thankfully was kept out on the line by Mitchell Gilbey.
Danny Heale Post-Match Interview