McCann heroics not enough for Dons in FA Cup

Notts County 3 Hendon 0

FA Cup first round replay

Goalkeeper Gary McCann was Hendon's hero with two magnificent saves that allowed the Dons to stay on level terms with Notts County for an hour in this FA Cup first round replay at Meadow Lane on Tuesday.

Then the Nationwide Second Division side showed their superiority over the tiring Ryman League part-timers on a rain-soaked surface with three well-taken goals to end gallant Hendon's hopes of claiming a League scalp for the second successive season.

The highlight of McCann's superb display came in the 26th minute when County substitute Richard Liburd met a cross from the right by wing back Ian Hendon with a fierce volley at point blank range, but the keeper somehow kept it out.

Seven minutes later, County's Gary Jones burst clear but McCann raced from his line and spread himself at the feet of the tall striker to stop him dead in his tracks.

As in the goalless first encounter between the two sides, Hendon had their chances to establish a useful early lead. This time, it was Junior Lewis who missed out twice in the first seven minutes.

Storming on to Matthew Howard's long through pass, Lewis took the ball past keeper Darren Ward, but was forced wide, before pulling the ball back to the edge of the box, where Freddie Hyatt's powerful shot rebounded off the recovering keeper.

A minute later, Lewis was again left clear with only Ward to beat but lost control and was robbed by defender Ian Richardson.

County's style had been cramped at Claremont Road, but on the spacious Meadow Lane pitch, they were able to play a more expansive game, raiding down both flanks.

When Ian Hendon's crosses came into the box Dons skipper Steve Bateman showed his class. With good anticipation, he was always in the right place to calmly clear the danger.

So, too, was Gary Fitzgerald. In the opening minutes of the second half with a goal line clearance from Matthew Redmile's powerful header. When Redmile followed up, McCann saved well.

Matthew Redmile's header from a corner was bound for the top of the net until Fitzgerald cleared.

County's pressure paid off on the hour. In another raid down the right, Liburd, receiving from Jones, hit over a cross to the far post where it was played back inside by Shaun Murray for Gary Owers to fire high into the net. McCann was unlucky as the shot appeared to take an early deflection off a defender.

Lewis and Paul Whitmarsh, who caused problems for the Second Division side at Claremont Road, were closely shadowed this time.

However, as Hendon rallied, Whitmarsh got his first sight of goal in the 70th minute when he skilfully made space for himself, but saw his shot flash wide.

Hendon's task was made more difficult in the 75th minute as County went further ahead. Jones raced on to Liburd's through pass and fired a low cross-shot into the net.

As Hendon threw everything into attack, County took advantage to seal their victory with a third goal in the 83rd minute. Jones, receiving from Tony Garcia, skilfully chipped the ball high over stranded McCann.

Though County, who have beaten Second Division promotion contenders Fulham and Stoke at Meadow Lane this season, were worthy winners, Hendon performed creditably in both clashes.

HENDON: McCann, Howard, Clarke, Daly, Bateman, Cox (Kelly, 80), Pye (Heard, 80) Hyatt, Whitmarsh, Fitzgerald (Brady, 80), Lewis.

Attendance: 2,230.

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