Archive - Wednesday, 9 May 2001
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Dons fail to complete fixtures
May 9, 2001 19:08: The fixture chaos that haunted Hendon throughout the long, wet winter, has continued beyond the end of the season. Two of their matches Sutton United (away) and Harrow Borough (home) are not likely to be played.
The Dons started the final week with five matches to play. The first, at home to Aldershot on the Sunday, was rained off while Tuesday's match at Sutton United, and Wednesday's home clash with Harrow Borough were also cancelled. The FA confirmed on Friday that the the season could not be extended after the decision taken by the clubs against such a move in April.
After crashing 5-0 at home to Aldershot on Friday, Hendon had only the last day Saturday, to fulfill their three outstanding fixures.
Their punishing schedule was Sutton (away) at 8am, Dulwich Hamlet (away) at 3pm, and Harrow Borough (home) at 8pm.
There was a problem with Sutton unable to find sufficient stewards to stage the match.
Worse followed when Dulwich captain Ian Savage sustained a broken leg as Hendon won 3-0, and this caused a delay, before they returned to Claremont Road. Hendon had experienced difficulty in contacting their volunteer stewards at short notice, and the match with Harrow was called off.
Slough's 2-0 defeat at Chesham sent them down and meant that Harrow were safe.
The deadline passed with Hendon's matches against Harrow and Sutton unplayed, with Harrow rejecting Hendon's offer to play the game next Monday.
Hendon secretary Graham Etchell is waiting to hear from the league. "We could be fined, but that would be harsh, after we've made every effort to complete our fixtures," said Etchell.
"I have never wanted a season to end more than this one," admitted exhausted Hendon manager Frank Murphy.
"The season has been a complete nightmare and professional players would not be asked to play the sort of schedule we have faced in the past month.
"The players are on their knees, but they have been magnificent. If we had not had the long breaks in the season and played regularly, I am sure we would have finished in the top six. The squad was certainly good enough for that."
Hendon Supporters' Association members have voted Dale Binns their player of the year for the 2000-01 season. The 19-year-old attacking wide midfielder or striker is one of the club's youngest ever winners of the award.