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Football: Second chance for lucky County

Hendon 0 Notts County 0
HENDON, OF the Ryman Premier Division, lived to fight another day in the FA Cup first round yesterday by holding Second Division Notts County to a goalless draw in north London. The non-League side will now travel to the East Midlands a week tomorrow for a replay which, if won, would earn them a second round home tie against Wigan.

The part-timers had the lion's share of the chances in an entertaining if graceless game played in difficult conditions. As early as the first minute, Paul Whitmarsh was set free on goal by a pass from midfield but his shot was comfortably saved.

After 10 minutes Whitmarsh had a better chance but his effort clipped the post and bounced away. Freddie Hyatt, a rat-catcher by profession, was unable to snare the rebound and County took the chance to catch the home side on the break. A long ball fell to Sean Farrell but that effort was saved.

Given the fact that County romped home with the Third Division title last season and lie 64 places above yesterday's opponents in the League pyramid, their failure to create anything of note did not bode well even given the bumpy, heavy nature of the pitch.

Even Darren Ward in the County goal probably deserved the Hendon fans' chants of "dodgy keeper," when he came too far out to make one clearance, leaving Junior Lewis a half-chance of lobbing him from near the centre circle. Unfortunately for Lewis, who made numerous lolloping runs at the County defence, his effort did not have the accuracy or power.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Lewis had a clearer chance, a free header in the box, but managed only to send it bobbling over the bar. Ten minutes later, another Lewis shot from a tight angle after a run down the right, crossed the face of goal but got no closer.

"We've got to get our act together at home," Sam Allardyce, the County manager, said afterwards. His counterpart, Frank Murphy, said that the replay "will mean a couple of bob for the club and a day out in Nottingham. Great, eh?"

If they win, it will be.

Hendon (4-4-2): McCann; Howard, Clarke, Bateman, Cox; Daly, Pye (Heard, 82), Hyatt, Fitzgerald; Whitmarsh (Maran, 90), Lewis. Substitutes not used: Kelly, Gill, Warmington.

Notts County (4-4-2): Ward; Fairclough, Owers, Redmile, Richardson; Pearce, Hendon, Murray, Jones; Jackson, Farrell (Liburd, 82). Substitutes not used: Garcia, Stodder, Tierney, Beattie.

Booking: County: Farrell.

Referee: E Wolstenholme (Blackburn)

Man of the match: Lewis.

Attendance: 1,627.