The Betting.net Performance of the Month Awards for November have been announced, with young goalkeeper Dan Purdue of Hendon FC receiving the honours in the Premier Division.
The Greens faced Slough Town in an FA Trophy replay at Arbour Park on November 28th, after the original match ended 1-1 at Silver Jubilee Park.
It was the same scoreline after 90 minutes in the replay as Daniel Uchechi scored from Niko Muir’s through ball to put Hendon in front on 32 minutes, only for the Rebels to equalise bang on full time.
A further 30 minutes still could not separate the teams, and that’s when young Dan’s show-stopping performance truly started.
Hendon manager Gary McCann was shorn of his first-choice goalkeeper Tom Lovelock due to a bout of flu, so had called on Under 18’s custodian Purdue for the match.
The youngster had already performed admirably throughout the 120 minutes, but now faced the tough reality of a penalty shoot-out.
Many keepers would have crumbled under the pressure, but Purdue saved two of the opposition spot kicks, while a third hit the crossbar (although a few observers suggested that he might have got a fingernail on the ball.)
Big things are expected of the young shot-stopper, who now already has his first league #PMA award.
Hendon will welcome Bath FC to North London in the FA Trophy first-round proper.
In the North Division, meanwhile, Heybridge Swifts picked up a ‘Performance of the Month’ Award for their thrashing of Premier Division Kingstonian in their FA Trophy third qualifying round replay on November 29th.
In what has already been a superb season for Swifts, they dismantled the K’s in no uncertain terms at Scraley Road, scoring five times before the opposition netted a solitary consolation goal.
The hosts were 2-0 up within 18 minutes as Sam Bantick and Kreshnic Krasniqi were given the freedom of the box to convert crosses.
They could have been more than two goals to the good at the break, but didn’t have to wait long, as just three minutes after the restart, Joe Gardner added to his goal from three days earlier with the third of the night.
Try as they might, Kingstonian could not break through Jody Brown’s defence, and it was left to Bantick to put the gloss on the result as he completed his hat-trick in style with goals in the 73rd and 80th minutes.
Reece Grant netted Kingstonian’s goal from the spot with just three minutes to go, but it failed to dampen the spirits of the home faithful, who had witnessed yet another superb display from their heroes.
Swifts’ reward for their exploits is a trip to Beveree Stadium to take on Hampton & Richmond Borough on December 16th.
The award for the South Division goes to Omar Koroma for his four-goal display against Hythe Town while on loan at Carshalton Athletic.
In his first outing for the Robins, the 28-year-old Gambian striker put on a masterful display of finishing as the Cannons were blown apart at Reachfields Stadium.
He grabbed his first on 16 minutes, slotting home from close range from Mikel Miller’s cross and it was the Sutton side who led 1-0 at the break.
With Hythe reduced to ten men for the second half, the pressure told as the same two players doubled the visitors’ lead on 57 minutes.
Koroma was looking more and more dangerous as the half wore on, so it was no surprise when he claimed the match ball with a superb curling strike from the edge of the area on 80 minutes.
Just two minutes later, and he was at it once more, Miller again finding the African to fire home his fourth of the day.
It was a magnificent exhibition of finishing and well worthy of November’s Performance of the Month Award, with the player then returning to parent club Dulwich Hamlet.