Back to winning ways

FORMER England and Aston Villa player Lee Hendrie may have signed for Kidderminster Harriers this week but his kid brother Stuart shone in Daventry Town’s first half fightback at Chertsey on Tuesday night.

Hendrie junior, 22, laid on Mark Bellingham’s 29th minute equaliser and then scored himself on the stroke of half-time before Daventry went onto win 4-1.

Back-to-back away wins at Chertsey and Ashford have taken Mark Kinsella’s men above Woodford United and into 14th spot in the Central Division table before attempting the hat-trick at Hayes this Saturday.

With goalkeeper David Bevan having also departed (to Evesham), Adam Confue and Callum Burgess both injured and Scott Cross working, the Town took only 14 players to Chertsey.

However, they stunned the home crowd with a four-goal extravaganza.

The league’s top scorer Danny Bennett broke away early on to score with his left foot as the Town made a sluggish start. But Hendrie’s speed in closing down a Chertsey clearance presented Bellingham with an easy equaliser on the half hour.

With half-time fast approaching, Chertsey’s last-minute stand-in 16-year-old goalkeeper Mark Shipperley spilled the ball from a Josh O’Grady corner allowing Hendrie to nip in and score from close range. The home team never recovered.

In the 57th minute O’Grady scored himself after twisting and turning like a celebrity on Strictly Come Dancing to make the score 3-1. Then in the 88th minute substitute Claudiu Hoban won a penalty and promptly converted the spot-kick himself.

Goalkeeper Joe Mellings was called on to make a couple of fine saves in the second half on a night when the Town’s team spirit and willingness for each other made handsome dividends in front of 105 spectators. Aaron Parkinson returned from suspension to marshal his defence, Bellingham showed good ball control up front as Daventry continually thwarted the most potent attacking force in the Central Division.