Hendon happy with draw

Ian Hendon was happy to avoid a defeat at the hands of his former employers after Dan Potts' added-time equaliser secured a 2-2 development squad draw at Gillingham.

Hendon left the post of assistant manager at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium to join West Ham United in July and bumped into plenty of familiar faces during Tuesday's visit to the Medway town.

It looked like Hendon would lose the bragging rights when two second-half goals cancelled out Brian Montenegro's first-half opener, only for Potts to save the day when he swept home from close range with just seconds remaining.

"It was very nice to come back because I have still got a lot of friends here behind the scenes and among the staff like Malcolm the kit man," Hendon told West Ham TV. "I had a little wander around upstairs and said 'Hello' to a few people so it was nice to be back.

"The playing surface for the game was superb, which is a tribute to John the groundsman. I can certainly say that it is a lot better this season than it was last year so they're moving in the right direction.

"I've got to say the first half was the best one of my teams has played all season in terms of the work-rate and the way we moved the ball and created chances, even though we didn't take them. I was very pleased at half-time.

"Credit to Gillingham because they came out and ruffled a few feathers and got into us as you would expect. I'm sure Andy went in at half-time and had a few words with their boys and they came out fighting in the second half.

"We lost our way a little bit and maybe they intimidated our younger lads a little bit in the second half and they got the two goals and deserved their lead in the end because they got about us.

"Then credit our boys because we started to play a little bit better towards the end and we nicked a late equaliser which, on the balance of play, was the right result."

When asked what he made of Gillingham's young players, Hendon was quick to point out that the home side had also included a smattering of seasoned professionals.

"Gillingham's squad wasn't that young! I know Kingy [Simon King] from when I was at Barnet and he is a very experienced centre-back. They had some experienced lads out there and it was a good test for our young ones.

"I spoke to their manager Andy after the game and he was in agreement with me that it was a good workout and a proper game of football."

One player who did not play on Tuesday but is familiar to fans of both clubs is Frank Nouble, the Hammers forward who is currently impressing on loan at Gillingham.

The player himself watched the action and told whufc.com how much he was enjoying his football at the Kent club, while Hendon is happy with the striker's development.

"I''ve been watching Frank as part of my job because we don't send players out on loan and forget about them. I get out and watch them and I've been down to see Frank on numerous occasions. He has scored a few goals and on Saturday he was a thorn in Northampton's side, creating goals and winning a penalty for Gillingham.

"I know Frank is doing well and I'm in contact with Andy all the time and he keeps me updated."