Hendon produced their best performance of this young season, but still ended up with their biggest defeat to date, 4-1 against Horsham on Friday night. Quite simply, the defence could not cope with the Hornets' (unrelated) twin strike force of Jamie and Lewis Taylor.
Work commitments meant Jermaine Hunter was unavailable, but Takumi Ake was able to start. In addition, Rakatahr Hudson and Nas Richardson came in for Jamie Busby and Lee O'Leary, both of whom dropped to the subs bench. Josh Hunte also made his first appearance on the bench and came on for his first-team debut late on.
Richard Wilmot had made a routine save from Jamie Taylor in the early going, but it was Hendon who struck first and in spectacular fashion in the 11th minute.
He had already shown flashes of his capabilities in preseason friendlies, but Ake is still pretty much unknown at this level. That will change if he is able to repeat his dipping 30-yard volley that gave Gareth Williams absolutely no chance as the ball spanked off the stanchion just below the crossbar.
This was no lucky strike from Ake, instead it was a measured shot. Sadly, it appeared that Hendon's players were still celebrating two minutes later, because that was all it took for Horsham to draw level, Jamie Taylor powering home.
With the slope in their favour, Hendon were certainly giving as good as they got across most parts of the field. The one place they were found wanting was in attack because while Wilmot was once again forced to make a number of excellent saves, Williams was largely unemployed and any shots that came his way were well off-target.
The crucial blow was struck on the stroke of half-time. If the Greens had gone into the dressing rooms all-square it might not have made any difference to the final result, but the boost the Hornets took from Lewis Taylor's tap-in was immeasurable.
Horsham were able to restart with far greater confidence, especially going downhill. Hendon, however, started off determined to get back into the game and they nearly succeeded.
Moments after Husein Kharas had replaced Dean Thomas, making his debut and allowing Ross Pickett to join the attack, a low cross from Richardson was met by Pickett and defender Eddie French. Pickett's studs grazed the ball, which then bounced off French and looped inches over the crossbar with Williams beaten.
Almost immediately, Hendon lost possession on the half-way line. The ball was fed down the right wing and when Lee Carney crossed, Jamie Taylor finished with aplomb. It was completely against the run of play, but typical of Hendon's lack of good fortune in this game.
A very tight offside decision went against Pickett, following an astute pass from James Burgess, and a header from Wayne O'Sullivan went just over the bar as Hendon tried to get a lifeline back in the match.
But what had been an open and entertaining game became rather scrappy and disjointed as Horsham closed it down. Even so, the Hornets were able to extend their advantage after 78 minutes when the assistant referee spotted an unintentional handball by Kharas, but one that gave him a clear advantage, so the assistant referee immediately flagged for a penalty.
The incident was unseen by most in the ground, the referee included, because it came close to the goalline - a few yards inside the 18-yard box - and the referee praised his assistant for his good positioning, noting also that there was no complaint from Hendon defenders. Jamie Taylor stepped up and made absolutely no mistake with the spot-kick, completing a hat-trick into the bargain.
There was no way back for Hendon from this although they continued to plug away. Their failing of being unable to put efforts on target continued to haunt them, and Wilmot made one more fine save as Horsham came close to extending their lead further.
"I don't want anyone to think I am happy with the three losses," said manager Gary McCann, "but I do think this was our best performance of the season to date.
"Our defence has made 10 bad errors so far this season and we have been punished with goals from eight of them. We have got to cut out making these mistakes, because we are not a million miles away. This is not the start I was hoping for, but I still believe we can rattle the cages of a few of the big boys."