Hendon's woes on their visits to Essex continued on Wednesday night when Chelmsford City recorded a 3-0 victory at Melbourne Park. Apart from the visit to Redbridge - Zone 5 of Greater London - the Greens have failed to score, let alone collect a point, in five trips to the county, losing 1-0 at both Braintree and Billericay and 3-0 at East Thurrock, Heybridge and now Chelmsford.
Michael Barima was unavailable, so James Burgess came in for him, while Lee O'Leary replaced Blaise O'Brien, who dropped to the bench after failing a fitness test before the game. Japanese forward Takumi Ake was named as a substitute for the first time, alongside Darren Watson, Adilson Lopes and Danny Julienne.
Unfortunately the changes had barely had a chance to gel together when Hendon fell behind. Poor defending and poor judgement from Dave King gave Richard Halle a chance which he gladly accepted. The defence struggled to cope with Chelmsford's direct running and movement and Dave King had two or three more adventures that nearly led to more goals.
It was not all one-way traffic, but Hendon lacked the incisiveness of their hosts. The passing was as good as Chelmsford's, at least until the ball got within 25 yards of the home team's goal, at which point things rather petered out. Gavin King did make a good save to deny Mapes after 25 minutes and, when he fumbled the ball, no forward was quick enough to react before the goalkeeper could regather.
In the 28th minute, the defence again failed to deal with a set piece and, this time, Tony Boot rifled a shot from 12 yards past King. On the balance of play, it was rough justice for Hendon but another harsh lesson in finishing.
Just before half-time, Ross Pickett almost capitalised on a moment's hesitation in the Chelmsford defence. He reached the ball just as Gavin King sprawled on it and there was a collision in which the goalkeeper came off far worse.
The second half was a rather quiet affair. Darren Watson came on for Iain Duncan as Hendon reshuffled their formation, but to little effect.
Marc Leach did fire narrowly over the bar with a speculative shot and both Dave Hunt and Charlie Mapes failed to stretch Gavin King with shots. After 63 minutes, Ake replaced Pickett, but he too struggled to stamp his authority on the game.
Chelmsford made their first change with 20 minutes remaining, Ronnie Watson taking over from Boot and he kick-started the attack. He caused all sorts of problems and the recently-solid Hendon defence suddenly looked very uncomfortable.
Three times errant passes would have released one of Watson, Adrian Allen or Jamie Richards, but the angles were wrong and Hendon were able to clear the danger.
In the final 10 minutes, however, the floodgates could have opened. Chelmsford took complete control and, for the only time in the game, the Greens were overrun. Richards and Ronnie Watson both shot off target from excellent positions and Dave King was then relieved to see Lee Williams narrowly miss.
But it was delaying the inevitable. Deep in stoppage time, Dave King made a fine low save to keep out a Ronnie Watson effort, pushing it out, but he was helpless to stop Halle - the faster of two maroon-shirted attackers to react - from knocking home the rebound from just inside the angle of the six yard box.