Hendon left it late as they earned a well-deserved point against Blackfield & Langley. Both teams went into this fixture in need of a win as they sit near the bottom of the table with Blackfield only four points and two places above the 20th-placed Greens.
The Dons were much changed with no less than seven players making their debut, and Tom Hamblin was the only starter who had been with the club at the start of the season. Making their debuts were Rihards Matrevics, Joe Howe, Lucas Perry, Tommy Brewer, Tom Smith, Liam Brooks and Solomon Sambou.
The game began with fast dictating play from the Hendon team as they looked to take control of the game early on with the full-backs Howe and Perry bombing forward to assist the attackers.
This early pressure paid off as Hendon took the lead thanks to a ball into Isaac Galliford who got a touch onto the cross which hit the back of the net. It was well deserved and its 1â€“0 to the Greens.
After the goal Blackfield began to grow within the game and get forward more. This started as Devane Bongou, the hostsâ€™ best player of the half, drove forward and had a shot from the edge of the box, but nothing that troubled Matrevics.
As the game grew, both teams were evenly matched all over the pitch and neither looked like backing off. That said, it was Hendon who looked the more threatening.
Shaun Lucien hit a shot from distance which was tipped over. Liam Brooks then got on the end of a goalmouth scramble which brought out a point blank save from Bradley Snelling to keep Blackfield in the game.
His saves increased in significance when a Tom Hamblin error allowed Hisham Kasimu to run through on goal. He went past the keeper and tapped it into an empty net.
From being two or three goals up Hendon found themselves level. With seven minutes left of the half, Hamblin's and Hendon's days went from bad to worse as he received his marching orders after tactically bringing down Kasimu, who was again through on goal.
Hendon now had a big mountain to climb. Blackfield went on the front foot and looked to take advantage of the 10 men Hendon but they could not create anything threatening.
This was until the near end of the half as Sambou came into contact with a Blackfield player in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Fatah Makhloufi converted the spot-kick and the hosts went into the half 2â€“1 up.
Despite a great first half performance from Hendon, they had slipped up and allowed Blackfield & Langley to take the lead. The tangerine dreams started the second half as they had the first with a high intensity and passing play.
It was hard to tell that Hendon were down to 10 as they continued to match the hosts all over the pitch. As the game went on, Blackfield were pinned back into their own half, defending deeply as the visitors searched for an equaliser.
Hendon made their three changes midway through the half, Lucien, Keiron Forbes and Galliford being replaced by Kingsley Eshun, Joseph Felix and Kam English.
Snelling was Blackfield's hero as the Hendon attackers could not find a way to beat the keeper with a succession of attacks. For all their domination the Dons could not create a clear-cut chance.
Blackfield were happy to sit deep and hit Hendon on the counter. They final put together a sustained period of pressure and, in the 68th minute. Kasimu dashed into the box and hit a low shot but it was an easy save for the keeper.
The hosts gained confidence from this opportunity and pushed higher up the pitch. As a result Hendon were forced to back off.
However, with eight minutes Hendon finally grabbed their equaliser. Eshun ran towards the penalty pressing the ball as he darted towards Snelling, who was coming off his line.
The pair collided, the ball rolled loose and Brooks tapped it into the empty net. Blackfield were furious, appealing for a foul on Snelling, but the referee waved aside their protests and the goal stood.
Near the end, Blackfield had a great chance to win the game. A cross into the box was not dealt well by the Hendon defence. It seemed to leave a Blackfield forward with a free header into an empty net but there was too much pace on the ball for him to make a clear connection and the chance went begging.
When the final whistle blew it was probably the 10 men of Hendon who walked off the more happy with the point. Not only had they dominated large parts of the game, they had played for more than 50 minutes a man short.