Premier Division Middlesex rivals 2-0 away from home, but the manner of the victories were very different. Hampton & Richmond Borough last week made Hendon work very hard and two defensive errors gifted goals.
On Tuesday, Enfield had only 3 noteworthy efforts in 90 minutes and Hendon's goals came as a reward for persistence after dominating poor opposition overwhelmingly. Amazingly it was only Hendon's 2nd Ryman League win over Enfield in 11 attempts.
Jason Soloman replaced David Adekola (reduced to a substitute) as Hendon's only change following Saturday's disappointing performance against Purfleet. The upshot was that Dale Binns moved into a striking role alongside Davis Haule, while Soloman, Paul Adolphe and Jon Daly played narrowly across the middle of the field. Width was supplied by wing-backs Marvyn Watson and Simon Clarke, both of whom appeared to spend as much time in attack as defence.
In the first minute, a Binns cross was fumbled by Steve Hilton, but he was rescued by referee Simon Gagen's (New Malden) whistle. Mr Gaden almost seemed to have pity on Enfield - this being the only possible explanation for playing only 75 seconds of stoppage time at the end of the match despite 4 injury stoppages in the second half.
Adolphe came closest to opening the scoring for Hendon. His 28th minute header was athletically saved by HIlton, who would have struggled to reach powerful efforts from Binns and Haule had they been on target. Gary McCann made the only save he needed to make after 31 minutes, this after a near-post header from a 17th-minute corner had been Enfield's only other first-half chance.
The second half was one-way traffic. Gary Fitzgerald underhit a flick at goal straight at Hilton, who also denied Binns with a brilliant near-post block with his feet. Daly brought Hilton to his knees with a powerful shot and Haule fired narrowly over.
The breakthrough finally came in the 61st minute. Watson attacked down the right flank and cut in towards the penalty area. He attempted to shoot, but found his path inadvertently blocked by Haule so tried for a second time.
This time WATSON got a stroke of luck as his shot caught an Enfield defender's foot and the ball was diverted into the bottom corner. After more Hendon chances were spurned, the Tangerines finally got a stroke of luck in defence. In the 78th minute, so slack defending allowed Enfield an opening, but Robert Boyce's powerful drive cannoned off the foot of McCann's right post and went away to safety.
In the 86th minute, Hendon made the game safe. A Hendon attack was halted by foul and Enfield took the free-kick quickly. The ball was won by Warren Kelly, who knocked it back whence it came. This time Ross Pickett (on for Haule) flicked a header on and Rene STREET latched onto it. His powerful drive flew beyond Hilton's dive and he opened his Hendon account in style.
"It was just a matter of time before we scored our first," said manager Frank Murphy. "After we scored I knew we wouldn't lose."