Hendon deserved their Friday night victory over Ryman League Premier Division newcomers Maidenhead United at LOOT Stadium, although they made things hard for themselves and their fans by conceding a late goal to the Berkshire outfit.
Jon Daly returned to the starting line-up after his suspension - the same reason that David Adekola was absent - while Jason Soloman made his first start at the expense of Paul Adolphe and Paul Towler was also fit again so he regained his place at the expense of Curtis Warmington. Marvyn Watson was missing because of flu.
Maidenhead's biggest problem this season has been scoring goals and it was easy to see why in the opening minutes. The Magpies dominated, but they were rather wasteful. Richard Wilmot showed his capability by dealing with a number of crosses and shots excellently.
In the 23rd minute, Davis Haule made some space for himself with a powerful run through a couple of defenders. But, having done all the hard work, he drove his shot high over the crossbar.
Four minutes later, Hendon opened the scoring. A high ball from the left wing was contested by Steve Croxford and Haule. The cross ricocheted off the two men and bounced to the ground. HAULE was first to react and held off Tom Hickey before sliding the ball under the advancing Richard Barnard.
In the 30th minute, Haule should have doubled Hendon's lead as he rose to meet a great cross. Unfortunately for him, the ball flew inches wide of the post with Barnard well beaten.
Early in the second half, Haule wasted another great opportunity with his head, this time directing the ball tamely into Barnard's arm. The better chances were now coming Hendon's way, but at the three-quarter stage, a one-goal advantage was by no means enough.
In the 70th minute, Hendon were defending a corner, which like so many from Maidenhead never looked like finding a black-and-white striped shirt. The ball was cleared quite easily and Iain Duncan and Ross Pickett broke quickly down the right wing.
Gary Fitzgerald sprinted 85 yards down the middle of the pitch and was in perfect position when the ball was delivered low across the penalty area. All FITZGERALD had to do was stick his shin into the ball's path to divert it into Maidenhead's net.
After wasting two more good chances, Hendon then gave themselves an awkward final few minutes by falling asleep at a low cross and allowing Lee CHANNELL a close-range goal.
Referee Mr P Melin (Frimley) played six and a half minutes of stoppage time, during which time Hendon substitute Bontcho Guentchev was denied by a magnificent block tackle from Steve Brown and Victor Asombang - a former Hendon youth and reserve teamer - fired over from close range.
"I thought we did all right tonight," said manager Frank Murphy. "The win will take us back into the top half and we're only 6 points behind the team in third place."