Hendon took an hour of their second preseason friendly to finally open their account but, after doing so, ran in four more goals to record a comfortable 5-1 victory over Ryman League newcomers Arlesey Town at Hitchin Road on Tuesday night.
Bontcho Guentchev came into the Hendon starting line-up in place of Iain Duncan, the only change from Saturday's defeat at Margate, but he had not even touched the ball when Hendon found themselves a goal down.
Only two minutes had elapsed when a long cross was dropped by Farai Jackson and unmarked Darren Lynch stooped to head the ball into the unguarded net from a couple of yards out. It didn't take long for Hendon to start dominating the match, but Derek Elliott, Davis Haule, Jon Daly, Simon Clarke and Jason Donlan all spurned reasonable chances, none of which even troubled Lee Ward.
The Hendon defence looked more assured with Warren Kelly marshalling the back line with some style. In the 42nd minute, Fitzgerald nodded the ball apparently over the goal-line following a free-kick, but unfortunately for the Greens, the assistant referee had dropped his flag and was looking at it instead of the ball as it entered the goal. Ward clawed the ball back into play, the referee looked at his assistant, saw no signal and waved play on. He then blew for half time 2 minutes early.
Arlesey made a number of changes to their line-up - they named 11 substitutes - and the shadow squad was no match for Hendon. The Dons finally got some luck after an hour. Nathan Edwards had just come on when Haule rose for a cross with Darren Gibb. The second-choice goalkeeper fumbled the ball and when it rolled into his path, Edwards side-footed it through a crowd of players into the net from 20 yards.
Forty seconds later, Gibb attempted to clear a back-pass and succeeded only in drilling into Haule, who had the simplest of tap-ins to give Hendon the lead.
A magnificent goal after 69 minutes stretched Hendon's lead. Marvyn Watson athletically controlled a long pass and then dribbled inside an opponent. He passed to Edwards, who lifted a pass into the path of Simon Clarke and he struck a delicious lob into the net from 12 yards.
In 80th minute, Edwards finished off a run by Dale Binns to score his second goal with an arrogant strike. Then, in the last minute, another substitute Leon Maloney, went on a run across the face of the penalty area and struck a magnificent curling 25-yarder into the top corner.
"It was a good work-out tonight," said satisfied manager Frank Murphy. "We showed good discipline and I am pleased with the way some of the players I have been looking at performed."