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A hat-trick from Leon Smith secured all three points as the Greens beat 2nd placed Margate 3-2 in a thrilling game this afternoon.
However, Hendon had to come back from a goal down twice in the first half. Margate were by far the better side in the opening period, and took the lead in the 12th minute through Charlie Allen. The visitors then had a number of chances to extend their lead but were unable to take them, and were punished in the 39th minute when Smith scored the first of his goals.
In the second minute of stoppage time Allen restored the lead, but two minutes later Smith took advantage of a slip by Charlie Wassmer to equalise for a second time.
The second half saw the Greens take their turn to look the better side and they were rewarded in the 62nd minute when a fine move involving a number of players ended with Smith completing his hat-trick with a strike from the edge of the area. It was the first league hat-trick by a Hendon player since Isaiah Rankin on the final day of the 2011-12 season in a 7-1 win at Aveley.
As the game moved towards the close, Kevin Maclaren was sent off for a second yellow card, but the defence was able to hold firm to secure all three points.