Hendon and East Thurrock United played out a poor goalless draw in freezing conditions at Claremont Road. With no Ryman League games for another ten days, it means that Hendon have picked up four points from the last three games after losing five straight.
The Greens made only one change, Dannys Murphy and Julienne swapping starting and substitute roles, with the latter going into midfield and Jeff Campbell going to left wing-back. The visitors, however, missing a number of key players, were very keen for the match to be postponed, but when referee Steve Rubery insisted it would go ahead, they were determined not to lose it.
For the first hour, at least, there was nothing wrong with the pitch and it cannot be blamed for the desperate fare provided. The referee did admit, however, that he would have had no hesitation about calling off the game in the final half-hour if players had started sliding about, but he complimented them on their attitude throughout the 90 minutes.
As for the action, East Thurrock had the only two on-target efforts of the match, both from long range, in the opening 20 minutes, but neither troubled Dave King in the Hendon goal more than having to leap in the air to catch the ball.
The Greens meanwhile enjoyed plenty of possession, showed lots of passion, endeavour and heart, but displayed poor judgment in choosing when to shoot or pass and lacked composure in front of goal.
Almost every move foundered on the Rocks' defence, where Mick Stanbrook was immense. But Hendon added to their own problems with wayward shooting. Danny Knowles, East Thurrock's goalkeeper, for whom every kicked clearance was an adventure, at least didn't have to worry about his main duty, keeping out shots, because none were on target.
He was, however, beaten by drives from Blaise O'Brien and his replacement Bradley Bubb, both of which flashed inches past the wrong side of a post from the Hendon standpoint.
Typical of Hendon's frustration was a cross from Murphy in the last minute of normal time. If the youngster had not struck the ball so hard, either John Frendo or Andy Cook would probably have been able to reach it. Instead, they both ended up a stride or two short of making contact.
"There was bundles of passion, commitment and effort," said manager Gary McCann. "It is has been good now for three or four games, but we lacked composure in the final third of the pitch."