Hendon were, once again, unable to hold onto a one-goal lead and conceded a late equaliser against a Horsham team which offered plenty of youthful enthusiasm, but not a huge amount else. Even though the Greens had almost a complete team out injured, the squad selected should have been more than good enough to see off Horsham.
In the aftermath of the Luton defeat, James Archer, Byron Bubb, Dave Diedhiou and Isaiah Rankin came in for Casey Maclaren, Jamie Busby, Carl McCluskey and Belal Aite-Ouakrim in a completely rebuilt midfield. With both Diedhiou and Archer having been inactive for a while, the former was given a wide role, the latter one in the middle, but neither looked comfortable in their positions.
The very young Horsham defence displayed a tactical naivety that Elliott Charles and Rankin completely failed to exploit. It must be admitted that the lack of support from the midfield certainly didn't help, but Hendon were unfortunate on a couple of occasions when the bounce of the ball was unkind.
After 25 minutes of futility, Hendon took the lead. A right-wing corner caused chaos in the Horsham penalty area. Three shots at goal were blocked before Diedhiou lifted the ball into the roof of the net from a yard out.
Horsham players appealed furiously for a handball against Hendon, but with the ball ricocheting around, any contact would have been ball to hand and entirely unintentional. More importantly this was an "ugly", scrappy goal, the like of which Hendon are not good at scoring.
The Hornets felt hard done by five minutes later when Tommy Youle went down under a challenge in the penalty area, but the referee felt there was no contact. In the 38th minute, there was certainly contact when James Brockhurst went through the back of James Parker.
After initially ruling the player had won the ball, the assistant referee, with a much better angle, signalled that it was a foul. Although an advantage was played, there really had been none, and as soon as the ball went out of play, Brockhurst was shown a yellow card.
Hendon were much better in the second half, except in the most crucial area, in front of goal. Charles should have bagged a four-timer, twice driving the ball wildly wide of the target with only goalkeeper Ken Westoby to beat.
Rankin was denied by brilliant last-gasp intervention from Louis Hollingsworth. Even so, a player who has seen action in England's top flight really should have been able to force the ball into the net rather than the side-netting.
Westoby then made three excellent saves, twice repelling Bubb efforts and one from Charles. But, in the 72nd minute, Hendon should have sealed the points.
A long-range shot was brought down by Charles, who just beat the offside trap. The ball may not have been under perfect control when he took it past Westoby, but Charles really should have been able to roll it over the line before the goalkeeper could recover. He didn't and Horsham escaped.
The rising number of failures to put the game away set up a nervous ending, none of which Horsham were able to take advantage of on a few occasions. Sean Thomas was put under needless pressure by back-passes from both Michael Peacock - a nervous shadow of the player who had looked so confident and dominant a month earlier - and Ryan Wharton, but he was able to deal with the danger.
Apart from forcing one save, Horsham didn't really look like scoring, but with only a one-goal deficit, there was always the chance a grabbing a point via a fortuitous deflection or a moment of magical inspiration.
The inspiration moment nearly came when a clever run off the ball by Youle was ended by an illegal Kevin Maclaren challenge. The ball fell to Craig Davies, who had only Thomas to beat, only for the referee to stop play to award a free-kick.
Davies, it should be said, failed to hit the target with the attempt, but maybe he had heard the whistle. Maclaren was cautioned but the free-kick was struck wastefully wide.
With five minutes of normal time remaining, the Hornets found their hero. Sixteen-year-old substitute Dean O'Keefe tried his luck from an acute angle and the ball struck Peacock, completely wrong-footing Thomas on its way into the net.
Hendon still had a couple of chances to regain the lead and take the win which would have sent them back up to third in the Ryman League Premier Division, but the Greens' finishing was simply not good enough.
Frustrated manager Gary McCann said, "You are always learning as a manager and this was a learning experience for me. We did have three or four players running on empty out there. Dave Diedhiou hasn't played for 17 days and James Archer has been away for 10.
"Our finishing has to be better."