Hendon and Hastings United went into the match one place below the playoff places and one above the relegation zone, respectively, and it was sixth-placed Greens who triumphed, but they had to work hard for it.
The Greens were unchanged, at least in terms of the starting line-up, from the 11 which started against Wealdstone. On the bench, James Parker and Jamie Busby replaced Dave Diedhiou and Tom Davie.
In the first 10 minutes, Hastings had plenty of possession, but could do nothing with it. They thought they had won a penalty in the sixth minute, when Ben Davisson went down in a challenge. The referee, however, ruled that the forward had simulated the contact and showed him a yellow card.
When Hendon started to get a bit of possession, they immediately found the Hastings defence, Sean Ray excepted, to be distinctly nervous. A couple of clearances showed that getting the ball away from danger was a good conclusion, irrespective of whether it came straight back at them or not.
And, Hendon, playing with the confidence the comes with a four-match unbeaten run, were content to wait for an opening. And their wait was not a long one.
In the 14th minute, Greg Ngoyi did well to cut in from the right side. He ran in towards the goal forcing Hastings goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford - alert to a drive inside that upright - to stay close to his near post.
Ngoyi noticed the goalkeeper at the near post - he was difficult to miss, standing 6ft 6in tall and wearing an all fluorescent orange kit with bright yellow boots - drove a low cross into the six-yard box beyond Armstrong-Fordâ€™s dive.
The ball went right into the path of Elliott Charles, who slid the ball into the net from close range. The final touch, inadvertently, came off his hand, but no Hastings player complained.
Things got even better for Hendon three minutes later. Again the danger came from the right wing, this time from Michael Lewis, who beat Jack Dixon, then rode the challenge of Sean Ray.
After cutting inside a third defender, Lewis struck a powerful right-foot drive, which flew past the stationary Armstrong-Ford, cannoned off the inside of the far post and bounced into the net.
In the 22nd minute, Armstrong-Ford kept Hastings in the game by denying Ngoyi in a one-on-one situation after he had been too strong for Ray. Had Hendon taken a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, they would probably have been able to bolster their goal difference against a demoralised side.
Instead, a moment's carelessness brought United right back into the game. Just past the half-hour mark, James Archer failed to clear the ball properly and his mistimed challenge brought him a caution.
The punishment to Hendon was greater. Lee Carey, one of two standout performers for Hastings, fired a magnificent free-kick just inside the angle of far post and crossbar. Berkley Laurencin had positioned himself just to the other side of the defensive wall and was left without a chance as the ball flew over the defenders and under the bar.
The goal gave Hastings a big boost, and they certainly came more into the game. What they lacked, however, was a natural goalscorer and two or three efforts flew wide of the target.
There was one shot, which a defender blocked, but - apart from that, Laurencin was able to display some impressive handling from crosses and watch efforts fly high and/or wide of his goal.
At the other end, Charles and Ngoyi were serious threats and Charles nearly returned Ngoyi's earlier favour with a low cross of his own. This time, however, Armstrong-Ford was able to dive off his line and grab the ball before it reached Ngoyi.
A nasty challenge by Jamie Crellin on Lewis saw him become the third player to see yellow in the first half, but it was hardly a nasty contest.
Just before the break a whipped-in corner by Darren Currie was flicked on by Scott Cousins at the near post and Matt Whitehead, positioned on the far post, hacked the ball away to safety, though it was probably just missing the target.
In the second half, it was Hastings who set the pace. They forced Hendon back on the defensive, but still could not get past Ryan Wharton and James Fisher in the Hendon defence, bolstered by another outstanding midfield display from Kevin Maclaren.
Hastings still had to be aware of the danger posed by the Hendon front two and when Currie and Elliott Godfrey combined well, the cross was headed goalwards by Ngoyi. Armstrong-Ford anticipated that Ngoyi would aim for the near post and maybe a lesser touch guiding the ball towards the far post - might have brought him a goal for the fourth consecutive match.
Tamer Tuna had a couple of shots, but he failed to find the net, as did Danny Ellis, who rifled one effort across the face of goal, but should have forced Laurencin into a save.
In the final 18 minutes, Hendon made their three substitutions, sending on Carl McCluskey, for Ngoyi, Busby, for Lewis and Isaiah Rankin, for Charles. The result that Rankin was left as a lone striker, and he was rather isolated.
For the home fans, there was the added nervousness brought on by some wasteful passing, which put further pressure on the Hendon defence.
With 10 minutes to go, Hastings were awarded another free-kick on the edge of the Hendon box. Everyone expected Carey to have another go, but he deferred to Davisson, whose first effort was couldn't beat the wall.
When the game moved into stoppage time, Hastings had one last chance to snatch a draw when they got another free kick, this time further out towards the angle of the penalty area.
Armstrong-Ford lumbered downfield, but Carey's cross was superbly gathered by Laurencin. The Hendon goalkeeper, seeing no Hastings players in their own half, kicked the ball downfield, but he didnâ€™t have the leg strength to reach the penalty area, let alone the goal, and he was slightly off target.
However, the attempt did waste some valuable seconds as Hendon saw out the dying embers of the match. It was their first Ryman League Premier Division double of the season and first-ever against Hastings United.
"Sometimes you have to grind out wins," said Hendon manager Gary McCann. "Some of our football in the first 25 minutes was excellent, but the goal we conceded set us back."
"After our bad Christmas I spoke with the players and they have responded magnificently to take us up to fourth place. Full credit must go to them.
"Our defence again looked very solid today and I must also mention Kevin Maclaren, who was again outstanding for us today."