Hendon were not unduly troubled by relegation-haunted Carshalton Athletic as they ran out 2-0 winners at Colston Avenue on Tuesday night. The Robins' battle against relegation appears to be a losing one as they remain in the bottom two, some way adrift of safety.
There were three changes to starting line-up which had beaten Bognor a week earlier. Jose Figura made his first Hendon start at Michael Bryan's expense while Tony Taggart and Leon Smith took over from Dave Diedhiou and Michael Murray, respectively.
Kicking down the hill in the first half, Hendon found themselves on the back foot in the early going, but without being under great pressure. It would be a feature of the game that James Fisher and Casey Maclaren would deny the Robins a clear sight of goal so that efforts at Joe McDonnell were from long-range - and mainly inaccurate.
Carshalton have made things difficult for some of the top teams recently, but they found Hendon in determined mood. However, when they were asked questions defensively, the Robins were found wanting.
Figura could have done better when he was presented with a half-chance after 17 minutes, but his touch let him down. After 21 minutes, Anthony Thomas got into a good position but a defender was able to ferry the ball away from danger at the expense of a corner.
Tony Taggart delivered the set-piece perfectly and Lee O'Leary, in stunning isolation, headed the ball goalwards. Unfortunately for goalkeeper Michael White, the ball took an awkward bounce off the ground and he was able only to palm it just inside the near post.
The goal rocked Carshalton and, for the next five or so minutes, another goal seemed imminent. A fine run and low cross from Chris Seeby almost resulted in a chance for Anthony Thomas, but the stretching Matthew Males made a clearance.
For all of the danger caused by Thomas and Smith, the player the Robins defence had the most trouble dealing with was O'Leary. His runs from deep were left frequently unchecked, but he couldn't quite get on the end of a couple of teasing balls into the danger area.
Just before half-time, a sloppy pass in midfield gave Carshalton the chance to attack. The shot that resulted, however, was drilled straight at Joe McDonnell, who made the comfortable save.
Hendon were forced to make a change in the 41st minute when Taggart was forced off and Diedhiou took over from him. It meant that the Greens were without any naturally wide attackers, though Jack Bennett and Seeby continued to offer options when they made raids out of defence.
Five minutes into the second half, Carshalton were distinctly fortunate when White could and probably should have been dismissed. Smith tried a shot, which the goalkeeper fumbled.
O'Leary was quick to pounce and took the ball away from the goalkeeper before starting to turn to roll the ball into the unguarded net. There is no question that O'Leary stumbled and fell before he could net his second goal of the game.
However, he did so only because White's desperate lunge towards the ball saw him cannon into the lower leg of the Hendon man. This was definitely neither a cynical nor deliberate (professional) foul, but it did fulfil the criteria of denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity.
Hendon's feelings were somewhat assuaged less than a minute later when Charlie McCarthy made an awful hash of controlling a ball inside his own penalty area. As the ball rolled away from it, Smith intervened and drove a low, first-time shot into the bottom corner.
Having got into the comfortable position of a two-goal lead, Carshalton were forced to chase the game with even greater urgency, but Kevin Maclaren, O'Leary and Diedhiou won most of the key challenges in midfield. The Robins sent on Tommy Bradford, Jordan Wilson and Kingsley Aikhionbare to add to the forward options, though they lacked the guile to unlock the increasingly comfortable Hendon rearguard.
Murray replaced Smith midway through the half and he nearly made it 3-0 with a powerful drive that flew a foot wide of the post with White struggling to cover the upright. Figura also went close, his effort going too high.
There was only clear opening for the Robins, that after 74 minutes. A drive from just outside the penalty area was well saved by McDonnell.
Max McCann replaced O'Leary for the final 10 minutes and, in the 88th minute, his interchange of passes with Diedhiou and Seeby carved open the Carshalton defence. Seeby struck a powerful shot, but White was equal to it, making a good save.