Hendon's four-match winning streak came to a crashing end in the most heartbreaking of circumstances. After a desperately poor first-half, in which the Greens might have been beyond resurrection, they fought back to lead, but lost to a goal in the final minute of additional time as Hampton & Richmond Borough recorded a second 4-3 victory over Hendon at Earlsmead this season (both times from 3-2 down).
The starting 11 from Saturday was given a vote of confidence, so was unchanged. The only alterations were on the substitutes bench where Elliott Brathwaite replaced James Fisher and the unwell Jose Figura made way for debutant Karl Oliyide - a dual registration signing from Northwood.
It is hard to know which was worse in the opening 35 minutes of the match â€“ the weather or the Hendon performance. Heavy, driving rain blew at the backs of the Hampton players, who needed no second bidding to swarm forward.
It was much of a surprise that the Hendon defence held out for as long as 16 minutes. Then a corner was swung in, won by a Beavers player, who knocked the ball back across the penalty area and Tommy Brewer turned the ball into the net from close range. The right-back thus completed a hat-trick of sorts having netted once in all three games against Hendon this season.
Catching Hendon on the back every time they attacked, the Beavers were eager to try their luck with the skiddy surface, but they found Joe McDonnell in good form. That said, Hampton put more dangerous efforts on target in the opening 35 minutes than Bury, Carshalton, Lewes and Hornchurch, between, them, had mustered in 10 times longer.
The Greens were also forced into making an early change when Adam Wallace, who has been playing through the pain barrier - but had missed Hendon's best chance of the match - could not continue, so Anthony Thomas came on after just 25 minutes.
As the rain relented slightly, Hendon began to get a toe-hold in the game. There was still danger when Hampton attacked, but the Greens were showing that they also carried a threat.
After 39 minutes, Thomas was bundled over eight yards outside the penalty area in a central position. Thomas and Jack Bennett sized up the options as the referee marched the wall back and it was the latter who drilled the ball inches the wrong side of the far post.
A couple of minutes later, Hampton failed to deal with a ball into the penalty area and when it was only half-cleared, Dave Diedhiou ran in and lashed the ball towards goal. It was going just inside the near post, but Rodney Chiweshe made a fine sprawling save to put the ball out for a corner.
In a see-saw game, it is hard to say that a killer blow could have been landed as early as first-half stoppage-time, but there is no doubt that Hampton deserved to double their advantage on the back of their domination - even if it had to be considered a little against the run of play on the evidence of only the previous half-dozen minutes.
The electric Luke Wanadio ran at Bennett, then cut inside. Bursting out of midfield was Ben Osman and when he ran onto the pass, there was space in front of him. Osman took a couple of strides forward, before either Chris Seeby or Sam Flegg reacted and then drilled a powerful shot beyond McDonnell's dive, just inside right post.
Before the second half started, Michael Murray replaced Kevin Maclaren, whose less-than-stellar first half display can be explained away by the fact that he had been struggling with an injury for a large part of it - but hadn't told anyone. Lee O'Leary took over the captain's armband.
With the rain having stopped, but the wind also much reduced in strength, too, Hendon set about repairing the damage. Six minutes after the resumption, a Michael Bryan corner was met by Diedhiou's thumping header. It beat Chiweshe, but not the inside of the post and the rebound favoured the visitors, who eventually dealt with the danger.
If that constituted a warning, the Beavers didn't listen and were made to pay. In the 59th minute, Thomas managed to wriggle clear of his marker and fire a shot. It didn't have great power, but it came early and bashed a few worms on the head, before squirming under Chiweshe's dive on its way into the net.
Within 90 seconds, the scores were level and if Thomas's goal had not been the finest of strikes, the same could not be said of the equaliser. Murray found himself in a good position and when the ball fell to him, 20 yards, out he delivered a pile-driver that Chiweshe never came close to touching.
Hampton were rocking and, once again, most of the first 30-odd minutes of the half saw the action at the clubhouse end. In the 64th minute, a flick-on by Leon Smith resulted in Thomas finding himself in a battle with the last Beavers defender.
If Chiweshe's error hadn't given Hendon hope, the second goal may also not have come, at which point the defender would have taken the gamble that a red card "taken for the team" to preserve a 2-0 lead might have been worth it. At 2-2, however, with half an hour to go and the opposition clearly on top, 10 men would have struggled.
After a momentary grab on Thomas's shirt, the defender tried to win the ball but was brushed aside. Then as the goalkeeper came off his line, Thomas stroked the ball past and ran away to celebrate his first goal in five minutes and second since mid-February.
Thomas might have had a hat-trick a couple of minutes later when he and Smith were in a 2-on-2 situation. Smith peeled away and really should have received a pass, but Thomas tried to bend the ball around two defenders and Chiweshe. One of the defenders got his body in the way to concede a corner.
Hampton made two changes, first removing Jack Barton in favour of Reece Brewster. Then, with a little over ten minutes remaining, and Hendon running out of a little steam, on went Charlie Moone, the man who had bagged a four-timer in the earlier League fixture at The Beveree and netted in each of last season's encounters too.
It didn't take long for Moone to shine. A ball came in from the right side, wasn't properly dealt with and Moone poked the ball into the net. He'd been on the pitch six minutes, and changed the course of the game.
The last few minutes were fantastic for neutrals, nightmarish for both benches, and nerve-wrenching for supporters. Both teams piled forward looking for a winner. McDonnell made two excellent low saves from skidding shots, efforts flew inches wide of Chiweshe's goal, and a winner seemed imminent - at either end.
Hendon then made their final change, Tony Taggart making way for Oliyide. Within seconds of his arrival Hendon forced a corner.
On 14 September 2002, Brian Haule marked his Hendon debut with a first-touch goal to rescue a point against Hampton & Richmond Borough at The Beveree. On 7 April 2014, Oliyide had the chance of herodom when he was unmarked at the unattended far post. Unfortunately Oliyide didn't make great contact and the ball went wide.
With one minute of added time remaining, Hampton launched one last counter attack. "Jack Bennett should have taken him out on the half-way line and taken a booking for the team," was assistant manager Freddie Hyatt's post-match assessment.
Moone, who else, got the ball, had the fortune for it to clip his heel, to take him inside Bennett and suddenly he had a clear run at goal. Moone's shot was not the sweetest of strikes, but it found a way past McDonnell and Hampton had all three points.