Hendon produced a superb performance to defeat one of the Ryman League title-chasers, Kingstonian, 4-1 on Saturday. The Greens' first League win at Kingsmeadow since October 2004 - against either Ks or AFC Wimbledon - saw them rise two places in the table back to ninth, whilst Kingstonian slipped two to sixth.
James Fisher returned to the starting line-up in place of Ryan Wharton, while Leon Smith came into the team at the expense of Adam Wallace, and Jefferson Louis completed his ban. Sam Flegg was back in the squad as one of four substitutes, alongside Wharton, Max McCann and Dave Diedhiou.
The groundstaff at Kingsmeadow deserve enormous credit as the Kingsmeadow pitch was in almost immaculate condition despite the desperate weather of the previous few days and weeks. What they could nothing about was the wind which was at Kingstonian's backs in the first half.
Although it did not feel particularly strong, attacking the Kingston Road end was actually not a big advantage and - apart from the first set-piece of the game - almost no dead-ball situations created much danger. And it was a similar situation when balls were played forward from midfield; what seemed like astute through-balls resulted in either goal kicks or an easy gather for the goalkeeper.
However, in the fourth minute, a free-kick was floated goalwards by Charlie Knight. Ross Fitzsimons came off his line a step, seemed to lose the ball in the sun for a second and suddenly realised the ball was going further than he expected.
Back-tracking furiously, Fitzsimons stretched backwards but could not reach the ball. He got lucky, however, as the ball went even further than anyone expected and came off the crossbar before a Hendon defender completed the clearance.
Three minutes later, Hendon were in the lead. Thomas and Smith, who gave the cumbersome Kingstonian defence a torrid time all afternoon, linked well and Thomas invited a challenge from Aaron Goode which resulted in a free-kick, 25 yards out level with the attacking left upright.
Between them, Rob Tolfrey and the Ks defence got the wall completely wrong. There was a good metre between the right edge of the wall and the post, with Tolfrey guarding the other side of the goal. Jack Bennett saw the opportunity and bent the ball around the wall and a foot inside the post.
Ryan Moss and Andre McCollin got absolutely no change out of Casey Maclaren and Fisher, but the match was probably decided in front of the Hendon central defence where Lee O'Leary and Kevin Maclaren completely dominated the much tighter middle four of Kingstonian.
Hendon were content to have Chris Seeby and Bennett support Michael Bryan and Tony Taggart down the flanks, and this stretched Kingstonian to breaking point and they really didn't cope well. Their cause wasnâ€™t helped by a calf injury picked up by Goode, which limited his mobility, but Ks elected not to replace him.
In the 23rd minute, Taggart got the better of Bruce Hogg down the right wing and delivered a good ball to Thomas, just outside the penalty area. Turning one way, then the other, Thomas made space away from Sam Page and curled a shot past the unsighted Tolfrey into almost exactly the part of the net that Bennett had found earlier in the half.
Kingstonianâ€™s response was a run from McCollin but he decided he wasn't going to get the better of Fisher, so he elected to shoot from 25 yards. The ball was still rising as it sailed towards Hounslow, clearing the crossbar, stand and stadium.
Bryan then set up Thomas with a beautifully weighted through ball. The striker was forced a little wide and his curling shot went beyond the far post.
Smith and Thomas then rather got in each other's way as the Ks defence again failed to cope with their clever movement. Both players had chances to shoot, but the chance went begging.
Just before half-time a Seeby cross was met by Smith, whose header may just have nicked off Page as it looped towards the top corner. Tolfrey, however, produced a brilliant save to push the ball over the crossbar. From the corner, Casey Maclaren powered a header just wide of the target.
Having wasted two or three really good scoring opportunities, there was a feeling that Kingstonian weren't out of the game - especially if they were able to score early in the second half. Instead, four minutes after the resumption, Hendon grabbed their third goal.
A lovely pass from midfield found Thomas in the inside left channel. Drage was the only defender close at hand, but Thomas got past him easily, drew Tolfrey off his line and rolled the ball into the net.
A few minutes later a deep corner from Kevin Maclaren was met on the volley by Seeby, just beyond the far post. Whether he was trying to set up someone in the middle of the penalty area or was actually going for goal, the result was the latter and Tolfrey pulled off another good save at full stretch.
That should have been game over but, with just over an hour gone, Hendon gifted a goal to Ks. It started with a wayward pass out of defence that was intercepted by Knight.
He got to the bye-line and crossed deep, beyond the far post. There was no Ks player in the neighbourhood, but Moss was quick to shut down Bennett as he attempted to clear. The ball did not go far, and directly to Tommy Kavanagh, who took a touch before shooting into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Suddenly, Hendon's defending wasn't quite as clinical, and the midfield and attack were somewhat deeper. Kingstonian, however, couldn't capitalise and didn't make Fitzsimons work particularly hard. He was excellent dealing with a few crosses and made sure the defence was not breached again.
That said, Smith almost scored his second goal when he capitalised on a lapse by Page. His pass back towards Tolfrey was short and Smith got to the ball first.
Smith might have tried a lob, but with the wind so strong, keeping the ball on the ground was a better option. In almost slow motion, Page, Tolfrey and Smith watch the ball roll towards the goal line and the home players breathed a huge sigh of relief as it rolled inches wide of the far post.
In the final 20 minutes, Diedhiou came on to replace Smith, and played in an advanced role, while Wharton was slotted into the midfield, having taken over from Taggart.
Nine minutes from time, the game was made safe. Thomas tried to wriggle past Goode on the edge of the penalty area. The only part of the defender inside the penalty was his trailing leg, which tripped the forward.
After a moment's hesitation, the referee pointed to the penalty spot, a decision that was not contested by a single Ks player. Thomas stepped up and sent Tolfrey the wrong way to make it 4-1.
With a crowded schedule in the coming weeks, Hendon were able to withdraw Kevin Maclaren for the final few minutes, Max McCann getting a run-out.