Hendon's rich seam of league form came to an end at high-flying Salisbury, the home side taking all three points in a high-profile clash between two sides who have enjoyed their seasons so far. On a sunny afternoon, the game started in a very even fashion, with both sides having a fair share of possession and chances.
It was the visitors who made the breakthrough though. Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick completed an excellent attacking run down the right, his cross flashing across the goal, eventually being put out for a corner of the left. Lee Chappell's in swinger bounced off a number of players and found its way into the net. No-one was fully certain of who claimed the final touch, but it was recent signing Connor Calcutt who wheeled away in celebration claiming the goal.
Salisbury were sparked into action and saw a shot fly over the Hendon bar before Hippolyte-Patrick was put through on goal after some neat approach play. His shot was too high and went over the bar but he was clattered to the ground by the Salisbury goalkeeper after the ball had gone. Hendon fans clamoured for a spot kick although the ref was not remotely tempted to award one. What the outcome would have been in a different part of the pitch is unknown, but a free kick would not have been an implausible outcome.
As the game ebbed and flowed things became occasionally a little fractious with some hefty challenges being put in. Romario Jonas picked up a yellow card for Hendon after a challenge from behind, the resultant free kick from Lewis Benson well saved by Danny Boness for a Salisbury corner.
The home side's Jake Wannell was next to pick up a caution for a foul on Hippolyte-Patrick, the free kick from Chappell eluding virtually everyone in the penalty area. Chappell then produced a very audacious attempt on goal after a poor kick from Salisbury keeper Jake Hallett went straight to him, but his shot cleared the stand as well as the goal.
As half time approached, Salisbury began to assert themselves and were soon level, some great attacking play eventually seeing the ball swept home by Tom Whelan. It didn't take long for Salisbury to take the lead. Some inattentive defending at a free kick saw the ball find Benson and he struck the ball home from outside of the box with a superb finish.
After the interval, both sides had few chances of note, a stalemate that prompted Jimmy Gray to make a double change, Ricardo German on for Cole Brown and Shaun Lucien replacing Stephane Ngamvoulou. The next incident of note saw Lucien receive a yellow for a chest-high challenge on Elliot Wheeler, followed by the replacement of Hippolyte-Patrick by Gianni Crichlow.
Hendon lacked a little of their creativity that they have demonstrated in previous matches and it was Salisbury that wrapped up the game with around 10 minutes left, Zack Kotwicka knocking home from close range. They nearly added a fourth as full time approached Hendon saved only by some brave goalkeeping and excellent last-ditch defending.
The defeat, watched by over 700 fans, saw Salisbury rise to second in the table and Hendon drop to fourth, with two cup fixtures ahead of the next league outing, a home match against strugglers Staines.