Hendon will be delighted to see the back of December 2018 after their Boxing Day defeat at neighbours Harrow Borough. The 3-1 victory reflects the hosts' superiority but when things aren't going your way, misfortune has a way of finding you, such as losing two players to injury after the substitutions had been completed.
For once, the Greens not only named an unchanged starting 11, but also the same five substitutes were on the bench.
The first incident of note resulted in Hendon taking a sixth-minute lead. Ricardo German beat the offside trap and tried to get the better of the quick-recovering Shaun Preddie. It was a fair contest until the defender dragged down the attacker and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.
Until this season, there would have been little doubt that Preddie had denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity and been shown a red card, but double jeopardy ruled out the dismissal option.
German picked himself up, put the ball on the penalty spot and confidently stroked the ball past Hafed Al-Doubri. Hendon's aim had to be to hold onto the lead for a significant period, but their advantage, disappointingly, disappeared only nine minutes later.
Harrow had not offered much before a deflected cross went out for a corner. Taken by former Hendon man Michael Bryan, his delivery was excellent and Ryan Moss - a constant thorn in Hendon's side, especially at Earlsmead - lost his marker before guiding his header over Prince Mbengui, who was guarding the far post, into the net.
The Greens almost regained the lead after 22 minutes when a Lee Chappell corner was met by Darren Locke who tried an audacious back-heel. It beat Al-Doubri, but Josh Andrew, guarding the far post, just about was able to clear the ball with his shins. Taofiq Olomowewe also had a chance from another corner, but he put his header off target.
Harrow created two or three chances themselves. Another Bryan corner seemed destined to create another goal, but this time the referee spotted a foul inside the penalty area and Hendon were able to clear the ball thanks to the free-kick.
One of Hendon's problems in their bad run has been putting together a good 90 minutes and, having been more than competitive for 45 minutes, the second half showed little of the Greens as an attacking force. Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick did have a couple of half-chances, but Al-Doubri beat him to the ball on both occasions.
The turning point came in controversial circumstances just past the hour mark when Hendon conceded a free-kick 15 yards inside their own half, a foul by Brendan Murphy-McVey. He was venturing back to his defensive position when the referee engaged him in a brief conversation.
At this point, Harrow played the ball down their left flank to Ryan Haugh, leaving Murphy-McVey completely out of position. It must be said that the rest of the defence did rather switch off.
The only person alert to the danger from Haugh was Danny Boness, who came out to narrow the angle for a possible shot. The ball, however, was crossed into the penalty area, reaching the unmarked Jordan Ireland who swept it into the net.
A couple of Hendon players looked enquiringly at the referee, wondering how he could have allowed the action to continue when he was talking to a player, but the goal stood. Even the Harrow bench were surprised that play was allowed to continue, but only Mbengui got close to Ireland and he was not in time to stop the goal.
Hendon offered little in response and could have gone further behind when former Green Dylan Kearney saw his shot blocked away for a corner. Lewis Cole also had a chance but Murphy-McVey deflected the ball away from danger.
Soon after that, the Greens made their three changes, Gianni Crichlow, Bayley Brown and Tyriq Hunte taking over from Shaun Lucien, Mbengui and Murphy-McVey, respectively. From there, however, things went from bad to worse for the Greens.
Bryan set up Kearney for Harrow's third goal after 78 minutes, Hendon's defence being opened up far too easily. Darren Locke then collided with a stray boot and needed significant on-field treatment before being led away for repairs to a nasty cut. He, of course, could not be replaced.
Then, with less than five minutes to go, a whole-hearted challenge Riccardo Alexander-Greenaway won the ball, took out both Brown and a Harrow player, but he was the one who stayed down. With Hendon's physio still engaged with Locke, Harrow's physio tended to the teenager.
As he was being led limping to the Hendon dugout with a dead leg, so Danny Boness dived at the feet of Moss trying to cut out a cross. He got there first, but caught a stray boot and he, too, required attention before being able to continue.
It was a rather shambolic end to the game, but Harrow didn't press home their two-man advantage, just grateful for the three points. Hendon, meanwhile, have Saturday off to lick their wounds and plan for 2019.