Defensive mistakes cost Hendon dear against Gloucestershire side Forest Green Rovers, as they slipped to a 4-1 defeat, the worst for the Dons since they last played Dagenham in the league.
Forest Green won the toss, and decided to kick away from the sun in the first half, immediately putting Hendon goalkeeper McCann at a disadvantage. The difference between the two sides was immediately apparent, as Forest Green looked far fitter than the London side, and they were far stronger in the air.
The early minutes were dominated by the Conference team, who took the lead after about 10 minutes. Poor defending from Towler and Fitzgerald allowed Alex Sykes in, and he took the ball down and struck it between McCann and the nearside post, giving the 'keeper no chance.
The game continued to be dominated by Forest Green for another 10 minutes or so, with only odd breaks from Hendon, who despite having several shots on target, never really tested Perrin. The tie worsened for Hendon when Watson was fouled twice in two minutes, both times requiring treatment, but after the second bad challenge he had to be substituted, limping off the pitch.
There was little real action of note for most of the next 15 minutes, much of which passed as an end to end cup tie, before Hendon equalised. A free-kick was awarded just outside the area on the right, and Hyatt swung the kick in to the far post, where Daly rose and nodded it back across the goal, for Whitmarsh to help on its way in.
Forest Green looked desperate in their attempts to get back into the lead for the final few minutes of the half, misplaced passes finishing most moves, but McCann still had to make one save of note.
The second half started off badly for Hendon, with two more bad pieces of defending letting in Tony Daley and Billy Clarke for two scrappy goals, virtually killing off the tie.
Hendon responded by throwing everything forward, but Forest Green easily coped with the attempts from Hendon, none of which really tested the 'keeper. Gentle's introduction around the 60th minute was no help to the London side, who continued to fail to find the target.
Don's fans started calling for the introduction of Ex-Bulgarian international Guentchev, but their cries were ignored as Mavuto Sakala was brought on for Whitmarsh in an attempt to turn the tie late on, although all hopes of a late comeback were quickly shattered when Sykes scored again with an excellent effort from 30 yards, leaving McCann with no chance.