Charlie Smith’s deflected volley was the difference in North London as Basingstoke were left regretting a string of wasted chances in a match that saw Hendon leapfrog them in the table.
Basingstoke handed a debut to new signing Joe Hancott, on loan from Portsmouth. Hancott started in place of Rob Gerrard who left for an opportunity in Australia’s second tier while fellow new boy Adam Everiss made an appearance from the bench in the second half, the latest player to make the switch from Hartley Wintney following in the footsteps of Shane Hollamby, Sam Argent, Dean Stow and First Team Coach Dan Brownlie.
Basingstoke started well and Sam Smart had a chance inside the first minute, being played through down the left-hand side but his low shot was well saved by the boot of Andrew McCorkell. Tom McGill was quickly forced to do the same thing at the other end as Bayley Brown was found in too much space at the far post, the on-loan Brighton keeper blocking the shot with his foot.
Basingstoke were able to take advantage of the high defensive line of the hosts, Smart had another attempt that he curled towards the bottom corner and after McCorkell parried that, he then proved himself equal to Dean Stow’s free kick too. Just after the half hour mark the home side took the lead against the run of play. A deep corner drifted to the far post where Charlie Smith was able to volley the ball back across goal and into the Basingstoke net via a deflection in a crowded six-yard box.
Basingstoke almost replied quickly, a marauding run from defender Kraig Noel-McLeod took him away from several Hendon players as he linked up with Joe Hancott. His low ball from the left found Sam Argent alone on the penalty spot but he swung his left foot and got under the ball, skying it over the bar.
Hendon started the second half well, Romario Jonas heading a corner against the post via the fingertips of McGill before Jacob Gardiner-Smith’s cross drifted towards the goal and thumped the opposite post. Ben Wright was presented with a glorious chance as Argent stepped over Adam Everiss’ low cross but the big forward side footed over the bar despite seeming odds-on to score.
Hendon substitute Connor Calcutt narrowly headed wide as the game entered its final stages and Zidan Akers was brought on to try to drag Basingstoke back level. His pace and direct running caused Hendon problems and he almost teed up Argent for a late equaliser, only for the shot to be blocked on the line and in the final minutes of added time Argent was again denied. Good control allowed him to poke a hopeful volley goalwards from fifteen yards but McCorkell was there to save once again.