A late goal helped Hendon defeat Hartley Wintney as the home side captured maximum points in Premier Division South.

Hartley had many challenges before the fixture with several players not being available due to injuries and suspensions.

Two young players Tom Wensley and James Beauchamp were brought in at the last moment from Fleet Town. But the problems were compounded when two players had to withdraw during the match warm up.

The high swirling wind and the 3G surface made fluent play difficult for both teams and as a spectacle, the game was not the best in the first period.

Hendon had the first effort on five minutes after a move down the left. The ball was played to Jayden Clarke who shot over from the edge of the penalty area. A minute later the Row came close. A free kick on the right from Josh Webb found Matt Drage and his glancing header went just wide of the goal.

On 17 minutes, a corner on the right for Hendon saw Eren Kinali play a low ball to the edge of the area and the incoming shot from Clarke brought out a good save from Luke Williams in the Hartley goal.

Christian Smith for the home side tried an audacious shot from the half way line on 28 minutes. Williams saw the ball go over his head and bounce just past the post. Hartley put together a bit of pressure approaching the break and Reece Wylie fashioned himself a shot which brought out a comfortable save from Ethan Wady in the home goal.

The Dons had the first chance of the second half on 51 minutes when Liam Brooks sent through Kinali on his own. Williams came out and made a good save. Three minutes later an unforced error in the Hartley defence allowed Hamza Semakula to get beyond the Row defence and Williams brought out another good save.

On 59 minutes the Row fashioned a chance when Cooksley and Webb combined. The latter saw his shot saved comfortably by Wady. Hendon tended to have most of the play and cope better with the challenging windy conditions. On 62 minutes the Dons went ahead following a good move. The ball was worked in from the right and the shot from Kinali went across Williams. Joe White was alert and tapped in at the back post (1-0)

Hendon came close to adding to their lead on 75 minutes. A corner from Kinali found Ricardo German and his powerful effort was brilliantly pushed over by Williams. Hartley struggled to make inroads against a good Hendon defence. However out of the blue they scored a good goal on 84 minutes. A decent move saw the ball worked out to Kofi Halliday on the left. A measured cross picked out the run of Lucias Vine and the young striker headed home from close range. (1-1)

A minute later Vine made a run down the inside right channel to chase a ball from Malachi Robinson and his lob went just over the bar. Play switched to the other end and the home side scored the winner. A long ball found its way past the Row defence and Joe White was able to run on and shoot past Williams (2-1)

Hartley pressed and forced a corner. Matt Drage picked up a nasty head injury as the ball came over and play stopped for a few minutes while he received treatment and left the field of play. On resumption Hendon had the last chance of the game. A cross from Kinali found German and his close range shot brought out another fine save from Luke Williams.

On the day Hendon were deserved winners by virtue of adapting to the windy conditions better. The Hartley performance can be described as decent. When half the team are very recent signings and competing against a mid table Southern League Premier League team to stay in the match until the final minutes was credit worthy. All the players gave decent displays individually especially the young players but understandably some of the team work was not always there. The Row will be hoping to get back to near full strength for their important match against fellow relegation threatened Dorchester Town next week.