Last denies Chigwell
Hendon United A 1-1 Chigwell Athletic A
A last gasp equaliser from super-sub Yishai Last earned Hendon United A a share of the spoils in a game between two teams hoping to push champions Neasden A all the way at Hadley FC.
Steve Summers, had earlier given Chigwell a first half lead, but the East Londoners were unable to hold out until the final whistle.
Despite dropping valuable home points, the Hendon boss Jonathan Kestenbaum remained upbeat: "I thought we did do well today, last season we needed to be stronger mentally. So to keep going against a great side like Chigwell and get the equaliser so late on I think shows great mental strength."
The Hammers made a good start to the game, controlling a lot of the possession but creating few chances.
They should have gone ahead after 12 minutes when a Greg Corin corner was headed inches wide by the skipper Josh Bentley.
At the other end, Greg Bookman's volley skimmed the cross-bar. The Chigs continued to float the ball around very calmly and as a result took the lead on the half hour mark. The eye-catching Aron Barnes started the play, providing a superb through ball into Bookman who produced a defence-splitting cross into Steve Summers who couldn't miss from three yards.
One should have become two for Summers minutes before the break but he could only loft the ball over from close range, after being put through once again by the ever impressive Bookman.
After receiving some encouraging words from Kestenbaum at half time, Hendon were much improved and looked more threatening in-front of goal. They were almost rewarded for their patience on the hour mark, when a Bentley low drive was parried away by Ben Rosenthal.
A frustrated Hendon came close again, this time through Corin who couldn't get enough power in his shot from 12 yards.
They were not to be denied though as, in the dying seconds, substitute Yishai Last's weak shot somehow found its way into the bottom corner.
Chigwell manager-for-the-day Danny Berg reflected: "I thought we were excellent throughout the game but we have got to be more clinical in front of goal.
"I'm disappointed not to take the three points but a point away to Hendon is a great result."
Hendon A: Danny Berliner 7, Tali Nevies 6 (sub: Yishai Last 8), Benjy Wreschner 7, Alex Rosenthal 6, Josh Bentley 7, Motti Korman 8, Paul Bentley 6, Greg Corin 7, Ilan Scorah 6, Ari Last 6 (sub: Jonathan Joseph 6), Saul Conway 6
Chigwell A: Ben Rosenthal 7, Danny Hakimi 7, Joel Berg 7, Aron Barnes 8, Russell Brill 6, Dean Ben Yosef 6, Steve Summers 7 (sub: Steve Gevertz 6), Greg Bookman 8, Charlie Laderman 7 (sub: Danny Sugarman 6), Daniel Castle 7, Craig Sandford 7