A narrow 3-2 defeat to National League side Ebbsfleet United far from took the shine off a fine performance from Hendon at Silver Jubilee Park last night, as the Greens shook off a two-division gap between the sides to run their visitors close.

A neutral would have wondered which side were one league away from the Football League in the opening stages with Hendon well in control for the first 20 minutes.

Against good sides, you need to score when you are on top - and the hosts did just that, when Niko Muir slotted past Jon Miles following some lovely build-up between himself and Keagan Cole.

Hendon were grateful to that opener, which served as a wake-up call to Ebbsfleet, albeit not one they could heed before half-time, even when Arthur Lee fired a clearance off his own crossbar - but away to safety.

The break did little to stem the visitors' improvement and they levelled within 10 minutes, as veteran midfielder Danny Kedwell showed why he has spent much of his career in the Football League with a curled finish.

Against the odds, substitute Andre Da Costa nearly put Hendon back in front when he forced Miles into a full-length save.

But Ebbsfleet did take the lead for the first time 12 minutes from time, when Darren McQueen finished off a good move with a powerful strike.

Into the dying minutes, they looked to have wrapped up victory when Danny Mills turned in a cross.

But Lewis Davis scored a fine consolation with a bending drive to set up a grandstand finish, albeit one Hendon could not capitalise on.

Hendon: Joseph, Eggleton (Currie 61), Murphy (Davis 69), Tingey (McGovern 46), Bray, Lee (Cahill 70), Joseph, Diedhiou (Dawkins 71), Muir (Da Costa 61), Cole (Pedro 61), Uchechi (Nathaniel-George 69).