Maidstone United 1 Hendon 1
Eyes on the ball as Maidstone and Hendon do battle (Pic: Matthew Walker)
Late pressure came to nothing as Maidstone were held to a 1-1 draw at home to 10-man Hendon on Saturday afternoon.
In the final three minutes, Frannie Collin sent a free header wide and had a shot blocked on the line, while Charley Robertson and Fabio Saraiva were denied by desperate defending in the six-yard box.
Stones played the second half against 10 men, Hendon danger man Jefferson Louis having been sent-off for elbowing Alex Flisher shortly before the break.
But more than 1,500 fans at the Gallagher Stadium were silenced four minutes after half-time when Carl McCluskey latched on to a through-ball and beat Lee Worgan to give Hendon the lead.
Maidstone levelled just five minutes later as makeshift winger Zac Attwood finished from a tight angle after Ross Fitzsimmons could only parry.
Frannie Collin tries to get away from his man (Pic: Matthew Walker)
The goal gave Stones momentum, with Flisher's thumping effort just inches over the bar.
Substitute Ashley Miller was denied a penalty in the 73rd minute after a superb run from his own half ended under a challenge from Casey Maclaren.
Miller simply looked too quick for the Hendon man and had a golden chance to finish.
But there was a let-off at the other end when substitute Dave Diedhou had a goal ruled out for offside after a clever free-kick led to chaos in the Stones box.
The match was one of only five to survive the weather across 36 Ryman League fixtures this weekend.
United's 3G pitch played perfectly, although it was Hendon who used it best in the first half.
Maidstone scramble to clear their lines (Pic: Matthew Walker)
The visitors, with Lee O'Leary influential in midfield, were comfortable in possession and had the best of the early chances.
McCluskey should have scored after Worgan flapped at Michael Bryan's cross, while O'Leary and Anthony Thomas failed to capitalise during a goalmouth scramble.
Rory Hill was Stones' biggest threat with his running up the right and he saw a shot deflect wide off James Fisher.
Jack Parkinson's casual overhead kick from Flisher's long throw then hit the bar before free-kicks from Attwood and Collin hit the wall as the first half ended goalless.
A win would have lifted Maidstone up to third but they remain fifth, a point behind AFC Hornchurch and five back from leaders Wealdstone.
Maidstone: Worgan, D Parkinson, Flisher, Campbell, Mills, Saraiva, Hill (Robertson 77mins), J Parkinson, Harris (Miller 69mins), Collin, Attwood. Subs not used: Johnson, Watt, Mitten.
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