Ricky Freeman scores but Hythe hold out

Saturday 23-July-2016
HYTHE TOWN 2 HORNCHURCH 1

HT – Joe Mant, Dan Parkinson, Ben Wilson, Ryan Johnson, Craig Cloke, Nick Reeves, Dave Cook, Charlie Webster, Frankie Sawyer, Alfie Nunn, Sam Adams. Subs all Used: Kenny Pogue, Chris Saunders, Josh Algar, Connor Hood, Louis Sprosen, Keane Gillett, Sam Welch

HFC –
1 – Sam Mott
3 – Alex Bentley – 12 – Jason Dobson 60
4 – Elliot Styles ©
5 – Nathan Cooper
7 – George Woodward
12 -Dave Collis – 14 – Suley Zudhu 37
11 – Nicky Symons
15 – Will King – 19 – Abs Thompson 46
17 – Nic Brown – 19 – Ricky Freeman 67
16 – David Knight – 6 – JJ Da Cruz 61
10 – George Purcell – 2 – Josh Flynn 83

Scorers – Adams 4 (HT) – Webster 48 (HT) – Freeman (H) 88

HT – all red
HFC – yellow / blue / yellow

Attendance 153

HYTHE TOWN 2 HORNCHURCH 1

With the news of 8-hour delays on the approaches to the Channel ports, it was a somewhat anxious journey. As it happened, the only delay was at the Dartford Bridge, and the rest of the journey was on a crowded but moving M20 – until we reached the outskirts of Hythe, where the traffic was motionless for long periods.

The ground is alongside a military firing range, but it was not in operation today, and on a bright sunny day, Hornchurch started slowly, and almost fell a goal behind the in the first minute when Alfie May ran through a static defence, but Sam Mott came off his line to smother the shot.

Hythe went ahead after four minutes when May played a long ball towards goal, and Sam Adams took full advantage to poke the ball past a hesitant Mott,

Hythe enjoyed the territorial advantage for much of the first half, but the closest they came was when May headed a left wing cross over the bar.

Hornchurch found it difficult to penetrate the home defence, and it was not until the 35th minute that they created an opening, and it was Nic Brown who fired wide of the post from thirty yards out.

Two minutes later Dave Collis was substituted by Suley Zudhu, after making a wild challenge in midfield which could easily have merited a red card had this been a league match.

Hythe also created few openings, the best being a long range free kick from Craig Cloke, which Mott did well to hold.

Three minutes into the second half and Hornchurch conceded a second goal, when May found Charlie Webster who fired home from close range.

Mott was in action when he punched away a Kenny Pogue shot, whilst Hornchurch slowly came more into the match as an attacking force, with Suley Zudhu showing the way with a well struck shot which Joe Mant did well to hold.

May went close on the hour but Jim McFarlane then introduced JJ Da Cruz, but he played up front instead of in defence as in previous matches, and the forward line looked far sharper as other changes were also made.

Mant saved from Nic Brown, and a George Woodward free kick was touched around the post for a corner.

Da Cruz hit a shot wide of the post, and Mant was in action when he dived to save a josh Flynn shot.

Two minutes from time Ricky Freeman pulled a goal back with a fine solo run, after he had dispossessed Connor Hood. It looked an impossible angle but he ran in from the left and lobbed the ball neatly over Mant and into the net, with Da Cruz lurking just in case the ball did not cross the line.

Hythe defended confidently the final two minutes to give Hornchurch their first defeat of the season.